Guatemala 2013 (Day 4)

Guatemala 2013 (Day 4)

Up at 5:30.  Ran four miles.  Pumped out 100 pushups.  I’ll be mush tomorrow.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, salsa, reddish/brownish beans, tortillas, fresh cantaloupe, Guatemalan cream of wheat with cinnamon.

Courtney has the day off from her nursing responsibilities so she spent the morning with us in the sterilization room helping out.  We enjoyed watching her clean her first yankerur (the fancy medical term [named after the doctor that invented it probably] for a suction tube).  The suction tube goes into a wound and, well, sucks up fluids and fatty tissues, etc.  You clean them with a fuzzy pipe cleaner.  She was not impressed.  We found it infinitely amusing.

Adam continues his work as a circulator.  I forgot to mention that yesterday he scrubbed in on a surgery and was the assistant to the surgeon.  He is learning a lot, and his observation skills are good.  Part of me thinks if he was able to be here for a year he could bypass medical school and just have at it.  He will do his time of course, but I am glad is getting these experiences.  Rick is treating him well.  Rick is smart.  He knows HTI has a future, and surgeons will always be needed.  Adam is being courted I think.

The morning has been busy.  We began the day with a dismal amount of cases (four total!) but the local doctors, not wanting to waste the talent available them, beat the bushes and came up with a number of other patients.  We have barely had a moment to stop.

They organized a trip to the cocoa farm, and since Courtney had never seen it I encouraged her to go.  The Cocoa farm has a giant tree that is a must see.  When I say giant tree I mean GIANT TREE.  No, for real, you are not thinking about it correctly.  This tree is bigger round than your house.  It has been designated a national treasure of Guatemala.

Lunch: Chicken in a brown mushroom gravy, rice with carrots, flower tortillas, fresh watermelon, hibiscus juice.  There was a harmless looking green sauce in a little clear bowl.  It ended up being not so harmless.

Things I learned about Rick Harper: His mother dated ELVIS!  And she WASN’T IMPRESSED!  This is a true story.

This was by far our heaviest surgery day.  We worked steady, and we turned out so many patients that Courtney, who had the day off, was asked to come back into the recovery room.  She is also working the night shift tonight because they had 26 patients on the floor and only two nurses.  She is hoping once the vitals are taken and people are asleep to be able to catch some rest in one of the white plastic chairs they have for the nurses to sit in.

It appears that tomorrow there will not be a lot of surgeries so they have scheduled two trips to Lake Attitlan, which is a crater lake formed by high rising volcanoes.  It is quite high up, and I am hoping they are above the clouds when the go so they get a clear view of the smoking volcanoes.  There is a nice restaurant there and she will share a meal with the rest of the group that goes with her.  If I remember right there is a fountain pool by the restaurant where you can go and pick out the fish that they will cook for you.

Supper: Steak, salsa, macaroni salad, refried black beans, tortilla chips, homemade tortillas, tres leche cake.

One of the patients had a heart attack during supper.  They gave her three nitro and she was still having radiating pain.  The doctors are deciding their next move.  The patient only had a small cyst removed which required a local anesthetic so it is not likely that the heart trouble had anything to do with the procedure.

I am going to post this now and try to get some more work done on the rest of the Heirs to the Kingdom courses.  If I am lucky I might be able to get enough internet signal to upload them to the church website.


Mike (to me as I came into the community bathroom): Good morning Jeff.



Jesse (to Adam as I met him after donning a beautiful pair of aqua marine scrub pants): You’re jealous of my pants aren’t you?

Adam: You’re jealous of my monkeys aren’t you?

[I have no idea what this means]


Carlos: Did you get your luggage?

Jesse: Yes!  Finally!

Carlos: Have they made you take a shower yet?

Steve: Nah, he’s got a couple of weeks before he is scheduled to have one.

Jesse: Yea, I don’t take showers often because I don’t want the ‘awesome’ to rub off.


Adam: Michelle and my anniversary was on Thanksgiving last year.  I had asked her a few days before the previous year, but then it was leap year, so it ended up on Thanksgiving.

Jesse: So what you are saying is she celebrated with two turkeys on that day.


Steve (to me as we were walking to dinner): Did we lose Courtney?

Jesse: I think so.  Quick, if we take evasive actions we might be able to lose Adam too.


Adam: It’s ridiculous.  He’s cut the cake into tiny little pieces.  He’s the cake-boss.


Adam (elated while working on a crossword): I got the boat one dad, it’s aboom!

Steve (in disgust): No it isn’t.

[Steve is not impressed with the skill that Adam and I employ on the crossword puzzles.  At one point last evening he had to get up and remove himself from our presence because he knew so many of the answers that we were struggling and he could no longer keep it all in.  He’s kind of a know-it-all.]


Steve (as he comes into the sterilization room where Adam and I are sitting): Did I miss anything?


Steve: I doubt it.



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4 Responses to Guatemala 2013 (Day 4)

  1. Laura says:

    Not that everything else isn’t incredibly interesting (because it is!), but can I have more details on the Elvis story, please?

  2. Debbi says:

    Did Jolie come too…you haven’t mentioned?

  3. Bob A. says:

    The Giants have Jacobs in the backfield and it looks like they might have a running game again. Unfortunately, Eli through an interception in the first quarter for a touchdown. I’ll keep you posted if they win. If they don’t win there is no reason to torture you. Currently 7-7 first quarter.

  4. Robert M Randolph says:

    Jesse, I notice you have been pretty quiet these recent weeks. How are things?

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