I recently read a post about things that change when you live abroad, and so many of them were true. It’s true that you start to unlearn your original language and words that came quickly in English seem to vanish from memory. It’s true that normal becomes the new normal if you can even identify normal at all. It’s true that it’s hard to find words to tell about what life currently is like, but I think the strongest truth is that your world is constantly changing. Although there is some routine, everything is always in constant change and there is something new every day. You no longer have this job that you go to every day with clear-cut defined responsibilities. There is little routine to life, and if someone asks what you did today, each day will be completely different.
In the last week alone I spent Thursday at Chumisa. This first picture is of the boy whom Leslie gave the prize of the day to. He came into clinic, struggling to walk and sat down. He proceeded to tell Leslie, “I can’t see, and I have this” lifting up his shirt to reveal scabies all over his stomach. He believed that the scabies caused him to go blind within the last month. Clearly it didn’t, but he was convinced of this. He has tried to get to the states twice and has been sent back. He has waited the month (went blind in the meantime) and wants to try to reach the states again. When asked what he thought he would do there, he thought he would work. Forgetting that he is blind, can’t see anything, and probably can’t get a job let alone maneuver through the deserts, rivers, and trails that it will take him to get to the states. To find the root of the issue, he will need more testing – which means he will have to maneuver the government system here in Guatemala. He reminded me of that child-like faith that we are supposed to have though as he was eager to pray for healing, eager about having Jesus in his heart. In fact, when Leslie put her hand on his knee to pray with him, he grabbed her hand and held it… which is what this picture captures… the hope for something beyond the medicine we can give.
Friday the students came to the clinic for their first field trip. They were excited all week for this opportunity and I was glad to be able to share in the morning with them. We have been learning about embryo development and growth in class and they came to observe ultrasounds and wet their appetite for nursing. They are so curious, so eager. I find myself lacking the Spanish to explain to them deeper some of the important concepts, but this was a day of encouragement to us all!
And as we look to things that constantly change, it is encouraging to me as I ride by the hospital property at least four times a day, to see constant change in the ground there. Yes, there will be a hospital one day. A place where people can be treated and encouraged. Here are pictures of the progress. The fence is up in the front and the ground continues to be leveled.