Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chimaltenango

Yesterday, at 12:55 I got asked if I wanted to go on one of the village trips at 1:00. I of course said yes! I ran upstairs and quickly changed out of my work clothes. In the hurry of things, I didn't even think to bring a camera. However, one of the girls I went with, Katie, took one photo for me.

The trip that I went on was to Chimaltenango. Before we left our town to go, we stopped at the Bodega, which holds all of the ministries supplies. We loaded up two 40lb bags of food donations, and two big packs of diapers to deliver to the two families we visited. 

The drive took about an hour and a half, mostly on bumpy roads. The things you see while driving in Guatemala, are things you'd never see in the states. Just to name a few:
ladies pushing wheelbarrows (that's what they use to transport things)
ladies balancing baskets on their heads
a bunch of stray dogs, everywhere
stray dogs fighting each other (it's sad to watch)
motorcycles carrying up to four people, all of which aren't wearing helmets
very young children holding onto the backs of their dads on motorcycles, again not wearing helmets
cars playing chicken to the extreme, gives me a heart attack every time.

When we walked into the house, we were greeted with hugs and kisses. (That is how Guatemalans greet one another. Everyday when Anny, Luisa, and Marcilena come to the house they hug/kiss to say hello and goodbye.) They were so happy to see us. Both families were at the same house. One of the families traveled a very long way because they had faith that we would help them and their 4 year old boy with cerebral palsy. We mentioned that we might be able to help get him a wheelchair. When we said that, his mom's face lit up. She's been carrying him strapped to her back for who knows how long, and he's getting pretty big, We took his measurements, and promised that we would be back. 

The other family has a 2 year old boy named Angel with hydrocephalus. You can't see his whole head in this pic, but it's pretty big, and weighed down my arm. He is so cute though, and very bright. His 5 year old brother, I forgot his name, is so careful with him. I can't describe the feeling that came over me though when I saw his mom hold him. You can tell that she loves him so much, and that it hurts her to not be able to do more for him. She was so gentle and loving with him.


One of the ladies in the home offered us a drink (it tasted a little like coffee and a little like tea, not sure what it was) and a little biscuit/cookie/bread thing (not exactly sure how to describe it).  We ate them happily. We visited with them for almost 2 hours. When we said goodbye, they were so thankful and told us how much they loved us. 

The ride home was fun/dangerous/crazy. It was pouring rain, and we drove through some pretty big puddles. I couldn't help but think of my dad who would intentionally drive through puddles to make us kids laugh. He would have loved this!

I'm really happy that I was able to go on this outing, even though it was very last minute. These people didn't have much, but they were so giving and kind. The way that they love their kids is indescribable and it reminded me of God's love for us. I hope to go on more trips while I'm here, but sometimes it's hard because there isn't enough people at the home to help out. Please pray for these families, and the many more that are in need. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Outside Fun

Today I took some of the kids outside. We had a lot of fun.

I love these three girls: Merlyn (just turned 2), Alison (1), and Olympia (3 in December). They are all in the same size clothing. I love it when they wear matching clothes. They are oh so precious. 

Ruavis really enjoyed being in this swing. He has been struggling with diarrhea for weeks now. It is not fun for us, nor for him. He has been on meds for awhile now to help it, but they don't seem to help. Please pray that he gets better soon and we can find out what's wrong.  

I brought out bubbles and the girls loved them. I love the way Oly would clap her hands and try to pop them. 

Brayan was so focused as he blew the bubbles. 


Oh Yeni, Yeni, Yeni. She makes everyday interesting. She knows the typical routine of the day, and if something isn't going right, she will constantly remind you, especially if it is to brush her teeth. One of my favorite things to do with her is ask her to repeat things. The way she pronounces things are so funny, especially broccoli. She has Noonan syndrome. I've never heard of it before I came here. 


She will not go into the trampoline willingly, but after she is in, she'll jump for a good while. I love you Yeni. 

