Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday - Copan

After having an awesome week of medical clinics and construction of 2 houses, we are now in Copan, and trying to make use of every minute of the day. As I am writing this morning - Sunday - 5 of our group are headed out for the canopy tour. On Saturday though, we arrived in Copan around 11:30, had some lunch, and went to the Ruinas de Copan. After touring the Mayan site, the next adventure was horseback riding. We found a new guide who seemed to be very honest and will try to keep his card to look him up next year. He happens to be the brother of the guide we had at the ruins. After riding and lots of sore body parts, shopping was the next thing on the agenda, and we stayed mostly on the street that leads down to Carnita´s, where we had our usual traditional meal on the upper level. All were amazed at how the staff were carrying bottles and glasses on top of their heads. Also, it was fun to watch the cook at the grill with the bellows to heat up the fire.

The day was full, but we all had soooo much fun and time to relax and enjoy our free time together. The hotel is very beautiful, and the rooms are great. Gustavo has the best room ' the ´honeymoon suite´! He even has a grande screen TV. The town was very busy today, and tonight was very noisy. Besides lots of loud music and drums, they were shooting off fireworks every 5 minutes or so...... probably till 2:00 AM or later. Most of us were able to sleep through it anyhow.

Well, this is just a quick update. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will update this and write up some more stories for you.

Thanks for all your prayers and support! This week has been incredible, and you´ll have to talk to our team to hear their stories.

We hope to be back in San Pedro Sula by 5:00 today, so that we can go out to Gracias a Dios one last time. We want to pick up the letters from our penpals from Pastor Juan, and we also want to see if Mauricio and Josue´finished the house. After that, we will probably see Dinora and her family in the evening, along with Aurora, give them our gifts, and say our good-byes, as we will be leaving for the airport around 4:30 in the morning on Monday.

For the team, Bob

Friday, March 20, 2009

Gracias a Dios

This picture is of Pastor Juan and Miguel helping a 100 year old man hike up the mountain to his house! He actually did most of it on his own. We just helped the last few steps when we saw him!

The medical team and construction team were both in Gracias a Dios today, and both had an awesome day.

We were able to finish all of the house except the roof, which Mauricio and Josue will finish on Saturday.

The medical team had a good, more relaxing day too, as the people of this village are very good at helping out the team.

The stories that were shared tonight at our team meeting were very moving - some very sad, and others just too funny to be true. Ask Jake about the attack chicken sometime!
We were laughing and crying for about an hour, and all agree that we had a week that has changed our lives forever.

I´m writing this with only a couple minutes left before the internet office closes, so we´ll have to write more later!

I believe we´re all healthy again, and are looking forward to the weekend in Copan.

for the team at Projecto MAMA, SPS

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday March 19th

Today was another fun day for both teams. The medical team departed to the village of Santiago, Pimienta. It was our first time to the community, and we could sense the need for our presence immediately. In all, we cared for 170 patients. Once again, we were saddened to see the trouble the community was having with high blood pressure, but the team has faith in their ability to overcome since there is a nurse living in their community and the teachers were all very supportive. We treated many cases of scabies in the community, as well as serious wounds. Colleen and Sandy helped a 50 year old woman with 8 children that had walked an hour to reach the clinic to seek help for a severely infected burn to her lower leg and later Tanya and Colleen helped an older lady that had an infected wound on her arm. Then, before departing home, Karen, Rolando, and Colleen made a "house call" to a young man in his 20´s that lived three "blocks" from the clinic. He had sustained a serious injury to his leg 10 years ago after being struck by a vehicle and thrown off the road. He never was able to seek proper medical care since then, and as a result had lost circulation to the front of his leg. Of course, we would not have made it through the day with out the determined work of our ¨Pharmacia¨ of Brittany and Kathy. On a brighter side, Carmen annointed the community´s church and school; the people were incredibly gracious. Her incredible strength brought light and hope the community. Jake and Tanya had lots of fun taking pictures of all of the children and their families, and provided them with a lifelong keepsake of the day by printing out pictures for them to take home. Jake was also asked for his number and email (oo-la-la!)
The building team continued their work today on Don Alejandro´s home in Colonia Gracias a Dios for our pen pal Paola and her mother and father. They were able to put up a second front wall facing the valley giving the family an absolutely beautiful view! They had an easy morning framing the walls of the home, and then had some heavier work carrying additional building materials up 95 uneven, GIANT steps up the mountain (Bob counted!) 7 times in the evening. Pastor Juan beat them all with the amount of materials he carried, and made it look easy. Steve is now speaking fluent Spanish with Pastor Juan, Mauricio, and Josue´ as well as the children they play with as they take breaks (while they left the planning to the experts). They no longer have a translator really with them, but are all able to understand one another quite well. The team is working hard, while still taking some time out for fun. They plan on finishing the last two walls tomorrow, but will not be able to see the roof go up before we depart for Copan.

