Excerpts from Kate Huggins' Blog
May 17, 2010
I am happy to report that I am in Guatemala safe and sound. My first host family lives about a block from the language school that we are studying at. I love my host family. We have had lots of good food (mostly vegetarian to boot). Most interesting goes to the fried bananas and most common goes to ... drum-roll ... rice and beans! It'll work. There is a ton of coffee as well, so we are happy.
May 27, 2010
I started work this week. I am taking vitals and blood glucose levels, and sitting in with consults. I have really enjoyed every minute in the clinics so far. I am so at home with all of that stuff.
I am so grateful to love what I am doing so much. Life at home, my Guatemalan home, is a little hard but I am getting through. It is just the food and the language barrier that get to me. I am getting better at eating the food though - a little at a time. Please pray for me and us though this week as adjusting to living out in the country in Guatemala, and 5-foot ceilings can be difficult at times.
May 31, 2010
Well, readers, I am alive. We have survived a volcanic erruption and hurricane Agatha, and mudslides. My house in the village is just under the church, so we are pretty safe but please pray for our friends and neighbors that did not fare so well.
I love being in clinic though. I really do. I am now doing vital signs and glucose, and today I was a dentist. I got to pull some teeth and help with fillings. It was really exciting.
Our village doesn't have electricity or water right now, so we are bringing pure water up everyday. We can live without electricity, though ... so yeah. Everything has been so overwhelming the last few days with the storm and all I don't know what to write.
June 3, 2010
Although our village doesn't have water yet and we are at a hotel this afternoon taking showers, I am still loving my life. I have learned so much about myself and God and his provision. We have survived a volcanic eruption, a hurricane, mudslides, sinkholes, floods, downed roads, and now an earthquake. The hand of God and that alone has shielded us over the last week.
Here's a little bit more about my day to day: I get up at 5:30 a.m. and get dressed. Then I help with chores, what I can, and then eat breakfast with my family (usually not "breakfast food"). Then we pile into the trucks and drive between an hour and three hours to get to the village that we are doing clinic in that day. Then we get out, get out all the stuff, and set up shop. Patients come, and we take vitals and talk with them during consult. Then we pray with them and get their medicines for them. After all the patients have been seen, we load up and drive either to Chichi for some Internet time and/or food. Then we take the 45 minute drive up a non-paved road back to our village of Paxot Segundo. I get home and help with more chores or watch a movie with the kids (last night I killed a chicken for us). After we eat dinner and I sit there not knowing what they are saying, I politely excuse myself, take a baby wipe shower and crawl into bed. I journal and read and then go to sleep. The next morning we do it all over.
I love my life right now though (not the not showering part). I really do. It is so interesting, and our patients and family are all so sweet. I have not been too homesick, but I am ready to get to the coast where they have water. The good news is that they opened the airport again yesterday! Haha. We laugh so much about the little victories like no new (bed bug) bites, hearing English songs, and getting a shower after four days!!! We were sooooo excited ...yes!!
June 10, 2010
Today was also amazing! We got to come to Clinica Ezell and watch surgery. I got to scrub in on one case and feel the muscles and arteries inside the girl's arm. It was amazing!!!! Then I got to cut the sutures and I just love love love it. I got to watch some other cases and have been doing a lot of translating. It is good. I am able to do some of my chaplaincy stuff in Spanish and it is great! I talked to them as they were going to sleep and waking up because the nurses with the team don't speak Spanish ... it is good for us to practice.
July 7, 2010
Saturday was very bittersweet. While I got to see my family (mom and grandparents and then Bering church family the next day) which was great, I had to say bye to all of my new friends that shared this singular experience with me. I just want to take a second to thank them for all of the support and friendship and love that I was shown while I was in Guatemala. It was a rough time for me, and you all stuck it out alongside me and encouraged all of us the whole way. It truly was a great experience, and one I will remember for the rest of my life.
From the highs of Lake Atitlan and climbing the volcano to the depths of tropical storms, insomnia and bed bugs, it was a summer that I will never forget and provided experiences that I will carry in my heart forever. I can't wait to meet my first patient with bed bug bites - empathy will never come so easily as with that.