We finished off the water lines yesterday. We had to wait to do a water test until the afternoon when the kids had finished school as the bathrooms were on the same line as the school. We needed to shut down the line to tie the new line in. When we turned the water back on, surprise, there was no water.
We weren’t tied into that line after all but a completely different one. That’s what happens when things are buried. When we finally figured out what line to turn on, we had water alright. We had water spraying from the back of the building. We had a leak. As it turns out, one of the joints wasn’t glued. An easy fix and we were good to go.
We decided that since Loving Arms is going to tile the pads where the toilets are going to sit, we wouldn’t set the toilets. For now the 4 girl’s toilets and 3 boy’s toilets will sit in storage. Instead we decided to pour the cement pad for the sinks.
As Jim was walking around looking for wood for forms for the pad, he heard what he thought was water running in the middle of a small field. Sure enough, Water was bubbling up from the ground, like oil on the Beverly Hillbillies. The pipe had sprung a leak. Today, we are stopping at the ferreteria for fittings to repair that leak so we can walk away knowing that everything is sealed. God is good. If Jim hadn’t been walking there we may never have known about that leak.
Last night we went shopping: Denny bought Guatemalan refried beans, Jim bought Guatemalan chocolate milk and Guatemalan chocolate (it tasted a little different than ours), Jonathan bought some Guatemalan imitation crocs and I bought some Guatemalan granola bars. I will enjoy my taste of Guatemala for a break today.
Yesterday on our way to the Loving Arms site, we stopped at a local hardware store, known as a ferreteria, for some parts. At first, we had to explain to our driver, Minor where we wanted to go. Minor doesn’t speak English and we don’t speak Spanish. So we got out our Google translate and gave it a shot. Sure enough we got the message through.
The ferreteria is like most hardware stores in the developing world, all of the parts are displayed on the wall. You either point at what you want or describe it to the clerk. That gets challenging when you don’t speak Spanish, the clerk doesn’t speak English, your driver doesn’t speak English, and the part you are looking for isn’t on the wall. We were looking for a round keyhole saw. After several failed attempts to describe it in English we resorted to a sketch. As rough as it was, we found success and rode away with a brand new keyhole saw.
We finished up cementing and began running water lines. We had a minor set back when we accidentally put a hole in one of the existing water lines, but with three plumbers around, that was fixed with almost a wave of their hand.
At lunch we were served a drink that looked like milk but tasted like vanilla and coconut. Very unusual. After dinner, with no cake, and no rain in site, we made our trek through the city for some gelato. I had salted peanut butter and the other guys had lemon. They sure know how to make gelato in Guatemala. Today we stop at the ferreteria again to work on our Spanish.
Yesterday is a day I am not likely to forget for a long time. We moved out to the Loving Arms Centre like normal. Our objective was to complete the cementing. As we began to prepare the trenches for cement, Alicia (the Loving Arms Guatemala Executive Director) came by with a request. While the plan didn’t show it she wondered if we could rough in a spot for one more girl’s toilet. This meant digging up what we had already prepared and she felt really badly for
requesting it. As an incentive, she promised us cake. We weren’t sure that the promise of cake was real, but agreed to do it as it was the right thing to do.
Even though we lost some time, some young people who were travelling on another mission team, lent us a hand in making cement. With Jonathan leading the way, we mixed up the cement on the ground and poured it into the trenches with wheelbarrows. By the end of the day, we were done. It’s amazing how the Lord provides.
Back at the hotel, dinner was spaghetti. Afterwards, we felt like we needed a little dessert and decided to go for a walk and find a pastry shop. As we were about to leave Alicia stopped and said, “Where are you going? I’ve got cake.” And an amazing cake it was.
Still needing our walk, especially after cake, we took off looking for the local supermarket. It was hidden way behind some other buildings and supposedly we had walked past it several times and missed it. We were intent on finding it and we did. It was huge, and very impressive. Prices so good we thought next time rather than bringing things with us, we will just buy them here. We spent more time looking around than we should have and it began to rain, a torrential downpour. Our only option was to run back to the hotel. Trying to miss the rain by hiding under their narrow eaves, we would run from one side of the street to the other hoping to find the widest eaves. The Guatemalans we would meet, huddled in their doorways, would break out laughing when they saw us, running through the streets. With no storm sewers, the water runs in the street and crossing it we got our feet soaked. By the time we made it back to the hotel, we were completely soaked in rain water and memories.
