On Saturday, a group of volunteers will leave Oklahoma City and fly into the Central American country of Guatemala. Their suitcases will be loaded with bottles of medicine, latex gloves, bandages and anything else they can pack along with them. They’re medical missionaries and from through Monday through Friday, they’re going to provide basic health care to natives in rural areas.
Guatemala is located south of Mexico and west of Belize and Honduras in Central America. According to the CIA World Factbook, there are more than 13 million people living in Guatemala, according to the most recent estimates. The average life expectancy is roughly 70 years and the risk of infectious diseases is high. More than half the population is below the poverty line.
That’s part of the population the medical missionaries will be targeting. The group will base out of the city of Chichicastenango in southwestern Guatemala and travel to rural villages to set up clinics. Many of the people they’ll treat have no other access to medical care.
I’ll be with the group, helping out where I can. I’ll be blogging throughout the trip, assuming there’s internet access throughout.
The group consists primarily of medical professionals, a doctor, a dentist, and three nurses. Including me, there are five others making the trek as well.
What’s it going to be like for doctors to provide health care to places without running water or electricity to people who may have no other access to a health care?
Come Monday, I’ll find out.
I was saddened to hear of Randy’s M&M’s closing. I feel like the store and I started careers at the same time.
When the store opened in 1981, I was a 10-year-old embarking on my baseball career. Just happened that a player on the team was somehow related to the store’s owner. So over the next four or five years my team was the Edmond A’s sponsored by Randy’s M&M’s — green jerseys with a yellow lettering on the back promoting Randy’s. I remember feeling pretty cool to be sponsored by such a hip store specializing in music and video movies.
Randy’s lasted longer than my baseball career — two broken thumbs in 8th-grade ball was pretty much the end for me.
The memory has lasted for a much longer time. I remember those days spent with my dad as he coached the team, the last outs and the winning runs. I can still remember the names of most the players, some who have reappeared from time to time in my life.
I’m not sure if the Randy’s at 3200 Boulevard in Edmond was the first store. Seems like there might have been one before that.
What I am sure of is that the Boulevard store has been on my route home from work for the past six years or so. At the end of a long day, it’s nice to drive by and see the M&M’s sign and just for a moment flashback to those days as a child playing ball with my friends. It makes me smile and occasionally brings a tear to the eye.
So thanks Randy. I’m sad to see you go.
Michael Baker, Local Editor
Flew in somewhat late Friday night and I’m already missing the dry heat of Reno. How did it get so hot and humid here?
Yesterday was somewhat of an emotional day. In the morning I said goodbye to a great group of journalists that I spent six weeks with.
Good people. I will miss them all.
But, I’m happy to be back in Oklahoma, with family and in my own house.
And I’ll be happy to return to another great group of journalists at The Oklahoman. I’ll be back at my desk next week.
So, I’ve said goodbye to Reno.
And, I’ll say a hello to all my friends and coworkers in Oklahoma. I’ve missed you all.
… Oops, I almost forgot. I did 0ne last video while I was in Reno. I’ll share it with you here. I found an interesting landscape photographer with a gallery on the Truckee River. Here’s his quick interview.
We graduate from the Maynard Institute multimedia program on Friday. They call it graduation, but I don’t believe there’s a final exam.
Before that, I want to share a trip I took when I headed out of Reno for a day.
First up was Carson City, the Capitol of Nevada. The Capitol building sits in the middle of town surrounded by nicely landscaped grounds.
I stopped in a nice little coffee shop across the street, Comma Coffee, and had a quick cup.
Then I headed south to Minden. I first heard of Minden when I saw an advertisement for a uekele festival the other weekend. I didn’t make the festival but the town stuck in my mind. It has a mix of new and old. There’s some old buildings on the main street and a few newer areas just off. The Sierra Nevada Mountains make a beautiful backdrop for the town. When I was there it was July 4 and the city was getting ready for a celebration.
Back to Reno after that. A nice day driving around. Some real pretty country.
I was walking around downtown Reno the other day with my roommate here at the Maynard Institute multimedia editing program. We came across a real nice woman with a really peaceful and engaging demeanor.
Kimberly Allcock is a henna artist and she was working at a farmers market on West Street near the Truckee River. My roommate and I sat down and spoke with her a bit.
It was a nice conversation and experience. Very calming and I’m sure I’ll do it again.
I’m getting ready to enter my last week here in Reno and I’ve had a great time. I’m hoping to add one or two more blogs before I go.