Guatemala 2013 (Day 3)

I wrote my day 2 Guatemala blog until midnight last night (2 AM eastern time).  I tried to post it but the internet was down.  I set my alarm for 4 AM today and woke up hoping to get to the internet before anyone else did.  I managed to send one gmail before the internet bogged down again.  I could not get wordpress to work.  I don’t know when I will be able to post these.

Carlos (a different Carlos then my shuttle driver–this Carlos speaks English, we went to Harding together) found me at breakfast this morning and said that he received a call from United Airlines at 6 AM.  They have my bag in Guatemala City (a hundred plus miles away) but the courier will not deliver it until tomorrow (it was supposed to be delivered today).  The airline was very generous in letting us know that if we wanted we could come and pick it up. I told Rick Harper and he let me know that this was fairly typical because they hope you will need it so bad that you will travel in yourself and save them the cost of delivery.  We are going to wait for my bag.  Dejected, I walked back to my room and found a neat pile of clean socks and underwear on my bureau.  Thanks Adam.  Mi underwear es su underwear.

These are the things I learned about Steve today: he grew up on a dairy farm.  He had six brothers and sisters, none of which went on to be farmers.  He was raised Catholic, and was baptized and confirmed and spent some time as an altar boy and read scripture regularly (except for the gospel reading, the priest always read the gospel reading).  He was educated in a parochial school about an hour away from his home.  It was quite rigorous so he did not have time for much leisurely activity as a kid.  He spent some summers working on the farm.  His mother kept the books for the farm and managed the household affairs.  The last thing Steve does before he goes to bed is iron a shirt for the morning.

Lunch: BBQ Chicken, rice with corn and cheese, homemade tortillas, green beans in a butter sauce with onions, fresh watermelon.

We got news in the afternoon that a few patients from January were being rescheduled for our October surgery week.  That should keep us busy.

The surgeries were pretty standard today.  We had three gynecological cases and thirteen general cases.  The general cases use a much smaller set of instruments and they are far quicker to clean and sterilize.

I forgot to mention earlier that Courtney went on a mobile medical clinic.  Each day Clinic Ezell sends out trucks full of medicine and supplies to mobile clinics set up all over the Guatemalan countryside.  The mobile clinics screen patients and supply them with medicines when needed and refer them to clinic Ezell for surgery.  Courtney will spend her time today taking blood vitals and weighing patients, and doing intake for the doctors.  Hopefully she will have a translator.  If not she will have to be creative with her charades.

Courtney is now back from her mobile medical clinic.  She did not fare well.  Apparently four hours on cross country bumpy roads, and humid jungle heat don’t agree with her constitution.  She looked like Casper.  She downed some pedia-light to get her electrolytes back up, took about a twenty minute break and started her eight hour shift.  [#toughasnails]

The thunder was particularly loud and disturbing today.  I only jumped once.  And no, I didn’t look like a sissy.  It was very understandable that I would yelp like I did.

Steve and I talked music for most of the afternoon.  It was cool.  He listens to some good stuff.  Don’t let his mild mannered, semi-mature persona fool you.  He’s a witch’s brew of a little bit of rebel, a pinch of silly, an a whole lot of hip.  Yea, that’s Steve Cotter.

We finished tonight around six o’clock.  This should allow me some time to tackle a good bit of my sermon and my other responsibilities this week.  I should try and post this now.

More silly outtakes:


Adam: You do know you’re wearing a girl’s scrub top?

Jesse: Darnit, how can you tell?

Adam: It has these little pockets, and it’s more slender at the shoulders.

Jesse:  For real?

Adam: You did this last year too.

Jesse: I know.


Mike (who we have been on a number of surgical clinics with, to me as we passed in the hall): Good morning Jeff.

[He’s been calling me Jeff all week.  I’m wearing a name tag.  It says “Jesse.”  Sigh.]


Jesse (to Adam): When you’re the big man on campus and you are doing the surgeries can you recommend me as your anesthesiologist.

Adam: What are you going to do, tell them a joke and put them to sleep?


[The nurses in Adam’s O.R. heard that he used to have long hair and came looking for a photo that Steve or I might have.  I did not have one in my church photos on my laptop.  Steve, however, found an old photo in his wallet.]

Adam: I’m actually surprised you had that photo.

Steve: I kept it because the dog was in it.


[Adam and I are stumped on the crossword]

Adam: A four letter word ending in “ed.”  The clue is “________ tea.”

Steve: [without hesitation] Iced.

Adam: Okay, you can leave now.

[Steve exits the room]

Adam (to Jesse): He could have at least thought about it for a while.


Methel (from West Islip via email): I hope you are eating “flour” tortillas and not “flower” tortillas.

[whatever!]  🙂

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2 Responses to Guatemala 2013 (Day 3)

  1. Shannon says:

    I ❤ Methel ! ! !
    Hug Courtney tight and give her lots of water today. Tell her how proud we all are of her. And you too! And all of the HTI staff. I love bragging about you guys being down there.

  2. Bob Austin says:

    Hey Jeff, hope all is well in Guatemala. It doesn’t sound like your missing the retreat food at all. See you Sunday. Safe travels.

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