Sunday, February 23, 2014

Guatemala Day Two

First Clinic day!  Our day started out really well because Laverne made it to the compound in time for breakfast. As we ate, we could see several patients already waiting. It took us a few minutes to get our clinic rooms organized and ready to see patients. Since our cases of instruments and supplies had still not arrived, we had to improvise. Several of the patients we treated needed fillings. We needed to mix the filling material, which comes in individual carpules, at a high rate of speed. Unfortunately, the machine we normally use was in one of those crates that we did not have. 

There is a man at the compound named Joe who is responsible for keeping the machines and instruments up and going. He's a Canadian who moved his family to Guatemala several years ago. He's also very ingenious when it comes to fixing things with limited materials. He rigged a Dremel tool to shake our little carpules with the filling material - and it worked! This enabled us to save teeth we would have had to take out if we could not fill them. 

There is a photo-journalism team on this trip from Cal State Fullerton. I don't think any of us have ever been photographed as much as we have been today. It's been interesting, to say the least. The students have also been very helpful, working as interpreters at times. 

The best news of the day? Mid-afternoon, our crates arrived! It was a blessing to get to work with instruments and equipment we were familiar with. We did fillings or extractions on 29 patients and cleaned the teeth on 24. The medical team has been doing surgeries all day long. It is 8 PM as I'm writing this, and there are still 2 patients in the operating room. 

It's been a busy, full day. It is interesting hearing the stories of the people we are working with, who have come from all over the U.S. to serve here. God is blessing us by allowing us to hear many interesting stories, and meeting new friends. 

See you here tomorrow!

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