Archive for the 2010 Trip Category

Day 9!

Posted in 2010 Trip on May 22, 2010 by David M. Jackett

By Brendan Kearney (Sachse Fire Department)

After sleeping in somewhat we all got breakfast on our own and then started getting ready.  Some of us stayed behind while some of us walked down to go to the market.  The Market was unlike anything I have ever seen.  It was basically a huge flea market and anything you wanted you could find.  We ventured towards the back of the market as we were told this was where we could find the best deals.  Everyone spread out and started buying gifts and haggling with the sales people.  While it was fun at first it got old quickly.  At times you just wanted to buy something and not have to spend 5 minutes trying to get them to come down.  After walking around and finding gifts for family we headed back to the hotel so that we could move to the new one.  After walking around the corner we got there but were told that check-in wasn’t until 3 so we would have to wait.  They allowed us to keep our bags in a room and said we could come back and check-in after 3.

At this point the group split and half of us left to go to the coffee plantation tour and the other half left to go eat lunch and then head back to the market.  I was in the group going back to the market, so we headed down the road and made our dinner reservations for the night.  After that we headed to Monoloco (crazy monkey) for lunch.  Now their boast is that they have nachos as big as your head.  I had to see if this was true and believe me it was (if not the size of two heads).  While at lunch we did get to experience watching futbol(soccer to us Americans) in a country that loves futbol.   It was quite entertaining and let me just say they love futbol more than we love any of our sports.  After lunch we headed back to the market to haggle some more and spend more money.  We all walked away getting some nice things and not spending a whole lot of money.  We made our way back to the hotel and after some miscommunication we got our room keys and our bags.  Those of us that were there got situated and then headed up to the roof to relax and enjoy the view.  After the other group returned from the coffee tour (which they all enjoyed and said they learned some stuff) we headed out to eat at Casa de Escobar.  The food was great and other than the two man band playing to our right, and the never-ending music videos of Alejandro Fernandez it was a lot of fun.  While at the restaurant we celebrated Chase’s birthday with a big slice of cheesecake.  It was nice to just sit around, unwind and just enjoy each other’s company.  It was a perfect way to top off an awesome trip that none of us will forget.  After dinner some of us headed back to the hotel while the rest of us went and continued celebrating Chase’s birthday and the end of a truly amazing trip.


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Day 8

Posted in 2010 Trip on May 21, 2010 by David M. Jackett

By Shane Steinbach (Lewisville Fire Department)

This morning we started off by making breakfast for all the kids at the orphanage. It was a great time serving the kids and seeing the smiles on their faces.  They really enjoyed the bacon.  But who doesn’t love bacon!  Following clean-up the kids wanted to demonstrate their karate skills for us.  The demonstration was great to watch.  We could certainly tell they put time into it, and really wanted to impress us.  When the show was over it was time to say good bye.  Though we did not get to spend a whole lot of time with the children, saying good bye was still very difficult.  From this point we were off to Antigua for some relaxation.

The drive to Antigua was uneventful, but very mountainous.  There were a lot of long, steep drives up and down.  Once in Antigua you could, without doubt, tell it was different than Guatemala City.  Most of the roads in the main part were cobblestone, and there were much more “gringos” around.

Once in Antigua we got settled in to our hotel and ate lunch. Following lunch we called a local fireman that went to Guatemala City for our training.  He took us to the main volunteer station in Antigua.  This station was a standard station.  They had ambulances, engines, and other apparatus to work with.  The guys at the main station took us to a sub-station outside the city limits.  Here we learned about a heart for emergency services.  These guys had one ambulance in-service, and they lived and worked out of a modified school bus.  The front half was the day room/office/kitchen, and the back had two sets of bunk beds wedged in there.  Working like that as a paid guy is one thing, but to do it as a volunteer shows a true desire to help the people of your community.  We took some pictures with everyone, and then headed back to the hotel.

DAY 7!!!

Posted in 2010 Trip on May 20, 2010 by David M. Jackett

By: Clay Lee (Richardson Fire Department)

Dude, where do I start? I guess I will start with the morning. Breakfast @ 0700 of which we promptly showed at 0745, and took off for the station for our last day with the bomberos de 69. When we got there John and Kelcey were on a MVC where a motorcycle ran into the side of a van. The motorcycle rider was cut up with a possible broken foot. They loaded the driver of the van and the rider in the ambulance and took off to two different hospitals.

