Wednesday, June 7th, 10:30 PM Wednsday night Central Standard Time - San Cristobal:

The power went out a short while ago, and we are now in a deep brown-out.. Still, today was a good day. We got up a little earlier this morning and Jim lead devotions before breakfast rather than after. We have grown fond of the Let it rain song as a theme for the week.

Dave, Lori, Jewel Anita, and I then left shortly after 7:30 to finish doing the physicals on the children from Monday.

We worked inside the concrete house seen above. While working, the following creature paid us a visit, then hid from the light. It looked like a spider with claws and long "feelers", about one and a half times as big as my hand.

We then headed down to Pamuk, which was near where we had visited the schoolhouse Monday evening. We saw about 35 children there.

Kids waiting for us in the school playground.

Getting the small room next to the main classroom set up for exams.

Still getting things set up...

...and seeing the patients.

There are another 65 children yet to be seen. We will to drive out early tomorrow morning and attempt to see those. Interesting observation is that the general health condition children varies from the village to village. This current group almost universally had worms and required medicine for stomachache due to worms, and they also had fairly severe tooth decay. I issued no fewer than 4 recommendations for referral for a dentist to extract rotten teeth. Other highlights included sinusitis and mild bronchitis.

This afternoon the rest of the group was meeting with Patricia, Guatemala's Food for the Hungry program director. They spent two hours discussing the vision of Food for the Hungry with her and Arturo, another one of the Food for the Hungry local directors. Unfortunately, Patricia was also the person I was supposed to meet with to learn more about what the computing needs are, so I could better help Jason Knight prepare for his trip this fall. Jason is another member of Ascension who volunteered to spend a month this summer helping the Guatemala office integrate / coordinate their computer systems. My "second mission" as requested by Denise was to try to get as many details as I could, so Jason could bring what he needed with him.. We may get to speak with her tomorrow evening, although I doubt it. So as it stands, I still have no idea what it is their needs are, nor what equipment or software they require. Time goes so fast!

Dinner this evening was fairly lighthearted I don't know if we're getting punchy because of mild fatigue or whether we're just getting more comfortable with the environment and the situation. I find myself more than occasionally comparing the experience to a grown up version of summer church in terms of the gathering at the dining hall for meals, the showers there are open to the local floura and fauna, and the frequent singing, morning and evening devotions all give it very much a feel similar to what we had at Camp Luther The difference is that outside this YMCA is another world. As Jim said, it sometimes feels as if we're "cheating," given that we have water, dry beds, and good food.

The remainder of our group felt they connected well with the children today. For myself, I do more strongly feel we are supposed to be here. There is a sort of quiet peace to know you are actually where you should be, actually doing the work you are supposed to do. It really feels very natural now to be helping these kids.

As David pointed out numerous times, we are an interesting assortment of people. One would be very hard-pressed to have known to put us together a priori, but we seem to have the right balance of musical talent, devotional leadership, and medical experience to be able to work together effectively. I'm not sure to what extent this is due to the combination of planning and the adaptability of our hosts, divine inspiration, or Karen and Denise getting lucky. Whatever the case, it has been working well.

Another interesting observation: Greg had mentioned they had not seen blue skies here the previous three weeks. For the last three days, though, we have had blue skies in the morning during the time children were here, with heavy rains holding off until afternoon and evening.

This evening's surprise was that just after our evening compline, the power dropped into a brownout, around 70-90 volts. We nonetheless got the bags sorted, separating out the different medicines we had brought as well as some vitamins that we're going to take with us tomorrow.

Tomorrow we get up even earlier, head back to the town of Pamuk, finish up, then come back and pack up. We'll then leave at about 5 o'clock Friday morning.

Tuesday - Back to index page - Thursday