Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Wrapping Up our Week

Fuego puffing away on Friday afternoon
We returned to Jalapa after packing up in Monjas, where we enjoyed a hearty feast, our last group meal with everyone.  Each of the individual groups shared a story and everyone received   a certificate. It was a wonderful gathering. Most of us heading to bed early even though we’d been promised a whole half hour more sleep.  

Devotions on Friday morning, Day 8, came a little later, 6 AM (instead of 5:30 AM).  At breakfast, we were given a final count of those seen in each clinic and a total number of people. 

General Medical 743
Pediatrics 285
Audiology 125 with 35 hearing aids given
Gynecology 230
Cervix exams  154 exams with 10 abnormal referrals 
Dental 287
Wheel Chairs 64
Referrals 387

The referral number is especially gratifying as these are people who will be seen and hopefully provided with life-giving surgeries through Faith in Practice surgeons in Antigua. 

We were on the bus and ready to leave at 7:30 AM.  Soon we were heading west toward Guatemala City and Antigua. There were some talking but lots of sleeping. As we were coming through Guatemala City, we noticed that Fuego was active with large plumb of smoke belching from the top. For the rest of my time in country, the mountain would be smoking off and on. 

We arrived back in Antiqua around noon and checked into the Hotel Las Farolas, which is on the southwest side of the city with wonderful views of Fuego.  I headed out with the the pharmacy group for some shopping and lunch (I had curried vegetables).  In the evening, I headed out with a large number within our group to Epicure, for dinner.  A number in our group were leaving really early on Saturday, so everyone headed to bed early.  

Part of the Savannah-area contingent: John, Eric, Wilma,
Fernando, Joy, Howard, JJ , and me. 
On Saturday morning, those of us left had breakfast at the hotel and took some group photos.  I headed off after breakfast with the pharmacy group to visit a Farmacia.  We found one where I picked up some tooth paste as we compared prices with drugs in the United States. I was especially interested in knowing that I could buy a three pack of Lantaus pens (one of two kinds of insulin that I take) for 2300 Q or about $32.  That’s a little over $10 a pen without insurance. While I have to admit that this would be a lot of money on most Guatemalan wages, I still find it strange that even with my copay, I’m paying close to $20 a pen in the States (If I had to buy it without insurance, it would be closer to $100.  

As people began to leave, I walked over to Quiana de Las Fore’s, where I would be staying for the next few days.  A new group had flown in to do surgeries at the Herman’s Pedro (Brother Pedro) hospital.  These surgeries would come from those seen by “village teams” like ours, who refer candidates to the hospital.  The team was involved with their orientation/ , which gave me a lazy day to enjoy by the pool and the wonderful grounds at the Quiana de las Flores.

The farm included both enclosed and open growing areas.

Later in the morning, after I came back from the Quiana, a group of us headed off to an organic farm on the Southwestern side of Antigua. As it was Saturday, there were lots of vendors trying to sell their wares as well as a restaurant that served food from the gardens. The farm was irrigated and bountiful.  I purchased some more coffee and sampled a lot of food.  If I lived here, I'm sure I'd be a regular at this market.

 After a final lunch at Las Farolas, Louise, Marty and I took a cab with our suitcases over to the Quiana, where I spent the afternoon hanging out and enjoying their grounds.

Lazy time at "The Quiana"

On Saturday night, I went with a group to have dinner at San Domingo, a place we had visited during our tour of the city.  The dinner was wonderful.  By this time, most of my group had flown home with the exception of a few who were staying longer to enjoy a few days of rest in the city or to volunteer time to working at the hospital. There, at the hospital, I would witness the life-giving work of these surgeons over the next few days. 

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