Monday, July 31, 2017

Clinic in Lemoa with Eastside Church of Christ

We had breakfast this morning at Hotel Santo Tomas and then we headed out.

One group went to the Chichicastenango Church of Christ.  They brought several books and some educational materials.  Their focus will be reading this week and primarily helping the mothers understand.  Many parents are not able to read and therefore when their children need assistance, they are unable to help them.  We have seen many changes in the last few years.  Children are staying in school longer, many are able to go to high school or college and now are growing taller than their parents.  Very good changes!

Another group of us went to Lemoa to hold our normal Monday clinic. We finished with thirty-three medical patients, twelve dental cleaning, plus the patients that both dentists saw.

Teresa cleaning and getting ready to bust all day!  This girl works very hard and you can tell that she really enjoys the opportunity to work for Health Talents.

Everyone getting out of the trucks and waiting for instructions.

These guys are getting ready to work.................gotta come up with a plan first!

Gaspar with one of our patients. The guys were so dirty at the end of the day.  Tomas even wore the hat that he bought last Thursday!

Some of the ladies watching the guys getting organized.......then they headed inside to do the twelve dental cleanings.

Happy to be here and ready to start cleaning teeth!

Kemmel on the phone......this is normal that his phone rings twenty-two hours a day.

These guys are busy with the carpentry..........

......but not too busy to give me a smile!

Now on the other side, we are getting a little dirty :(

One more photo at the end of the day!

It was a good clinic.  I saw two pregnant ladies, several diabetics, two patients that have cataracts, one boy with bronchitis and a couple people that have bad nerves.

One of our friends left this morning at 0530 for Zona Reina.  She has just arrived after an eleven hour drive!  Jennifer is a physical therapist and works with ASELSI.  I have been to Zona Reina twice and LOVE it!!  I know.........that it is hot, there is no water, many places do not have electricity and you have to bathe in the river but I LOVE it!  Safe travels Jennifer and we will see you when you return to Chichi.

Lush and beautiful Zona Reina.

Tomorrow, we will have a medical/ dental clinic and also teach reading again.  Kemmel said he would let me know what I need to do will be a wonderful adventure!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Catching Up To Be Ready To Go!

The last few days have flown by. Kristi and I went to Antigua on Friday night to make her flight easier on Saturday.  After she jumped out the the truck, I drove around the circle and parked in the arrival area.  I met Kemmel and Victor as we waited for the Eastside Church of Christ to arrive. Everyone arrived, got their luggage and then we made our way to Chichi.

It is nice to see several people that I know from previous trips.  Eastside is the sponsoring congregation of Kemmel and Lisa Dunham.  They have always been very supportive of our work and visit every two years.  They always include me and I am very thankful for them.

This morning, I went to Quiche for worship and the message was wonderful and very timely.  He started about how he lost his father a few years ago and the pain he went through when this happened.  No matter where we are in life or in the world, we suffer trials and tough situations. There are physical struggles and also emotional struggles.

Day-to-day life can be a challenge. There are so many things that we do not have control over.  The longer that we live in this world, the more vulnerable to hurt we are.  People come and go.  Pieces of our heart may be in a different city, state or country. If you have lost someone that you love, part of your heart was taken when that person died.

When I was at Michigan Christian College, we used a book, Where God is No Fool.  It was full of great writings but the one that we used the most was Bits and Pieces, written by Dr. Lois Cheney in 1969.

People important to you, people unimportant to you, cross your life, touch it with love and carelessness, and move on. There are people that leave you, and you breathe a sigh of relief, and you wonder why you ever came in contact with them. There are people who leave, and you breathe a sigh of remorse, and wonder why they had to go and leave such a gaping hole.
Children leave parents, friends leave friends, acquaintances move on. You think on the many who have moved into your life with hazy memory. You look on those present and wonder.
I believe in God’s master plan for our lives.
People move in and out of each other’s lives, and each leaves his mark on the other. You find you are made up of bits and pieces of all who have touched your life, and you are more because of it, and you would be less if they had not touched you.
Pray to God that you can accept the bits and pieces in humility and wonder, and never question, and never regret.