Submitted by: Colleen, Tanya, and Sandy

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back on track...Wednesday March 18th

Hey everyone!
Today was a great day for both teams. The medical team started the day out going to a banana plantation that provides bananas for Dole! We were given a tour of the plantation and learned the process of harvesting bananas. We learned it takes 9 months to grow one bunch (100 bananas)- UNBELIEVABLE! We learned the extreme amount of hard work that goes into placing yummy bananas in our stores each day. It was neat to see that the bananas are actually broken off the stem with a string rather than a knife.
After the plantation, the medical team departed for Santa Rita and the Good Shepherd village. The community was AMAZING! They have so much love to spread around. From the moment we arrived, there was a trail of little kids running after us because they were so excited to have us there. The MAMA team has been involved with the community for many years, and it was uplifting to learn how much the community has grown in four years; as Carmen mentioned she was able to return four years later and feel God´s presence. We were able to help 117 individuals, from ages 26 days old to 74 years old. The kids were so much fun, and Tanya, Jake, Colleen, and Brittany felt very connected to them all. Kathy had even had a dream the night before that Jake was feeding pieces of his sandwich to all the children. Rolando and Sandy later commented on how much promise they saw in the community. We encountered a very strong woman who touched all of our hearts, she has 12 children and her husband just passed away. She has no job, and three of the children she took in from her niece to raise. She was unsure how she was going to provide for her family, but she was still a strong light in the community. Karen was amazed that the children took their worm medicine with such conviction- even though they did show some distaste afterwards! The community is so strong, and you could sense they had an understanding how important it was to care for their health in order to be strong for the others they live with. It still amazes the team that despite what little material possessions the individuals of the communities we visit have, they are rich with their faith for God and give freely and unselfishly. The pure spirit of the community uplifted us all after two long days working thus far.
The construction team had a very difficult day. They spent most of the morning hauling lumber up a very steep, long (and sometimes trecherous) hill. They were able to erect one wall and hope to get much more accomplished tomorrow. The children of the village are very interested in their work, and very helpful as they try to play where their building (hahaha). Steve and Bob returned home with very sore muscles, but otherwise had an injury free day (unlike the day before when they were shocked by a frayed wire-ouch!) They are getting a great tan though! :-) And lots of exercise too!

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we reach the end of our week!

Submitted by: Colleen Bish and Sandy Gemmell

For yesterday haha

Hello to all.
It seems that we are all behind a day here because the computers didn´t work and the members that wrote the night before didn´t have time for another blog so here is yesterdays. Bob and steve left early in the morning on time with Gustavo after our breakfast. The problem is Auroa was on Hondurian time haha. She didn´t come until 830 and colleen could not go to the clinic with us. She has an upper resperatory infection and a fever i am happy to report that today she is ok and went. So anyway we went to a small community only about 10 minutes away from our hotel and the living conditions here were absolutely horrendous. The water was their sewer and the roads were not able to be accessed by cars so we walked. They closed school for us because it was the only place that they had big enough for us. No sooner than we got settled Brit sliced her hand on a fan. She sucked it up and continued. It was hot and humid all day and even though the conditions were poor the peoples hearts were as large as they could possibly get. Smiles all around. Even at lunch (Ham sandwiches and cheeetos) they were throwing our trash away for us. After triage was over tanya and i (jake) taught the kids how to play duck duck goose. However we did not know the word for goose so we played duck duck parrot. We saw over 170 patients and they all were content to wait in line. We played with the kids and when we went to leave we had no space in the pickup truck so all of us piled into a 5 passenger truck. all 14 of us. Dinner was chicken and rice and everybody packed for tomorrow and hit the hay.

