Monday, November 15, 2010

FTC Canada in Guatemala, the Final Days

We have arrived home and are now trying to get back into the routine of things.  It seems very surreal to think that life just continued without us for a week.  My kids went to school, had piano lessons, and lots of fun with Grandma.  Meetings happened at church and decisions were made at school, where I'm on the board.  And now I need to catch up on everything.
Despite the fact that I am very happy to be home with my sweeties, my mind is still in Guatemala, on the last two days of amazing experiences.  I'm not completely sure of the numbers from Friday, but they were somewhere around 650, I think, for medical.  Saturday, we treated 838 patients.  Dental was around the 170 mark.
On Friday we were at another community that had been affected by the volcano in May.  Here are a few photos:
Saw this gentleman on the way to our clinic site.

 
This is what remains of this section of the school, a large portion just destroyed by the volcano.  They were still in the process of replacing the roof and hooking up electricity in the other section.

The line-up greeting us as we arrived.

This gentleman just broke my heart.  As he sat waiting for his prescriptions, I couldn't help but take his photo. I don't ever want to forget the look of sadness and despair on his face.  This is why we do these missions, to put a smile back on faces like these.  I wish I knew what his story was.
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Saturday was another busy day.  We were down in a lower spot, close to the lake, so it wasn't as cold.  The school seemed like it was built right into the mountain, though.  The building on one side, with a courtyard/basketball court beside it.  On the other side was a huge concrete wall.  The concrete was put on the side of the hill to eliminate erosion.  Right at the top was a slum area, with houses built almost to the edge of this cliff.  I wish I had a photo so you could really understand what it looked like.  No railing for part of it, kids standing there, watching us below.  A little scary.  
I learned about a woman who came in with a large growth on her breast.  It measured 15cmx20cm!  Sacha, one of our medics who comes from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, said she needed a biopsy to find out if it was cancerous, which she was pretty sure it was, then chemotherapy and radiation possibly.  Without these things, she will die.  FTC Guatemala will be taking charge of making sure she gets the medical help she needs, with funding help from FTC Canada.  Sometimes we're not just giving them a little help; sometimes we can provide a lot!
I didn't have a lot of time to take photos, but here is one from our clinic:

This family was so cute.  The little boy in the middle looked to be about 2 years old and he was chattering away the entire time they waited for their meds.  When I wanted to take a photo, the little girl in the back and the taller boy both hid behind their mother so this was my second attempt.
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Here are a few photos of our team:
Pharmacy Team 

Dental Team

Distribution Team, with the entire Guatemalan Team and the people who handed out glasses.

Medical team, with translators.

It takes a lot of people to make these clinics work and we so appreciate the Guatemalan FTC team that comes with us every time.  It was a treat to be in their country this time.  We also couldn't do anything without the translators that sit with each medic.  This has been an amazing group of people to work with!  

Check out the FTC Canada blog for more details, wonderful stories, and even video about our trip.  John did a great job with it.

Thank you, again, for all your thoughts, prayers and support.  We could not be a part of this without it.  We are headed back to El Salvador in March and so until then, you can enjoy more cards and layouts from me.  I hope to create some layouts about this trip on Studio J soon.  Watch for them!

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