We must believe that God is in control and will remain steadfast in His promises.  According to John 14, there is a place being prepared for us.  If we are faithful, it will be our home for eternity.  There will be no more pain, no more sadness, no more holes in your heart. Nothing is more important that than our soul.  The minister ended with the question, "How is your spiritual life?"

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Clinic in Lemoa

We started this morning off with our devotion and prayer.  There were several requests and also a pray of thanksgiving.  A church that Gaspar had started in Chicabracan has taught some others and they have been baptized.  We know the angels rejoice when this takes place.  We are very thankful for Gaspar and his willingness to travel and to teach the gospel.

Lisa and I saw 33 patients today. Kristi was with me for the last clinic during her visit.  I have learned a lot of her and want to continue to improve my Spanish.  Thank you, Kristi.

We saw Brayon today and he was born with a cleft-lip and palate.  He is thirteen months old and is full of energy!  His mom and aunt brought him in to see if we could help him. The answer to that question is yes but the problem is that I have heard the schedule in the August clinic is full.  I really struggled with this because I know he is ready for surgery.

So, Brayon will return to see us later in the year and he will be part of the February plastic surgeries.

After we finished clinic. we cleaned and organized things.  Tomas,is someone who likes to buy toys.  We tease him a lot because when we have clinic in Chichi, he always stops and buys something in the streets after lunch.  It can be something electronic, cats, shoes, tape........whatever interests him that day!  This afternoon, he was showing us his new hat and what he bought to dig with.  He is a lot of fun and is always good to work with.

After clinic, Kristi and I went through the market go get a few last minute things she wanted to take home.  I teased her about the amount of string she has purchased.  This was her second shopping trip for string............the colors are amazing and the fabric is very pretty.  She is going to make a table runner and napkin sets to hold the forks, knifes and spoons.  Very creative!

Tomorrow, we will head for Antigua.  We will spend the night there and then go to the airport on Saturday.  Saturday afternoon, the Eastside Church of Christ will arrive and be with us for a week. This is the sponsoring congregation for Lisa and Kemmel. They will be helping teach reading skills to some of our ABC Children.  It will be another week of adventures :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Clinic in Chajbal

Today, we had to rearrange our plans due to parades in Chichicastenango.  Manuel, Enrique, Andrea, Micaela, Kristi and I finally made it to clinic and quickly prepared for patients.  Enrique led us in prayer before we started seeing patients.  This is one of my favorite times of the day........when we ask God for knowledge and to bless all of the patients.  We know that God hears and answers our prayers.  The creator of the universe takes time to hear our requests.

After clinic, Kristi and I met three of my friends in Chichi.  They are Jennifer, Carol and Shes and they all work at ASELSI.  Carol is a nurse and Jennifer and Shes are physical therapists.  Jennifer now has a car so she was able to drive us to a restaurant called Vieja Molida.  I had not been there before but I have heard that it is good.

The parking lot is very large and we were the only people there.  Later a huge bus pulled in with about twenty-five people.  I think the waitress was very nice but I think that she was feeling overwhelmed.

There is a large outside area where you can enjoy eating and it is decorated very nice.

I really liked this peacock.  I remember a few years ago when Katy F. was here in Chichi and she bought a peacock in a store.  She like some of the feather on one and some of the feathers on others so when we explained to the owner what she wanted, he allowed her to take the peacocks apart and basically build one that she liked!  He then took it apart and wrapped it very good for transportation to The States.

While we were waiting for our food, we got a little chilly so a gentleman brought out this huge gas heater and placed it by our table.  I thought it was very pretty but no one wanted their photo taken so I complied and asked everyone to put their head down..........they minded well!!

That is about all of the events today.......................tomorrow, we will be ready to see a lot of people in Lemoa.  The week has passed by very quickly but it has been good.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Clinic in Patzite

Today we had clinic in Patzite with Tomas, Enrique, Martina, Aura and Kristi.  When we arrived we had a line of patients waiting for us and the majority was patients were there to see dental.  Aura is very competitive on who has the most patients and of course, I also am competitive.

These two young girls were with their family.

This is the view from where we saw patients.  We finished with eight medical patients and I think dental had twelve.

