Still Working in the Jungle

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hello Everyone from Hot Guatemala,

Well, the winter is finally gone here and we can take our coats off from these freezing 75 degree nights. It is warming up and time to start sweating again. I know you get tired of hearing about how busy it gets here but honestly this is when I feel the most useful. For the past 30 days we have had teams back to back and seen hundreds of patients who would have never been able to get medical help otherwise. We had a team from the Westmoreland Baptist church from Charlotte start off the clinics, and then we went and helped my friend Phil who has a Christian Camp on a remote area of the ocean. Normally his camp is for Christian ministry to the churches and youth groups of Guatemala but once a year he brings in a medical team of 40 people. They do medical and construction projects for the villages in his area. So this year I had two nurses working with me that both know Spanish and English so we tag teamed the villages and saw a lot of people in Philís area.

Then we had a team from Vanderbilt University come and help us do clinics back in my area of Rio Dulce.

Some were pre-med students and loved doing the medical work. For some this was their first time to actually do hands on patient care and it made a big impact on their lives

This is my niece Khara. She is a professional musician in Knoxville, TN and she sang songs she had written to the village kids after the clinics. As you can see they loved her.

Even Rodrigo came to listen.

They had never heard music like this before.

This is Nicole (on the right). She was here for 6 weeks and is a Trauma Nurse from Boston. She was invaluable to me during this busy time of seeing hundreds of people. She was sent by God at this time to help me out, Thanks Nicole!

We went to some of the most remote villages you can get to by road, (if you want to call it that) these were Quetchie people who had never seen a doctor and never seen a white person. But they were so grateful and hospitable. I love these people. We are preparing for Easter Week here called Samana Santa. This is the big holiday here, as big as Christmas is in the USA. They say we will have aprox 20,000 people visit our area per day for the week of Easter. Since I am the only Paramedic and Emergency Room in the area I will get many calls. I have a Guatemalan nurse and a Guatemalan Fireman, (Marleni and Freddy) who help me tremendously.

Last night I had a 22 year old girl who had been shot in the shoulder. It exited out of her cheek. You can see the exit hole in her cheek in the photo at right. She lost a lot of blood. I had to stop the bleeding and start IVís to replace the fluid. She needed surgery and the fire dept ambulance was already on its way to the hospital. I could not leave town with her, so I had to put her in the open back of a pick up truck and cover her with a towel and send her to the hospital 1Ĺ hours away.

Please pray that God will open the doors for me to construct a hospital that can serve these people. It is so frustrating to want to do surgery or take x-rays and cannot do it here. So keep this in your prayers that God will provide in the time he wants this done. Thanks everyone for your prayers and friendship.

God Bless,
In His Service,

Bryan & Riechelle and Kids