Our group went many different ways today. First Clay Rozell started by sharing our true purpose of being there today. He gave a short and sweet testimony to the class explaining how Jesus came to save us and how that is the bond in our team. We have built a relationship with the bomberos and there is a trust between on both ends. He explained how we are Christians first and firefighters second. The group seemed responsive, and our prayer is that it plants a seed in their hearts. Brendon, Brad, Shane, and Kelcey finished up the training which went extremely well. Louis drove Hayden and I (Clay L) all over Guatemala City looking for fire gear which is near impossible in this place. Just like the saying goes, “Nobody has the gear you are looking for but knows someone who does.” News flash – that somebody does not have it either. Chase, Mark, and Clay R went to the store to buy dinner for tonight and breakfast tomorrow morning for the orphanage. David “Chaquetta” stayed at the station and cooked lunch for us, who knew beans would take so long in a pressure cooker. Pollo Campero saved the day for us gringos who don’t know how to cook Guatemalan style.

Tonight we had a big fiesta for all who were involved in our stay. We had several members from Casa de Libertad, several firefighters and their families, and our whole team at the station. We had a ceremony to thank the members of the Bomberos de Voluntario, and Francisco from Casa de Libertad presented some gifts which included some rope bags an axe and other misc rescue gear. The bomberos were very appreciative. Then they showed their appreciation for us and told us that we were a part of their team. They announced that our whole team now held the position of “officers” and gave every single one of us a uniform shirt with a badge and a hat (which is sweet) and they all had our name embroidered on the back. We were truly honored. After the ceremony we all got some chow, which was beef stroganoff the guys worked on earlier.

During dinner a call came in. All we knew was that some guys became trapped during a construction collapse. We all loaded up on the engine. All 16 of us loaded on the 1982 Mack open cab. We had 3 riding tail board, two riding backwards, and the rest of us were stacked up on the hose bed. We arrived to a scene I will never forget. In downtown Guatemala they were building a high rise with a 7 floor parking garage underneath it. They had a hole dug for the parking garage, of which words cannot describe. The hole was about 100 feet deep, 50 yards wide, and 150 yards long. The 100 ft wall was half concrete walls and the other half was dirt only! The collapse was a whole side and fell on 5 workers. I will leave out the details due to time, but they let our whole team in the hole for a first hand experience while they recovered the bodies. While in the hole there was a secondary collapse (a small amount of debris fell and no one was injured), but at that time we decided it was safer to be at street level. Upon exiting the news crews were everywhere and interviewed Pepe, Luis, and CLAY ROZELL! That’s right Clay R is famous in Guatemala City now.

We got back to the station said our goodbyes and went to the orphanage. Tomorrow comes early. Love all of you and thank you for following our adventure with us. Peace out!

Day 6

Posted in 2010 Trip on May 19, 2010 by David M. Jackett

By: Hayden Mooney (Lewisville Fire Department)

Where to begin… Today has been full of adventure and excitement for everyone.  Myself (Hayden), and Clay Rozell rode out with the firemen at Station 69 last night, and at about 5:30 this morning we were called out to a woman in labor.  While en route to the hospital we delivered a healthy baby boy!

The rest of our group arrived at Station 69 this morning at about 8:30, and we all hit the

Firefighters performing "Denver Drill"!

ground running.  The crew from B shift started a new round of training, working on “the Denver drill,” reading smoke, and fire ground operations.  This was a great opportunity to teach these firemen information that many of them had never seen before.  All went well.

At 1:30 things got a little bit crazy.  Station 69 got a call for a possible MVA/rescue.  When fire crews arrived on scene they found a vehicle on its side.  Fortunately every one was out of the vehicle and uninjured. However, this was a great opportunity for the Bomberos Voluntarios to use their new training in vehicle stabilization.  Today we also finished up tiling the Clinic, and outfitting the fire engine with new mounting brackets for all of their tools.

Bomberos from Station 69 stabilize vehicle on the scene of a MVA!

