Good things are happening
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Hello everyone from Rainy Guatemala
Well we just had our last medical team of the year here and they were a team of 9 nurses and nurse practitioners. They worked extremely hard and even after working all day with patients they came back to the dorm and then began cleaning and reorganizing our pharmacy.
( I personally thought it was fine, but they being American nurses just did not approve of dirt and spiders and scorpions )
Those gals dug in and found medicine that had gone bad and completely changed it into a professional looking Pharmacy. I can't thank them enough!!!
Then they formed another team and as I proudly showed them my Emergency Room, they rolled their eyes and said " do you mind if we change a few things?"
I said " sure go for it" . They cleaned and reorganized it like I have never seen it. It is beautiful!
I literally had to go to them at 9:30 at night and tell them to stop working because we had to drive a long hard road and see patients. But they kept on....
again I cannot thank them enough!!!!!!!
They were nurses from New Jersey. ( I had to stay in a hotel one night in a placed called Trenton NJ. The hotel was great if you like sleeping with rats and roaches and carpet that was put in by Al Capone, I tried to leave but it was cheap and I could not get my money back because the guy at the front desk could not speak English.)
So I thought they would think my pharmacy and emergency room were up to NJ standards. But these were not only smart nurses but years of experience in everything from Emergencies in Trauma centers to Nurse practitioners who were like doctors. So they did things right, so they decided to make a few minor changes.
(yea right, they cleaned and put everything where we could actually find it.)
Also it was quite the international Team. We had gals from all around the world. Ghana Africa, Uruguay South America. Ecuador South America and one girl who was raised in Germany but was adopted from Turkey. So I got to hear about each of their stories and it was unbelievable.
I felt kinda sheltered just being a farm boy from the country of Indiana.
Here is the team:
They belong to a professional organization call ISHI that goes into different countries and does surgical procedures on people who have no other options.
I can't remember what ISHI stands for but they kept showing the sign and Tee shirts and laughed when I read it.
( I think they just made it up and it stood for "I'm Sure He's Insane" but maybe I am just Paranoid, at least that is what the voices keep telling me)
Here are a few pictures of the clinics but you will see why later what they did was so important...
The first day they did it MY way....... but then they came to me that night and said Bryan we are trained to do more than just a general medical clinic.
So can we change things and we will each take a family and treat them individually all the way through?
I thought can this work? but I said OK let's give it a try and it worked great.
It did take more time, but I felt the people received a more personal and better care.
Now I can only do this with Dr's , PA's NP's and RN's but for professional teams this works great.
These gals did a great job with what little they had to work with and having to go from English to Spanish to Quetchie....
This also gave me the freedom to do much needed dental work on the villagers.
It also gave Marleni the freedom to sit and give counciling to some women who had personal problems.
She is great at it because of her training and living in this culture. The nurses all told her she was an inspiration to them as a woman.
Believe me she is a blessing to everyone and especially to me.
We also took some time to go to the Hot Water Falls, the River Canyon Trip and even a trip down the Rio Dulce river where they
visited Livingston on the Caribbean.
The Hot Water Falls Me and Cielo driving the boat Fishermen on the Rio Dulce
Going up into
the Jungle by boat.
The other Great thing that happened was......
Remember I took the kids from our village to the Gymnastic / Dance contest? Well this team brought a bunch of stuff for kids. Toys like jumping ropes and Chalk and Crayons and Coloring books and all kids of stuff.
( I stole a jump rope for myself of course to incorporate into my work out routine)
We do not normally give out things like this because there is not enough for everyone in the village but Marleni had a great idea.
She said since the kids worked so hard and won first place lets give them the things as a reward. I said great idea.... So I went downstairs and told everyone on the team I had this great idea and they all loved it.... (SOMEHOW they found out it was Marleni's idea and so I explained is was just a mix up in the language barrier)
they didn't buy it.
So we invited the kids to come and preform their routine at our place and the team could see them and then give each team member a package of prizes....
The kids came ( along with half of the village) and did their routine and everyone had a fantastic time. The team loved it and the kids and their parents were so proud as was I.
They all went home feeling like they had just won AGAIN.....
So we had a great time with the team from New Jersey and with the kids from San Filipe Guatemala.
Now for the good news for Junglemedic Missions......
I have been asked by a major movie company to star in the main role as " The Gladiator"
( OK stop laughing so hard and take a breath, it could happen)
No I was not asked.
But here is what did happen....
I have been trying to get the Ministry of Health of the country of Guatemala to give me authorization to do what I do here for years.
I have even talked with the Minister of Health himself and he said yes.
However I have never been able to get an actual 'LETTER". So while I have had verbal authorization that would not hold up in a court of law if there was ever a problem so I have been feeling a bit nervous about not having it in writing. So recently I have been a bit discouraged.
I had to only see dire emergencies and do clinics in the remote villages. I had even thought of stopping Junglemedic Missions for a while for fear of not being legal.
Well yesterday four people showed up at my place in a government vehicle. They all had on official suits and ID tags. They asked if they could talk to me. I had been working in the tool room and was dirty with old clothes on and completely drenched with sweat. But I said sure come in. So they asked if I was Russell Crow
( I mean Bryan Buchanan ) ? I said yes, and they said could we see your emergency room and pharmacy. I said sure come on in.
