Saturday, June 9, 2018

Final thoughts

Dear Family and Friends:

What an impactful week. So much service to those in need of more resources and so much learning about Guatemalan culture and occupational therapy. We appreciate all the support from home, all the thoughts and prayers sent on our behalf. During this entire program and in so many ways we were blessed by the people of Guatemala. Now, we strive to pay forward all the kindness, goodness, and positivity shown to us. May we, in our future endeavors and careers as occupational therapy students, faculty, and therapists, continue to make a difference in the lives of others.

Thank you,
Carol, Program Leader
June 9, 2018

Hey family and friends!
Today was our last full day here in Guatemala together, and we made the most of it! We started our day by hiking up a short mountain to get an amazing view of Antigua. We took many pictures, and had a blast while we were there! Then, we gathered the whole group and connected with a young couple that own a direct-trade coffee company that focuses on finding work for individuals that grew up without traditional familial supports. We then treated ourselves to a delicious lunch that had a fabulous view of Antigua. We later had free time in the afternoon to explore the city of Antigua, Guatemala. We had not had this opportunity all week, and we loved getting to shop, drink good coffee, and look at the beautiful architecture. Finally, this evening we had the opportunity to reflect on all of our experiences here and everything that we have learned thus far. We were so blessed to have had this opportunity to learn about how occupational therapy can serve clients of all cultures and backgrounds.

We look forward to seeing you all soon and sharing our experiences more in depth with you.

Adios!

Jenna, Judy, and Lauren

Friday, June 8, 2018

Last Day at Sites!

Hola amigos! This is Melissa and Elizabeth. All the students and therapists have arrived safely back to Antigua. Today, each site had to say some hard goodbyes to those they had worked with all week. However, we are grateful for the experience and appreciative for the close connections we have made. Tomorrow, we have an exciting day ahead of us; we will be exploring Antigua!

Buenas noches!
Melissa and Elizabeth

Catch-up Post From Thursday at Missionaries!


Here is our post from Thursday night, which we were unable to post because we did not have good Wifi at our site. Enjoy catching up! 


Buenos jueves, familia! Today was our fourth day at our service sites. Here at Missionaries of the Highway, we met to have breakfast with the children who stay at the home on site, followed by a morning of play. We sang songs in Spanish, played blacktop games, and got lots of hugs while we were surrounded by therapists, school teachers and tias (live-in assistants), and later by some of the parents of the children for a special group picnic. We continued on with treating our patients in the afternoon; we got to send two kids home with functional wheelchairs, which is always exciting, as well as deepen our learning about occupational therapy in Guatemala by observing the different areas – fine motor, sensory, and speech therapy. We finished up our care plans thanks to all of our wonderful traveling translators and printed them out for the therapists to keep when we leave. Finally, we headed to a relaxing group dinner at San Martin where we grew even closer. Even after leaving the sites, Jaq kept our brains stimulated with her crazy and frustrating riddles. If you want any answers, don’t ask Jenna because she probably still hasn’t figured them out. Just kidding! Much love from us as we spend our last night on site before heading back to Antigua. Write to you soon!

Katie, Hannah and Gabby

Hola! This is Carol, the Program leader, confirming that all is well with our program, our students, and our therapists. Last evening a blog was not sent from the scheduled site as the Internet connection at that site was not working for reasons other than any related to the volcano. We remain safe and well out of harms way. Look again yet tonight for a blog from our second of two service sites. Both groups had a great time of serving and learning.

Thank you,

Carol

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Overnight Day 1

Hi loyal followers!

This is Daryl's adventurous team reporting from Canilla. Today we embarked on a 5 hour journey to begin our overnight stay at Las Maripositas ("little butterflies"), a rural outpatient clinic, where we will be working until Friday. We saw three patients in the community, two of which were seen in their home. We also visited Mayan ruins this evening, located close to Las Maripositas. Tomorrow will be a busy day, as each group will see five clients and we will also be leading a training session for the staff at Las Maripositas. We are thoroughly enjoying our experience thus far and excited for what is yet to come!

FYI we will not be hiking a volcano on Saturday. Although we planned to hike a different volcano than the one that erupted, our plans have changed and we will be exploring the city of Antigua.

Thanks for reading and look for a post from Missionaries of the Highway tomorrow!

Buenas noches,

Emily, Lauren E., Paige, Marie, Elizabeth, Melissa, Erin, Carol, and Todd

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Hola from Guatemala!!!

Today was service day number 2 at Missionaries of the Highway and Hope for Home (Daryl's). It was an eventful day with full case loads. At Missionaries of the Highway, we made modifications to six wheelchairs, one of which set a record of 4.5 hours to complete! Despite it being such a long project, the boy who received the wheelchair was full of joy and shared the biggest smile in the world with us the entire time. When focusing on fine motor skills, we were able to create a splint out of a pool noodle, velcro, and a little too much super glue for a young boy with cerebral palsy. After visiting with each client, the families expressed an immense amount of gratitude which touched our hearts greatly. On the way home, our bus driver was kind enough to drop off two of the families (and stop by an ice cream shop). To end our night, we heard from a guest speaker who, despite losing a leg and finger from an accident, shared a story of inspiration and love which reminded us to always maintain a positive attitude throughout life.

We are looking forward to many more adventures as we pack up tonight for our overnight stays at  our service sites for the next two nights.

Hasta luego!!!!!

Lindsey, Amanda, & Kaitlin