Kristi taking a photo of the view.

In the room off of where we see patients, the church stores all of their supplies for cooking when they have a large gathering.

Kristi decided she wanted to be a hostess today.

I always have said that I am headed for trouble when I get then Kristi wanted to show me how she carried things on her head when she was a child in St. Lucia. What a talented woman!

These are the pots that they cook tamalitos in.  They are huge!

It was a very good day.  A lady returned that I saw in June. She is studying to be a chef and had cut the end of her thumb last month.  She came to clinic so I could take out her stitches. Today, the brought an ultrasound that shows polycystic ovarian syndrome.

We had a few diabetics but nothing really out of control.

We enjoyed a lunch with chicken soup, tamalitos and a warm peach drink.  We headed back to Chichi after we had seen all of the patients.

Tomorrow, we will head to Chajbal and hope to see a lot of patients.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Busting Clinic

We had a busting clinic in Lemoa but I loved every minute of it.  Now, that is not to say that I never get frustrated because I do.  Sometimes the language barrier affects that and sometimes it is due to patients not returning for several months.........but anyway, it was all good!

This is Hilda, who had her lip repaired last August.  Yesterday, when Kristi and I were in the market we ran into Hilda and her mother.  Kristi was in Montellano last year and remembers Hilda.  So, we will work her up for surgery and hope we can fit her into the schedule.

This is the leg of a young man that came to clinic today with an infected leg.  He says he does not know how it started but he has had it over a month and it continues to worsen.  We gave him two types of antibiotic and will see him again in two weeks.

Last Thursday, we saw a man that was very sad in Chichi.  He weighed only 88 pounds and had a severe urinary tract infection.  We treated him for that a got some labs.  I was very happy today to see him.  His labs were good, the swelling in his legs was much better, he has gained three pounds and his urine was normal.  Yes, I know we still have a way to go but his affect was much better and he appeared stronger.

We also saw a lady that was in the clinic four months ago but never returned.  The last clinic we had together, she found out she was pregnant and had a severe urinary tract infection.  In the mean time, she had gone to the health department because she thought she was having a miscarriage. They wanted her to go for an ultrasound but she never had one. Now, she is twenty-four weeks and we heard the strong heart of the baby.  She is thirty-seven years old and this is her FIRST baby.  The father was so excited, he had tears when we listened to the heart.  What a great story!

When we parked the truck we chatted with Lisa a few minutes and made our way to Chichi for dinner.  This rainbow greeted us and reminded us of what a great day it has been.  Gracias a Dios!!

Tomorrow, Kristi and I will head to Patzite with Martina, Aura, Tomas and Enrique.  I am sure we will have another adventure  :)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Our Day in Panajachel

Kristi and I had a day to run around so we drove to Panajachel.  The weather was could not have been any better.

There was a lot of activity on the lake.

I noticed that this fisherman was having a hard time getting his boat steadied due to the wind.  He put on his jacket and got better situated.

After a few minutes, he was off to catch, what he could catch........probably evening dinner for his family.

We found the guy on the street making these trees with wire. They were beautiful and he was very focused on his work.  Krist told him the colors that she would like and in the middle, there would be a dream catcher.

We returned about 2 hours later and he was still working on the tree.  The sun was hot and here he is working in a long black shirt and hat.

This was the final project and we were very pleased with the outcome.  This guy was very kind and we enjoyed talking to him.

These guys were having a water fight and splashing each other.  At first the girl was not part of the action........

but before long, they had her soaked too!

The material and fabric here are beautiful.  There are so many colors and patterns to chose from, it can be difficult.

This lady was the most sophisticated lady in Pana...........she was not even perspiring :)

Another successful day!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Clinics in Chichicastenango and Mactzul I

One thing about the work I do, I am never bored.  I work with several different people and I enjoy our time together.

On Thursday morning, Kemmel brought the truck over and told me that several roads were closed due to people protesting the conditions of the roads and highways. Some of my co-workers could not get to their scheduled clinic so we had to improvise.

Kristi is still with us so we met Tomas and Martina at the church in Chichi.  We quickly set up clinic and were ready to go. We saw one gentleman that has severe kidney issues.  He is going to bring some lab work to us in Lemoa on Monday and hopefully we will be able to help him.

