Today we visited the clinic in Xela, after a wonderful breakfast of super puffy pancakes in Pana, and a quick stop at the main clinic that we visited yesterday. Solola is a city buzzing with activity each time we drive between the main clinic and Pana. I'm hoping that we have time to stop and walk around there tomorrow afternoon, but chances look slim. My group told me they'd be happy to drop me off there on our way back to Pana, and that I could find my own way back by Chicken Bus :)
It was about an hour or so drive to Xela from the main clinic, up through the curvy mountain roads. Our host for today told us his fascinating story; from his Mayan village childhood to his work at Salud y Paz. You'll hear the story sometime, i promise. But, as a sneak peak; the story included things like; seizures, fire, the hospital, a kind doctor, schooling, and was ultimately a story of perseverance and triumph! He is pretty amazing at all that he does now for the indigenous people of this area, based on his own life experiences. He also gave us some good information on the Mayan culture, especially in this area of the country, and of the horrible war that took place there not too long ago.
At Xela, we visited the clinic there, which operates on Wednesday and Thursday. The main clinic operates on Monday and Tuesday. The doctor and dentist travel between the two clinics since there is a very small staff here at Salud y Paz. There is also a clinic in San Antonio which is operated by the Nurse Practioner, although I'm not sure which day that one is open. The Xela clinic is underneath the office of the National Guatemala Methodist Church and their VIM office, so we visited with their very nice staff as well. We took a loom at the great VIM team sleeping rooms on the property and we did an interview with the doctor and dentist. Back in Pana, we had a wonderful local homecooked dinner together with some of the General Board of Global Ministries Volunteers at one of their homes. It was quite a wonderful evening! Tomorrow, we should get to visit some rural areas and hopefully visit in some homes with local people. We are all looking forward to another great day! -Jackie