Recent Events

Last Thursday (July 7th) was a very significant day. There was celebration in El Gorrión as they received running water for the first time in approximately 12 years. After many months of coordinating with the city government and strategizing with engineers on how to get the water from the spring, the families in El Gorrión turned their water on for the first time on Thursday. I can only imagine the excitement and relief that all of this hard work has finally paid off and they now have access to water. It will be a slow transition as not all families are yet able to afford the water bill, so they continue to collect rain water, use latrines, and use the stream to wash their clothes. But it is a huge boost of hope and encouragement that the situation can improve.

Also on Thursday, I took my students to the hospital in Chimaltenango to observe orthopedic trauma surgeries. We had the opportunity to see a very graphic and intense surgery where Dra. Martinez was removing a metal plate from a man’s tibia and shifting it up higher to cover a new break in the bone. It was very intense because they had a tunicate on his leg, so their time was limited, and they didn’t have the correct tools, so they couldn’t go as quickly as they needed to. They didn’t have the right tools to unscrew the plate from his bone, so they were using the hemostat handles as a makeshift screwdriver! Then they didn’t have the right size screws to re-screw in the plate over the new break, so they were using giant metal clippers to clip the tips of the screws off to make them fit. It was cool to see Dra.Martinez (who is one of 8 female orthopedic trauma surgeons in Guatemala) working so hard on her patient. It was raw, dirty, intense, and very impressive how she worked with whatever she had to muscle her way through to finish the surgery. What an impressive woman!

My students and I with Dra. Martinez

On that same Thursday the 7th, I took my students to Bryan and Luis’ house to celebrate Luis’ 8th birthday with Irma. We come to their house every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to do physical therapy with Bryan and Luis. These poor boys are completely immobile and their mother works so hard to take care of them everyday. It is so inspiring to see how much work she does for her boys and how much she loves and cares for them. So we wanted to do something special for Luis’ birthday. We bought him a big chocolate cake and sang to him with the candles and everything! Though it seemed like Luis was happy to have us there and enjoyed celebrating his birthday, I think the real impact was with his mom. She was so happy to have us there with her, valuing her son’s life and celebrating that she has him for one year longer. Her love and tears over her son just broke my heart. We don’t know how much longer she will have her sons, as they are very susceptible to health problems because they lie still in their bed all day long and they do not have the ability to fight off a simple illness. Irma inspires me and I pray blessings over her and I pray for strength as she battles these challenges alone with her husband.

This Thursday (July 14th) my clinic group experienced a divine unexpected change of plans. Since there is no clinic on Thursdays, we had planned to go to the school with Dra. Sara and Fransisca to continue working on general health checks on the children as part of our battle against under-nutrition inMagdalena. However, we were surprised the night before by the fact that there actually was no school on Thursday. We had to figure out an alternative quickly! I think God was humbling me by reminding me that I am not in control of this ministry: His will be done, not mine. We had the opportunity to do two home visits in the morning that were very impacting for both my students and the families we visited. We first visited with Doña Luz Angelica. She has been passing through very trying times recently and has felt under attack by the devil. As a new Christian, she has been struggling to find God through her suffering. It was heartbreaking to hear her tell us of how hard she has been working, trying to be able to afford to feed her daughter, but she is coming up short. We prayed over the food that she had prepared that morning to sell on the streets, that she would be able to sell it and be able to afford the medicine she needs and be able to take care of her daughter. We also visited with Carolina and her daughters. This is the lady that I wrote about in my last blog. She continues to want to flee from her situation and leave her abusive husband, but there is no way that she can afford to take care of her daughters on her own. We were encouraging her to be strong and courageous as the Spirit of God is living inside of her and she is never alone, even when she feels lonely in her home. We also prayed that she would be able to make money with the small jobs that she does so that she can take care of her daughters as her husband chooses to neglect them. When Carolina came into the clinic the next day, we saw that she had been beaten again. Please pray for these women and many more like them who are trapped in their own home with men who are harming them. Pray also for the husbands that God would redeem their situation and take a hold of their lives.

Carolina with her youngest daughter Yanci

Also this Thursday, we began the process of getting Rudy diagnosed in the Centro Neurologico.  This is one of my students playing Legos with him in the waiting room.

I ran in the Magdalena12K race this past Sunday! It was a lot of fun, though I thought I was crazy halfway through for deciding to do this again! It felt good as I was going down the mountain, and as I ran through the flatter area of Santo Tomás. But as soon as I got to the highway and started the slow climb toward the gas station, I started doubting myself. I knew that if I ever stopped to walk, it would be way too hard to start running again. It helped to see some familiar faces of friends and host families of mine along the way. Climbing back up the mountain to the municipality building was killer. I never walked, but I was running extremely slowly. Being the only gringa in the whole race, it was even fun to have strangers cheer me on. I finished the race at the stadium in Magdalenain one hour and four minutes. I wasn’t too concerned about my time while I was running or even when I was training the weeks before. I was just glad to have the opportunity to have some fun with my friends. Telma ran the race for her first time and was able to finish it! I was so proud of her! Carlos unfortunately did not make his goal of beating his son and Luis. (you go boys!) Marcello actually finished in 6th place in the division of the men fromMagdalena and won a cash prize! And during the raffle at the awards ceremony, Telma, Mirna, and I all won a bag of household items including soap, beans, rice, noodles, sugar, etc. I gave my bag away to a lady (Josefina) I met who lives nearby and is in extreme need. She had been to the clinic one day.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Profe
    Jul 17, 2011 @ 11:23:17

    Bendiciones Britney!

    Reply

  2. Aunt Carol
    Jul 18, 2011 @ 05:38:37

    Wow, uniforms for the running team.

    Reply

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