Christmas in Honduras

So far it has felt like Christmas here at Loma de Luz.  Every day there is a new gift to unwrap and discover.  Sometimes it has been in the form of flora and fauna, as we discover all the amazing critters and plants that live here.  Often it has been the blessing of hospitality, encouragement, or provision by the other missionaries here.  Other times the gifts are in the form of kind words from people back home who chime in to root for us.  So we say to you all, family and friends, thank you.

So, I have been anxiously waiting to get to work down here.  They wanted us to get acclimated and adjust to language, living situation, and climate before I started the job.  But I was getting antsy, so I went down to the hospital to start learning’ stuff yesterday morning.  I wandered through the pharmacy to see what drugs were in my arsenal.  There were a lot of standards, but a few missing that I would have expected to be there.   Sometimes there were 30 bottles, and sometimes there was 7 pills in an old container.

Next, I headed for the lab, to see what things I can test.   This was very limited, I feel.   For instance, on the one hand I can easily test for Malaria, Sickle cell, and parasites, I cannot check Hemoglobin A1c (a standard of care test in diabetes), or culture anything (which is a very common practice of growing a bacteria to identify what is causing an infection).   So, there is a lot of guessing and shooting from the hip that has to happen.

As I left the lab, Dr. Peter grabbed me and said I had to see something.  He took me into the ‘ER,’ which consists of three stretchers in a large room, and I found a sweet little baby girl swaddled in a blanket on the stretcher.  She looked vigorous and healthy.  Peter told me to unwrap her.  When I exposed her lower body, I encountered something I had never seen before…  A conjoined twin.   Unfortunately, the twin was deformed and really a mess of limbs and parts. It’s intestines actually being on the outside of its body, it was not living.  So the question was, how attached were these two babies and could they be detached.  An X-ray showed quickly that it looked like they were separate, but unfortunately our sweet girl was missing a left hip.  The final question was whether her intestines were separate.  Very soon, Dr. Jeff was consulted, who is the founder of the hospital and ministry, and an incredibly capable surgeon.  A call went out across the entire hospital and missionary compound to pray for this little gal, as she went into surgery.

Here is Dr. Jeff’s update after the surgery was complete:

Dear Each,
Many of you were aware that this afternoon we had to do emergency surgery to separate a newborn from its blighted ( poorly developed, non-viable) conjoined twin. Iain did a CQ on the radio asking for prayer for both the surgery and anesthesia & that God would be glorified in the outcome. So, God was gracious & all went well. The baby is in the room recovering with mom & nursing. A little more prayer would be welcome, as she’s not quite out of the woods, but I think we can definitely see the edge of the trees.
Thank you for praying and thanks be to God for another great outcome, “better than we deserved”.
bendiciones,
jcm

This was my first taste of what goes on at this hospital on a daily basis.  Wow.  I am humbled and continue to pray that I can serve a need, and be competent in the presence of some very talented people here.

On a fun note, last night I delivered my first baby in about 7 years.  What amazed me was that there really isn’t a nurse available to help.  Dr. Isaac and Dr. Maria were there to guide me. It went mostly smoothly.   The mother’s IV wasn’t working properly, and since the nurse wasn’t there Isaac had to start a new one and give some drugs.

Uh, that’s like the nurses job, right?  Which end do you stick that tube-thingy in?  Sorry, I’m just the doctor, I don’t really do that IV stuff…  Aren’t there some buttons you push on that Bag of fluid to make it come out.  What, gravity?  Oh, ok.

So, what I am learning is that if you want something done here for your patient, you have to do it yourself, usually.   So, I’m going to get capable…

alright, I’ll keep you posted.

Here’s a few pics to peruse:

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Lot’s o’ butterflies here.

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This is our new friend Carolina Cash, who is 8. She lives 2 football fields away from us, in between the cashew, avocado, lime, and mango trees.  She and the kids play in a grass thatched ‘tree house’ that someone built some years ago.  It has a built in termite nest in the roof.  Does that present a problem with the stability of the structure?  Hope not…

 

 

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Last week we took a trip up one of the rivers to go for a hike and swim. Jordan IDontknowherlastname and Maria Gallos joined the 5 of us. We had to drive up a dirt road for about 5 miles to come to a small hydroelectric dam, where we parked. Then, we signed in at the dam with some dudes with guns, and walked past the dam to hike up the river. For Honduras, It’s very dry right now (it’s weird, but they are praying for rain). We came to this serene pool and enjoyed a refreshing dip. As far as we know, we didn’t encounter any parasites that swam up our urethras (that’s your pee hole).

