Saturday, March 30, 2013


We counseled the mom that her son needed a splint and then, in a couple of days when the swelling went down, he would need a cast on the fractured arm. She wasn't sure about this course of treatment because hueseros (traditional bone "doctors" in Guatemala) often treat fractures and sprains with manual manipulation, distraction, and massage without a cast. It took some convincing, but she allowed us to put on a temporary splint.

We thought that the patient might not come back for the cast, as often patients don't, but the mother did bring her son back 2 days later. The mother told us that many people told her that she should just take him to a huesero, yet against that advice, she brought him back to the hospital and he received his cast.  I was really struck by her courage to make her own decision for her own son, as this is not the norm for people in Guatemala. Family opinion has tremendous influence. We praised the mother for doing what we thought was the right thing for her child.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I saw Christ today.

We had two boys fall out of trees today, both from a height of about 4-5 meters. One had a huge amount of facial swelling, but thankfully no broken bones and the other one had a forearm fracture.

While doing a thorough exam on the second boy, we removed his socks and shoes to make sure we didn't miss any other injuries. He was dirty, his shoes were worn, and his socks were stiff and caked with mud. His family was poor and although he was school age, he was not in school. Public school is free in Guatemala, but the family still needs to provide school supplies, a PE uniform, etc... which is often too much for the family to afford.

A little while later, I saw the nurse with a basin of water washing the boy's feet. He was doing it with such gentleness, compassion, and love. It was Christ washing the feet of one of his followers. It gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. I hadn't asked the nurse to do this and he had other pressing duties, but he took the time out of his business to touch this boy. He wasn't being judgmental or counseling the boy that he should be cleaner. It was just an act of pure love.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


We celebrated all of the girls' birthdays in January.

Brent made Jennifer a truly scrumptious chocolate cake.

Elizabeth had a party with some friends. She picked her own menu and every food happened to be vegetable based -- very interesting for a 9 year old. We had corn chowder, zucchini pancakes, broccoli salad, and carrot cake. One of her grandpas noted, when he saw her birthday photos, that she was all smiles in every picture!

We also celebrated Julianne's birthday with some friends. Her menu consisted of burritos with all the fixings and one of our friends brought bruschetta. We made mousse which was a little runny, but still very tasty.

Kids love having a day that is just for them.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


This collage of pictures come from a local preschool class in Santiago Atitilan.   

It is in the pediatric room in our hospital.  


I especially like the drawing in the upper right, but I may be a little biased!!  :)