The mama team
(Written by Jake Clements)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March 16 2009

late entry, computer were down for Monday. We went to Miller community (?), it was the first day for clinic. We saw 136 patient plus many for just deworming and vitamins. A rough start but we have quickly caught on and have been sucessful since. A couple cases were, one was a servere case of fungis on an elderly women´s lower calves and feet. Karen and Colleen washed them in iodine and bandaged them well in dressings. We supplied her with enough medications to hopefully provide her with some relief. Another case would be an eight day old baby, newborn that was helathy and well to a very proud mom. We adminstered prenatal vitamins to mom who was nursing. We treated the very old and the very young. Alot of anemia and ¨gripe and tos¨ which means coughs and running noses. The people of the community were so thankful, they gave us corn and melons even though they struggle to feed themselves. It would be an insult not to take them, but it was hard. The people waited hours to get medical attention. It was brought up in devotion that back at home we tend to get impatient after 15 minutes. The men made incredible progress on the elderly women´s home. She sent home limes with Jake, we used them in our aqua. They built up walls with blocks, and steve went from being a balconeer to a traveler in one day. (ask him when you see him haha) We learned about what Honduran time is, very calm and patient and sometime even slow except for their driving. Bob is our fearless leader and Kathy our strong and silent leader. Brittany our brillant idea person, who improvises very quickly on her toes. At the end of the day we were dividing the Robitussin into plastic baggies. Rolando and Carmen are priceless I couldnt see us without them. Also, all the Honduran MAMA staff are our rescuers. All together we make an awesome team.

miss you all
Tanya and Sandy

Sunday, March 15, 2009

INFA and the Dedication

Hello Friends,

Today was day two of our trip and boy was it a wake up call. We first woke up for breakfast at 630 (well everyone but cathy, Karen, Brittany, and Carmen Karen woke them up at 430). Then we were off to the Infa house with the children from 3 months to 12 years old. As soon as we entered the driveway of the orphanage one little boy hopped into the truck and hugged steve before we even got out. And all the other kids were like that. They were pushing each other out of the way just for us to hold them, just for someone to love them. After the initial waves of greeting we went into the office of the director and were debriefed on what the children´s situation was. This is where some people began to get teary eyed. We then exited and were escorted to the schools and then to the babies room. Every one of us got close to one of the babies in there, and they would cry when we tried to put them down. This was the biggest reality check of the day. After we left the babies room we went down to a classroom and handed out bubbles and coloring books. Soon after that we said goodbye to our new friends and regretfully left the place that made us all get choked up. Our next stop was the next level of treatment for children 13-18 all girls. We arrived at another bolted gate and walked through a beautiful garden. Next we met the girls and they shared songs with us, so Karen lead a singing of 606 with us to give back. Candy was given out and we left shortly thereafter. The construction workers met the woman receiving our work over the next couple of days. In the evening we attended a child dedication service at pastor juan´s church. Bob lead the dedication and made Ken proud. Pastor Juan was very passionate in his sermon about job and reminded all of us of Bill Martin. Haha. They sang very loudly with a full band and most of us couldn´t hear when we left. Gustavo drove us home and we are shortly going to bed now. Hope to write again tomorrow
The Mama Group members
(written by Jake Clements)


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday - Arrived safely

Hi to all our friends!

Arrived safely, including all our suitcases!
Our check-in and security all went smoothly - had excellent customer service who take care of us almost immediately, and were up at the gate in less than an hour.
Gustavo, Aurora, and Dinora were at the SPS airport to meet us, and we loaded up in the small pickup truck and the van. We went to our hotel at Villa Nuria where we spent the next 3 hours or more sorting the suitcases - meds, toys, candy, kits for boys and girls, and then repacking some of the medications. It is warm here - sweaty warm!
At 7:00, Gustavo picked us up and we all went over to Linda Robela´s house for an excellent barbecued chicken dinner with potatoe salad and a lettuce salad. We watched the Projecto MAMA video before we ate, and Linda also told us the story about one of the areas they work in where there are gangs killing innocent people, and they don´t know what to do. As a Christian group, they think they need to be doing something, but they are struggling with what they can or should do.
After the meal, we all were very tired, and came back to the hotel, where most of us were ready to hit our beds.
Tomorrow is another full and long day, and we´re looking forward to spending a good part of the day in the children´s orphanage and the home for young girls - teens. In the evening we´ll be taking part in the worship service with Pastor Juan and the dedication of his baby daughter, Yvonne Nehomi Ramirez Gonzales.

Good night.

Bob, for the team

Monday, March 09, 2009

March Team Preparing Week Before Trip

03/12/09 - Only two days till we leave