This morning Regina, a Mayan women who is friends with Heidi and Matt as they have helped several of her children with cleft lip/palate, brought another family with a baby with cleft palate along with the 3mo old we saw last week. If you remember, Tomas, the 3 y/o we saw last week only weighed about 6#. Heidi taught them how to feed the baby with a syringe and gave them some formula and encouraged them to feed the baby more frequently. Well, after only a week the baby has gained 1#, which is pretty good considering he was only 6# to begin with. The other baby that was brought today did not appear to be malnourished. Since last week Heidi was able to get a hold of bottles with nipples specific for cleft palate and gave those to the families. Regina also brought us a little boy about 5-6y/o with mircrotia. After seeing these kids, we jumped into the pickup truck and the families all jumped into the bed of the truck and we drove them back to their village (about 1-1 1/2 hr drive). Heidi and Matt had wanted to meet with the community leaders there to try to set up a regular clinic if possible since there seems to be a pretty good need.
When we got to the town we stopped in front of a school where all the kids were outside playing. When they saw us they yelled “Gringos!” and then they all stood at the fence and stared at Isaac, Heidi and Matt’s baby. Heidi and Matt were then able to talk to two of the community leaders who seemed really interested in getting a clinic set up. Things went a lot smoother than most of us thought they would. We think probably the biggest help for them being welcoming to the fact of gringos coming to set up a clinic was that Regina knows Matt and Heidi and must talk highly of them. Otherwise, the Mayans tend to be a little skeptical and not always trusting of Americans coming into their village, especially if it’s unannounced. But, at the end, Heidi and Matt were able to schedule the first clinic to be held there on March 24th! Although I won’t be here to see that happen, I really hope it goes well.
On our way back, we got stuck in construction a few times and finally I couldn’t hold my bladder anymore! So, I did as the Mayans do and peed on the side of the road! Luckily no one caught a picture. At least not that I know of!
Tonight, Toby and Brittany and her brother Zach, will be coming over. Toby and Brittany are from the States and have been living here for awhile and work at one of the local schools. Toby also works with the volunteer fire department here as well and has been able to bring down a lot of donated equipment for them. Previously they just fought fires in their jeans! Now the have some coats and helmets and such.