Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Picture story of my trip to Mexico

The village nearby our "camp site" - close to where we had our village medical clinic in Mexico

Taking a health history in our urban clinic

Making friends - Leticia - one of the fellow students from the course (self portrait)

Shopping center in Guanajuato, Mexico

The area right outside the location we stayed at

View from the college in Guanajuato

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Return trip

My time in Mexico was incredible! It was training for leaders intent on leading medical mission trips. As we are hosting medical teams, instead of sending a representative from each team, we decided to have me be the on-site leader and attend the training. In addition to the 10 day training we hosted two medical clinics, one in an urban setting, the other in a rural setting.

My return trip getting through Mexico City was quite interesting. Mexico, other than many people wearing masks in the airport, showed no sign that there was anything going on. That is, until, I got onto the airplane. We were all on the plane getting ready to leave when they stopped the plane. A man entered the plane and called out for the person who owned some particular luggage, by calling out the numbers on the baggage claim tickets. I looked at my tickets, and guess what? It was mine. I approached the person, and they took me off the airplane and commenced to give me the 10th degree about what was in my bag (all my medical equipment), what was I doing in Mexico, how long had I been there, what exactly was my purpose, etc. etc. Don't know exactly what they were looking for, or what they wanted, but the took everything out of my bag, then let me get back on the airplane. Then, when arrived into Honduras, our entire plane was escorted my multiple people in front and behind us. We approached an area where there were people with hazardous materials outfits, and masks on. We had to tell where we had been, how long we had been there, and if we had ANY symptoms of the flu. There were at least 10 different reporters there with video cameras and still cameras. They were interviewing people as they were coming out. Much of my bags were looked through, and I was let go to see my family.

Monday, April 27, 2009


QUICK update as I'm exhausted! I arrived safe and sound into Honduras. I'll have to tell you all about customs and me holding up the plane because of where I was coming from, and what it looked like when I arrived into Honduras - so stay tuned to tomorrows blog which will give full details.

Seeing Madison for the first time in a month!

Exhausted after a full days travel - wearing a mask all the way!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Hey gang - just a quick update. I'm currently in Guanajuato, Mexico at the Holiday Inn. I'm leaving for Mexico City on the morning flight. I'll be arriving into Honduras by tomorrow afternoon - please see the post by Mike below. Please pray for my travels!

Swine Flu, Mexico And Erin

This blog entry was written by Mike, Erin’s husband.

Since April 18th Erin has been in Guanajuato, Mexico attending a medical missions training. She has been without internet or phone the entire time and we have not heard from her since the 17th.

Guanajuato is 175 miles NW of Mexico City. Mexico City is the center of the current swine flu problems. So far there are more then 1,300 suspected cases of swine flu in the U.S. and Mexico and an estimated 81 deaths, all since April 13th. The World Health Organization has declared a “public health emergency of international concern”.

The President of Mexico has declared emergency power and has required that Mexico City shut down all schools, churches, bars, museums, theaters, stadiums and other public places. Mexico City’s international airport, which handles about 70,000 passengers each day, is operating without restrictions. Passengers are given a questionnaire asking if they have flu symptoms and recommending they cancel their trip and see a doctor if they do. The airport measures are currently voluntary.

While no country has yet established a travel ban to or from the U.S. or Mexico dozens of countries are screening and even testing passengers arriving from both countries. On Saturday the Honduran government said it may quarantine passengers with flu-like symptoms arriving from the U.S. and Mexico. Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, the two main port cities in the country, will be the main area of surveillance.

So, why am I telling you all this - on Monday(4/26) Erin is scheduled to fly from Guanajuato, Mexico, connect in Mexico City and then onto San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

We ask that you pray for her health and safety. We also ask that you pray for her ability to enter Honduras without limits.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Possible Work Projects - Summer 2009

The following 31 construction projects are potential work sites for our short term mission teams visiting Armenia Bonito in La Ceiba, Honduras in the Summer of 2009.

Watch this 3 minute 20 second video to see what some of our teams might be working on this Summer:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where In The World Am I?

From April 18th to the 26th I am in Guanajuato, Mexico attending MTW’s Advanced Medical Leadership Training. Through lectures and workshops this training seeks to prepare medical workers to serve in the developing world. Topics include HIV, malaria, organizing a medical clinic, medical ministry and the church, team leadership and more.

There are three dedicated days of clinical workshops - one in urban settings, one in rural settings and one on community development.

Medical professionals and fulltime missionaries attend this training. These eight days are designed specifically for people in my condition – providing medical assistance in third world conditions with little financial resources. I will be able to take this information back to Honduras and apply it directly to our work. In addition, while I am here, I will be leading a lecture on our work in La Ceiba.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Boys Day Out

On Saturday our team took 35 boys from Armenia Bonito to a special day out. We took them by bus, 20 minutes away, to the beach community of El Porvenir. The boys played soccer, swam, boated, did crafts, prayed, heard a Bible study and ate a great meal.

