Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Las Trampas and Appendicitis

Today we headed to clinic in Las Trampas which is located on the highway to Guatemala City. For those who have been reviewing the blogs, this is the clinic that we were not able to make it to 1 month ago because of a teacher strike that closed the road.

The church in Las Trampas has a great story, starting with a man, Diego, who was an alcoholic (in his terms a strong alcoholic) who had hit a point in his life where he began to search for something different. Thank God he started to look at churches, catholic, protestant, etc. for answers. He ran across a small Church of Christ about 45 minute walk from his home and began to attend the church. After some time of continuing to struggle in his search, he became a christian. Then he followed God's instruction - he went to his family and told the about Jesus and soon the became christians. They erected a small adobe church and after time, they out grew the church and with the help of other local congregations they built a bigger church which now has over 100 people attending each Sunday in Las Trampas.

This is Diego with his sly looking smile.

They are now in the process of saving money to build an annex to serve as a kicthen to be able to have other activities at the church.

In clinic today we saw about 15 patients, most with the standard aches and pains, gastritis and diarrea, which brings up another topic - see below on names of diarrhea in Guatemala! Very interesting! We actually saw a patient with hypertension, this is normally pretty rare in these parts since everyone walks up and down hills, even just to go to the latrine. :)
This is another volunteer at the church, Miguel and his family.

We got to experience the hills today as a man came to clinic asking if we could go see his son who was having right sided abdominal pain. So we asked where the house was and he said "aw, just a little bit down the hill". It was down and down and down the hill, after about 15 minutes going down the hill we realized, yeah we still have to go back up. Lisa made the comment that the patient had better be really sick this time. We get many "oh he is bad sick" requests for home visits, and then we get to the house they are up and roaming around and could have probably made it to clinic.
Not this time, he was pretty bad off with what looked like an abscessed appendix. So, bad news for him was he had to walk up the same hill we did or at least half way so we could drive down part way and pick him up. The good news is we had a surgeon standing by for him. The climb up was a little rough but we made it - Gracias a Dios. The sad part for us was we were breathing pretty hard with some tight lungs while at least one Guatemalan was still breathing out his nose with his mouth closed - pretty impressive! This was after a 30 minute climb up "puro escalera" - pure stairs, just no stairs. So to end this story, we got the patient to the hospital without incident - Gracias a Dios.

Ok, so you have heard how they say the importance of something in a culture is defined by how many words they have to describe that one particular thing. Well, let us tell you, diarrea has been around a long time here and has many names. Here are some of our favorites:

--Mal de Mayo - bad of may - the month of may is when the rain starts and washes all the goodies into the water supplies.
--Asientos - the sits, meaning sitting alot.
--Ja chapam - this is kiche for water is coming out
--Chorillo - faucet
--Disenteria -diarrea with blood or mucus

1 comment:

Ky said...

dear aunt lisa and uncle kemmel,

Its awesome! thanks for checking mine out too! love you,