surgery number six

Surgery number six,
Now hopefully I'm fixed!
Much to Dr. Austin's surprise,
A bone spur was found right before his eyes.
Wore a hole through the tendon,
So it couldn't do much mendin',
But after surgery and 6 weeks of healing,
Back to normal I'll be...
wow, what a good feeling!

Thank you for your love and prayers in my behalf...I am so grateful that I followed the prompting to get this surgery done as soon as possible.
Much love!


My Mama...

After reading a friends post about being a mother, I was overwhelmed with emotion as I thought about my own mother...
Starting with Monday, the past week has not gone down in the record book as one of the smoothest, greatest, or happiest. It was filled with slimy oysters (yuck), and nipping crabs (ouch).
Thursday was a particularly difficult day and as I was on my way to go home for lunch I called my Mama. She was busy doing this and that, but of course she didn't hesitate one instant to invite me over to eat lunch with her. As I walked in the door I saw sitting on the table a hot bowl of clam chowder and broiled cheese bread with my Mother walking toward me, arms outstretched. She held me in her arms as I shook and trembled with emotion...as we stood next to the table she didn't utter a word, but magically she seemed to take away from me all my fear, my heartache, and my insecurity.
Since that day I have pondered about the hundreds of other similar occasions that my Mother and I have shared. How is it that with one hug, or one look, she seems to know everything? She knows how I feel, and how to fix it...every time.
How grateful I am for my Mama.
I love you Mom,
Always have,
Always will.


More of Ecuador

Here are just a few pictures from our medical mission in Ecuador. I apologize, but they are in backwards order! Enjoy!

The patients are brought here to recover after surgery. Only some of them are able to go home with some medication, and the ones that do get medication only take home a few tylenol. Each guardian of the patient that received the medication was always wide-eyed with gratefulness.

Here is a picture of Dr. Rob Ferguson and Shane in one of many surgeries. In this surgical case they were fixing a deformed hand. Their operating room had no windows, no air conditioning, and no working equipment (including tables). When you walked into the room it looked misty from the amount of humidity that filled it.

These are the doors to the operating rooms. Every door in the hospital looked very similar to this! From the inside of the doors bunches of peeking eyes could always be seen through the broken glass.

The little girl wearing pink pants (Derineya) was able to have surgery done on her cleft palate during the medical mission in 2009. She and her family were at the hospital all week giving love to families there. One afternoon Derineya came searching for me in the hospital...once she found me she took my hand and led me outside. She then pointed to a drawing done with the sidewalk chalk I had given her. It was a big heart and inside it she had written, "KENZIE, LOVE YOU". Her mother said in Spanish that it had taken her all afternoon to figure out how to say it in English. Words can't explain how that made me feel!

On the first day at the hospital, hundreds of patients line up outdoors waiting to be seen by our team of doctors. This picture is taken outside the door to the clinic with one of our anesthesiologists (Dr. Butch Parker) walking out. Notice how tiny all of the Ecuadorians are!

We were so ready to get to work! This was our first day, getting ready to head to the hospital.

Our first few days we spent in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Quito actually marks the center of the world, and here Shane and I are standing right on the Equator! It really was amazing.

This is outside one of the cathedrals in Quito. All of these people are homeless, waiting for food from the church.

Outside the presidential palace we came across this sweet little fellow! We asked for a picture and he willingly said yes :) Again, look how little he is!

On one of the days in Ecuador we took a day trip to a city in Otavalo with our friends, Dr Rob Ferguson and his wife Andrea, and also Heidi and her husband Dr Butch Parker.

Otavalo presents a big market every Saturday and Sunday. They sell a ton of homemade goods like necklaces made from acai seeds (above), carved gourds, weaved bags, wooden nativities, vegetables, meat, etc.

This was our view outside the window of our hotel room in Quito. Check out that traffic!

We made it to Ecuador! This was taken right as we arrived at our hotel in Quito at about 1 in the morning. We had to take those two blue bins which were stuffed with medical supplies with us on the airplane.

Thank you for your prayers while we were in Ecuador! We miss it and can't wait to go back.


Medical Mission Ecuador

For ten beautiful days we were captured by the pure happiness of the Ecuadorians.
Hundreds of children, teens, and adults all traveled miles hoping to be cured of their deformities by our team of magnificent doctors...and even though only a fraction of those people were able to receive surgery, all considered themselves blessed to simply be seen by our American staff.

How is it that we can have everything, but have nothing at the same time? My heart was in shock as I watched those sweet, happy, pure, and respectful Ecuadorian people meander throughout buildings and roads without shoes, without food, carrying loads of goods to sell or babies on their backs...they are people with nothing, but have absolutely everything. The best part about it is that they know they have everything...they have a family, everyone is a friend, they have the sun, the rain...what else matters?

What else does matter I ask? Our fancy homes, the ten (or more) pair of shoes in our closet, the water that comes out pure and clean out of every faucet?
Not to the Ecuadorians...
LOVE everything.
keep a PRAYER in your HEART.
find a FRIEND in everyone.
discover a BLESSING everywhere.
be HAPPY for who you are.

As I step back and take a panoramic view of my life it is clear to see that material things tend to cloud cover the important things. Without needing to utter a word, the people of Ecuador have taught me numerous lessons... I will always be grateful for that.

keep love in your hearts...xoxo