Monday, February 25, 2013

Wrapping it up

Just because we're home, it doesn't mean the work is done! One last gathering today, to turn in trunks, store/dispose of medication, fill out paperwork, etc.

I took over 3200 photos, and over the next few weeks I will edit them and burn them to a DVD to distribute to all of the trip participants. I will also pick the best of the best, and post a photo gallery for all to see. Thanks for following us on this blog, and we appreciate your support!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Home sweet home

We didn't have to leave for the airport until about 9:30 a.m., so we had some time to sleep in a little, eat some breakfast, and enjoy one last stroll around the park. A few people even got their shoes shined.

Our flight left on time at around 1:30, after another chaotic airport check. Everything ran on time, and landed in Kansas City at 11 p.m., slightly ahead of schedule.

I wasn't thrilled with the the scene that greeted me when I got home, after getting used to highs in the 80s for a couple weeks. Back to reality!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Last full day in Guatemala

We had a pre-dinner pinata celebration last night, and Dr. Magie took the honors of finally breaking that thing open, releasing candy everywhere. I think he may have been a baseball player during high school and college.

For lunch today, many of us took a short excursion to a macadamia nut farm. It was a very peaceful respite from the noise and pollution of the city. We went on a brief tour of their operations:

Then we had the best pancakes I have ever tasted - macadamia nut pancakes with blackberries and macadamia nut butter. To close it off, many took advantage of a free facial (using macadamia nut oil, of course).

The next post will probably be from cold, snowy Kansas City. See you soon!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blizzard in Kansas City, 80 degrees in Guatemala

While Kansas City enjoyed getting a foot of snow, here in Guatemala we enjoyed lounging poolside. After we shut down our last clinic around 1:00, it was a short walk to a waterpark, with several pools and a long, fast waterslide, which Dr. Ogden tried out:

They also presented to all of the participants certificates of appreciation.

We have one full day to wrap things up and enjoy the warm weather before returning home to family and friends. It's been a great trip, but I think I speak for everyone when I say we can't wait to get home!

Mission accomplished!

We made a return visit to Santa Cararina Barahona this morning. The good news - it's a short bus ride, and we wrapped up around 1:00. The bad news - it's among the most challenging locations, as far as space and traffic flow. We were split among two floors, with small rooms and narrow hallways. A steep ramp or a narrow, steep staircase were the only ways upstairs.

However, we cranked through 200 patients, and succesfully wrapped up our last clinic day. It's been an absolutely exhausting two weeks, and it's hard to believe our work is finished for this year. I'm so proud of the hard work and dedication that everyone on this trip - students, faculty, alumni, and volunteers - have shown.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Evening entertainment

After returning to the hotel after clinic today, we enjoyed a wine and cheese social on the rooftop. We were divided into teams, and were assigned to bring a red or white wine from a certain region and/or a snack (I was on the Argentina white team).

Then after dinner, some of us took salsa lessons. At least those of us who do not have two left feet.

San Juan Alotenango

We made a return visit to San Juan Alotenango, which is always fun, since we have a nice view of a constantly erupting volcano. The eruptions are usually a puff smoke, like the following photo, but still interesting to watch:

While we were hard at work up above, women were busy down below doing laundry.

As usual, there was a long line waiting. Our best guess for a patient count is about 350. Once again, we had to cut off the line, and turn the stragglers away, with just some vitamins. It's a reminder that the need always exceeds the resources.


We seemed to have an abundance of cute babies today:

And we had time to have a little fun: