Tuesday, July 28, 2015

School Activity in Sepela

We all met at the hotel this morning for a quick breakfast and then headed in different directions.  Lisa and Sara had clinics, Kemmel and a group  delivered water filters to ABC families and some of us are visited the school in Sepela.

When we arrived, the students brought their desks and chairs to a patio in the middle of the school.  The director welcomed everyone..............then, she asked the students to stand to pray.  She would say a few words and all of the students repeated with total respect.  It is just one of those moments that you just think, "Wow!"

Cesar started the day and the children were attentive. Others participated with leading a few songs and preparing for the skits.

The children had a few minutes to color before things got going.  Someone commented on how much time and patience they put into their work. It is true. Even the 6th graders enjoyed the activity.

This was a skit about how words and what we say does affect others.  The boy in the middle wants to quit going to school because the other students tease him.  He can not buy the shoes that the other children wear and he has to work to help buy food for his family. He is not good in sports and is just tired with dealing with it. The teacher talks to the other student about his actions toward this boy.

This skit was about decisions.  Each grade of students were able to make a selection between two bags. One was very pretty and had colored paper around it.  The other was a simple, brown bag with no decoration. Most of the students selected the pretty bag but when it was opened, it only had trash in it.  The simple, brown bag had bags of peanuts for them to eat. We need to be careful about the decisions we make.  Just because the outside of something is pretty, the inside may not be equally as nice.

Then it was time for a break.  People played ball, ate ice cream and different snacks.............

Time for a quick photo. 

Education on dental care.

Time to put stickers on the outside of the bag..........

and more activities in the afternoon.

When we finished withe the school, we drove back to the hotel.  We had a quick lunch of sandwiches and spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging out.

One group went to play soccer and another group walked around Chichi.

We went to the Mayan Ceremonial Area below the cemetery.  These people were burning different things and having a small ceremony.

The Mayan Culture still fascinates me.

We finished with a walk through the cemetery, a quick trip to Sarita's for ice cream, a walk through the Catholic Church, something to drink at Casa San Juan and then finished at the hotel.

It was a great day and I think that everyone enjoyed it.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Eastside Church of Christ Visits!

The Eastside Church of Christ, from Colorado Springs is here again for another full week.  They are the sponsoring congregation for Lisa and Kemmel.  How exciting it is for them to visit and be part of the work. They are a great encouragement to us and we are looking forward to having them with us.

I met the group and we enjoyed a quick lunch together.  Then we headed up to the meeting room to prepare for the week.  As you can see, it was a beautiful day!

The group will be visiting schools and doing skits.  They will also be delivering water filters to different communities.

Here, the group gets a quick briefing from Lisa and Donna.  Several young people, who use to be part of the ABC and scholarship programs are helping this week.

Deciding on how things will be done........it can be quite a challenge.

This first skit is about hygiene.  This young boy is called to lunch by his mother.  Before he eats, he uses the bathroom and does not wash his hands.  There is a huge fly that travels around the house, spreading the germs from the bathroom to food in the kitchen.

Three days later, the boy does not feel well and dies.......right there.....he dies.  Dramatic, but maybe it will make a strong impression.

This is the second skit.

This one is about the boy who called wolf too many times.

This is another one about the affect that sun and heavy rain have on flowers.  It makes the point of, we need to think of how we treat people.  It teaches the children to be careful of things that they say.  A lesson for not only for those in the classes, but also adults.

It will be a great week and I will keep you posted on the events.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Clinic and More Fun!

This morning, Lisa picked me up for clinic and we went to Lemoa. We had a good clinic and I learned a lot of new things.

The young girl from Chicua I, Susi came to see us in the afternoon.  All of her lab work was fine and that is a blessing but we still need to know why she has developed these spots on her body.  Lisa gave her some paperwork to take the the National Hospital in Solola. This way, the exams and work-up will cost little, if anything.

We finished with lab a little early to I had time to run to town. I bought my niece, MacKenzie some slippers and a ball to play with.  As you can see, they are very colorful and I hope that she likes them.

It looked like it was going to rain so I took a tuk-tuk back to my house.  For the FIRST time in 8 years, I had a FEMALE  tuk-tuk driver!  I was shocked.  She told me that she only drives on market days and that she has been doing it a year.  There goes my dream of being the first female tuk-tuk driver :(  But, I can still be the first female tuk-tuk driver that decorates the tuk-tuk!  Music and lights, here I come!! 

When I got close to my house, I heard a crash!  I turned around and a motorcycle had flipped as it went over a speed-bump.  He was lucky that he was not scraped up more. I asked him to please start wearing a helmet..........he thanked me! Please don't thank me, just get a helmet!

