Thursday, September 30, 2010
FRIENDS AND FAMILY,
My days and nights in Ireland have gone so fast. From Dublin, to Donegal, to the shores of County Cork. I am tired but happy. It has been wonderful to be with cousins and share stories of our parents.
That generation is now in the HEAVENS with our GOD. Mom and dad were both born near the sea; both grandfathers were well known fishermen in the area. My dad, the only son sent to America, worked hard in the Butte Mines and died there so many years ago. He never was able to return home and could afford to send little money to his family, living difficult times in Ireland. There was no pot of gold for the immigrants then and that is still a reality for immigrants today. I brought mom home to IRELAND forty years ago and we were able to visit her siblings and families and also my dads so this is my second visit with most of my cousins. I had vowed to keep a diary of my days but that seemed impossible to slow and at the end of day I slept peacefully in the cool breeze and drizzle of rain on the window pane. I am off to London to visit more cousins and a few missionaries from Guatemala. Also a JOY for me. We have much to share and celebrate.
Yesterday, with a cousin on my moms side, we walked three miles on an almost deserted island where our family home still stands. Today I am in a small restaurant on a fishermans pier, waiting for the boat to come in, and back to Castletown Bere, County Cork, Ireland!
I miss dear friends in Guatemala and my cute little doggie, COCO.
I will be back with them soon. Pray for them as the rain pounds down and landslides continue to bring suffering in that part of the world.
Attatched; Photo of my cousin Mary Teresa of Castletown Bere, CORK in her kitchen,
Me and my cousin Nora in Pub in Carrick, DONEGAL
Picture of my moms home in Dursey Island, CORK and my Dads home in
Carrick, DONEGAL IRELAND!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Friends and Family,
It has been more than thrity years since I was in Ireland, so it is lovely. I am with my cousin, Michael, from England. Today, despite a wee tired from all night journey, I walked along the IRISH SEA and had a lovely lunch with Michael and another cousin, Seamus.
Tonight we stayed with our Dublin cousins, enjoyed a lovely curry dinner and talked past midnight of the lives of our parents. Mary, wife of Seamus, Michael and myself are all from the McShane clan of Donegal. Tomorrow Michael and I will head off to Donegal by car.
I enclose my first few fotos.
Myself by the Irish sea in Dublin
Myself with cousins Michael and Mary
Posted by Sheila at 4:30 PM
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friends and Family,
I was dismayed how one must walk in airports from one flight to another. I was rather exhausted when I finally arrived. My vacation has begun. I am in New York and it is wonderful to have computer access as it is impossible to leave it all behind. I know their are hurricaines brewing and stirring in the Atlantic and Pacific and it is good to be able to follow the happenings through the internett and Guatemalan papers and know friends are safe.
Yesterday I went to a parish picnic, here in Rochester NY with my sister's family, which was fun. Interestingly for me, her parish is named for the patron saint, ST THOMAS THE APOSTLE, the same as our parish in Guatemala. I was able to sell a few crafts for support of the Clinica Maxena en Guatemala and I am happy that my family has an interest in my mission vocation.
Tomorrow I leave for Ireland and I will be met by one of my cousins at the Dublin airport; we will travel together the first week as are off to Donegal, Ireland, the birthplace of my dad and his mom. I will also go to County Cork where my mom was born. I hope to have yas travel along with me and I will write and send some pictures.
Attatched Photo at St Thomas Apostle Parish in Rochester NY with my Niece Judy helping to sell Guatemala Crafts for Clinic.
Beautiful Rainbow from GOD at Niagra Falls.
Donations can be sent to www.diocesehelena.org note it is for the Clinica Maxena
Posted by Sheila at 5:05 AM
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Friends and Family!
This Saturday I will leave for Guatemala city with the Ophthamologists. Times on the road are still very difficult due to continued rains and landslides, bridges out. I will stay in city for rest, errands and to visit a few friends before I leave on vacation on TUESDAY; I am off to New York and to Ireland. I am excited and happy to travel. I have all my first cousins in the EMERALD ISLE so it will be fun. I also will visit with Irish and English former missionaries and visit also CSJP in Rearsby, England. I am an associate of the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace, CSJP, and prior there was an English Province; now we are one Congregation. On return I will go to New Jersey and to the CSJP assembly in October. Visit our CSJP web site to know a little of that part of my life and committment. I am bringing some Guatemalan crafts to sell at the assembly and I hope also to visit the Irish Catholic Relief to look for support for our clinic.
