Message from Dr. Daining: Today we did not have as busy a day in surgery. We had 5 minor cases today. It was” lump and bump” day. We started off the day with a 30 something yr. old “no show” (scheduled for a circumsion) hmmm? We then removed a keloid scar from a young woman’s shoulder. Dr. Boogs wanted to have the patient go home in a sling. We did not have 1 available so Dr Boogs took a surgical towel and found a strap and hand sewed it with suture to devise a sling. This is called improvising! 🙂 We did a few more cases after that . This slower O.R. schedule gave Dr. Dale the opportunity to drive a taxi!!! I will let Dr Dale tell about that adventure.

Message from Dr. Dale Vander Broek: I got to drive a Bajaj taxi which is a 3 wheel vehicle they are using now in Guaimaca.They use these to transport people around town and support their families. I think I am the first American to have driven one and am considering starting a taxi service in Pella and quitting medicine.

From the brigade outing perspective, we were told the the destination would be only 10 minutes away, and a light clinic day; back by about noon. The ride was pretty, but took an hour; and the clinic was busy with our return approx 3 PM. A high point was seeing an elderly greyhaired woman who has seen us for the past 2 years. The first year we thought she had dementia, but now I think we should all have a mind and spirit like her’s at 80.

Message from Dr. Matt Gritters: Dr. Bruxvoort went out to an orphanage this morning. He had a blast playing with the kids and laughing. He can’t remember when he laughed that much in a day. Lots of wonderful kids there. Rebecca and I stayed here at the hospital to see the patients receiving food assistance. There are fourteen families averaging 4 children receiving this help. They come weekly for rice and beans so their family has something to eat. These are wonderful moms doing their best to take care of their children when they don’t have enough food. It was a treat to meet these families. The children were so well adjusted. They were kind, friendly, and so loving. Most of them wanted hugs and high fives.

One family walked seven miles one way in flip-flops to be seen. Her youngest child was 3, and a relative lives with her and is 78. She also walked here in flip flops. She doesn’t like shoes…they pinch her toes to much. I asked the families what they ate with their rice and beans. Sometimes its a piece of cheese, or an egg, and occasionally a small amount of chicken once per week. During the rainy season they also receive fruits and vegetables from Hospital Batista. In turn the families must work the land to produce the fruits and veggies. Since its the dry season right now, they have almost no fruit to eat, so just rice and beans. Almost all their homes are dirt floors, no running water, and a hole outside for a bathroom. One family did all their laundry and all their bathing in the river. The nutrition is even tougher with intestinal worms. They suck extra nutrients from them that they really can’t spare.

There was an awesome mom that pushed here child in a wheel chair. Her son was 18 and had brain injury from a one hour long seizure when he was 6 months old. She took such good care of him. He had no pressure ulcers or any sores because she was so attentive. Every time he’d drool, she’d catch it before it landed on his arm or clothes. I complimented here on her great care and she beamed. She had been feeling heavy all these years that she had let her son down by not stopping the seizure because they had so little money and lived so far away from medical help. She did a great job, and the outcome would have been the same here even if she made it to the hospital right away (They don’t do much intubation or emergency airways here). She seemed to have a release of guilt after we talked. We had blankets for all the families, and a special blanket for this special wheelchair bound young man. It will keep him warm at night.

We also gave out Spanish Bibles to those that could read. One of the families are raised only by their grandmother. She couldn’t read, but her granddaughter can, so I gave the Bible to her and instructed her to read it to hare grandma every night as a bedtimes story so grandma could sleep better. Both their smiles were priceless.

This afternoon many of us went out on water brigade. We walked behind a 3/4 ton Ford pickup equipped with a 2500Liter water tank filled with fresh pumped water from the compound. We walked the streets of Guaimaca calling out that water is here. The streets were stirred alive with people carrying buckets and cleaned antifreeze and oil bottles to have fresh drinking water to take into their homes. We would often carry their bucket into the home for them. They were so excited to get clean water since it comes every 8 days on average. The town is large and it takes that long to make a full circuit. I don’t know how they stretch 5 or ten gallons out for all their needs for 8 days. There is so much joy and so much excitement. What a privilege we have to be here meeting such great people and sharing water together.

We really enjoy it here. It’s the last day we serve. Tomorrow most are going to the Valley of the Angels to explore the city and shop before we leave on Saturday. Thanks for your prayers and support.

God bless,

Matt Gritters and all of us here in Honduras