Here are a few of Shannon's pictures.
"What I do,
You cannot do,
but what you do,
I cannot do.
The needs are great,
and none of us, including me,
ever do great things.
But we can all do small things
with great love,
we can do something wonderful."
- Mother Teresa
As has been mentioned before, Dr. Bob Christensen hopped aboard the plane and headed with our MDP group to Guatemala after less than 24 hours at home. He was fresh off of serving as a volunteer in Haiti for 5 weeks, which was a grueling but rewarding experience. Prior to that Bob, his wife (and two daughters) visited their son in Tanzania, Africa where his son is is a volunteer teacher. They had a wonderful three week adventure. Bob is still thinking of another stint in Haiti. We are grateful to Dr. Bob for his dedication to MDP!
About the Spanish Class that rocks…
As Helen pointed out before, travelling to Guatemala with my Spanish class has been in my dream list of trips to take for at least a couple of years. Having recently had that opportunity almost seems surreal now, especially when I think that even Stephanie was able to make it from Peru. I realize what a huge blessing it’s been now that we’ve been home for 4 days and I keep on flashing back to many wonderful moments in Guatemala. The deep sense of pride and satisfaction that every one of my students, Jill, Cathy, Susan and John has brought to my life since they started taking Beginning Spanish lessons almost three years ago, is truly an enormous source of happiness and I do look forward with anticipation to every one of our lessons on Wednesday afternoon…
Since I started the process of acquiring English many years ago, I have been a passionate believer in the idea that life with two languages –or more, is definitely a much fuller life. As you can imagine, having shared this trip and seeing each one of my students effectively use their Spanish during Clinic and outside of Clinic time rates very high as one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It truly brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion to watch (Mrs. P), Jill, doing intake completely in Spanish, with a big smile on her face. A couple of times she caught me looking at her, we’d both smile even bigger and give each other the “thumbs up”. Equally, watching John and Cathy conduct almost the entire appointment in Spanish without my help, was both marvelous and a little scary at the same time ---I wonder if they are going to dump me any time soon… And Susan, I was truly amazed at your courage and determination since I saw you in Chiapas doing intake in Spanish, all on your own, for every single one of the 282 patients we saw during the five clinics we had there!!!! So it is with sincere and deep gratitude that I say to you, “gracias mil” for your many hours of hard work, dedication and patience, and for everything you have taught me (I continue to learn English every day!). I hope you feel, like I do, that those hours are and have been a worthwhile investment.
To those of you whom I hadn’t met before, please accept my apologies if I was excessively giggly and silly at times with all the teasing that went on. It may come as a surprise for you to learn that I am usually a serious woman, except when I am with my family in Mexico or with my Spanish class, who are really my family here in the U.S. So as you can imagine, being in Guatemala serving side by side with my daughter and my students, my family, was truly an amazingly exhilarating blessing.
I am looking forward to starting a new class with Shannon, Teri, Helen and Melissa in the near future. I hope they will be an inspiration to others just like Susan, Cathy, Jill and John have been an inspiration to them.
Very happily and gratefully yours,
Although this will be my last post today, I will be adding more photos from Teri, Maggie and Dave, and Shannon in the next couple of days. So please check back soon. I would also like to list the names of our team members. We had listed them on the first post but often only use first names in the blog.
Our March 2010 MDP team members include:
Susan Peller, Team Leader, MDP President and R.N.
Dr. Bob Christensen, M.D.
Dr. John Norris, M.D.
Dr. Catherine Davis, M.D.
Jill Frentz, Intake Interpreter for Patients and Nurses
Lia Price, Interpreter for Doctors and Patients
Stephanie Price Stokman, Interpreter for Doctors and Patients
David Coughlan, Interpreter for Doctors and Patients
Teresa (Teri) Simonette, Intake Nurse
Shannon Juergens, Intake Nurse
Maggie Coughlan, Pharmacy Helper
Nick Davis, Pharmacy Helper
Helen Peterson, Pharmacy Helper
Please check out stokmanperu.blogspot.com.
In a previous blog post here, stokman is spelled with a "c", which is incorrect. This is the blog of Stephanie (Price) and her husband Jim Stokman. Steph was a wonderful member of our March MDP trip. Steph and Jim are volunteering in Peru and working with disabled children. It is a beautiful bit of writing and is an inspiring piece to read. It is a witness to true faith and unconditional love in action.
I had spelled it wrong previously in our blog and apologize. If you have time to read their blog it would be a good way to start Holy Week!
Here is a sampling of Jill's Photos. More to come!
Here are some pictures from Lia Price!
Pictured: Dr. John Norris, Susan Peller, Teacher Lia Price, Dr. Catherine Davis and Jill Frentz. (Photo by Bob C.)
On Wednesday afternoons a very special class meets to study Spanish. The students under the direction of teacher Lia Price work hard to master the language and also enjoy a special kinship. All had previously served on MDP teams and they had dreamed of making a trip together. That wish came true on our March 2010 trip. The five members enjoyed working in their medical areas - and in practicing their Spanish. (Lia of course is a translator.) Jill Frentz who had previously helped in the pharmacy stepped into a new Spanish speaking role of greeting our patients and gathering information about them as our intake person. She did a wonderful job and we were all so impressed. Congrats to Jill and all of the Spanish Class! You are an inspiration in your pursuit of lifelong learning!
Note: Teacher Lia Price may be adding a comment to our blog regarding her class. Watch for it!
A MESSAGE FROM SUSAN PELLER...
I want to start by saying thank you to everyone. First to God who has really blessed me with MDP, the people, the teams, and the countries we have the opportunity to visit. Through Him all is possible and I have loved where MDP has lead me. Next to my family, especially my husband for being my strength, guide and support. He constantly picks up all the extra work and does it with grace and style I must say. Next the people we serve, they are amazing in so many ways. The infectious smiles and wonderful laughter of the children stays with me well after my time in Guatemala is completed and also the parish of San Lucas for hosting us and helping with so many of the logistical details. Finally I want to thank my team members. You guys were all terrific! You worked together so well and really hung in there in spite of some unplanned difficult circumstances. THANK YOU!!!
Now that we are home you may be feeling some fatigue or just plain out of sorts, this is so normal after the experience we have just had. Remember, be patient with yourself! It takes time to readjust. I keep thinking of one of our readings, I think it was our last clinic day about serving the person in front of you and now that I am home I find myself reflecting on that quite a bit. Steph talked about bringing the idea of service home and I think that is what we can try to do. Now that I have traveled several times I am more familiar with the out of sorts feeling and I just ride it out but it can be trying. Remember to keep in touch with each other and share your feelings and experiences, that always helps. Thank you again for all your work and for making this trip such a memorable one, and thanks to everyone back home who has supported us in so many ways.