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Maria, H, O, J, and I hiked quite a ways up the river, over giant boulders and through pools and streams to reach a gorgeous waterfall at the end.   I don’t have pictures because I eventually had to abandon the camera so we could swim across some of the deeper pools that had sheer walls on each side.  But take my word for it, Disney could not have done better.  Juliet was a rock star.

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Hiking through the jungle.  Some ‘God Light’ came down upon us…  Then, we met Indiana Jones.

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Cool lizard.

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Juliet.  dead leaf.

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We had to drive through a little village on our way to the ‘Power plant trail head jungle waterfall hike.’   This lil’ Niña was hanging out near her home.

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The village was made largely of Champas, thatched roof huts.  Everyone dries their laundry on lines, including us.

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looking down a palm tree

 

 

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This amazing insect was crawling on our front door 2 days ago.  It’s a walking stick and it literally looks exactly like a twig.  So much so, that Owen stepped on his hind end.  He stuck around our porch for awhile, recovering.  (The stick, that is)

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9 thoughts on “Christmas in Honduras

  1. Scott Ruark says:

    Love reading these! You are blessing us back here by being willing to go down there and bless others! We are praying for you guys!

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  2. KFife Johnson says:

    Excellent updates. My sister the nurse will love knowing the doctors do the work instead of ordering nurses to do it. In my mind you all wear Indiana Jones hats and sprint across that bridge as it burns and the vipers hiss.

    I love that you went to be blessings to new people and you are already being blessed. It’s just perfect that it works that way. Answer the call of the jungle – good stuff awaits!

    And I hope your girls stop tasting like exotic foreign cuisine soon.

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    • rmoults says:

      Fife,
      Hey, thanks for the note! It’s not quite as rustic as Raiders of the Lost Ark here, but enough to make us a bit uncomfortable. The hospital has some real challenges, but that has actually been fun to experience in a weird sort of way. I have to remind myself that it’s either the care that we provide, or no care at all…
      Wish I could say the bugs were biting less. However, I think we are just getting numb to the itching… 🙂
      Take care, hope all is well with you. BTW, they are in great need of teachers and people who can build stuff. just sayin…

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  3. Suki says:

    So glad to hear things are going well. Pictures are beautiful. Not missing much here. Yucky, icy roads resulted in a two hour delay in both Selah and Yakima. I-82 was closed most of yesterday due to snow and bad accidents. Socked in with clouds again today. Heidi are you in need of any teaching supplies? If so, how can I get them to you.

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    • rmoults says:

      Hi Suki! We are in a honeymoon stage with the weather here. Apparently it is colder than normal, and drier. So its feeling pretty perfect to us! A neighbor has said to me, “You poor thing, just wait for what comes in March.” The miserable heat is coming…I am not in need of school supplies. We do have a major city about an hour and a half away- and a Walmart has just recently opened. It seems like those supplies are very available (Its back to school time here now, they start mid Feb.) We went to do weekly shopping yesterday. I found most things on my list, but some things, I think, don’t exist here- Like affordable chocolate chips and nuts, and plain pop corn (not microwaveable!) LOL!

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  4. Mike and Rachel Ziegler says:

    Ryan…we have been actively reading your posts…thank you so much for all the varied details from the living conditions, to your family adventures and the medical concerns….we are lifting you all up as you serve this community and share the love of Christ and witness His faithful provision! Blessings…the Zoo

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  5. darlene says:

    So happy to hear that you are all well. Life is good here. We will continue to send love and prayers your way. You are, indeed, aiding in God’s work! 😄

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    • rmoults says:

      Thank you Darlene, I appreciate that you are keeping track of us, as well as your prayers! I hope all is well with you and your family. take care, and many blessings.

      Like

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