Hola from Guatemala! After some delays, we made it to Guatemala on Friday, September 30th and headed to our friend Diana's home for lunch and a visit from one of her sweet kiddos from the Learning Spot! Dylan had the best smile and was definitely a ladies man! He really enjoyed all the individual attention from Paige, Abby, and Kelly. We were all able to demonstrate ideas for his mother and Diana to work on at home and during therapy at Learning Spot. He came with the same AFOs he was given in 2014 and Abby was able fit him with new ones after some assistance with a blow out (via hair dryer) from Kelly. Paige was able to give oral motor exercises Diana was so excited to carry over while he is in his stander. We are always so excited to work with kiddos who have so much potential for carry over once we are gone!
Today, we headed out to a neighboring village to a community clinic. We were able to see some familiar faces and several new ones! Our first arrival was a sweet little girl with hydrocephalus and spina bifida. She was quite spicy and developmentally on target for fine motor and speech language skills but needed help with some positioning techniques. Abby and Kelly were even able to turn a knee brace into some hip helpers! Our next visitor was a sweet boy we met last fall and his mother. We brought a chair with the intention of being able to position him better, but it needed a few more tweaks then we initially anticipated. With a group effort and an enormous amount of duct tape, pool noodles, and puzzles, he was in! Once positioned correctly, Paige was able to demonstrate safer feeding techniques. We were also happy to see that he seemed happier and more relaxed than our previous visit.
We would be remiss to not highlight how big of a ROCKSTAR Abby was today! Although we intended to put on a pediatric focused community clinic, residents of the outside villages rarely get to see medical specialist and were very excited to see us. This included MANY orthopedic issues for the adults in this village. Over years of hard work in cute, yet unsupportive footwear, many of the adults had hip, knee, ankle, and foot pain. Abby was able to help so many of them with stretches, exercise, and many pairs of supportive shoes.
Overall, we were able to see 25 individuals in this community and are so grateful for the amazing hospitality of the residents who lent us their home for our "office". Additionally, we were given a large donation of art packets from Art from the Heart of Joy, which we were able to give to many of the community children. They were so excited to get their "school supplies". We look forward to returning in the future!