Monday, July 15, 2013
I'm home! I got in yesterday evening after a long day of traveling. But I am mostly unpacked, re-packed for my girl's night tonight, and facebook pictures have been uploaded :) This is El Tesoro (well the school in El Tesoro). It is a village that was created by the government for the indigenous Guatemalans that were displaced at the end of their 30 year civil war. 200k of the poor Mayan Guatemalans were killed, compared to 40k of the wealthier Guatemalans that took their land. These buildings are the school buildings that partially the government build, and Circle of Love (my aunt's medical mission organization) built. It was a good, busy week. We started out in Antigua and then went out everyday to El Tesoro about an hour by bus. Everyday we held a morning and afternoon clinic with a break in between for lunch. The government so generously put these poor people pretty much out in the middle of nowhere and it was very hot and muggy everyday. But it was beautiful. The lands were green (rainy season!) and there were hills and creeks, and volcanoes, and fields of sugarcane and pineapples. I did not know pineapples grew on the ground! Everyday I set up my little station of getting people's names and ages. And then I would take the adults blood pressure, and their pulses and all the pulses of their kids. Out of 225+ some patients, I think I had like 3 with high blood pressure. So that was good. Most peoples' were so low I was wondering how they weren't fainting away. And the kids were so cute as they would shyly stick out their little wrists to me. The missionaries have been working down there with the Guatemalans for 13 years now. I was so impressed with them and their dedication to these people. The guy told me he has seen tremendous things happen in their village over the years thanks to Jesus. I guess some of the people were at one time warring Mayan tribes, and now there is a lot of unity. That was awesome. As soon as I was done getting everyone going, I'd go sit in my aunt's room and observe her. Before the trip I asked her what she was going to do specifically, and she said: "see the patients and lead them to the Lord" and that is exactly what she did. Here we are during a wart removal. This lady had warts all over her leg. The girl in the middle is an American who has lived down there for 3 years teaching in the school English and Bible. I was really impressed with her, she was a huge help translating. I spent a lot of time as a 'surgical tech' this trip getting all the supplies ready for my aunt. And here I am fanning her, there is nothing worse than trying to do something and sweating. I know I hate that anyway. I felt embarrassed a lot when I'd try to take someone's blood pressure and I was dripping sweat. At least they were too, but it was gross. We ended up a team of 12 and there were a lot of really great people on the trip. 1 doctor (my aunt), 2 nurse practitioners, 1 nurse, 1 nursing student (me), 1 pharmacist, a pastor and his daughter, and then just other people that wanted to come. It was great to see how quickly we were able to work together and every person had qualities that really added value to the trip and the work. It was great. And there was time for fun too. I'm really SO thankful I was able to be a part of this trip. We saw 408 patients, and 201 accepted Jesus. Awesome!! Thank you to everyone for supporting me and joining with me in prayer!