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Lice Treatments (ooo-yuck!)

March 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

An few of the dozens of children in line for lice shampoo treatment

A few of the dozens of children in line for lice shampoo treatment

We sent out the word in our village that our clinic would be doing lice shampoo treatments. Dozens of children raced to get in line, and waited more than an hour! It was amazing how much they loved the shampooing, and we think part of it was the luxury of a nice  shampoo, and the loving care given by the staff and our friends from New Mexico who are here helping out this week.

We did find some very sad  and serious cases – some children had such infestations that the lice and eggs were matted down thick, as if they hadn’ t had their hair cleaned in months. Some others had bloody scabs and infections brought on by so many lice digging in, and perhaps scratching. They need another treatment, antibiotic cream and they definitely need antibiotics immediately.

In the photo below, Karalee Rosenberger uses a very fine-toothed lice comb to comb out hundreds of dead lice and lice eggs from a little girl’s hair. A lice shampoo treatment requires a thorough shampooing with special shampoo, then the child must sit and wait with the shampoo in his/her hair for ten minutes, then a thorough rinsing, then another ten minutes to “comb out” the dead lice and the lice eggs. (Yuck!)

Karalee combing out hundreds of lice

Karalee combing out hundreds of lice

Drunk husband, 6 kids, small shack, no roof

March 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

She came into the clinic today holding back the tears. After her 5th child, she separated from her abusive and always-drunk husband. But he came back, beat her up and raped her and she became pregnant with her sixth child.

Learning of the pregnancy, she said she had wanted to commit suicide, but had second thoughts. Then she wanted to abort the baby, so she went to a lady in another town who charged her for three “abortion” injections (which is a local fraud/scam).

She had the 6th child, a wonderfully healthy girl and she said she couldn’t live with herself if the baby had been aborted. She’s now separated again from her husband and went to live with her father, but there was no room for her and six children, so her father said that she could build a house at the back of his property. She scrounged together some cornstalks to make some walls and now lives in a little cornstalk shack with a dirt floor and… NO ROOF! She said she’s been begging in the village for something to make a roof for her and her children, but everyone says that they can’t help her.

We’ll try to get donations to help her.

Remember her tonight, and remember what we so easily take for granted.

Prenatal Care is saving lives

March 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Prenatal care saves lives of mothers and babies

Prenatal care saves lives of mothers and babies

Hands of Hope clinic provides care to pregnant mothers, but we also hold “prenatal care” days in the other villages several times a month. This is extra effort for us, but it allows us to reach mothers who can’t – or aren’t allowed by their husbands – to leave their village to come to our clinic building.

On Prenatal Care Days the pregnant women receive a health care teaching to introduce and reinforce good health care habits. Things we take for granted many times are totally foreign concepts to these women. Through testing and monitoring, the staff  keeps tabs on and can help women with high blood pressure and high blood sugars. Fetal heart monitoring can identify problem pregnancies, and the staff looks for babies who aren’t “in the correct position” at various stages.

This has really made a big difference in reducing deaths of mothers in childbirth, and of course in deaths of newborns.

Women who do get this care are also more likely to bring their children to our clinic for medical care in the future.

We are looking to buy a used ultrasound machine which would allow us to expand services. Kind folks have already donated $1250 of the $3,000 we need for this.

Crazy 3-hour Ordeal to Give Blood

March 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Anita went to the hospital to go with Karen to give blood because Luis must have blood donated or paid for before they will do his surgery. If a patient can’t bring in people to donate blood, then the patient has to “hire” someone in the parking lot – people stand around waiting – and pay them $50 to go in to the hospital and donate blood. The villagers in our area only earn about $80 a month, so paying $50 per unit (and Luis needs two units) is a very real hardship.

At another hospital Anita had been told that because she is over 50 (barely) she is “too old” to donate blood; her blood is too old or too tired.

Anita decided to go and try to donate anyway. Besides it’s never a good idea to travel alone, so Anita wanted to give Karen a ride and be a support to her anyway.

The full details will be posted here tonight, but for now, it was a 3 hour ordeal complete with odd instructions, strange procedures and old-wive’s tales.

My head got Shop-Vac’d; Flowbee anyone?

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

These really can suck up any loose hair on your head.

These really can suck up any loose hair on your head.

It feels odd and weird to have a ShopVac vacuum cleaner sucking hair off your head.

I had my hair cut by a guy at a franchise haircut place, KidsCutz. I had met the owner 10 years ago and have seen his stores, many locations now, flourish. Nice enough place and low price.

After taking a very long time cutting with a somewhat-dull scissors, the guy says ok, I’m done, wait just one moment.

He then reaches under the counter and brings out a small Shop-Vac vacuum cleaner and starts to vacuum my head. Not with any attachment, either, just the round end of the short hose. It’s a small unit so he has to hold the unit in one hand, and the simple round , short, hose in the other. Does this to my head over and over for three minutes.

Very odd, and if you were wearing contacts or a hearing aid, maybe even loose earrings, I think the vacuum cleaner would have sucked them right up!
(I wonder if the Shop-Vac operating manual lists “sucking loose hair off your head” is one of the suggested uses.)

Rick Hunts, inventor of the Flowbee suction haircut system.

Rick Hunts, inventor of the Flowbee suction haircut system.

Slightly reminds you of the Flowbee which was advertised on TV shopping ads. The Flowbee sucks up your hair into a cutting unit. See it here.

