Guatever! (Cotter and Pettengill Day 6)

Adam and Jesse’s Thursday exercise routine: 8 laps around the compound (two miles), 100 pushups (60 regular, 40 tricep pushups), 20 leg lifts, 40 wishbone crunches, 40 side crunches (twenty each side).  We just found out that Atlas is getting tired and is requesting our help to hold up the world.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, black beans, sour cream sauce, fried plantains, pineapple, freshly squeezed orange juice [note: I saw one of the surgeons pour a bowl of Captain Crunch today–it made me feel better about Adam].

Thursday is a light day for surgery because the medical staff from the states leaves on Friday and so no surgeries that require a long recovery time are done after Wednesday.  We did eight cases, most of which were “lumps and bumps” (that is the term the medical staff used to describe them).  By 11:30 we were finished sterilizing the last of the surgical sets for the week, which meant that we were done the work we came to do.

Adam spent the entire morning in O.R. 1 working as a circulator.  Circulators are non

Lake Atitlan from the hotel balcony.

sterile members of the surgery team who go in and out of the surgery room to get items the surgeon requests.  Because of Adam’s many weeks of experience at HTI he knows where most things are found, and what most things are called, and therefore was up to the task.  The sterilization room was quiet without him.  It also provided very little material for the blog.  😦

Today I left with other team members and traveled to Lake Atitlan.   The drive to the lake was quite an experience.  The van-bus groaned under the combined weight of twenty large Americans while traveling the sharp inclines necessary to reach mile-high Lake Atitlan.  Many times we slowed to a crawl while swerving right and left to avoid potholes a foot deep and yards wide.  Along the way we passed through many towns.  In one town a large number of high school children were walking down the road.  The boys whistled at our bus which was half full of young American women.  One of the boys was so focused on the passing bus that he tripped and fell down.  We heard the whole group of school kids laughing at him and making fun of him.  Everyone on our bus was in stitches.

Arriving at Lake Atitlan was an experience I will never forget.  It is a magical place.  The beauty is hard to describe.  I took some video and will share that on the blog when I get back to the states and have more reliable upload speeds.  I am posting a few pictures.  We had dinner at a hotel on the lake.  The food was very European/American, and quite good.  I had a delicious steak dinner (bacon wrapped fillet  mignon)with all the trimmings for about ten dollars.   Others had Tilapia that was served

My lunch!

whole with the eyes staring straight up at you (we actually saw them dip the live fish from a nearby fountain minutes  before cooking them).   The grounds of the hotel were lovely and flowers of every variety bloomed in all directions.   Volcanoes bathed us in shadows.  Lake Atitlan was walled in by mountains rising on every side.  The water was unspoiled, and cobalt blue.  I cannot tell you how beautiful this country is.

Dinner: Fried chicken, french fries, coleslaw with cucumbers, handmade tortillas, treis leche cake.

After dinner we gathered for our evening devotional. It is the tradition of HTI that at the Thursday devotional everyone share from their week’s experiences.  Dr. Grady, one of our general surgeons, described a moment in which he was explaining some very serious and important instructions to one of the patients who had a difficult surgery.  The patient seemed overly relaxed and unworried and Dr. Grady was afraid he was not communicating the seriousness of what he was saying.  Finally the patient looked at him and said, “I am not worried for I know that God sent you.”  Dr. Grady said this made him think about the power and the reality of “divine appointments” and he said it encouraged him to look for those appointments more in his life.

This brings me to say something about Adam Cotter.  I like to pick on Adam, but I think the world of the kid (I can call young twenty-something’s kids now ’cause I am 34).  This past week I washed dishes (sterilized) for Dr. Grady, Dr. David, Dr. George, and Dr. Anne Marie.  I enjoyed it.  I was happy to do it.  I want all of you reading my blog to know that I have no doubt that one day I will come down and wash Dr. Surgeon Adam’s dishes as well.  I believe in him.  When Adam describes his change from business to medicine I hear in my mind the change from vocation to calling.  I hear a ‘divine appointment.’  I know that God will send Adam places.  I know that God already is.  And for that I am thankful.

Conversations heard in the sterilization room [sorry, I have very little to share today]:

Steve [on a matter not related to Adam]: I’m an idiot.

Jesse [seizing the opportunity to relate Steve’s humble self deprecation to Adam]: Now, now, Steve, you can’t blame yourself for a mistake you made over twenty years ago.


**what Adam wrote on my blog when I was away at Lake Atitlan**

Jesse:  I’m so lame and wish I were [should be ‘was’] as cool as Adam!

Steve:  Me too…


**What Steve’s final comment was when it was his turn to share about the week at tonight’s devotional**

“Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place…”

Thank you friends and church for praying for us and our travels.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

The rainy season had raised the lake level.

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6 Responses to Guatever! (Cotter and Pettengill Day 6)

  1. Methel says:

    So glad you got a chance to visit the beautiful lake…we’ve missed you all and will look forward to seeing you, Jesse, in Dallas and Steve and Adam back in New York….Safe travels for all of us.

  2. Donna White says:

    We have loved your daily messages/entertainment/inspiration. So glad you three wonderful guys will be coming home to us. See you in Dallas, Jesse.
    Donna W

  3. Courtney says:

    Very thrilled that you guys were able to once again go to a place in such need and touch lives through the work of medicine and the WILL OF GOD!!! Can’t wait to share that experience with you soon! God is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Debbi Basini-Herman says:

    Safe travels and Welcome Home!

  5. Karin says:

    You brought a tear to a proud mom’s eye Jesse! Thanks for the blog – it means the world to me.

  6. Ed lugdon says:

    Jess we are very proud to have you a part of our family Love ya Marion and Bepa

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