We had our last day of clinic yesterday. We were able to see 901 patients this year. It was a fantastic trip as usual. After breakfast today we will be going to Antigua today. We are going to try to find a textile museum this time. Our team members have stayed healthy throughout the trip. It seems like we have had more time to get to know each other on this trip.
We have made many new friendships. I do miss everyone from home. I haven't sewn anything in over a week. So, in Antigua I will get so see the wonderful Guatemalan ladies weaving their beautiful cloths. Peace and Love to all. Love, Sue
Hola mi amigos and amigas!
Buenos dias! Okay, now I am done with my expertise in Espanol. Other than Abra la boca or Oithos (open your mouth and ears). That was thanks to my medical student ana, who is charming. I want to start by thanking you all for praying for our team. We all continue to stay healthy other than some sinus stuff, and we all are incredibly enjoying working and fellowshipping together. I continue to be amazed at God's blessings on us all. We finished clinic yesterday and now today we head to El Yelu to see the village that Los Olivas works with and then to Antigua. It should be a great day. It is so beautiful here, and the people are gracious and kind. I have been humbled with the giving toward us in feeding us, caring for us, taking all our needs into consideration when we came to serve them. I am also amazed at the caring of mothers and those that take children in to raise them. Have a wonderful day!
I am so looking forward to seeing you Paul and Anders and telling you all about this and hearing about your week. Love you!
Good Morning all,
I hope all is well with you all and in Wisconsin you are not too cold! It is another beautiful morning here in Sumpango, Guatemala. We had our last day of clinic yesterday. We saw a total of 901 patients. It was an amazing experience. I was amazed how patient the Guatemalan people are. They would have to wait sometimes for a few hours to be seen but they sat there smiling and never complaining. Even the children were very good and sweet! Since I don't know Spanish, I can tell you a smile goes a long way. I received lots of hugs and kisses from the Guatemalan people. We got to work with wonderful Guatemalan MD's and Medical and Dental students. What a great experience! God has truly blessed our group on this trip! I am going to Antigua today for a culture day which will be a cool experience. All my love and see you all soon!
Very hard to believe we have already been through 4 days of clinic and have it closed down. The final count through pharmacy was 901. All patients go through pharmacy so we use them for our official count. Even if everything else checks out they still receive toothpaste, a toothbrush and vitamins. After breakfast and morning devotional we are spending today in La Antigua. I think I will be able to get better photos of the volcanoes. We will make a quick stop in a small village named El Yalu. My understanding is that they have very few material resources, much less than Sumpango. I will be very happy to see you guys and it is only one day away now. Hope you guys did well through the extreme cold but am glad to hear that it is warming up now. I have many pictures and stories to share. Miss you very much. Eddy/Dad/Brother in Christ
Today is our last day in clinic. We held three straight night clinics and today was our first early morning start. It makes for a tough stretch and seems like one long day but again, everyone is terrific. Great attitudes abound. Today we tentatively plan to start breaking down the clinic around 3:30 PM. Very hard to believe the end is so close. We are still all constantly in awe of the spirit of our Guatemalan brothers and sisters. They are so very thankful for whatever we have to offer and never seem to complain. They don't have a lot of material resources but are very content and eager to share. Their joy at receiving even basic care just makes you want to do so much more for them. You can tell the delight and love they have for their children. I have heard several comments about how well the mothers take care of their children even under less than ideal conditions. I am not sure who is helping who the most but as you can tell, I am truly touched by our friends here in Sumpango. I know the memories and blessings I have received are much more than I am able to give. For that I am in their debt. We love and miss you guys back home and will see you in a couple of days.
Today marks the last day of clinic. Our team nailed the night clinic "trial-run" and successfully carried out three consecutive night clinics (woohoo!). Today we are up at the crack of dawn, getting ready to "finish strong" and close clinic this afternoon and begin the packing/inventory process. Thank you for your prayers. Our seasoned travelers and the leadership at Los Olivos continue to comment on how smoothly the week has gone in every way. This is God's blessing! Yesterday was "hump day," but the energy of the team was just as strong if not stronger than before!
So yes, all is well in Guatemala. At the same time, our team is learning flexibility. Last night, we arrived back at the orphanage to a "Code Brown" situation which required the immediate evacuation of two of our four dormitory rooms. Two of the communicating bathrooms evidently had sewage backup due to a tree root blocking one of the underground pipes. The girls (poor girls!) had to move back into the room they started with initially (the room known as "the arctic tundra" with icy showers). Although we have been playing "musical rooms" here and now have twenty people to one room, everyone is taking it in stride. I think we are all so tired at the end of the day that regardless of the number of people crammed together, the room is still rumbling with little whiffle snores from each bunk. Yep, "Just the way we like it" here-we're learning to praise and give thanks in all circumstances!
We send our love to you all and look forward to telling you more of what God accomplishes today in this adventure!
The food-WOW! Just want to let everyone know what an awesome food experience we are having! I thought I was going to come down here after the new year and start the traditional diet we all do after all the cookies and Christmas treats. Not happening! Even picky Megan loves the food! I want to bring home a cook with me since I have always disliked cooking-think that would be OK Ken? Didn't we just talk about hiring a cook-you would love it? Even desserts are fabulous! We were given special cakes the other night that have a baby Jesus cooked into them to bring blessings to those who get the piece He is in. I was honored to get a baby Jesus in my piece! After dinner and a long talk to midnight with Dr. Dan I went back to go to shower and sleep and I finally laid down and remembered my baby Jesus was not in my possession and that my plate was missing when I left so at that point I was very saddened and wondering if I should go dumpster diving in the middle of the night. I was assured by the Guatemalans that I did not have to keep him to be blessed but funny thing before breakfast I broke my cross necklace-now what should I think. So a big "Thank You" to our Guatemalan friends for serving us with such love! We are seeing some interesting things in dental can't wait to share!
Today is our last clinic day. It is always sad to say goodbye to our friends here. I am always so happy to see some of the same Guatemalan friends every year that I come to Sumpango. I have tried to speak and write in Spanish a little more this year. Tony has helped us in Pharmacy as he has every year. He introduced me to his Father and future Father in Law. They knew a little bit of English and I know un pocito Spanish. I know I spelled that wrong. I am hoping to get some recipes from the fantastic foods that we have been served. I am planning for next year already. I always start a list of what to do different for next year. Mili, our local teenager that helped last year has helped in Pharmacy again this year. Her Aunt owns a Pharmacy here. We have picked up a few things from her that we have ran out of. Mili is going to Pharmacy school starting in February. Our group has really worked well together. We haven't been without interpreters (which is wonderful). I will be preparing for the cold in Wisconsin during the next few days. It has been in the 70s every day here. We have told our helpers that we have snow for 6 months every year. Some of them have never seen snow. Well, I am just rambling now. I can't wait to see everyone. Once again I have lots of pictures. Take care everyone. Love, Sue Ecklund
Hello Tina, Abby and Joshua,
I love and miss you guys very much. Yesterday was a great day aside from not having you guys here. We got to spend time with the children and I got to meet Edwin. You guys would love him. He is very nice and loves to play and have fun. I have pictures and video to share when I return home. Everyone on the team are great. I can't say enough about their "can do" attitude and willingness to pitch in wherever and however needed. Guatemala is beautiful. Seeing the volcanoes on the horizon is just awesome. The people are so appreciative and genuine. They don't have an easy life or a lot of "stuff" but you would never know it by their attitude. I will be very happy to see you guys this weekend. Love and miss you. Eddy / Dad.