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2/17/07 (Saturday)

5:30 AM and we are getting up for the day.  We want to make some rounds before heading to Esmeraldas.  Greg’s flight leaves around 10 or so and we need to be there by 8:30.  That means we leave San Lorenzo at 6:30.  Jane would like to see the patients quickly so the ones going home today won’t have to wait until we return from Esmeraldas.  Jane and I will probably go there and drop Greg off at the airport and then head back.  We could be back to the clinic by noon.  The lady who is a senior medical student will be going home today.  Last night she stated she wanted to get a picture of her and the three doctors, so that is on our agenda this morning.   

I slept good last night.  It actually was a little cooler last night making sleep even better and sweat less.  There were no strange noises in the middle of the night, no gunshots, no barking or crowing even.  At least I didn’t hear any noises.  This morning the roosters are out in full force.  Their throats are clear and they are sounding the wake up calls all around us.   

Father, thank You for the good sleep and restful night.  Thank You for Your hand of mercy and healing that You rest on the patients.  Thank You for Your hand of guidance and wisdom that You have placed on our shoulders.  You are the author of grace and love.  I pray for safety on the road this morning and for safety for Greg as he flies to Quito.   Thank You for bringing him here to work with us.  Thank You, Lord.  Amen. 

12 Noon.  We are back from our drive to Esmeraldas.  It was a long but scenic trip as the road took us along the coast.  At times the road was just above the beach.  The tide was out so there was a lot of uncovered beach and a fair amount of pollution and trash that littered the beach.  I took some Dramamine before the trip since I was riding in the back seat.  I am glad I took it as the winding road and the weaving and swerving would have done a number on my stomach otherwise.  However, the drowsiness side effect from the medication took its toll and I slept off and on during the trip to Esmeraldas.  When we arrived at the airport it was totally barren.  We were the only car there.  Part of the terminal looked like it was under renovation.  We had visions of learning that the airport was closed and we were at the wrong place.  Then someone came in and pointed to the door to enter.  Once inside we again were the only ones there.  While we waited the employees filtered in and took their positions and then started checking in passengers.  By then about a half dozen people had showed up to check in on the flight to Quito.  Several taxis had lined up outside in anticipation of providing rides to the disembarking passengers.  I mentioned to Greg that the airport terminal reminded me a little of an Indiana Jones movie.  He laughed and agreed with me.  His flight had been moved to 11 and we hope he is now in the air on the way to Quito, or has even landed by now.  Damarys will call Jane when she meets up with Him.  She will escort him around town today to visit some shopping areas and other sights. 

It is now 5 pm and I have spent the afternoon reading a book and doing some laundry.  The sun was bright today and it was quite warm.  I did take a break and call Phyl on the satellite phone and talked with her a few minutes.  It was good to hear her voice.  My plan for the evening is to pack most of my stuff for travel.  We might be heading to Quito tomorrow if all our patients go home.  If not, we will wait until Monday.  If we go to Quito tomorrow, I plan to call the airlines and see if I can change my return trip to the States to Monday or Tuesday instead of Wednesday as originally scheduled.  Damarys called Jane and said Greg arrived okay in Quito and he was at his hotel by 4 pm.  He flies out in the morning returning to
 When we came back from Esmeraldas at one of the villages we drove through we purchased a bag of sugar cane chunks for 25 cents from a little boy who was selling them.  We got them out for our dessert treat.  Jane said you take the chunk and chew on it.  Chewing squeezes out the juices which is mainly sugar solution.  You chew until there is no more sweetness and then spit out the chunk of cane and then start all over on another piece.  I had never chewed on sugar cane before.  We do see kids carrying around a length of sugar cane and chewing on it.  I can see how this would be a nice treat but I don’t think the dentists would approve of this as a steady diet. 

The laundry is done and I am mostly packed to travel.  Our patients are doing well and likely all will go home in the morning.  We have one lady who is having trouble urinating.  She is the one we took back to surgery last night to evacuate a hematoma of her incision.  She is able to get some urine out but right now is having difficulty.  Jane reinserted a Foley catheter for the night and we plan to remove it in the morning.  If this lady can urinate okay, she will go home.  If not, she will likely stay until Monday.     Father, our day is nearing a close and we have enjoyed the rest and relaxation.  Thank You for the safe travel to Esmeraldas and back and thank You for giving Greg safe travel to
Quito.  I pray for his travel tomorrow back to Indianapolis.  Lord, I pray for the patients we have operated on this week, especially those who remain in the alberge right now.  Please keep Your healing hand upon them, Lord.  I pray they will be able to go home tomorrow and Jane and I can leave for Quito as well.  Father, You have certainly blessed this place this week.  Several people received needed surgery to correct their health problems and we were enabled by You to provide that level of care.  We have seen these ladies go through some major surgery without complications or problems.  We had the opportunity to talk with You in the patient’s behalf before every surgery.  Thank You, Lord, for this wonderful week.  We give You all the praise and glory!  Amen.


1. Mary Kay Siegelin - February 23, 2007

Thanks for taking the time to keep up your journal – it has been fascinating.

We’re in Nokomis, FL for a few weeks soaking up some sunshine. This is a very nice change from the weather we left.

We’re looking forward to hearing you are home safely. Are you coming to FL any time soon?
Dale and Mary Kay

2. Michelle Ditton - March 13, 2007

I really enjoyed the “stories”, but the pictures touch my heart.
Thank you for sharing—very powerful!

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