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I know my posts aren't as consistent as I'd like, but things get crazy here, and sometimes I just don't know what to post. If you guys have any questions or ideas of things to post about, please let me know and I'll try and answer them. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Crazy Walk

We went on another walk the other day, but this one was a little bit longer, and it included a very big hill.  A total of 19 of us went, and everyone stared when we walked by. 

Here's most of us waiting while Wanda stopped to pick up some snacks. 

Brayan, Anny (one of the Guatemalan nannies), Merlyn, and Olympia

Alejandra loved wearing her hat! 


Humberto with Luisa (the other Guatemalan nanny)

Me, Alison, Marcilena (our cook/cleaner), and Caesar. I really enjoy talking with Marcilena. She always has a smile on her face, and she is such a good cook! 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Loco Papaya

Sorry that I haven't posted in almost a week. Things have been crazy, but aren't they always? 5 of the kids were sick, and I wasn't feeling too well either. Most of us are on the mend now though. I however am still battling almost a constant headache. And after only eating part of her dinner, Merlyn threw up. I cleaned it up, and almost did too by the smell, but am so glad that I kept my dinner down. Thankfully this time around though, the bugs seem to be biting less. I think its just because of the change in the weather. 

Edy will either have extreme highs or extreme lows. He'll be laughing so much for no reason, or crying and having his very scary episodes. Since coming home from the hospital, it's been a struggle to get him to eat. Before he'd be able to down 4 or 5 ounces every 3 hours in about 15 or 20 minutes. Tonight it took me nearly an hour to get his meds down in 2 ounces of formula. 

Bohnanza is played here in the home a lot. It is a game that involves planting/harvesting/trading/selling beans. I thought it was very weird when I'd watch them play during downtime, however it is very fun. Have you guys ever heard of that game?

"Loco Papaya" is a phrase that gets said here a lot. I'm not sure how it started, but Yeni says it a lot, and we call each other it if someone is doing something weird. Today Yeni kept saying it multiple times. I was feeding Edy on the couch and Bryan came to sit and chat. I called him it and he shouted NO!!! Then I called hms "loco manzana" (crazy apple) and every other fruit and vegetable I knew in Spanish. I felt like my Aunt Tanya who would always call my siblings and I different fruits and veggies. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Dia de Independencia

Guatemala Independence day was yesterday. Because the Guatemalan nannies had off, we treated it as a Saturday, which means very relaxed and no strict schedule. In the morning after getting the kids up, we had a fun morning in the play room. We got out this green tube and the kids had a blast! 

Merlyn and Olympia especially loved it. They would crack up when I would crawl in too. I just love her smile!

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Little Edy has pneumonia. However, he is much happier and back to having his bouts of laughter. :) Please continue to pray for healing. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

In the Hospital

These past few days have been really hard. Just when we thought Edy was doing better, he got worse. I feel completely helpless while I hold him. He cries so much, and you can tell he is in pain. He has so many episodes now of when he stops breathing for a short period of time. He thrashes his arms around trying to catch his breath. It is so hard seeing him like this. We give him meds, but they only work for so long. Yesterday, the doctor came to see him and ordered that his blood be drawn. I was one of the only ones here, so I got to hold him while they took it. He just cried and cried and cried. I starting crying too (how can you not when you see a child in so much pain) as I was singing to him trying to calm him down. Sometimes all we can do for someone in pain is show them the love of Jesus. I held him for four hours straight that afternoon, until the other interns came home and wanted to hold him.


They did a chest x-ray this morning, and the doctor said he should go to the hospital. That is where he is at right now. Please pray for little Edy.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Rain

Yesterday it rained poured. I got to sit in this swing with these three and just watch the drops fall for over an hour. It was a very relaxing thing to do on a Sunday afternoon.  It is pouring again as I'm writing this. I just love the sound of the rain. 

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Ruavis has been having diarrhea issues these past few weeks. Today, I heard it right as he went, and quickly took him to the changing room. I was hoping I caught it before it went everywhere. Nope. And the moment I lifted his legs to wipe, he decided to pee EVERYWHERE! If that's not fun, I don't know what is. :)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Teeth and Meds

During the evening routine on my first trip, I was on diaper duty. This time around, I'm on teeth and meds.  Around 7 I set this up. Here there is a very good system on keeping track of the meds. Every child has their own drawer with their's in it. There is also a medicine chart where you have to initial after administering that medicine to the kid. For some, it's liquid in an oral syringe. For others it's pills you have to crush or liquids you dissolve in bottles. Without the organization, I'd be completely lost!