Within an hour, the rain started and it was hard.  There was unusual thunder and lightning. I heard a loud, "Pop!!" and the power went off.  Hail started pouring down and bouncing off the grass. I went outside because with the tin roof, it was deafening. Poor Mike was stuck on my porch and he was shaking bad!!  He wanted to go to his house but was afraid.  He finally got up enough courage but I know the hail was painful!

When Jaime came home, he flipped the circuit breaker and then I found out that my TV was fried. I will try to find someone in Chichi and see if there is anything they can do for it.  If not, I will just play, "Taps" and honor it with a few seconds of silence.

Just another day of adventure!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Clinic in Chicua I

This morning we started a new clinic in Chicua I and we had a good day!

Kemmel, Manuel, Cecy and I headed out to Chicua this morning quickly set up clinic.  We had a few patients waiting for us and then that number grew!

This is the building that we are using.  There are two rooms and it seems to be a great location.

Before we started this morning, Kemmel and I were talking about the difference between Chap Stick and Car Max.  Kemmel, likes Car Max and it has a medicated scent to it.  He said, "And if you have to use a bad smelling latrine, you can just put some under your nose and your are READY TO GO!"  Well, I chuckled and warned him that I was going to blog it :) I am glad that he and Lisa have a good sense of humor!  I hate to chuckle alone.............

This is the view we had from the clinic. I think it is a good area and that the clinic will grow.

We had some interesting patients.  Most patients presented with problems that we expect at the first clinic.  A lot of  stomach issues and head aches. 

One lady did not know that she has diabetes.  We checked her urine for an infection and instead found sugar.  Her glucose was 325 so we talked about diet, medicine and exercise. 

One young girl has some unusual bruising that concerned me.  Her mom will take her for some labs and follow up with Lisa tomorrow in Lemoa.

We finished up with 17 patients and it was an encouraging day.  A good portion of the patients are not affiliated with a church so that gives us spiritual opportunities.  We will see what happens!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Clinic in Chutzurob

Things have been very busy and it is good. 

The English classes with Chichi and Pacaja continue to go well.  On Saturday in Pacaja, we had 19 or 20 students.  Some of the parents continue to participate and I love it!

Sunday was uneventful.  No more fighting among the bus employees.  No one pulled out a machete!  How boring is that???  hahaha

Clinics have been good.  Today, we had clinic in Chutzurob.  This young boy visited us and it was his second time at the clinic.  He has been having seizures for several years.  He had one this month and his mom felt that he is better.  We will continue to see him and pray that he continues to improve. 

We finished the day with 25 medical patients and 5 dental patients.

When we were done, we went to Lemoa to unload the dental equipment.  We also picked up some more medicine that we needed.

As we were getting ready to leave, Kemmel and a group pulled in and had some materials to unload.  These will be used to put up a small room for Gaspar to use.  At this time, he is having to use the lab room to talk with patients and to pray with them.  It does not give him much privacy so this will be better! The foundation has been poured so now the walls will go up!

Tomorrow, we will start a new clinic in Chicua I.  I will let you know how it goes!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

We have another baby!

Last night, I had the opportunity to have dinner with Lisa and Kemmel.  Sometimes, it is a challenge to spend time together and it was good!   We had dinner at San Juan and the burger was tasty :)

I had called Lisa the other day about this baby and some questionable lab work.  Today, he returned with new labs.  Lisa called me and said, "All is well!"

This is Juan Saquic and he will make the trip to Montellano in August, to have his lip repaired.  His surgery will be sponsored by Danny and ASELSI will provide the transportation.

August is quickly approaching.................and the parents are ready!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Busting Clinic in Chuguexa

As I was leaving the house this morning, Manuel pulled up to curb and we took off.  I had not seen him since I returned to Guatemala so we had a lot to catch up on. 

We stopped for Cesi and then headed to Chuguexa.

What a sight was waiting for us!!  The room was packed and the porch was full of patients!!  My heart jumped  :)  Several of the men helped us unload the truck and we quickly set up clinic.

During clinic it rained so hard, I could hardly hear the patients.  There was an unusual amount of thunder and it lasted for almost an hour.

We finished with 31 patients!  Ten of those were first time visits and fourteen were diabetics.

At this time, we have clinic in Chuguexa once a month.  We talked to Tomas about starting it twice a month and he totally agreed.  He said that he would be available to help us and that he thought it was a good idea. 

With more than 20 patients, I struggle with having enough time with each patient.  Diabetics need a lot of education and that takes time.  Add in the factors of translation from K'iche' to Spanish and my slow brain, I can quickly get behind. I also pray with each patient and feel that this is an important part of the ministry.

