Today we experienced the closest thing to a routine we’ve had this week. Once again, we awoke to a spectacular sunrise and breakfast next door. The team was anxious to resume our projects in Pedro de Bethancourt with fresh ideas and renewed vigor. Disclaimer: if you enjoy this blog entry more than others, it is because this entry features multiple guest bloggers filling in for Corey, who spent the day (successfully, at least!) fighting off some stomach bugs. Fortunately, Corey was at the hospital just long enough to see Cat celebrate the opening of her dastardly autoclave! In the end, all it took was 2 days, 6 engineers, half a bottle of WD-40, a crowbar, a giant wrench, a lead pipe, and the biceps of Pablo.
Danny continued his work bringing the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) into the future by converting maternal education videos from VHS to DVD. He then worked with Britney in the afternoon repairing hotplates. Lowell also continued his work from yesterday by putting new sensors in infant warmers and Evan worked with Erica on a donation of four suction regulators ready for use in the NICU. Erica also worked with Liz on installing a sound system in the NICU that can be used for music therapy and Danny’s new maternal education DVDs.
Britney and Laynie continued their progress on a few ventilation units also in the NICU. They had to work quickly on their feet since one of their repairs required a baby to be on manual ventilation during their inspection.
Becca was able to finish her project on a custom Bililight and proudly passed along the equipment to Sergio, the chief engineer. Laura worked with Becca on this project and afterwards, as icing on the cake, they repaired a pulse oximeter together.
After a hard day at work, the team was treated to a glimpse into ‘a day in the life of Pabs’ and a private tour of La Finca Filadelfia, a sprawling coffee plantation on the outskirts of Antigua. Pablo, one of our drivers and translators who doubles as a coffee guru, led us through the precise and delicate steps of coffee bean preparation. He walked us through the harvesting of coffee berries by hand, selection by size, pulping, drying on the tile roofs, and shucking of the shells to expose the precious coffee beans ready to roast. The tour was followed by a walk through the luxurious on-site five-star hotel and relaxation outdoors while admiring the picturesque views of the surrounding mountains and volcanoes. The amenities were so tempting that, when it was time to leave, Dr. Walker even momentarily considered ditching the group and staying there for the rest of the week! For those at home envious of our VIP coffee tour, you just may get a little piece of this paradise in the form of Pablo’s hand-roasted and blended gourmet Guatemalan coffee!