Monday, March 27, 2006

Well hello, i know it´s been a while since i´ve updated..woops! well, we finished up our last week at our ministry sites on friday the 24th of march. it was a long 3 weeks working in the clinic...but i´ll miss going and seeing the nuns everyday....
on the 11th and 12th of march we got to go to another city in Guatemala named Panajachel. It is located on one of the biggest lakes in Guaetemala, lake Atitlan. It was gorgeous!! the water was perfectly clear and the weather was amazing. I got a hennah tattoo...don´t worry mom, it´s not real...we got to swim in the lake in Panajachel and we were befriended by two young boys named marcus and david. They were 10 and 9 years old. we had a great time jumping off this piece of decaying wood in the water and launching them off of our hands until they couldn´t laugh anymore...we took a boat ride over to one of the lake side towns where there was a church and we got to see some really beautiful pottery work that is done in that town.
-The doctor we are working with quite her job at the clinic in the town next to us, Jocotenango. so we are in the process of helping her set up a new clinic. but for right now she is seeing patients in her house! she´s such a giving person, it´s amazing!
- also on the 21st of march we got to go to the birthday party of a little mayan girl named Merly. She turned 13. This was also my brothers birthday!! So i got to celebrate a birthday in place of Ben´ was an amazing celebration. Her family has 11 kids and they all live in one has dirt floors and a wood-burning stove. We got to help them make tortillas in their house for the birthday dinner.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

This weekend was pretty un-eventful. But i do have some pretty sweet pictures from the Procession today. Every Sunday during Pasqua...or Lent, the people here have a procession, in which they carry huge wooden floats with Jesus and Mary on them. They even have the women carry a almost fell. Also all the men dress up in these purple robes with head coverings. They also lay down huge designes of flowers on the ground and then when the procession starts, everyone just walks on over the flowers. They call them "alfombras" which means carpets. It was very interesting to see how much the put an emphasis on Jesus on the cross and almost never talk about Him being risen and alive.....
- Today the Spring Break team from Bethel gets here...we are going to have supper with them.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Disclaimer: many of the amazing pictures featured on this website have been taken by my best friend in the world: HANNAH BETH CARLSON. Thank you Hannah...(but i did take some of them too).
- The next picture you will see is of Jenny and I. Jenny is one of the 29 girls that lives in the orphange that is run by the same Nuns that run our Clinicin Chimaltenango. The orphanage and the clinic are on the same property along with a school. Jenny has downs syndrome. Jenny is very heavy. Jenny beat me up.

-you may think it's funny, but im not the first! She started with Kala the first time we were ever there...then Crista, then me and she tried to pull Hannah's ear off. All that said, Jenny really is a sweatheart, she just gets over-stimulated sometimes. As we have been at the clinic now for 2 full weeks, we have finished our duties in the pharmacy..which included restocking, taking inventory and entering all the new data into a computer. It was long and boring but it was good to see our finished product. The Nuns really appriciated it,as did Myra.
-Dra. Myra has two kids; Victor who is 12 and Rita is 9. They are sooo precious! Myra is dating a guy named Moises. Myra has had a rough life starting in med-school and continuing into her marriage..which has ended in a seperation of her and her husband. they aren't divorced...thats a whole different story. Anyway,Moises and Myra are so cute together....
We caused Myra's car to fall apart however...having to take 4 extra people in a tiny car 40 minutes away 5 days a week did some damage to her car..her clutch is now ruined...

Friday, March 17, 2006

today we spent our day at the clinic in Chimaltenango. But before we got to go we went to the Centro de Salud (Health Center) with Dra. Myra. She was asked to give a talk to the diabetes patients that frequently come to the clinic. She was so cute! There were all these old people there just so un-educated about their own´s so sad! So we spent about and hour and a half there just hanging out and talking about what diabetes is and what you should and should not eat..and these are people who have had diabetes for years, just finally coming in to figure out what they maybe should do about, things sure are different here. On a happier note, our taxi driver for the past week is named Ceasar Agustus. not kidding you....he´s about 60 years old, has 11 kids, 26 grandchildren, and 2 great grand children...not to mention his youngest son is 16. so we laughed at him all day yesterday becuase it was the "ides of march" when Ceasar was killed...he didn´t get it but he laughed with us anyway.

- So back to the clinic...we got to the clinic in Chimaltenango about 2 hours late and the nuns told all the patients to leave..haha. So we only got to see about 4 patients lady who was 36 hadn´t had a period in 5 years..because she has been on a birth-control shot that you are supposed to use 3 times....she has used it every 3 months for FIVE years..(sorry for those of you who did not want to hear about this...) it´s so sad because now she is having extreme stomach pain and can´t walk without being slouched over...she thinks she might be pregnant because she stopped taking them 4 months ago, but Myra thinks it´s just because she hasn´t had a period in 5 years...hmm. The reason she was on it for 5 years is becuase the health care provider that she went to (funded by the government) told her it was ok to take them for as long as she needed to, but they really just don´t want women to have so many Guatemala has the highest fertility rate in all of Latin America.
After we saw the huge amount of patients, we decided we would go sit on the roof. so we climbed on up the ladder to the very top level of the roof. it was soooo hot and wonderful. Hannah and i took off our pants and shirt and spent the rest of the day basking in the sun in our underwear and bra...on top of the you think thats wrong?? :)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

back from another day at the clinic. today tanya and i got to work with Dra. Myra...hence, we weren't bored out of our minds....sorry crista and hannah. So we saw a little girl with anemia, a man with a possible diagnosis of prostate cancer, a lady low on hormones (poor thing), a little boy who's parents don't even live here, they live in the US, but he had a broken arm that was set wrong TWICE! so sad, a lady who was super depressed and antsy, and a little boy with the flu. The people here are so thankful for a doctor that they can come to and not worry about paying too much. We work in a Catholic run clinic with about 8 Nuns. They call then "monkas" here. And they are some of the most interesting people i have met yet! The Nuns get donations from various people and then sell the drugs at a super super low price, like 13 U.S. cents for each pill! Just crazy! So many people here are malnurished and so many of there illnesses revolve around this fact.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The past week and a half have been hard and tiring. We started our ministry sites last week on Monday and things have not slowed down since then. Me, Hannah, Crista and Tanya go every week-day to Chimaltenango, a town about 40 minutes from Antigua, to our medical clinic. We get there at about 8 everyday..depending on how much time we hang out at Myra's house before we leave (the doctora we are working under, she's Amazing!). We work there from 8 'til 12:30 and then she heads out for her other clinic and we stick around in Chimaltenango for another 3 hours. Today we got to go help the girls who live in the orphanage that is affiliated with our clinic. The clinic was donated and built by some old rich Italians and they also built a school and an all girls orphanage along with it. It's all inclosed and is on a beautiful forested piece of land.

Here's my web-site, finally! So i know it's about a month late, but hey, at least im doing it!

So it's been a month and 14 days since we left home for Guatemala. So much has happened since that day. I can't even begin to explain how amazing this trip has been. But that doesn't mean it hasn't been hard! I've gotten to do SO many amazing things since i've been here: i've riden horses on a beach, gotten bucked off a bull, milked a cow at a real cow ranch, herded cattle, worked in a medical clinic, spent the evening in a National Geographic featured home, ridden in a chicken bus, seen a volcano explode, nearly died on the highway (every day), been loved by so many guatemalan children, eaten too many beans and rice...and much much more.....