Saturday, June 18, 2016

Rural Medicine

We had a clinic full of interesting cases yesterday including psoriasis, chest pain--sent in to the hospital to rule out an infarct, cervical cancer--the patient hadn't gone for her consult in the hospital yet after getting diagnosed 4 months ago, thyroid cancer ( a large thyroid mass and multiple large lymph nodes on the ultrasound, probable chronic lymphoma, and a baby with imperforated anus and colostomy needing money for her family to take her back for her follow-up in the capital.  It seemed like just when you had a "normal" sick patient, they would throw a curve ball at us.  They students have been busy helping in clinic and getting to experience the bread and butter cases and also the interesting stuff.  Part of studying/practicing medicine is realizing that common things are common (and boring) and recognizing the out of the ordinary stuff as it gallops by.  Yesterday we got our fill of interesting!
Favorite stand by task - Counting pills!  
Probably not really, but someone has to do it!
Also, planted some bougainvillea today at the clinic...

Today, our clinic was canceled in Mactzul I due to an inauguration ceremony for the new junior high school that was just built next to our clinic site. It is in it's second year of classes and we are hoping more area kids will take advantage of the opportunity.  Prior to it's opening, kids from these towns had very few options for continuing past 6th grade.  The local Catholic parish and a Catholic foundation provided funding for the building and teachers for 3 years and the eight Mactzul communities contributed the labor.  It was a full-scale celebration (the major even showed up) with worship service, fireworks, civic presentations, traditional dancing and recognition of people involved in the project, including Health Talents for helping to promote the school in the communities.  There are several local area church of Christ members on the school board and they were instrumental in helping unify the communities to work together in this project.  It was an honor to be a part of this celebration and see the fruit of work from so many churches and organizations and government representatives.  I think Jesus was enjoying it.

Church band - loud and full of life!  Head still shaking after it finished!

Very well attended Inaugaration - Maybe upwards of 700 people.

 Students from Middle School performing traditional dance.

Everyone was quite interested in the dance. 

 Included the fireworks!
Jonathan, Ethan, and Jessica taking it all in. 

 One of the representatives from the organization who financed the building.  We have known him for about 5 years now.  Very respectful towards the communities and helping them work in unity.

 Kemmel receiving a token of appreciation in the name of Health Talents.

 Priest from the Catholic Church who had the vision and started getting 
the communities together to work in unison.  

 One of the ABC program girls name queen of the school.
 Another named the queen of sports for the school.

Good day - tired at the end but good day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Life Lately

We have passed the one month mark with the students and life is settling into a routine of sorts.  Our interns are seeming to feel more comfortable with their host families and getting sick is no longer the unexpected outrage that it felt like in the beginning.  We have kept them busy in outpatient consults, dental visits, surgery, church events, English classes and family activities.  Ethan even reports spending the night with 100+ other people at a wedding engagement ceremony on Sunday night. They got to sit around and do the pre-wedding counseling and gift delivery arrangements and then spent the night on pine needles.  Jessica and Miranda were dressed up in local garb for church, and Brittne was invited to use the sweat house one night.  Johnathan and Mackenzie are busy learning Kiche' and hanging in there with no more illnesses for which they are grateful!

On Monday we had Gringo Day part two which was a rainy, gray day filled with sitting around talking, listening to 80's music Safety Dance  (their playlist, not ours) and trying to watch movies.
 We got through half of Avatar and realized we didn't have the rest downloaded, then after much discussion and coin flipping settled on the Count of Monte Cristo, which had subpar sound.  Our cookies were kind of a flop as well.  Welcome to Guatemala!  All in all it was a good restful day.

 Lounging around...
 Enjoying some red chile burritos and macaroni salad!

Coin toss to see what movie wins...Count of Monte Cristo, 
followed by Emperors New Groove. 

On Sunday, Kemmel and I went to church in Pacaja Xesic, where Kemmel was invited to give a class to the youth group. It was a great turnout and Kemmel talked about actively following Christ by going out and being involved in people's lives as Jesus did, rather than sitting back waiting for them to come to us. By taking chances and trusting Christ will be with us as he promised, we will be more successful in making disciples for Him. It was a great class, and we enjoyed worshiping with this church.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Home in Chicacao - Proof of Life!

After a day of relaxation and getting rained on, Morgan also took photos of everyone who went to their new homes in Chicacao.  One group from rural environment in Chichicastenango communities of Paxot 2 and Mactzul 5 to urban environment in Chicacao and one group from Chicacao to Chichicastenango communities.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Back Together!

It is hard to believe, but it's already the half-way mark for our time with the MET interns. We made a trip to Lake Atitlan to debrief and spend some time together sharing experiences and tips for living. After a night at the lake we were ready to do the student exchange and get back to work.  We got everyone tucked into their new host families after a long but fun day.  This round was fueled by three different coffee and bread sessions!  The students kept saying, "I hope we aren't still eating dinner later..." Silly rookies!
Rendezvous in the parking garage. 

Good times at the lake house.

Riding in the boat and listening to stories.

We couldn't find a good view of the lake to go take a group pic, so we stopped on the side of the road before heading our separate ways.

Brittne all smiles on moving day.

Miranda "fitting in" her cozy room.

Jonathan and Jonathan. 

Ethan after the long hike up to his house!

Jessica all settled in after her not-so-long hike to her house.

Mackenzie in her new apartment.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

And, She's Off...

This month with Kemmel's mom visiting has flown by.  We were pampered with her cooking and sewing all month and enjoyed just getting to spend time together.  Even our kitty warmed up to her, jumping on her lap in the evenings for a siesta.  We got to spend a few days in Antigua and Guatemala City doing tourist stuff and visiting with friends. We said our see-you-laters at the airport early yesterday.

Roberta checking out the beautiful Birds of Paradise at Hotel Antigua

Voila!  New curtains.  Thanks, Roberta!

The alliums are in bloom all over and we found a beautiful patch for a lovely backdrop.

Mother and baby at El Tenedor restaurant.  

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Life on the Field

We have been staying pretty busy in clinics and church activities around here. I think we have worn the students out on some days.  Sounds like some are getting to bed by 8-9:00 every night.  Here are some good pictures of Sheri giving a women's health class and clinic with Morgan and Kaitlin and Teresa in Xepol.  Thanks for the pics, Morgan!
Star Women's Health team, Morgan, Kaitlin, Teresa and Sheri.

Sheri teaching about cervical cancer detection and prevention.

Kaitlin getting vital signs while Teresa and Cesar get pharmacy ready.

Kaitlin and Morgan ready for the day.