Guatemala–Day 6

I ran again today. During the first lap I swallowed a bug–very gross. Good news, I don’t have a blister anymore. Now instead of a heel I have half a pound of 80-percent-lean rancid hamburg. It will probably need to be amputated.

The repaired autoclave performed admirably [loud applause].

The surgeries on Thursday are always less severe and fewer in number. That is good, because we had all hit a wall, or plowed through it, or came up short in a crumpled heap. The morning progressed with very few surprises. An ophthalmologist performed a surgery on a little girl who had severe cross eyes–there is a medical term for this that escapes my memory and transcends my ability to spell. ‘Cross eyes’ it is. The severity of the eye condition affected her depth perception, and, of course, made her the object of ridicule. The surgery involved severing a muscle from the eye and reattaching it in a different place. The instruments used in the surgery were quite unique, delicate, and horrific to look at and imagine their function. Steve and Adam were brave enough to put on sterile garb and watch the surgery. I have theological objections to watching scalpels cut an eyeball, so I hung out by myself in the sterilization room and pretended nothing sinister was happening in the room next door.

The surgeries are over now. The hard part of the week is done. A few people are off sightseeing, and others are enjoying fellowship in the dining hall. I am, as usual, pushing away at a sermon that is presently in transverse lie in the birth canal. This happens on occasion. So it goes.

Tomorrow we make the trip to Antigua. Luxury awaits. It’s always a difficult transition for me–it will be even more so this year. But I will make it. I always do, and soon I am looking far into the rear view mirror at all the suffering and poverty. The memory will fade–the sting will go away. I will forget all I have learned here. I wish I could remember forever. What was it again, “Blessed are the…”?

I have a sermon to write on the coming of the Holy Spirit. Gotta run. Peace.

Brotherly,
JP

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