They were blown away at the emergency room and said it was better than any government clinic in Guatemala.
(I said why thank you I try to keep things clean and in order.)
So then they said can we see your pharmacy? I said sure but I have not had time to really sweep up but come on in. They were blown away again.
( sorry girls but I just could not speak Spanish well enough to tell them you did it or I would have,,,honest)
Now the problem was my wife Marleni who speaks fluent Spanish and English was at Cielo's school for a parent teacher conference. So in my baby talk Spanglish, I said who are you folks.
They introduced themselves as the heads of the Ministry of health over all clinics in Guatemala along with a Lawyer.... I said "OH NO ! am I going to jail?"
They laughed ( I didn't ) and said no no we are just doing and investigation.
I said an investigation !!! Can I offer you some money, I mean a cold drink? I was starting to get nervous,,,,but they said the reason we are here is because of a report a local government Dr wrote about you two years ago.
We have found the report to be false and in fact it was not the Dr that delivered the babies it was you. We even saw pictures of you delivering the baby and we talked with the parents who confirmed it was you who delivered the first baby only to find out there was a second baby that was in the wrong position. You manipulated the baby and saved not only the mothers life but the baby's life also.
They said we have spent the last two days interviewing people in villages all over this area, and everyone has said you are the one who takes care of them not the government clinic.
( I started feeling better at this point ) So I started joking a bit with them and asked if they could come back tomorrow morning and talk with my wife in Spanish so they could get the whole story and an accurate information that they could understand completely.
They said yes we will be back tomorrow morning at 8:00am. I said I will have breakfast waiting on you... (I just wanted to be nice that's all)
So they came back this morning and said they did not want me to stop what I was doing.
In fact they were going to go straight to the Dr who had written the report and tell her that I was authorized to continue my work in Guatemala and was not to be under her authority in any way. They said we are going to see that you get the legal letter of authorization you need to continue to do emergencies and consultations with walk in patients and continue doing the work you do in the remote villages.
So Marleni gave them her Nursing Certificate and they said they were going to upgrade it due to her experience and skills and along with the fact she will have her degree in Physiology in 6 weeks.
I gave them all of my college degrees and Certifications as a Paramedic and told them I have a PHD (Post Hole Digger)
(I just could not find it right now, which is true!) and they said between both of our skills and degrees we could open our clinic with no one to answer to except them directly. We just have to send them a monthly report of the patients we see.
Marleni and I were ecstatic!
When they left they hugged us and thanked us for the work we had done for the people of their country and said don't worry you will be receiving your authorization papers.
When they left Marleni and I just sat down and almost cried. Here we had been fighting all these years to get these papers and when we were just about ready to throw in the towel these officials show up out of the blue and say they want us to continue.......folks only God...that is all I can say is ONLY GOD....... so remember that sometimes when your in the valley of dispare keep climbing and you will reach the top of the other mountain.
So we just want to say that we have a Pastors conference in Nov with A GREAT team of guys from Mississippi and we have 20 local Guatemalan pastors signed up to come here for three days and nights.
Then Marleni graduates from five long years of school with her degree in Physiology and we are taking two months off..... No teams are scheduled until March, so in Jan 2012 we will be ready to hit the ground running.
Folks we need a break, it has been over 10 years of 24 hours a day 7 days a week and it has caught up to me, and I was getting well to be honest burned out. Marleni will be able to practice her Physiology on me and I should be well by January.
( No comments from the peanut gallery please)
But seriously we do need a break and although we will still see patients and take care of emergencies we will have some time to do the things I have wanted to finish for a long time.
I want to finish my book called "Adventures of a Junglemedic".
( I know at least my Mom will buy one and who knows it may make the San Filipe best sellers list" because only about 3 people here can read)
Also I want to spend some time actually studying and learning Spanish.
(I've only lived in a Spanish speaking country for 10 years so I figure it is time to learn the language ya think?)
Well got to get up early and take Marleni to school tomorrow at 5:00am and the take some medicine to Honduras and then come home and finish cleaning the tool room, you never know if the " Guatemalan Tool Room Inspectors" may show up.....
Thank you to all of you who came down here this year on medical teams and thank you to all of you who have prayed and supported the work we have done here, May God Bless you all..
Foot note: You may have seen on the news recently that the Western Pacific area of our country is being deluged with heavy rain. They have bridges and roads washed out and many are homeless and without food or even drinking water. They are now receiving aid but the rain is suppose to continue for at least 10 more days. Please keep these folks in your prayers. We are on standby with the mobile medical bus to use as a mobile hospital if the need arises....
Please keep those folks in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks
Bryan & Marleni Buchanan
Missionary Companion Ministries
Our name needs only to be on the address of the envelope.
We receive $0.95 of every $1.00 donated and you will receive a receipt for tax purposes.
The mailing address to mail your check to is:
Missionary Companion Ministries
P.O. Box 26237
Fayetteville N.C. 28314
Thank you very much for your support!