Thursday, May 23, 2019

Back in the Swing and Cleaning

Being back in Guatemala this week has been very interesting. I have been cleaning and going through things. Trashing things that are no longer needed and deciding what needs to be kept.

I found some notes from June of 2005.  This was my first trip to Guatemala and I was to spend time with Dr. Jim and Mary Rackely and meet Dr. Lisa and Kemmel Dunham.  It was the beginning of the MET Program and I would stay a week at Clinic Ezell in Montellano.

Things did not go quite as planned.  Dr. Rackley became very ill, with Whooping Cough, and needed to return to the states.  I received a call asking if I would still consider flying to Guatemala and of course, my answer was yes.

Carlos picked me up at the airport and we drove to Montellano. I spent the evening and Sunday getting to know Lisa and Kemmel.  They had recently moved down to begin a ministry in Chichicastenango. They had met a few years ago, when Lisa was a medical student and Kemmel translated. They eventually married and now they were back to serve with Health Talents International.

I did not speak any Spanish so Lisa began making me lists of words to study.  These are what I found in the journals that I kept during my first year coming down.  At this time, I had no intention of returning. Worshipping with the Montellano Church of Christ was a wonderful experience and I continue to enjoy being there.

For the next four days, we would pack up the trucks, travel to different communities and hold medical clinics. We may be located in a home or in a church building.  We tied lines up and hung sheets for privacy.  I was working with students, teaching them how to do blood pressures, taking temperatures and checking pulses. When we finished getting the patients ready for their consult, I would sit with Lisa and observe.

After each consult, Lisa would pray with each patient.  That is when I decided that there was something about this that I really liked.  Seeing this changed my view of caring for patients. Yes, we say that we care for patients holistically, including physical and spiritual but praying with patients was something totally foreign.

Lisa has been teaching me since that first day.................and she continues to.  We saw fourty-six patients today in Lemoa and she always has time for my questions.  Thank you Lisa!

While Lisa and the rest of us see patients, Kemmel keeps us rolling.  Without him, our vehicles would not be maintained and we would not have sufficient medicine.  It takes a lot of work and planning to keep our clinics organized in several different communities.  It is a team effort and I have been honored to be part of it for twelve years now.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Back in Guatemala and MET Cranking Up!

After a couple of weeks in NC, it was time to get back to Guatemala.

My Mom and Dad before I left Morganton. 

Sally came to Morganton and drove me to Charlotte for the night. Thank you, Sally!

I had a couple of nights in Antigua and then went to meet this years MET Students.  We will have ten students with us for about six weeks. They will have one week in language school in Xela and then attend an orientation in Paxot II with Lisa and Kemmel.

We spent Saturday night in Tecpan, which was about half of the drive to Xela.  Their flight had been delayed so it was good that this had been the plan.  We enjoyed dinner at the hotel and then a good night of sleep.

On Sunday morning, we had breakfast and a time of worship together.  It will be exciting to see what happens during these six weeks for this group of students.  I encouraged them to stay open-minded, experience new things and to be very active in all of the opportunites that lie ahead. They will have a chance to experience the culture in Chichicastenango and also the culture in Montellano, while living with different Guatemalan families.

This was our last photo at the language school before I left them.  I gave them enough information to fly for the upcoming week.  They will come up to Chichi on Friday afternoon.  Enjoy your studies and see you soon!!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Summary of Surgical Clinic

The week in Montellano went like a whirlwind but it was a great week.  We stayed very busy with a smaller group than usual.  It was nice to have those who have been with us before and also some new blood.  The whole GYN team were new and they were awesome to work with!  Please return!

This is Craig and I have know him for several years.  He has been coming to Guatemala with his family for many years since they are part of the congregation that support Kemmel and Lisa. They have always been very good to me and included me when they are here.  Craig brought morning and evening devotional thoughts to us and was even able to spend some time in the operating room.

Bob, joined us for the first time and he was our "Mr. Fixit"  One of his projects was to get the speaker system off the floor. He did a great job and I will think of him often when I am in Montellano.

We had several people helping to count medicine and package it to prepare for the medical mobile clinics.  Here my mom is joined by Mary and Kristi. All have been with us before and hope to see them again in the future.

On Thursday, several people took off for the chocolate farm and some of us stayed back to care for the few patients that were left.  The guy to the far right is Bryan. He is the grandson of the family that I rent from and he served as a translator. He did a great job and I hope that he will be able to join us again.

This was the less professional photo! Kristi!!    ha ha ha

This is the group that went out to the chocolate farm.  There is a Ceiba tree on the farm, which is the national tree of Guatemala.  Many grow over 230 feet in height and you can see how large the base of the tree can become.

Carol with one of her patients as she is ready to be discharged.

Mom in front of Montellano. This was her second trip here.

This is Ashlea, walking one of her patients back to the operating room.

These two, Dr. Randall and Dra. Lumby, were a blessing to us.  They were our anesthesiologists for the week.

This was our last few hours before we handed care over to the Guatemalan staff.  Henry, Ashlea and Debra were planning the care of the patients. 🤩🤩🤩🤩  That is it, Care Plans!!!

Our last photo before taking off for Antigua!

When we hit Antigua, everyone went in different directions.  Some of us went for a quick lunch and others went shopping.  There was an exhibit of bears in the central park.

Carol found a tipico dress for an upcoming event.

Mom and I flew back to Greensboro, NC and Dad picked us up at the airport.  Mom found this wire person very interesting.  I wanted her to crawl under the tape and sit on his lap but she was would not. Imagine that!?!?

I have not spent much time in the Greensboro airport but there are some interesting things!

I will have about two weeks at my parents and then I will return to Guatemala. I look forward to the time here and then it will be time to get back to work.