Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Furry Friends in Guatemala

Hello again from my home south of border.

I remember all my days being fond of little furry creatures. Perhaps it was for me the most difficult decision coming here, was to whom would I entrust my two doggies. Fortunately I chose two families that took them in and I know they continue to do well in Washington state. Since shortly after my arrival in the mission I obrained my first new dog, Chajinel, a pretty grey and white HUSKY. I remember how quickly his paws grew and he soon had a doggie house and small yard. Chapin, a cute mutt, followed into my life here. Hazys mama cat is forever having kitties, and one is mine, PRINCE. I have not had a cat of my own before but he has become special too. He roams about now and likes to drop inside, especially when it rains Prince like to play with Chapin and jump up on top of Chajinels fence to rest. Besides those creatures in the mornings I often sit and sip coffee and look at the beautiful birds that fly in and out of the trees that surround us. I got a pair of binoculars for my 65th birthday and a birdie book from my sister to make it more interesting. St Francis is for sure an important saint for me. Due to inheriting my moms Irish faith I have a deep faith and I have my St Francis statue, and small figurines of animals I have collected over the years from friends and family. Also a picture of this saint is over my desk in our clinic office. The animals here are thin and often sickly. I feel a bit guilty spending my coins on their food and care but I know it is ok to do so. They are important part of my life as always.

Here today we are concerned as the swine flu is gripping Mexico and causing death and fear. Each day we will be evaluating the situation for we and those we serve and for visitors scheduled to come. Hopefully it will not become more an issue for the people whose defenses are down and the reality that medications are not available for the poor for ordinary diseases.

We are very fortunate to have one worker who accompanies patients to hospitals and for diagnostic tests. He is in the city today with one of our workers and his ten year old son, Samuel, who has a disease since birth that he was not aware of. His case is complicated and we hope he will get the care he deserves as a child. His diagnosis is Hirsprungs disease and major surgery may be required. One needs great patience as several visits are made to hospital before one sees progress in care or even being admitted. Tomorrow we hope admittance will happen.

Today I found old fotos of the clinic and workers and friends that brought back many memories.

It has been a blessing to have been able to return again here after an absence of almost 23 years.

My arrival was in 1966 and I was here until 1983. I return again in 2006. Memories are too many and too precious but they are in my heart forever.

Time for food and end of day. Peace from here. Sheila