Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Guatemala Mission Day Cuatro
(Our apologies for not posting this sooner… for the trip to the beach we had to pack light)
Day four started very early in the morning with everyone up at 5am…or 5:30am…but no later than 6am! We loaded up our “Chicken Bus” with medicine, sleeping bags, pillows and a change of clothes. Mike and Chris followed close behind in the little Toyota truck packed to the top (Beverly Hillbillies Guatemala style). The trip to the coast took about 2 hours with a little rain on the way down. Without an overcast sky you would be able to see some great scenery with four volcanoes in view (Agua, Fuego, Picaya and another one I can’t spell or say).
Once we arrived at the coast we were greeted by a huge throng of people waiting to see a doctor or our dental hygienist, Kathy. It didn’t take too long to set up the hair salon, triage, the pharmacy, the dentistry and the exam rooms. With so many waiting it was hard to get them through triage without some being a little impatient. Of course they had been there since 6am waiting. The hair salon did a great job working on the kids hair, most of which had lice and had to be treated. The little girls with long hair were especially tough. The triage team was there to get things started, writing down important personal information including what ails them. The doctors saw hundreds of patience (we estimated around 350, but the number might reach 700 by the time we tell the stories back home), and they took only a few minutes for a lunch break. Kathy also saw so many that I am pretty sure I saw her fall asleep while eating dinner. And the pharmacy folks distributed medications to all who needed them…and it was a lot! We are also blessed to have some wonderful men willing to fix anything including windshield wipers, dental equipment and a compressor. We had started around 10am and did not finish until after 8pm.
At night several had a chance to jump in the pool if they didn’t have a chance to go to the ocean or swim in the pool earlier. Others were so exhausted that they just collapsed in a chair. It wasn’t long after dinner that we were ready for devotion, a review of the day and a look at what’s was in store for us for the night. One of the challenges for this trip to the beach was accommodations. There was limited bedding so half the team had a bed and the rest had to get creative. Dale had brought air mattresses…ok maybe they were just pool floats for about 6 people to sleep outside under the covered patio, several of the boys found hammocks across the pool under a palm tree hut and several others had lawn chairs. Several were creative lining up stacked chairs and laying across them. They were the lucky ones. Those of us on the ground soon found out why they call this the “rainy season”. Shortly after everyone had their sleeping space set up the sky began to open up. It started off pretty steady but then the rains became heavier and heavier. Those in the palm tree hut were looking for rain jackets or a better spot under the roof. Those under the patio saw the pool water and the water around the patio rise. It became a mad scramble with everyone trying to make it to dryer ground. Pretty soon everyone in the patio area had to be on chairs or escape to the floor of a room to keep from getting wet. Mike Morton said that this would be a night to remember and it sure was.
Now on to day Five…
The Guatemala Mission Team!