The past two days have certainly been challenging for the group, both physically and emotionally. We have had two very busy days in clinic. Yesterday we spent the day at San Jose-Nueva Vida. There are actually two villages, separated by a deep ravine. There is a very nice walking bridge across the ravine that connects the villages. Below the bridge were many houses as well. Our clinic started out slow in the morning, as very few people knew we were there. So Bridget and Nancy along with two of the young volunteers from the parish set out on foot to let the local people know we were in town to provide health care. The young men went one direction and Bridget ad Nancy the opposite direction. This was truly an example of “I had to walk up hill both ways” as the village itself had multiple small hills and a deep ravine. At one point the road ended, and it was necessary to walk through very primitive paths and even peoples yards to get to the homes in the remote areas of the village. Bridget's hiking skills were put to a test as she slipped on a couple occasions sliding down hill on her bottom, but be assured, she did not get hurt. Some of the houses lacked running water and access to the roads. At one point, the only way out of the ravine was to walk through the yard and part of the house to get to the road on top of the ravine. Our efforts proved successful, as the clinic was suddenly full of patients needing our help. By the end of the day, we had provided health care to 77 people. We also provided several house calls during the day to patients who were unable to walk to the clinic.
Today, we were at San Martin. Again, it was a bit of a challenge but everyone cheerfully walked the last mile up the mountain to the village, as that part of the road was being repaired. We were greeted by a very organized local health promoter Gloria and several patients waiting to be seen. Today was a shorter day at clinic, but again met with the challenges of meeting the needs of the people and sometimes wishing we had more of the modern medical technologies and conveniences we have back home. We served nearly 40 people.
Over the past several days, we have treated patients with scabies, lice, dermatitis, chronic pain, ear infections, gastritis, diarrhea, giardia, respiratory infections, and a few other problems. Today we had two women who had very different medical problems, but both needed the assistance of an ultrasound to help us better diagnosis their problems. With money donated to MDP from our generous donators back in Minnesota, we were able to arrange for these women to have an ultrasound and pay for the transportation to a neighboring city to have further testing done. We thank the Presbyterian Women of Winnebago who made this possible.
After clinic today, the entire MDP team met with Dr Tun, the local physician who provides care for the Parish hospital and clinic. This Parish hospital and clinic here in San Lucas provides services to 28 surrounding villages. Dr Tun updated us on the present health care projects and the current and future needs of the clinic and hospital. This morning, Bridget met with the parish officials and clinic officials to discuss our continued support and presence here in San Lucas and the surrounding villages. MDP has donated money to provide the local village health care promoters with medications for the people here in the San Lucas area. We thank all of our donors to MDP who have helped make this possible. Know that you are providing medications to people who otherwise may not have received the help they need. As team, each of our hearts are affected by various situations or individuals that we have encountered during our days here. It may be someone´s story of the hardships they have encountered, the playful interactions with a small child, the humbling experience of a house call or the blessings a patient gives us at the end of a visit. Whatever the situation, all of the members of our team have had our hearts touched by the people we have served. We have been changed by our experiences. We have definitely gained more than we have given. Yes, we have been changed!!! To our family and friends back home, we appreciate your continued support and prayers as we continue to serve the people of Guatemala. God Bless, see you soon! - Nancy & Colette and our MDP Team!
A special thanks also to Hap & Eileen Trio (parents of Nancy) for their generous donation to MDP to provide patient index cards and plastic boxes to organize patient medical records in the villages and other related MDP expenses; to Elsie Pace, RN for her generous donation for the purchase of medicines, and to Dr. Bob and Patty Christensen who bought and sent soccer balls for the children. We are most grateful to these and all of our donors who make it possible to serve the people of Guatemala (and Mexico).. Please look back to the beginning entries of our blog on this trip for the names of additional recent MDP donors. Thanks to all who remember us in prayer too and who walk with us in sharing our mission to bring free medical care to those in need!
MDP Team Members