Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 1 in Guatemala

Below is a post I began to write the evening of March 1 in Reu.  Our days became very busy and I was never able to post this installment.  I offer it now in the "for what it's worth" column.

Saturday, March 1  To say that today was full is  - well - a gross understatement.  We began with a delightful buffet breakfast and initial introductions before piling on the bus to Reu.  Once "corralled," I offered a devotion before we departed.  I read from Ecclesiasticus/ Sirach 38:1-8.  It is a favorite of mine - cautioning people not to turn away from physicians and other medical people as God has blessed them to care for others.  

Arriving at Hilario Galindo
Initially we only went the short distance to Casa de Fe (House of Faith) in Antigua.  Casa de Fe is operated by Faith in Practice as a safe clean place for patients and families just before or after surgery in Antigua.  The dream of Faith in Practice is to build a similar place near Hospital Hilario Galindo in Reu.  The ministry of Casa de Fe is impressive and much needed.

After orientation (more fun Faith in Practice facts later), we boarded the bus for Reu.  I was seated next to Donna, an RN from the Seattle area.  She had been on a trip last year and, like several in our group, returned to put her faith into practice.  

Small operating room at
Hilario Galindo
We stopped to partake of our boxed lunches at a rest stop where I was able to get my hands on a bag of Plantain chips.  Not as good as the ones I got at the North and South cafe, but edible.  I sat with Fanny Domijan from Hood River for the rest of the trip. So nice to catch up with a friend from home.

We finally arrived at Hospital Hilario Galindo a little after four.  Walking into the building, I think it finally hit me what we were doing there.  The hospital, which was only offering emergency services today, was all ours.  We toured the operating rooms, pre/post op, patient rooms, supply storage, and the grounds.  Rachel and Joann oriented us to procedures and outlined what tomorrow will be like.  Something like 150 patients to be triaged!  It will be a long day.
Peacock at the hotel

Then the hotel.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I have never stayed at such a fancy resort in my life.  And peacocks roamed all over the grounds!  The facilities are diametrically opposed to the hospital, but the resort very much wants Faith in Practice in the community and offers a hugely discounted rate for our stay.  The wonderful, long, hot shower was a blessing.  Tomorrow, we begin.

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