November 1-6, 2000
by Dr. Robert Lamb
|Participants: Physicians: Drs. Quinton Dickerson, Lucien Simpson, Rugel Sowell, David Weed; Dentists: Drs. Andrew Guthrie, James Haller and Robert Lamb; Pharmacists: Dave Ellis and Guthrie Hite; Nurses: Elaine Griffin and Marian Rowe; Mecical Technologist: Louise Clites; Eyeglass Techs: Patricia Simpson and Valari Wedel; Acting Dental Assistants: Rob Haller, Donna Lamb, Gary Tabor and Mark Giles; Pharmacy Assistant: Anne Dickerson; Chief in Charge of Maintenance: Dennis Griffin; Non-medical Personnel: Misha Brock, Heather Dodson, Jordan Lott, Earl and Shirley Lawson.
Assisted by: Dr. Sergio and Veronica Castillo, Dr. Walter Sierra, Dr. Jim Gill, Dr. Silvia Albizures, Violeta Campos, Olga de Meneses, Raquel Castillo and Marco Diaz. Also assisted by health promoters Maruca, Diego of Xejuyup and Diego of Maxanija.
We arrived in Guatemala City a little late. Had medicines inspected by the officials. Many in the group have been on clinics several times so there was a good bit of excitement renewing friendships. Arrived at the seminary and got to bed about midnight. The team was on the bus at 5 to arrive in Chocola about 8 a.m. for breakfast. Quinton and Ann Dickerson, Earl and Shirley Lawson, Nery Castillo, Hugo Fuentes and the architect of the surgical facility spent the day at Montellano, discussing fine-tuning of the design of the surgical facility and dormitory and discussing the lay-out of the buildings on the property. We appreciated Earl's construction knowledge and expertise.
Chocola: A large crowd was waiting for our arrival. Dr. Sergio Castillo preached to the waiting patients before clinic started. Clinic started about 9:30. The orange peeler and the shaved ice lady set up outside of the dental clinic area.
A handheld auto-refractor was donated to use by the eye techs to measure the refraction in order to obtain the correct eyeglass. This machine in seconds measured the correct prescription. Two of these about $5,000 instruments have been donated to Health Talents.
Montellano: Dr. Castillo holds clinic here on Fridays. This is the site where our surgical facility will be located. The physicians saw patients in the warehouse. The dental and eye clinics were set up outside. Sunscreen mesh was draped over the dental area to shade the dentists from the sun. This is at a lower elevation than Chocola or Xeyujup, so it is much hotter.
Dr. Dickerson saw a patient with significant valvular heart disease and referred him for further care.
At the end of the day, some Guatemalan boys sang the Guatemalan National Anthem and then we sang "The Star Spangled Banner" for them.
Xejuyup: After a warm day in Montellano, we went up the mountain to Xejuyup. This is a Mayan village. A few years ago, some of us saw weapons returned to the military as the civil unrest ended on the field below the clinic. It was an impressive site and those who saw it, cannot go to this village without discussing that day.
They women are dressed in their traditional skirts and the men wear their traditional "kilts" and hats. The children were flying kites.
It was another busy clinic day. Some went to the market in Xejuyup. We returned to Chocola for lunch.
Prior to departing Chocola for Guatemala City, a family came to give thanks to God and us for healing of their daughter and the assistance Dr. Castillo had given to them. During the July 2000 clinic, this family came in with their 2 month old daughter who weighed about 5 pounds. The mother's milk had dried up and they had no money for formula. Sergio and Veronica have counseled them from a nutritional standpoint. Formula and medicines were provided. Now at a little over 5 months, the baby and her mother are still anemic, but the baby is growing. The father said he was sure his daughter was going to die. We prayed to God about this baby and her health.
We left for Guatemala City in the late afternoon. We stayed at the San Carlos Hotel and had a great dinner at the La Estancia Restaurant. Quinton Dickerson, Gary Tabor and Robert Lamb interview 2 young men who are wanting to be dentists and are applying for a Health Talents Scholarship.
Sunday: Most of us worshipped at the Zone 11 church. There appeared to be about 175 adults besides our group. Patricia and Lucien Simpson attended the church where Steve and Madga Sherman worship.
We then spent the afternoon in Antigua. There was a "Festival of the Harvest" parade as we were leaving. It was really interesting. 50-60 men were carrying a huge float. It was probably 30-35 feet in length. Traffic was very heavy returning to Guatemala City.
We ordered Domino's Pizza and had a devotional at the Hotel San Carlos.
On Monday, 10 of the group returned to the United States. The other 15 spent the day at the Copan Ruins in Honduras. This is a very interest Mayan ruin. The carvings of the stellas was impressive.
The final number of patients treated during these three days was about 950. The physicians saw about 600, the dentists about 255 and about 100 by the eye techs. Approximately 1200 prescriptions were filled. We had another successful clinic. The cooperation between the North Americans and our Guatemalan co-workers is always great. We again had the opportunity to treat and show God's love to those who are not as fortunate. We gain so much from these trips and give God the glory.