Guatemala: Wrap Up

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Things have been pretty busy and it was hard to get posts done the last couple of days in Guatemala.  I apologize for not getting something up until today.  Yesterday I was so tired, I did absolutely nothing.

I am extremely grateful for all of you who have been keeping our team in your prayers.  We had an amazing last couple of days, despite having some sick team members.  On Friday we saw 832 in medical and 145 in dental and on Saturday, we smashed our record with 954 patients seeing a doctor and getting meds, and 155 people getting dental work done!  This was with a number of team members under the weather and some even needing to take breaks in the bus.

Thursday was such a neat day.  We were in Parramos, where another Canadian organization called Loving Arms, is working.  It was further out of the city and we saw a lot more traditional dress.  Here are a few photos from this site.

The view out our pharmacy door, a play area, and on the other side of the fence, a playground!

This little cutie gave me big smiles after my camera went away and 
when I saw him later in the day we played peek-a-boo.

Chris counselling with a grandma and her granddaughter.  She had lots of questions.

Friday we were back in the same slum as on Monday, except we were on the other side.  The area is split into two and no one crosses over.  The church we connected with on Monday, with Pastor Gorge (pronounced Hor-hay), hadn’t been successful getting into this side of the slum.  Our clinic was a huge stepping stone for them.  It was also a more dangerous area at night.  We were safe in the school, but were warned not to venture too far away.  Again, it struck me that these beautiful people live with such fear and hardship.  It really doesn’t seem fair that as I write this from the comfort of my home here in Canada, that the faces we saw will shut their eyes tight and pray that the bullets won’t fly tonight.  I am also grateful that we were able to give them vitamins, parasite meds, blood pressure and diabetic medications along with so much more, even melatonin for sleep.  At least we could address that.  Pastor Gorge said that they only know “gringos” who come to do business with the drug lords and the fact that we would be there just for them, serving them, was such a huge step forward.  I am grateful also that our clinic will help his church to reach out the people of this slum.  That will have much longer lasting effects than the medications we handed out!  Here are some photos from this area:

The view from the second floor of the school.
Even when you’re poor, you still want your home to look nice.

Chris and I took this photo on the roof of our hotel on Saturday morning.  Guatemala City in the background.  Clouds were low so they covered the tops of the volcanoes.
If you would like to see more and get more of an understanding of what happens on our trips, as well as see some incredibly photographs, you have to go see what Tim has written and posted on the Speroway blog.
Thank you again for all your support and prayers as we served in Guatemala last week.  We felt them each day and know it was because of them that we were able to see close to 5000 patients.  Love you all!

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    This entire week that you & Chris spent in Guatemala reminds me of the phrase “There but for the grace of God, go I”. I am so grateful that we live in Canada where for the most part, we don’t live in fear. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I’ve been reading the Speroway blog as well. It has really opened my eyes to how fortunate we are to live in Canada. In today’s Globe and Mail there was an article about a school in Africa where the entire class of 30 children had to share 1 pencil. But even in Canada, life isn’t always fair as there was another article about how we treat our native people and how it was the wish of 1 teenager to have the government provide a better education on the reserves. The Ontario government gives the “white” schools more money than the “Indian Schools” and this 13 yr. old teenager set about to change all that. Unfortunately she was killed in a car accident but her friends and family took up her cause and as a result, the government has consented to building a new school in her community.