It always gets me a little choked up when we come through immigration and the CBP officer says "Welcome home"! What an honor and privilege to live in this country! Despite its challenges, we truly are so blessed to have all the privileges and freedoms that we do.
Our trip home was uneventful, except for a couple of extra searches of Gary's bags! We all thought it was because he had too many "gizmos" (you know how boys can be with their 'toys'), but it turned out that it was probably the Mayan temple statue that he purchased on the last day in Flores. I'm not sure if they thought he was trying to smuggle an actual artifact out of the country or what, but...
We spent Saturday tying up some loose ends. We went to the home of a young boy (age 15) who was in an accident about 18 months ago that left him paraplegic. He now has a colostomy, and a healing sacral decubitus ulcer (bed sore). He has had an indwelling foley catheter basically since the accident occurred, and his mother reports that it is a real annoyance for him. So I acquired some external catheters and brought them for him to try. Overall he is doing much better than previously reported (None of us had actually met him until yesterday). His mother takes excellent care of him. His ulcer is healing nicely, and we showed her how to pack the remaining deep area with iodoform, and keep it covered. Dr. Gary helped him remove his annoying catheter and place the external one, then we said a prayer that he would not have trouble with urinary retention. When Ismael called just before we headed to the airport, he was doing well and passing urine on his own, and the family (and Daniel) were very happy.
The trip home is always filled with such emotion for me. The time in Peten always seems to fly by, and although I was so happy to see my children tonight, I was also sad to leave our dear friends, Ismael, Orfelinda, Hansen, Jesse, and Franklin, as well as all the amazing people in Pueblo Nuevo. It seems there is so much more I always want to do, and yet that is only one small piece of the journey. Without fail, I am a changed person when I return from a visit to Peten. The kindness, peace, and faith of the people we encounter is a blessing and a challenge to me, and I am inspired to keep my focus on things of tru value and importance.
Thanks again to everyone who contributed to our trip in any way. I only wish that you could experience the joy of seeing the faces that you touch, and feeling the hugs, and holding the hands, and touching the tears of joy and of sadness. May God bless every one of you, and may He continue to bless and protect our friends in Peten, Guatemala!