We had a great day in Parramos, Guatemala today. We drove from Antigua, along the winding roads, up the mountains to Loving Arms’ Centre of Hope. This is where the school is located. Upon arriving, we noticed the doors were closed which seemed odd for a school day. As we approached the school, the doors were flung open and all the school children were lined up on either side of the door to greet us. What a wonderful surprise. They were beautiful, in their blue and white and tartan uniforms and of course their huge smiles. High fiving us as we walked past.
The work could not have gone more smoothly. This is a great team! I sometimes feel as if I am standing still as I watch these guys buzz around me. The trench to the septic tank has been completely dug out and all the piping for the toilets is completed. We plan on cementing the floors tomorrow.
Simply amazing! God is so good!
We saw a puff of smoke from the overlooking volcano today, just reminding us how small we are and how big God is. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish tomorrow.
You may remember this story from September 28 when we posted about the baby in respiratory distress. Well, his mom brought him back to visit and show just how life-altering having a team there has been.
Would you like to be part of a story like this? Let us know on the volunteer page and thank you for helping make the next team happen with your donation.
Our team in Haiti is making a difference thanks to the help of the dedicated medical professionals and the family and friends that support them.
EMI is able to provide medications to help the many people who visit the clinic for life-saving or life-changing treatments. Some of the medications are donated but many have to be purchased prior to our arrival. This wouldn’t be possible without the help of our supporters here at home.
The team spent some time visiting the local communities as some were unable to make the journey to the clinic.
The Haitian people are beautiful, strong, resilient and thankful. They work hard for what they can but, in many cases, circumstances are working against them. They don’t want to need help but the reality is, they do sometimes. It is a life-altering experience for those on our team to be able to do whatever they can to help.
If you would like to be a part of this life changing experience, you can fill out the form on the Volunteer page indicating your interest.
We are so grateful for your generous financial support as well. We ALL are making a difference.
Haiti’s healthcare system has been in crisis for many years. While some improvements were realized after the earthquake in January 2010,
many things have not changed. The ability to go see a doctor or visit the hospital in an emergency is something many of us take for granted. This is why Everyday Miracles International is in Haiti right now with an amazing team of medical professionals. These people are giving of their time, resources and finances to do what they can to make a difference in as many lives as they can.
One of those lives is this little one. This baby was seen by our team visiting the clinic in September. We were able to provide a referral for life altering surgery to correct a cleft palate that is not just a cosmetic fix
but one that allows this baby to eat and drink properly, making a difference in his health through proper nutrition. The family came back to visit and say thank you. The smiles Dr. Cheryl got from this precious one was the best thank you.
On another day, a very ill man fell unconscious while waiting to get into the clinic to be seen. The team quickly stabilized him, accessed him and arranged for an ambulance to transport him to hospital.
For all these reasons and many more, EMI exists. Each team that travels, comes back knowing they have done what they could to make a difference in someone’s life. If you would like to be a part of making the next team successful in making a difference, please donate now. If you, are someone you know, would like to join an upcoming team, please fill out the form showing your interest and we will contact you.
Dr. Todd (Paediatrician), Dr. Priya (General Practitioner), Rebecca (Nurse Practitioner), Eileen (Nurse Practitioner), Gillian (Registered Nurse), Kathy (Registered Nurse), Janette (Registered Nurse), Rachel (Pharmacist) and John (EMI Vice President)
Stories and pictures are coming in as each of the team members has a chance to process everything they experienced last week. It was a whirlwind of new sights and smells, beautiful children and thankful people. A trip like this is an experience that will change you and affect you in ways you never imagined. Please contact us if you would like to experience what it is like to serve others on one of our upcoming trips.
Today the team made a difference in a tiny young life. The day could have gone much differently for a child and his family if a group of dedicated medical professionals hadn’t taken the time to go and help.
The baby boy was brought to the clinic today in respiratory failure and septic (a serious complication due to infection). He was not just struggling to breathe but stopped breathing altogether several times.
Rebecca and some of the local medical professionals working on the baby in the clinic.
Rebecca and Cheryl had to ventilate the baby (breathe for him using a mask and bag to force air into his lungs), while they desperately tried to find a hospital that would take him. They almost lost him several times before finally delivering him to a hospital that could continue his care. He likely would not have survived the trip to the hospital if not for the team being there.
The latest update was the baby was still alive and has a chance at living because the team was there to help. A huge thanks to the medical professionals who gave their time and travelled to Haiti and to all the people who made a donation to help make this trip happen.
If you are able to donate to help cover the cost of medications and equipment, or to help the next group of people ready to go help, please click on the donate button at the top of the page.