One young man brought his parents to the clinic today.  They are both diabetics and do not speak any Spanish.  He was so good with them and patiently translated everything for me.  When we finished and it was time to pray, he said to me, "I do not want to lie to you but we do not participate with any church."  I thanked him for being honest with me.  As he left the clinic, he was crying and said that he will bring his parents back in August. I hope that this month, he thinks about some of the things we talked about.

As we left the clinic, this was waiting for us.............

Not enough to build a snowman but enough to toss at Cesi and hear her squeal!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Babies are ready for August!

Several families brought their babies to Lemoa today, in hope of having surgery in August.  A few still need to gain a little weight so they will be reevaluated for February 2016. That sounds like a long wait but it will pass quickly  I know the parents are disappointed but we want to make sure the babies are strong enough for surgery. They know that they can return to the clinic, if at any time they have questions.

This is Angel and he will be going with us.  He had his lip surgery last year in Guatemala city.  Now it is time for his palate repair.  He is a patient at ASELSI, here in Chichi and his surgery will be sponsored by Kory. Angel is almost 2 years old and is a serious baby. He wants to think more about this surgery before he commits :)

This is Estafany when I met her last November.  At that point, she was not old enough but the next photo is of Estafany yesterday.

She is a mover!  It is not the best photo but I will have opportunity to take better ones.  She is now nine months old and ready to go. Her surgery will be sponsored by Donna.

This is Brandon and his surgery will be sponsored by Jeanie.  Brandon is nine months old and loves to play.

We had another baby yesterday that came with some questionable lab work. His parents will repeat the labs and see Lisa early on Thursday.  Please pray for Elias that when Lisa sees him, all will be well.

This is a patient that we have been following for several months, Sofia. To the right of  Sofia are Jeydi and Gloria.

Sofia came to see us with severe respiratory problems.  Every breath was a struggle and it was difficult to watch. She previously had a bronchoscopy done which showed a rare illness.  Her trachea had narrowed and was told that she was at a high risk for surgery. We started her on medicine and saw some improvement in the first week. After two months of treatment, she went for a repeat bronchoscopy.  Two weeks ago, I received an email saying that they had taken her to surgery and that it was a success! The surgeon told her that he had never seen anyone do so well!! We were all very happy to see her.

Jeydi, works for Solomon's Porch in Panajachel.  She traveled today with the patients.

Gloria, is Sofia's mom.  She is very excited with Sofia's situation and wanted to check out what is happening in Lemoa.

We are so thankful for the babies that will be able to have surgery, for those that sponsor the surgeries and for Sofia and her improvement.  Thanks to ASELSI and Solomon's Porch that help with transportation and financial assistance.  Please pray for the surgical team that will arrive on August 1st and the Guatemalan team that is preparing for the week.

I will keep you posted as the surgeries take place

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Let the Work Begin!!

I have returned to Guatemala after a quick visit in Florida with my parents.  We had a great vacation and it was so good to share some time with them!

Today, was a little more of an adventure than what I had expected. 

I went to Quiche this morning for worship and then spent a few minutes with Aura, our dentist, before I jumped on a bus to return to Chichi.  I sat in the front seat since I knew I would not be on it for long and within a few minutes, I realized that something was not quite right but did not know exactly what it was.

There were two ayudantes, guys that collect the money but usually there is only one.   One had his back to me but he was constantly flushing his face and hands with water. There is a five gallon bucket that they keep in front of the buses to use when the bus needs water or the brakes get hot.......it is not for drinking.  When he turned around, I could see that his bottom lip was severely bleeding and he had blood all over his shirt.

As we left Quiche, I noticed how slow the driver was going.  He driving very slow, which again is very unusual.

When we approached the bridge in Sepela, the driver pulled the bus over before the bridge, blocking the road from a bus that was coming from behind.  The guy who was bleeding, quickly grabbed a machete from under the driver's seat and jumped off the bus.........the driver and the other ayudate followed him.

Many passengers jumped up and ran to the back of the bus to watch the action. I stayed in my seat and watched through the mirror. These three guys were trying to bash out the driver's window and get to the driver with the machete.

I decided that it was better to get off the bus and go to the other side of the bridge.  I did not want to be sitting there if they all returned to our bus. Several others thought the same as I did so we walked across the bridge and we continued on a van to Chichi.

I ran a few errands and then decided to walk home.  The best part of the day was running into Lisa and Kemmel!  They were headed up to Chichi for lunch.

In front of the police station were the two buses. Parts of the driver's window and the door glass were shattered. That glass is not thin so they had to really have had some adrenaline flowing! There must have been an altercation in Quiche before I got on the bus.

The police probably slapped their wrists and sent them on their way.........it is just the way things are.

I hope that tomorrow will be a little calmer.  We will have clinic in Lemoa and all of the babies will return with their lab work.  We will see how many will be good candidates for surgery in August.  I will keep you posted.