Saturday, January 5, 2008
FELIZ NAVIDAD Y ANO NUEVO
Well this year seems to have gone quite rapidly, and to me it feels like we have been back in Guatemala far longer than the almost 4 months since we left NZ. Since I last wrote we have kept ourselves busy. Jerald helped staff an SST which would be similiar to a 2 week long youth camp with 1 week theory and 1 weel practical helping local churches/ministries. With the healthcare school we have completed 2 clinics. Currently (two days last week and 3 days next week) we are running a clinic in Pacux (http://advocacynet.org/resource/854 - has a report on what happened in this area during the early 80's during the civil war) which is where I stayed for 1 month during my school 3 years ago and it has been great recognizing and hearing stories from the people in that community. We had planned just to complete 2 days of clinic there but there has been quite a lot of patients we have had to turn away each day so we are extending our time there.
For Christmas we spent the first few days of our holiday finishing up the wooden chest we started a few months ago. Christmas day we decided to go exploring and found a nearby waterfall, at the cafe there I had a whole turkey leg in Kak'ik (traditional Guatemala soup) and Jerald had a whole grilled fish it was a really good Christmas dinner for about $7 each. Then Boxing day we headed off to Belize because I have to renew my visa. Prior to leaving we had visited the Belizean Embassy in Guatemala City (since it is about a 12 hour trip one way) and they had assured us that Nicaraguans did not need visas. However the immigration officer at the border to Belize decided we needed one and informed us we could buy one for $100 - when I heard that I said 'far out we don't have that much' however she thought I said something else that starts with an f sound and ends with a tch sound so we were taken to her supervisor and I was told off for abusing her staff, which I denied- at this stage I was just thoroughly frustrated because it felt like we were in a Ricki Lake show - 'She said that you said ..... , oh yes you did did mami you called me a ....., why are you lying' so I decided that we were not in fact entering Belize. I had already had my passport stamped - as Jerald was behind me. So I just had to pay my departure fee from Belize and we went on our way back to Guatemala.
The next few months will includes some visiting teachers for the healthcare school mid January the midwife Tammy will be coming for 2 weeks (1 week theory and 1 week of women's cinics at the healthcare post here in San Miguel Chicaj) and we will complete an extended outreach of 6 weeks for the healthcare school (finishing 4th April), Jerald will be organising an outreach for a visiting DTS in the next few weeks and taking more time to improve the communication/updates here at the base to keep people more up to date with what is happening and to be able to plan effectively for teams that come through to visit or work.
Hope you enjoy the photos, Jerald and Tina.