Friday, June 20, 2014


 Last month I got Dengue (den-gay), dangit. ☺  First I had a raging fever, and my body ached from top to bottom.  I checked out dengue symtoms online and was pretty sure that's what I had.  I sought advice from our zone leader who told me to get some "suero" and drink 2 packets in a glass of water every 4 hours, along with 2 tylenol.  The suero is a small packet of powder that is full of electrolytes, potasium, and other good stuff.  It comes in 2 flavors, strawberry and coconut.  So in 3 days or so I was feeling much better.  Then last week I had a low fever.  I didn't feel bad, just the low fever.  I also sweat constantly even though I wasn't hot.  This week I finally went to the doctor.  He is a member of our ward, recently returned from Texas doing Medical training.  He is a surgeon, but does family doctor work in the morning.  So we saw him on Tuesday.  He had some lab work done on me and confirmed I had had dengue, and that I had dengue now - 2 times.  He told me to go home and rest. and come and see him in 2 days.  Also got some medicine to take, along with more suero.  When I returned they took another blood sample.  My placettes had increased from 109 to 115.  The doctor then shared that I had hemoragic dengue, the worst of the 4 types.  But because I was in good shape I didn't bleed or suffer the way some do.  Last year the doc's placettes were down to 75 and he was hospitalized for 3 days.  2 days later I feel the best I have felt in a few weeks.  So the bad news is I have had 2 kinds of dengue.  The good news is that I have had the worst, and I am unlikely to get it again.  It is interesting that Vicky gets mosquito bites 4-5 times a day, even with repellant.  I get bit just a few times a week,  but I got sick, not her (for which I am grateful).

This is our roof.  Even though we have a dryer we like to hang clothes in the sun to dry.  The yellow house is our neighbor's.  Behind the clothes you can see our water tank.  We are lucky.  A lot of house don't have tanks (the roof won't support it) and they have running water every other day.  So the days that they have water is when they wash clothes (by hand).

Every Wednesday and Saturday this lady comes to sell vegetables on the sidewalk near where we live.  She wears typical Guatemalan attire - bright blouses and aprons.  This is in the late morning and most of her stuff is already sold.  This is the best produce around.  I like the carrots.  They are big, but not woody.  As big as a corn cob, but tender and sweet.  The potatoes are ok, but small.  They would work for seed potatoes in the US.

 Most of the time she kneels down with her produce within arms reach.  She will offer to rip the tops off the vegetables (like beets, onions, etc) and throws the tops in a pile (to the right).  She is very quick with numbers and adds up the amount as she puts things in the bag.  Her scale in blue, under the silver pan.  In Mexico I was used to kilos.  Here they use pounds, and they sell cloth by the yard instead of the meter.
Alma and her son live around the corner from us.  She has 2 twin sons about 16 years old.  They are very nice boys.

This is a fairly nice pole full of electrical connections.  It looks worse than it is.  Most of the cables are not 120 volts, rather light stuff for internet or phone service.  What ever is left over seems to get tied in a knot and left there for future use.

Simeon and his grandson.  I think he is 77.  He is a very nice man.  He can't walk without the walker.  His house sits nexts to the highway and he is usually sitting here watching people and cars go by.  Everybody knows him.  He has lived here for 25 years or more.

As I was getting in the car I looked down and saw a line of ants, and each one was carrying part of a leaf they had chewed up.  It reminded me of the song we used to sing as we hiked in Boy Scouts:  The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah , , ,

On May 21st we had a meeting with Pres. Duncan of the first quorum of 70 and his wife.  He is the Area president over Central America.  These are about half of the missionaries in our mission.  We have a lot of Guatemalans, Hondurans, and others from El Salvador, along with a few from Peru, and U.S.
If you click on the picture you can see us better.

Last week we went exploring a little.  Took a back road out of town heading north.  Along the way I caught a picture of this guy flying his kite, winding the string on a tin can.  The kites are made with twigs or straws, then covered with tissue papers, or plastic from garbage sacks.

We live somewhere in the lower valley.  Here in the middle of nowhere is a nice soccer field.

These fern fronds are 4-5 feet long.

As we came toward this tree we could see dozens of butterflies flitting around it, looked like swallowtails, but weren't, and some other black and red species.

Same tree.  I can't see the butterflies, can you?

Just outside of the town on top of the mountain we found this.  The soil here is clay mixed with a lot of sand (volcanic).  Most of the work like this is done with a machete.  Climbing those stairs would keep you fit.

Near the beach Vicky had me stop so she could take a picture of the house.  The whole thing is made from palm/coconut leaves.  The walls are split leaves with the green removed, the roof is thatched.  The air is able to move thru the house and keeps things cool.

After 5 months we finally saw the ocean.  It is about 1 hour 20 minutes from the house.

Vicky said it was nice to put her feet in warm water.

The water is brown for about the first 100 yards or so.  Vicky thinks it is that way because of the rain.  I think it is brown because there is a good sized river (like the Willamette) that is very muddy that empties into the ocean just a mile or so away.


There is lots of wood, some driftwood, but also lots of twigs, lots of plastic bags, plastic bottles, and flip flops.  After we left I mentioned to Vicky that there were not any seagulls.

We went exploring a came across this chapel.  I had just asked Vicky if there were missionaries in Ocos (where we are).  It is a very small town, but this is where people come to the beach.

It was about 100 degrees this day.  I like the 2nd floor - open on 4 sides, with the thatched roof, the coolest part around.

In this small village someone did a nice job with a variety of flowering plants.

These are birds nests hanging from the power wires.  Kind of like a long sock, but woven with straw. 

All along the highway the trees are trimmed to cover the road, I suppose to provide shade.

Anyone want a coconut?

This is the size of a cantalope.  They are not fruit, but the insides are cut out, then used as a water container.

Last month the church had a presentation where the whole city was invited to come and enjoy.  I bought this for $65 and played a couple of numbers with some others from the church.

Sister Virginia lives out of town a few miles.  After she gets off the bus she walks over a mile down a trail to get to her house.  She took us to meet some church members where she lives.  She is always in church on Sunday.

Most of the Merida family.  The oldest son is serving a mission in Honduras.  Freddy the father was Branch President in La Blanca a few years ago.

Maria and ? her little sister live 5 miles or more from La Blanca.  They either walk or hitch up the horse to the trailer to go to town, or church.