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Walk and Ice Cream

Guatemala is so beautiful. I went on a walk the other day with Josh, Kimmie, and baby Alison. We stopped at Sarita's for some ice cream. I tried the Cappuccino flavor for the first time and it was delicious. 

 I just love these two girls. Kimmie has the kindest heart, and Alison is the best at making me smile. I shared bites with her and her facial expressions were priceless. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Last Day in the States

On my last day in the states, my Uncle Jack and Baboonya (grandma in Russian) came over to visit. Uncle Jack bought pizza for us and Baboonya got us ice cream treats. My dad also had the people who were home at the time go around and say what they would miss most about me. Then, they all prayed for me. It was a very special moment, and many tears were shed. Thank you all who made my last day special.

My Uncle Jack and I

My Baboonya and I 

I love and miss these guys so much. I hope you're behaving Alex, Oliver, Nolan, and Dennis. 

Anastasia and I

 Thomas and I

  My Svetie Freddie Spaghetti! aka Sveta. She is so sweet and gave me a foot massage on my last day. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Crazy Corn

Edy has been doing so much better these last few days. He has had no episodes and he has been laughing so much. This morning before I got him out of his crib, he was laughing. When I tried giving him his bottle, he kept laughing so much and wouldn't even drink it. Just look at his smile. I got a video of him laughing, but I'm unable to upload it right now. It is so much better to see him having good days rather than watching him struggle to breathe.Please continue to pray for him. God is good!



Alejandra loves to color and does so as part of her therapy. Her favorite thing right now is Frozen. When I take her to the bathroom she points to her underwear with Frozen characters on it. I then proceed to sing "Let it Go" and she gets so excited. She will wave her hands around and pretend to sing along, which is something she is unable to do. I just love this girl! 



Here in Guatemala they don't eat corn with butter and salt/pepper. No. They eat it smothered in ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, and parmesan cheese. They call it "crazy corn". It looks so weird, and tastes even weirder. I'm not a fan, but I've eaten it every time it's been served. When one of the Guatemalan nannies tried a bite of the way we eat corn, she said that she likes it her way better. Would you try "crazy corn"? 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Feeding Humberto

Humberto is four years old and has cerebral palsy. He is the hardest kid to feed here in the home because he spasms a lot and clenches his teeth. He also is easily distracted. However, he is one of the cutest kids in the house. They all are cute though. :) 


Today while feeding him, I had music playing. The song "Drops in the Ocean" by Hawk Nelson came on. After the chorus, I just started thinking about how great God's love is for us. There are a lot of drops in a glass of water, but it's more than the drops in the ocean! His love is really too great for us to even fathom. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Getting Back to Routine

It's been three days since coming back, and I've already lost track of the amount of diapers I've changed. A few things are different, like furniture being rearranged, two of the kids being potty trained, and different people living here at the home, but other than that, it's pretty much the same. It was easy to get back in the swing of things.

Remember little Edy? Well his hair is now thick and dark. Before it was so thin and light due to being malnourished. However, he had a CAT scan done, and 80% of his brain is dead, including parts that control respiration and heart rate. He has episodes where he'll start crying, and then stop breathing for almost a minute now. They are so scary, and are only getting longer. Edy will have good days, where he will have no episodes, and he'll have bad days, like today where he'll have almost 10 of these episodes. Please pray for him as he is still in pain.

Alejandra is now potty trained, and will tell you when she needs to go. I was so happy when she remembered me. She saw me with my phone, and posed for this beautiful picture. 

Olympia is still as cute as ever, and she is walking now. She is a little stinker though, and she has been getting into a lot of trouble lately. After misbehaving one day, she was put into her crib for time out, I went in to get her but she was fast asleep.