You can watch this 3 minute and 20 second video to see what went on:

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Off to Mexico for training until the 27th. I've not heard if there is internet there or not so don't know if there will be any updates from me while I'm there. Please pray for my time there that it would be fruitful, safe, and God would have me learn exactly what He would like me to learn.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

San Jose

Off to San Jose (California, not Costa Rica) to go visit my parents today. It's my moms birthday, so I thought I would go for a surprise visit. Tomorrow is my final full day in the States. Saturday I have to be at the airport at 4:00am for a 6:00am flight to Mexico. It's been an incredible time of resting, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


About 5 months ago I had some things sent to my friend Mindy. She has graciously stored them for quite some time. We had the idea to bring them back to Honduras with us when we were here in Christmas - but because we were so overwhelmed with all the school supplies, none of the other ministry items came with us. So yesterday, Mindy and I went through all the items to consolidate them and prepare them so when the team from our home church comes down this summer, they will be ready to bring with them. One of our tasks was to take 240 tubes of antibiotic cream and put them into a single sterilized container.

Half way done:

Container to take more than half of the ointment in:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Monday

After an awesome weekend of being able to celebrate our risen Savior with my church family, with my mother and father-in-law - Margaret and Jeri, brunch with my sis and brother-in-law, then back to my temporary home with the Hertzells, I sit and reflect on Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and remember many of our Honduran friends back home who have no relationship with Him. It is a friendly reminder of why we are there.

I miss my family in Honduras a LOT! However, with modern technology, we video Skype almost every other day. It's WONDERFUL!!! Not just hearing their voice over a phone, but to be able to see them is such a treasure :-)


Happy Monday to all!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Enjoying my time

Last night we had some friends over to the Hertzells house, where I am staying, and had a GREAT time of relaxing, talking, and just being at peace. I have been enjoying just "hanging out", and recouping after a long time of working, working, working. Tomorrow I will be attending my home church, Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church, for Easter service. My mother and father in law will be coming, and I am looking forward to spending the day with them. I've been shopping for things I can't find in Honduras, and I must say, it's been fun talking to people at the store in English, but it's funny that my ears gravitate to people in the store who are speaking Spanish! A comforting thought that I'm starting to feel very comfortable around Spanish speakers. Next week we have a few things on the agenda, including going to see my folks, and I can't wait!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

California here I come...

After 12 long, but good days of training, I'm on my way back to California for some days of respite, relaxation, movie watching, going to the restaurants, sleeping in, etc. It's MUCH needed as in I'll be headed to Mexico for another 10 day training. It's going to be a great time, so I come :-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Learning, learning, and more learning

Infections, Re-hydration techniques, injuries, burns, bites, abscesses and ulcers, lacerations, suturing, malnutrition and anemia, water and food purification, childbirth, leprosy, skin problems, etc. These are just a few of the things that we are learning about in this course. Today is Tuesday and it's a full day today and tomorrow, half day on Thursday, then graduation! I've done 60 case studies, with more to go. It's been an amazing time so far, and I look forward to the remaining time. However, I also look forward to chill out times with my friends, eating at good restaurants, seeing some movies, and just chilling. Because right after my time in California I'm off to another training in Mexico before I head back home to Honduras.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Missionary Medicine Intensive:

This has been a very intense class I've been in. It's currently 3:30 on Saturday, and I'm just finishing up my homework. Sunday is a day of rest, but Monday starts it all over again. This has been an incredible class that is going to help our ministry tremendously! Anyone going on the mission field long-term, I would HIGHLY encourage you to attend this class. It is practical, informative, and will equip you to be prepared in almost any medical situation! Here is a brief summary from the website: "Whether you are a doctor with very little experience in tropical medicine, a nurse or a lay person, your two weeks in MMI will give you that preparation. The course textbook, the Village Medical Manual, was written by Dr. Mary Vanderkooi, an Equip missionary and a specialist in tropical medicine. This unique diagnostic tool, in conjunction with 200 sample case studies, will prepare you to use logical, step-by-step methods to diagnose hundreds of diseases that you may encounter."

Here are some pics of us doing exercises in class:

Practicing stitches

Final results:

Making our homemade naso-gastric tubes: (this is a before shot - didn't take one during or after)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Missionary Medicine Intensive

Missionary Medicine Intensive

This week has been filled of classes, lectures, homework (at least 2-6 hours of homework a night), practical experiences such as injecting meds (we used saline - practiced on each other). I was not required to do this as I do it often. Today we made "home made" NG tubes (tubes that go through the nose into the stomach), for rehydration of severely dehydrated people. And, you guessed it, we had to practice on each other. Again, as I've done this a LOT, I didn't have to do any, but I had to be the guinea pig...sigh... NOT my favorite thing at all! And only in a class like this would you hear this statement that was made today, in discussing if we had time to run to a local ice cream store, "ice cream is always better after leprosy slides." Anyway - as you can tell, a lot is going on, we are busy from 6:30 in the morning until about 10:30 or 11:00 at night. Stay tuned...