This evening we ate dinner that one of the firemen (Emilio) from station 69 made for us from scratch.  He made us a Guatemalan dinner called Pepian, which was very good.  About fifteen minutes after we were done eating dinner a man came up to the station and told us there was woman in his vehicle that was going into labor, and sure enough she was.  Shane Steinback, John Farrar, and myself were given the opportunity to deliver another baby on the side of the rode in front of the station.  This one was a healthy baby girl. Shane was a superstar with his paramedic skills as he was calm and collected, suctioned the baby, and delivered the placenta.

Hosing down the Rookies!

Record for most firefighters present at a babies birth...ever!

Shane w/ the new baby girl!

John w/ the new baby girl!

A constant theme that our group has found in the work that these firemen do here compared to the how we operate as firefighters in the United States is that there is a certain sense of purity in the work these great firemen do down here.  They do the best they can with what little resources they are given.

Day 5

Posted in 2010 Trip on May 18, 2010 by David M. Jackett

By: Brad Nelson (Lewisville Fire Department)

Today started off in similar fashion; another beautiful and cool morning (Sorry Texans).  Our team ate breakfast with the kids at the orphanage again.  Boiled eggs, black beans, corn tortillas, and a drink that I can only describe as a hot apple juice with milk and oats.  It was wonderful! Even with the language barrier, our time with the kids here is priceless.  Their joy is infectious and I couldn’t think of a better way to start the day.  From there we headed off to the station.

After the positive feedback from yesterday, the training crew was really excited for another opportunity to interact with a new group of Guatemalan firefighters.  One of the firefighters from yesterday offered to let our training crew use a conference room in her neighborhood to teach the class.  This was a huge blessing for the team, as the room was larger and quieter than the room we used the day before.  The hospitality down here continues to humble us.

The team did another awesome job teaching on vehicle anatomy, scene size up, extrication, and patient care.  Although the class size was a tad smaller, everyone was full of questions and interested in our ideas.  And like yesterday, several of the local firefighters offered some excellent ideas for us to take back to the states.  The other half of the team stayed back at the fire station working to set up our classes for tomorrow and shopping for new ideas on how to serve the department.

Many of the items and equipment we planned to purchase here are not as available as we first thought.  Kelcey said it best today with “No one seems to have what we need, but they all know someone who does…” Frustrations like these only serve to remind us we are definitely not in control.  God is so good and has protected us this far.  Aside from a few upset stomachs, He has kept our whole team healthy, well rested (for the most part), and continues to bless our relationships with each other and the people we are meeting.  The firefighters are already asking when we are coming back, and God willing, that will be every year until His work with us is finished here.  We have had the company of a few American missionaries who live in Guatemala.  Hearing the testimonies of God’s provision for Mark and Linda has served to renew our spirits of service.

Right now all ten of us are sitting in the living room of the mission team house at the Fundaninos orphanage fellowshipping and preparing for tomorrow.  This time is so important to us and we are very grateful for it.  We all thank you so much for your support.  Alone we are incapable, so please continue to pray that God would use us to make His name great.

Day 4

Posted in 2010 Trip on May 17, 2010 by David M. Jackett

By: John Farrar (Arlington Fire Department)

What’s up Friends and Family? Day four was another busy day. We started the day again having breakfast with the orphans. They served us pancakes with caramel sauce…yeah the stuff you put on ice cream. After trying it I am not sure that we will ever go back to maple syrup.

Girls @ Fundaninos enjoing breakfast!

After breakfast we headed out to the fire station. I think we were all really interested to see the turnout on the first day of training. When we called everyone into the classroom we realized that there were 20 guys and one of them was the assistant chief of the whole country of Guatemala. Yeah….crazy!

Film crew from local news channel interviewing David & Fransisco (pastor of Casa de Libertad)

We also had a news crew stop in to gets shots and interview us for the local news. To be honest I think we were expecting 5-7, maybe 10 so we were stoked. We started out with introductions and thanked them for the opportunity to come down and teach the stuff we love. We really wanted to hammer two points across. One, we wanted them to know that we are all firemen from different cities and it is the church that brings us together. And it is through the local church in their very own fire district that we were able to come down and make this happen. Two, we wanted them to know that we bring no arrogance to the table. We made sure to make it very clear that we are teaching “our way” and not necessarily the Best way.

