Monday, June 24, 2013

Dia Numero Dos

Guatemala: Dia Numero Dos

It's Sunday.  It's Father's Day.  And I'm in Guatemala.  It's a beautiful day.  The sun is shining.  The sky is a gorgeous shade of light blue.  We are headed into San Andreas for a day at the market and of bit of sight seeing before we get down to business tomorrow.  On our way to San Andreas my thoughts turn to my father.  Naturally right? I have a bit of a guilty feeling for being absent, out of the country even, on this day.  Especially because I will also be absent this coming Saturday, which happens to be his 55th birthday.  So a little about my daddy...My father is a very quiet man.  Something I believe he gets from his father who is also the strong silent type.  Something I like to think I inherited from them.  Those of you who know me know how quite I am and that I can be a woman of few words.  My father, and his father, subscribe heavily to the philosophy that you showed your love, your value, just about anything else, through your deeds and your actions, not so much by your words.  My father is not an openly emotional man and again, not a wordy one.  But I have never once doubted how much he loved and supported me.  I have never doubted how proud he is of me.  I know I am incredibly lucky to have such an example of hard work and devotion in my life.  Don't worry, lest you think this man is a saint, he does have a few flaws...

  1. He is already losing his hearing.  Although I suspect this is a clever rouse and he really just has a super power of selective hearing.
  2. Procrastination: another gift he so graciously bestowed upon me.
  3. He can't seem to figure out why the air conditioning in my jeep works fabulously in Wyoming, but not at all in Utah.
Now we return to Guatemala....

It's our "rest" day before we open clinic tomorrow.  Normally on this day we would attend church.  Being a group largely from Utah you'd be a fool to bet against us being an LDS pack.  However, this Sunday was regional conference.  Don't worry, we still went to the church and made good use of the building.  We scammed some Mormon wifi!  Checking facebook of course, sending off some emails, and letting family know we're okay.  Anyone know how we functioned without electronics and wifi and internet for so long?!  Lest you think technology is purely evil, let me ease your mind. (And in case you're keeping tack, I've now used "lest" twice in this post). One of the children who lives in the village of Los Robles and attends the school where we were staying and working has had a nasty skin rash for sometime.  Mostly on her face and neck.  Well Lynsey, our physician, looked at her and took some pics.  On our wifi-borrowing adventure Lynsey shot off an email/text to a rheumetologist friend of hers and received a response with a diagnosis of Actinic Prurigo, which is essentially a sun allergy of sorts.  It's seen prominently in those of latin decent, especially those living in tropical sunny climates. Boom!  Nice right?! Almost at least.  There really isn't a cure. Avoid the sun, try wearing wide brimmed hats, high SPF sunscreen and steroid creams.  Try explaining that to a little girl who spends 95% of her time outside in the sun.  Hopefully the things we gave and taught her will help.
Now we're walking down the main street of San Andreas where the Sunday market is spread before us.  I wish I had the worlds to evoke all of the senses in you so you could experience as I have.  The smells, both good and not so good hit all at once.  The hot sun beating on the exposed skin of your arms and legs and face, warming every inch of you.  The sight of each of the vendors with their fruits and vegetables of bright red, orange, and yellow.  The women in their brightly colored traditional clothing doing their Sunday shopping. Taste, well taste I can't describe because I wasn't willing to chance it ;) The sound of rapid Spanish and laughter.  The small child being carried to the motorcycle screaming "Quiero el helado papa! Quiero el helado papa!" It's all I can do to soak up and attempt to burn every last thing I possibly can into my memory.  I close my eyes and I can still see and feel and hear it all.  It's so incredible to simply be there and soak up the culture.

Dia Numero Uno

Guatemala: Dia numero Uno

To say I’m one tired chica would be an understatement.  Not the understatement of the century, but an understatement none-the-less.

Today was of course a day of travel.  Which of course started last night, Friday night. Now I’m no stranger to being awake for 24-48 hours and therefore no stranger to willing my tired body and mind to continue moving.  Either because I simply can’t sleep but more so when I work a night shift.  There is just something about traveling though that simply exhausts you. Here’s what the hours looked like….

9:45 pm Friday June 14th:  Flight leaves SLC
12:45 am (PST) June 15th: Flight leaves Los Angeles
6:30 am (back to MST) June 15th: Land in Guatemala City, Guatemala. 

Well if that isn’t enough it is now time to hop on the van and drive 2 ½ to 3 hours to Casa de Sion in Los Robles.  By the time we arrive and unload it’s about 10 or 10:30 am.  It might as well be midnight I’m so exhausted.

I’ve done enough of these trips by now to know a few tricks for traveling long distances and over long periods of time.  So without further ado I give you “Tristyn’s Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling”

DO wear pajama-esch clothing.  There’s nothing worse that traveling for 9+ hours in constrictive clothing.  Yoga pants; “Did I just get done running or did I just get out of bed?” The world will never know.

DON’T drink an entire bottle of water right before you board a flight that is anywhere over 2 hours.  Especially if you have a window seat.  Drink the H20 early enough so that it goes through you in plenty of time to use the facilities in the airport rather than subjecting yourself to climbing over some giant of a man just to find someone else has beaten you to that bathroom 10,000 feet in the air.

DO bring a book, if you are me, bring three.  Open it immediately upon sitting.  This will hopefully deter that chatty neighbor in the middle seat from wanting to create a lasting bond with you in your 4 hours together.  Earphones work even better. (Can you tell I’m not a talker?)

DON’T buy snacks in the airport.  I believe this is a form of extortion, they are so expensive and they know you have no other option.  Ridiculous.  Bring your own! And bring crystal light for your drinking fountain water! Promise, it's okay.

DO put an extra pair of undies in your carry-on; in whatever form this may take.  May it be a purse, backpack, satchel or your favorite re-usable grocery bag, pack those undies.  I promise, that all-important time you forget to do this is that ever fateful time they accidentally send your luggage to Chicago (because that’s close to Miami) and you’re left without a pair for a day, or even worse, two.  Wearing the same clothes two days in a row, acceptable, wearing the same underwear two days in a row, never pleasant.

And now it's nap time.  Adios.

(I realize these are being "back-blogged" but I did not have internet.  It was glorious.)