Emergencies and surgeries for the POOR are an necessary expense for the clinic. We all have the same human rights and dignity as human beings. As an American I have always enjoyed excellent health care. It is impossible at times to send a child to the government hospital, when it is a matter of life and death. Yesterday, a two month old infant, who has been to consult here with a hernia, arrived with the hernia strangulated. We had anticipated that this infant would have surgery at the Minnesota mission in their surgeries by volunteer american surgeons in October. Now it was an emergency. We knew it was high risk to send this baby to the national hospital; the availability of Pediatric anesthesiologist is rare. His surgery is less than one thousand dollars. The surgery was performed last night in a private hospital. His dad is an unemployed construction worker. The mission has much work in maintenance that is pending so the clinic contracted the father to work in the clinic maintenance and he will pay this debt gradually by work. Last week we also paid the surgery of an 80 year old woman who needed urgently the intervention of a urologist. We have also asked the son to do garden work at the mission to pay some of this debt to the clinic. Last nite a family arrived at my door. Their 13 year old son fell carrying fire wood. He is in the government hospital with a fractured thigh and the family has to pay for the orthopedic pin and a special powder needed for healing of the bone. Again the cost is over one thousand dollars and this is in the government hospital where one expects the care to be free for the POOR, but not reality. Our Doctor Ever works tonite at the government hospital and he will investigate this need and see how we can help this poor family with this health crisis.
We are grateful to friends who make occassional contributions to help our budget. Many of the eye surgeries are done without cost. Others do pay less than one hundred dollars for Cataract surgery, so there is a little extra income to the clinic this week. Most of all thank you for your prayers and accompaniement to the Mayan people of Guatemala. We are all GOD´s CHILDREN!!!
Enclosed photo of Manuela, 80 year old patient with her daughter, at clinic for check up. Also a photo of infant Diego, post op emergency hernia operation, being examined by Ever, our clinic doctor as his mom looks on.
You can donate to help our patients of the Clinica Maxeña at web page
www.helenadiocese.org Note it is for the Clinic
Thank You! and blessings from GUATEMALA.
Posted by Sheila at 4:25 AM
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Friends and family,
Determination and committment to share their expertise with the Mayan population of Guatemala, brought a team of knowledgeable opthamologists to the Clinica Maxeña this week. This is the 15th year for the Eye Brigade to come and perform cataract and terigium surgeries; they come faithfully two times a year.
This year was a great challenge. The Ministry of Health is making it extremely difficult for volunteer doctors to enter medicines and surgical equipment, through customs, for these types of medical campaigns for the POOR! It appears related to the loss of finances through taxes that could be charged. Although the clinic filled all the necessary paper work as instructed, permission was not granted. However, thanks to faith and committment, this did not deter this Medical Team. They put all needed for the surgeries in their regular baggage and passed through customs as tourists.
The wheather is also a huge obstacle. Instead of a three hour journey from the city to the Mission, it took six hours. They had to wait in a line of cars for three hours to pass through a two mile dirt road detour because of a collapse of a bridge. Rains continue to cause landslides, floods and major highway damage.
The patients also were not deterred by the wheather obstacles. They are arriving in bus, car and on foot. Surgeries began Monday and will continue through friday.
Pray for a safe return of the Doctors and their medical assistants who have made this journey to provide this excellent service in the Clinica Maxeña.
Thanks also to Dr Joe Kuptco, Ophthamologist of Hamilton Montana, who made possible the construction of the Optamological operating room in the Clinica Maxeña, many years ago.
Please send donations to: www.diocesehelena.org to assist us in care of patients in the Clinica Maxeña. Note that it is for the CLINIC.
Thank You and Blessings!
I attach three Photos!
Miguel gives instructions to the process of pre examination to the patients awaiting to be examined for possible surgery.
Dr Robert, assisted by his nurse wife, Nancy, perform cataract surgery in the operating room of the Clinica Maxeña.
An elderly cataract patient in one of dormitory beds in Mission.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Friends and family,
This past week or so has been very difficult as the rains continue to pour out of the heavens and saturate the earth beneath our feet. Yesterday was brought saddness in the country as two major landslides took many lives as the dirt came down unexpectedly on a bus and also in another area many are missing still under the landslide; some were walking, some in cars. Pray for these families. These two incidents have closed one of major hiways from city, except for emergency vehicles.
Here in the mission our electrical system was hit by lightning. It took four days to get all wires changed and circuit boxes fixed, but just in time for arrival today of Opthamologists from US, who will perform surgeries in the CLINIC. We are blessed to have Martin, head of maintenance in the Clinic, as he performed a complex job as a professional. All his knowledge, in plumbing,construction and electricity, he has learned from visitors to our mission. We are especially grateful to Monty Giles, who had put in the present wiring at the Mission. We did a telephone conference for advice to Monty when Martin could not figure out why some circuit breakers still did not have correct voltage. THANK YOU MONTY!!
News informs that to the wheather in Guatemala, "the worst is yet to come", and in the month of September and October. Pray for the POOR whose homes are not made to withstand this rain and many have already lost many personal belongings and family members because of floods and landslides.
You can support our work at the Clinic by sending your donation to:
THANK YOU AND BLESSINGS!!!
I include a picture of Martin, working into the night, to solve the electrical problems at the Mission of the diocese of Helena,Montana, in Guatemala"
Posted by Sheila at 9:00 AM