Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Spirit, Plants and Pumpkins

Since the weather has started cooling off...I have had a great desire to be outside more...and with my old Friday pal Axel Ryan getting close to moving.... I have wanted to hang out with this little man.  I needed to find a way to combine both of these and the answer was The Dallas Arboretum.

I have an awesome brother and sister-in-law that let me have this little man over the years. I am very close with Axel Ryan. 

 Axel happens to like Charles and has named him "Lobster"

I was excited to go and see the pumpkin village. I always like seasonal and holiday festivities

An afternoon of Science

For months I have wanted to visit the Perot Museum in Dallas. Not sure what finally sparked this Tall Redheaded Man... but off we were...Guess he decided it was time to get some energy back after being in the hospital.

 View of Dallas behind us
 Check out the huge dinosaur 

We decided to examine our cheek cells under the microscope
 Hmmm....did this guy once upon a time really sell cars
 nurse...or crazy scientist...
One fun and educational afternoon

Pictures of Guatemalan life

Ask me about my trip to Guatemala and I will talk your ear off until you are bored. I thought it would be easier to post random pictures and my thoughts to each one.

 Piling into the back of small trucks is a typical form of transportation. This was one of the first pictures I got while driving through Guatemala City...
I love the mans leg hanging over the tail bed
 This is a chicken bus....another form of common transportation
it would not be uncommon to see chickens here

 and we think gas is expensive....

 group of smiling boys playing

 the kitchen of a typical home
5 people sleep here in a space not shown. they all slept on the floor
 another home that was across from one above....
2 people sleep here on a full size bed

 Loved the Tuk Tuk ...their version of a taxi
They were all decked out different and given names

 I captured this little guy while exploring

 The women wear colorful heavy clothing....
each village has their own color or design

 The girl is covering her mouth after having a tooth removed..
they believe if the hole is left uncovered that evil can get into their spirit

 Corn fields every where...it rained every day

 country side

 It flooded on one of our last days

 Our daily drive up the mountain. Narrow roads and no driving rules

The women carry wood on their backs and random items on their heads.
Imagine how many came to the clinic with neck and back pain

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Clinic Days

We held clinic four days in Naulala...about 1 1/2 hour drive into the mountains from Panajachel. The first two days we were located in a local school and two days at a local church. The drives were always interesting...great sightseeing and understanding that the only real rules of the road... were that there really were not any rules. Sometimes it was better to just be distracted in the surroundings and fabulous company. The drives were pretty fun and enlightening to each of our personalities.

A few of the awesome people in our group

 Unloading one of the vans
We set up and took down the clinic daily

We were told that Mayan families had preregistered 80 people daily to be seen in either medical, dental, vision or all three.
We ended up treating just under 600 people in our four days. 
 This was our triage on day one
Every section required one or two translators...
English to Spanish and Spanish to Quiche (A Mayan dialect)

 Our medical clinic was worked by one doctor and a nurse anesthetist daily...
as triage slowed down...then us nurses would assist with the examination and treatment 

  The pharmacy

Judy-vision expert
 Dub (one of our two ministers) had the technical task of assembling eyeglasses
Lisa- dental assistant and one of the four dentists
They did a ton of tooth extractions...everyone wanted their teeth pulled
 The dentists provided us an opportunity to pull a tooth if we wanted  that experience. 
My patient was very grateful and happy
The extracted tooth

Our typical lunch consisted of lunch meat or peanut butter and jelly,
a banana and Chicky cookie

One of the joys of a third world country is the bathroom and toilet facilities. Fortunately, we had toilets...you just had to throw waste into trashcans and these toilets were flushed by pouring a bucket of water into them.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cables X-Tremos in the Atitlan Nature Reserve

After arriving in the late afternoon the day before, Sunday was a free day. Half the group went to the ruins and then there was the daring who chose zip-lining. What a great experience...definitely on my bucket list of adventures to have experienced. 

 Getting all geared up
We hiked straight up in a beautiful mountain approximately a half mile with a 486 ft elevation.
My lungs gave me a little grief on the last part of the hike...but the group was totally supportive.

This water fall was beautiful. It was in our view everyday on our drive through the mountains on our way to clinic. Being able to get up close was breath taking. 
 We had to walk a fairly long suspension bridge allowing us the great up close view.
There were numerous suspension bridges that had to be crossed.
 A selfie somewhere along the path

This might give you an idea of the thrill. Our course had nine lines. the first four were pretty extreme. I think our longest line was 3/4 mile at 60 mph. It was a bit scary and an adrenaline experience that I am so glad I got to experience.