We are currently sitting in the clinic that we are working in for the day. We have seen many patients with many different sicknesses that people in the United States are protected against because of doctors, medications, and clean water. Whoever thought that making a fort as a child would never come in handy was absolutely incorrect., Today we built a room out of sheets for the private inspections of the patients by the doctors. This will help diagnose the right medications for UTI, abdominal pain, and even resetting bones. We walked around the little town of San Martin, and saw the daily challenges of the Guatemalan people. We saw women with baskets full of laundry on their heads and men carrying an incredible amount of wood on their backs. When they come to the clinic we now know why they have headaches, and backaches. (If only they had Advil like we have in the States…) One moment of our day that stuck out to both of us was when we were eating lunch outside the clinic and all the children had left to go eat with their families, and one child who had holes in his clothes and shoes that were two sizes to small started pacing back and forth right in front of us. We looked at each other and we both knew that we weren’t supposed to give the child food but we had a huge bag of pineapple and there was no way we could eat the whole thing so as best we could we asked the boy if he would like a piece, and he ran at us and took the piece and savored each bite. The joy that we both saw in the kid eyes was a really heart touching moment for both of us. When we finish with the clinic we will return to the parish for dinner and we might go watch some more soccer, but until then…Adios Amigos!
Hello again from Guatemala where it’s 80 degrees and sunny at the moment! Today Aunikah and the rest of the group are setting up a clinic in San Juan El Mirador, while I stay back because at the moment I have some stomach issues . When the team gets back I should be able to join them for the evening. I’m hoping that I will be better for our last day of clinic tomorrow.
Today our clinic was in the village of Por Venir. We saw around 50 people and the kids were a lot better behaved then they were at San Juan El Mirador. Grace is feeling a lot better today and is able to enjoy Por Venir with the team. After setting up the pharmacy we left Kim and Tanya in charge of the pharmacy and we went out to the town to find a soccer field (because there is literally 1 every 3 blocks). We took out a ball and started playing with 2 boys but the rest of the kids were scared to play. After awhile we had a game going and Grace’s team won because she had a guy who was AMAZING! At the end of our game we gave the ball to a boy who had started to play with us from the beginning and he looked at the ball like it was the best thing he was ever given. He walked back to his house with a look of thankfulness in his eyes. When we returned to the clinic we played with the children waiting to be seen by a doctor (they are really cute.) We then packed up the clinic and returned to San Lucas, and we got ready to go out for dinner at the Toliman (We were both really excited for that because the parish food was getting really old.) Enough for today we will write again tomorrow hope your having a great week in the snow
Today we didn’t have a clinic but instead we made contributions to the Guatemalan economy by purchasing local goods. We took a boat around Lake Atitlan, and saw the different cultures of each little village surrounding the Gigantic Lake. We ended up buying things for our friends and families, and finally got a very small amount of color because every other day it had been raining. Tonight was our last night sleeping in San Lucas because tomorrow we will wake up early go to church, and head to Antigua where we will be having a nice dinner and hot showers before we head back to the states!
Can’t wait to see you all. We will keep in touch. Adios Amigos!
Hello again. Today we saw the town of Antigua! (It looks like what we both imagine Greece to look like). We are surrounded by three volcanoes and one that is active at the moment. We have done some shopping and we ate dinner at a restraunt that is surrounded by the ruins of a past earthquake. One more night of sleep until we head home and we are staying at a bed and breakfast names Casa Ovalle (it's really nice compared to the places that we have been staying throughout the past week.) Tomorrow we pack up and get on our flight at 12 noon. We will arrive in the states hopefully at 12 midnight. We will both have to get all of our homework done and will both enjoy very hot showers and finally clean socks!!!
See you all soon!
It is was our final day of clinic today and we spent the day in Por Venir. Por Venir is one of the new and old communities just outside of San Lucas. The community is both new and old because the people of Por Venir lived for many years on a Finca ( coffee plantation) up in the volcano. 9 years ago their community was washed away in heavy rains and the parish was able to purchase land for them to build a new community. Today the pueblo Por Venir is a beautiful community with a school, a community center and a health center. Each home has running water and electricity. To think that just 9 short years ago these people were living as indentured servants or finca workers far from civilization in very meager conditions. I remember going to Mass in their finca with Fr. Greg in 1985 and it was very remote. Straight up hill! Today the people of Por Venir are so proud of their community. The homes are simple but well taken care of and they are growing coffee and corn in their yards! Some of the people also have land in their old finca that Fr. Greg helped them to purchase so they climb the volcano and work in their own coffee fields today. We saw close to 50 patients today and were able to help them with their ailments.I am so proud of this MDP team. They are amazing together! It has been a great week of work. Tomorrow we are on the lake and then on to Antigua and home again. Thanks for all of your prayers. Bridget Hermer
I have now experienced my third clinic day and I continue to feel even more blessed to be able to serve the families of Guatemala. I continue to feel overwhelmed with the strength of the women and children that come to the clinic---their resiliency, strength, endurance, and love for their families. I am honored that they share a brief moment of their life with me and I hope that I can help the team to ease the distress . The team has worked hard to learn how to work together, navigate the country and the system. The days go by so quickly!
An extremely touching moment today occurred when I was able to share with a young woman that she was pregnant! She was very excited to share this news with me before everyone else in the street, heard the news, so we shared a quiet celebration together!
Another experience allowed me to do a village home visit to treat a young girl's sprained ankle. The entire family was there, in her bedroom, to help learn how to manage her pain. I also learned how to "exit" with a family. Each family member shook my hand and thanked me for my help. Families care for their children all over the world and are an integral part of their care.
It was a beautiful day!
Today was truly a day of providing care. Our amazing medical team treated between 70-75 people - each one smiling in the heat despite sometimes waiting a long time to see a doctor.
I'm quite amazed at the patience of the patients! They are kind to one another and very kind to us. I'm not sure Dr. Jim Eiselt had room for any more blessings after the many bestowed upon him today by patients! He is a great man - with the business of the day, he NEVER forgot to say "goodbye" to a patient, even if he had to stop with his current patient to do so. His heart is as big as his "big Grandpa voice."
I hit a new level today of which I am slightly proud..... Dr. Jim shouted a prescription to me across the room (sometimes it´s just faster that way) and I wrote the instructions down in my notebook as usual, howvever this time...I wrote them in SPANISH!!!! If I ever get ill in a Spanish speaking country, I will be able to tell myself to, "Take two pills, three times a day for pain."
Ahhh...the things one learns!
A special shout-out to Professora Biebel - My high school Spanish teacher.
God is good!