On Friday, we had clinic in Mactzul I.  We only had seven patients so we were able to walk around the area some.  This is one of the views from the clinic.  It was a beautiful day.

We saw a three year old girl with Hepatitis A.  I felt very bad for the parents, as they had taken her to see a physician and he had given them two different types of vitamins.  They were told that one of them would clean her liver.  He also told them to give her honey every day so they brought it to the clinic to ask us what we thought.  We also found that she has an urinary tract infection so we treated her for that.  She will return in 2 weeks for a follow-up visit.

We also saw a lady in her 70's that had been hospitalized in Xela for a heart attack. They were suppose to return after she was discharged but did not go since they did not have the money.  I hope that they will come to Lemoa on Monday and we will do an EKG and go from there.

Kristi and I plan on heading to Panajachel tomorrow.........just to see what we can see and to have more adventures!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Clinic in Chuguexa

Today, Manuel, Teresa, Kristi and I headed to Chuguexa for clinic.  It was a smaller clinic than usual but there are some days like that.  There was a soccer game going on down the hill and it sounded like that was atteneded by most of the community.

We had eleven patients and seven of them were diabetics.

One gentleman that touched us was Diego.  He is 48 years old and is a new diabetic.  When I asked him if he attended a church he told us no but that he has been a member of A.A. and has not drank in 20 years!  What an accomplishment for him and we hope that he has continued success with this. We hope to see him in 2 weeks when we return to Chuguexa.

It was a good day and we are always thankful for safe travles.

Tomorrow, we will have clinic in Chichi and should have many patients.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Surgical Babies!!

Wow, life has passed quickly the last two months!  When I left Guatemala, we were in the middle of the MET Program and then I spent about three weeks with my parents in Ft. Myers.  We had a blast and we started celebrating early their 60th wedding anniversary........I hope they continue to celebrate until the official date in September :)

For the next two weeks, Kristi will be with us in Chichicastenango.  She has taken time from her schedule to spend the next few days helping me "polish" my Spanish.  We will enjoy the days going to clinic and working with the other members of Health Talents.

It is time to get back to work........well, it does not seem like work since I enjoy what we do.  It is time to get babies ready for surgery in August.  Today, we saw seven babies that will make the trip with us that will change their lives in many ways.  The parents are somewhat nervous but that is normal...........we will continue to pray that all goes well.

This is Javier and he is 1 year and 7 months.  He had his lip repaired in August 2016 and now it is time for his palate repair.  His surgery will be sponsored by Ginny and Jack.

This is Jefferson and he will also have his palate repaired.  He is one year and 4 months old and his surgery will by sponsored by Susan and Lyn.

This is Wilfredro and he is 9 months and has syndactyly.  The 3rd and 4th fingers on his right hand need to have surgery and we are thankful that Dr. Fulks will be with us in August. Evelyn and Frank will sponsor this surgery.

This is Sheila and she will be returning to Clinica Ezell with us.  She had her lip repaired last year and now it is time for her palate surgery.  She is now 9 months and her surgery will be sponsored by Angie.

 This is Rodolfo and he is 3 years old.  He will have a frenectomy done and Jean will sponsor his surgery.  He is really an out-going child and will win the hearts of many nurses.

This is Milton and many will remember him from last year.  He is now 1 year and 10 months and we will do his palate repair.  Beverly and Doris will sponsor his surgery.

This is Victor and he is a new patient for us.  He will have his lip repaired in August.  His parents are very young, in fact, too young to sign the surgical papers. So Sebastian from the church, signed the papers and assumed responsibility.............what an act of kindness in behalf of Victor and his parents.  The Mt. Vernon High School Spanish Class in Indiana is sponsoring Victor's surgery.

After clinic, Kristi entertained Andrea.  She is the daughter of Manuel, one of the guys that translates for us when groups visit.

Everyone will travel to Ezell on August 5th and the group from The States will also arrive this day.  Please pray for safe travels and succesful surgeries.  We will continue to give God all of the glory and hope that the families will have a closer relationship with Him.