You can’t possibly care enough to read about Flowbee and it’s competitor, but here’s a snippet that I found that points out some oddities about these two companies:
The Company hoped for high sales and WalMart stocked the shelves. Instead customers were confused as to what RoboCut was. The original packing showed a women using the product but also had a very large image of Robocop and sported the very controversial “Animal Tested to Ensure Safety” logo.

Many customers who bought RoboCut ended up returning it after Christmas since they bought it believing that it was a toy. (Due to the RoboCop imageon the package) Other’s boycotted the product due to the “Animal Tested to Ensure Safety” label. RoboCut changed their packaging shortly after the holiday’s to remove Robocop and change the “Animal Tested to Ensure Safety” label to read “Tested to be safe for animals”. However it was too late for RoboCut and Wal-Mart dropped the product in mid-1993 after an unsuccessful 1992 Christmas season.

Can we help Lucia, 9, live?

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Lucia needs extended chemotherapy, again.

Lucia needs extended chemotherapy, again.

Lucia has lymphoma. She had chemotherapy a year ago and the cancer seemed to be gone, but has now returned and she needs chemo again. This requires that she and a parent go to the hospital for three days each week for eight weeks. This costs more than the father earns, so they have no way to pay and no apparent way to save the girl’s life

There are five other brothers and sisters. The mother’s opinion is that it’s too expensive to go back and forth from the hospital and stay there, because there would be no money for food to subsist on; she thinks it’s best to just let Lucia die. The father is very much in favor of taking their daughter to the hospital and doing as much as possible.

Hands of Hope has decided to pay the expenses of going to the hospital, and some allowance for the family to have food. This is about $30 a week for the eight weeks.

If you’d like to contribute to help Hands of Hope to help Lucia, you can donate >here<

Interested in helping us in Guatemala?

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Special Projects

If you’d like to come with a group to help, click on “Mission Teams” and send us an email.

We will work with you to help arrange everything.  Email:

Luis on the floor waiting for surgery

March 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Anita visits with Luis and reviews his broken foot.

Anita visits with Luis and reviews his broken foot.

Luis is the man we wrote about, below; a car ran over his foot (and didn’t stop). Luis sleeps on the floor in a humble house waiting for surgery, donations of blood and $215 to buy the steel pins required. Otherwise, his foot will not heal and he won’t ever walk again.

The hospital requires a donation of two units of blood, but won’t allow Anita to donate because she is “too old” (barely over 50). A family member said she would donate but her blood is too weak because she had surgery two years ago. Most villagers believe that donating blood steals your energy for a long time, so they don’t want to donate. If you can’t find a donor, you have to pay $50 a unit to a people hanging around the hospital who sell their blood. Karen, a Canadian missionary who works in our clinic will generously donate one unit of blood to help out.

Anita sat on the floor to review Luis’ foot which was bleeding through the bandage. Family members are going to try to get the $215 together to pay for the steel pins needed for Luis’ foot surgery. Hands of Hope will contribute what they can’t get together, up to $110.

The entrance to Luis’ house has a large flower arrangement, and the entrance is strewn with pine needles. To passers-by, this will indicate that someone is sick in this house, and needs prayer and help.

Large USA flag hands on Luis' wall.

Large USA flag hangs on Luis' wall. He said he doesn't recall where he got it.

Prayer "shrine" at Luis' door.

Prayer "shrine" at Luis' door.

Toothless Dominga Smiles to say “thanks”

March 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Dominga, age 80, smiles to say "thank you".

Dominga, age 80, smiles to say "thank you".

Dominga is about 80 years old. She and her husband simply can’t earn enough to buy the food they need to survice.

So Hands of Hope has included her on the feeding program. She’s a sweet lady.

Here, she received her food allotment and smiles to say “thank you”.

Luis, 80, run over by car; crawls to edge of road.

March 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Luis is about 80 years old, has cataracts and can hardly see. He stills works a bit in the field, using a golf club to help find his way. He was walking the three miles to church and as he slowly crossed the highway, a car drove so close to him that it ran over his foot and knocked him down. The driver of the car didn’t stop but Luis managed to crawl to the edge of the highway (without getting run over. Amazing.)

Some ladies in another car did stop and took Luis to the hospital, where the doctors discovered that all the bones in his foot were broken. He would need surgery to insert pins. They send him home with a ‘soft cast” because his foot was too damaged to put in a hard cast. He was also told he would need to have two blood donors, an ECG and blood work (requiring another visit) and to return next week for the surgery, with $200 to pay for the pins and materials required. Luis was sent then sent home without any pain medication – only a prescription for pain medication which the family could not afford to buy. Our clinic provided pain medicine and antibiotics and we promised to drop in later to see how he was doing.

Anita went to visit him, and he was laying on the floor, and she could see that blood was oozing from his bandaged foot. The family was very concerned as to how they would be able to afford the $200; they only earn less than $100 a month. Hands of Hope agreed to pay 50% if they would pay 50%. Rosario, who works with us, explained to the family that they need to go back to the hospital and speak to the social worker, and explain that Luis has no money and that he simply can’t afford to pay for the needed pins.

Luis agreed to allow Paco, Rosario’s husband, to pray for him this time. Last time, Luis got angry when prayer had been offered. But this time, he not only accepted, he said thank you and hugged Paco.

We’ll update this story later.

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