April 8, 201
Hola from San Lucas Toliman! Our group of 8 is having a wonderful time here in San Lucas. We are experiencing cooler than normal temperatures and a few cloudy days, but today was FANTASTICO; and I think there were a few slight sunburns in the group. A highlight of our trip overall is the fortune to have Sarah Peller as our volunteer contact down here, and a nice reunion for Susan and her daughter! Our days have been busy, but delightful. We have three providers with us and our clinic days have been consistently busy and a nice pace. We have enjoyed the partnerships we are making with the Guatemalan people, as well as the community health promoters. I feel we are involving them much more in our clinical decisions than on my past trips, and this means that our partnerships are growing. This is a positive in knowing that the people are increasing their trust in us and growing respect for the hard work of the health promoters in each community we visit.
The majority of the health conditions we are seeing are coughs, colds, rashes, obstetrical issues, and some poor nutrition concerns. The Guatemalans are very positive and are welcoming in the recommendations offered for medical care. We treat approximately 50-65 patients per day of clinic. We have made a few house calls and a few referrals to the hospital and the providers have been awesome to work with.
Not only are we here to offer medical advice, but also to further our partnerships with those we serve and continue to expand the trust they have in us as visitors. I was fortunate to have my 17 year old son come along. He is working in the pharmacy and he is also assisting in fellowship with the Guatemalan youth. A game of futbol breaks out at each clinic and the children come running when the “pelota” (soccer ball) hits the field. The field is typically a dirt area with 2 soccer goals, no nets, and lots of dust. If there are no nets, then 2 large rocks are laid down for goals and the game begins. The kids simply love playing and they especially love playing with Colin. He is twice their height and has some good soccer skills and someone new to play the game with.
Tomorrow is our last clinic day. I plan on separating from the group to work at the hospital in San Lucas in the Physical Therapy department. They have been without a physical therapist for a few weeks so patients have been missing their programs. Colin is also going to check out some of the construction projects with some of the other mission volunteers, simply to see what other service is being done through the Friends of San Lucas Mission. Should be another great day!