Monday, January 21, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

All Belize Photos

Click on this link to view the entire gallery of Belize photos.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A few final posts to come...

Check back in over the next few days for final posts, pictures and possibly a video.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Headed home tomorrow

Today was mostly a day to relax and pack for our return home tomorrow. Here's a summary of the work that took place in our few days here.

61 people from Horizon Community Church and River Hills Christian Church traveled and served in some capacity
2 new homes built for 2 families
1 church re-roofed and painted
200+ homes screened and/or repaired
63 surgeries performed
200+ dermatology patients treated
700+ patients seen and/or treated in 4 villages

Thanks to all of you who kept up with us on this blog and for all of your prayers and notes! This trip has been an incredible experience. The people of Belize, especially those living in extreme poverty, are very kind and loving. There is so much need here as you have likely seen in the stories and pictures we've shared. When we pool our resources and work together, amazing things can happen for so much good.

If you are interested in learning about opportunities to participate next year, please email John Kirby at

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Our accommodations

Someone asked about our accommodations in Belize. We're staying at Tony's Inn in Corozal Town, northern Belize. It's about 2 hours north of Belize City and is closer to the villages and hospital where we are serving. It's one of the few places in Corozal that can house most of our entire group. Because we used up all of the rooms here, a few of us are staying at an inn next door called Corozal Bay.
We have a nice view overlooking the bay and ocean. There's not much of a beach here at Tony's Inn as the bay water is somewhat brackish and cloudy.

Home life in small villages

I wanted to share a sense of what home life is like for most of the villages we've visited. Most homes are only about 14ft by 18ft and are divided into 3 rooms by drapes or thin paneling. Typically, one room is a living area and two small rooms are just big enough for a bed (which many share) and some walking area. The floor is concrete.

Walls are made from various materials. Some are made from small trees and branches standing vertically and have cracks/openings all around. Others are made of lumber. And some houses have concrete block walls.

Windows are either open or have louvered wooden slats. Roofs are typically sheets of corrugated metal or thatch. Some have doors and some just door openings.

Kitchens are commonly a few feet away from the home to minimize the risk of home fires and to keep smoke out of the house. They have only 3 walls. Food is cooked in pots above burning wood on a small wooden or concrete table. The wood smolders for most of the day.

Some homes have running water spigots for drinking and filling wash buckets. Out-houses are standard. Some homes have electricity for basic needs like a radio or small refrigerator. Clothes are hung to dry on lines outside the home.

Children entertain themselves by either kicking a ball, riding a bike or playing a game or two.

Dermatology Clinic sees 37 in San Pedro

Dr. Wayne and Mary Louise traveled to San Pedro on Monday morning by plane for a 2-day dermatology clinic. The poor that work in local hotels and restaurants and live in hidden shanty villages on the island have little or no access to dermatology. To reach a dermatologist, they would have to take a 2-hour boat trip to Belize City, pay for a dermatologist visit which most cannot afford, and probably not be able to travel back home in the same day.

On Monday, they saw 37 patients. A translator worked with them to provide communications assistance. The cases coming in are much different than why we might go to a dermatologist. These are extreme cases of serious and typically large skin problems. In the U.S., these are usually caught well in advance. They will continue their work today and return tomorrow.