Today we were in three teams. Once again there was a line at the Santa Ana clinic when the van pulled up at 8:30 am. All of our doctors and nurses and translators were on hand there today and they were busy until 5:30. Miguel, age 13, returned today with his parents. I am going to quote from an email of Dr. Coral Matus to tell you about Miguel and his family.
Another 13 yo boy was brought to the clinic by his aunt who is in town visiting the family. She has not seen him in about 2 years, but notices a major change in the way he walks. He thinks he has been slowly getting weaker in his legs for about 3 years. I watch him ambulate across the room and my heart sinks. It is the familiar gait of a muscle weakness disorder. I begin to ask more questions about the family, and they disclose that another brother, age 14, 'walks just like him now'. I explain that he likely has a disorder that is inherited in boys (x-linked muscular dystrophy or Duschenne's) and that often the weakness progresses to the point that they need a wheelchair. The aunt then says, "oh, his older brother (16) is in a wheelchair"! Although we did not have a lot to offer this sweet boy, Orfe vowed to be in touch with the family to see what sorts of things we could do to help support the family.
Dr. Coral was able to give him a walker from our storeroom. When leaning on it his gait is more sturdy.
The second team of Hanssel, Ed Matus and Dennis Daniels worked again on the stucco at the Birthing Center in El Chal. Both continued to learn from their 14 and 17 year old teachers! Carlos, the leader of El Chal also joined in today. This time they were up on the scaffolding and found it to be a bit intimidating. It is good for the Guatemalans and Americans to build relationships and to work together. Good friendships are forming. When Dennis and Ed returned to the clinic, they were back to repairs. This time a stroller and a sewing machine were in need of repair. Once again, they succeeded!
The third team of Ismael and me were doing some odds and ends of great importance. We drove to La Libertad to meet with the man who was to build the roof and the window grates for the Birthing Center. We agreed that he would only complete the windows as he is having difficulty getting the materials for the roof. This means that Ismael will need to find another person to work on the roof. This metal worker also repaired a wheeled device for our friend Genesis. Genesis' mother picked up the chair today. We sent along a simple dress and some material for the mother to make some padding for the chair. We also assisted as Rudy put together the outdoor fuel-efficient stove with a stove pipe at the house in Santa Ana.
In the meantime, the young women of Orfe's youth group were on the porch sewing bags for the team to purchase and to take back for the LEAP 2013 event. Now that Ed has fixed the sewing machine, we have three working machines! The young women showed great dedication in completing this project. We hope to move this to the microfinance level at some point. In addition, Rudy will see if he can follow up with the young child pictured below. We had some famous people in the clinic today...Ismael's family!
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012