Chase did a great job teaching scene size up and vehicle anatomy. I don’t think anybody could tell that he had got two hours of sleep the night before because he was up riding calls with the guys at the fire station. We then showed the extrication video and the guys were really attentive. It was nice that we already had the video translated and we could just play it

Firefighters from all over Guatemala City come in for Training Day 1!

through. We had to stop the video multiple times to answer questions, which told us that the guys really did want to learn and absorb the stuff. We ended up having some issues with lunch (we ran of gas for the stove and drinking water) so we pushed through with our after lunch session. We gave the guys extrication scenarios and asked how they would handle them. We had a ton of interaction and a lot of really good ideas. I know I personally learned two extrication techniques from a couple of the guys that I had never heard of. The feedback at the end of the day was really positive. We had one guy say that he was going to come back to the same exact class again because he enjoyed it so much! So we are looking forward to the rest of the week and working our way into fire ground operations.

I am not sure if any of the guys have talked about the bond that is developing among the guys on the trip, so I will mention it really quickly. Since day one of this trip we have been going non stop. So we have been on the drug called sleep deprivation more than once. I have had a few times that I have had to catch my breath because i have been laughing so hard, only to

Kelcey, Brad & Clay Lee talking with Mark W. our friend & translator from Huehue!

then ask myself “why was that so funny?”. I guess it is just this crazy experience of 10 gringo firemen making their way into a society that is nothing like their own. The dogs all look like they are half fox/half hyena, street signs and lights are only suggestions, people ride bikes with wood fastened on the handlebars for their 3 yr old kids to hang on and they really hang on!, all the buses have custom paint jobs and 30 inch chrome rims with people hanging out the doors, there is a food chain called American churros even though churros aren’t american (but anything with the name “american” sells) and the toilet paper isn’t flushed down the toilet. It goes in a little trash can next to the toilet. Try breaking that habit! But at the end of the day people are people. We all need are eyes opened to the truth in this crazy world. Please continue to pray that we can show the love and truth of Christ to these people we are encountering everyday. Pray that His spirit will do a mighty work in both us and them. Also pray that we will be able to help the local church engage with their firemen, to continue our work long after we are done.

We miss you guys. See ya soon!

Day 3

Posted in 2010 Trip on May 16, 2010 by David M. Jackett

By: David Jackett (Fort Worth Fire Department)

We ended the night @ Station 69 with a little bit of excitement last night. As we were getting ready to leave the station got sent out for a structure fire. Clay L. & Brendan were our first two guys riding out with the guys @ 69s, so this was a good start to a long night.

Brendan getting bunked out for structure fire call!

This morning we work up & had breakfast with the kiddos here. I was so glad to see my little friend Michelle, she has been sick the last few days, and her and her twin sister Andrea just brighten up the place with their big smiles! The kids love having us here and while I wish the time we had more time with them, I know the time the Lord has given us, has been very

Michelle trying to act shy @ breakfast!

intentional. My hope is that at some point this week, we can take some of the older boys  & girls to the fire station to introduce them to the firefighters as well as showing them this is a career opportunity for them in the future. Many kids who grow up in orphanages have no place to go once they turn 18 and leave. Many turn to drugs & gangs. My hope is that they can see there are great jobs, that are worthwhile and allow them to support themselves while serving their community as well.

After breakfast we all got ready for church @ Casa de Libertad. I have loved visiting there when we come for trips and always look forward to the praise & worship as well as hearing Fransisco preach! What a great message, starting the Sermon on the Mount and speaking about the poor in spirit!

Fransisco teaching @ Casa de Libertad!

After church we went to an amazing restaurant with Fransisco, his wife, Carol & their little baby boy, Mateo, as well as some other members of the church. This was such a great time enjoy some great food & great conversation.

Our friends Kailah, Scott & Daniza are here from Huehue so it was good to catch up with them and hear all that is going on in their life. Scott & Daniza have a meeting with the Embassy on Tuesday and will hopefully get Daniza’s VISA so that they can come home to the states! Please be praying that their meeting goes smoothly and that the VISA is approved!

Once we left the restaurant we spent the rest of the afternoon at Fundaninos resting, playing with the kids, and other things. Some of the guys worked on their presentations for tomorrow since we start training, and before going to bed we enjoyed a nice dinner from Pollo Campero!

See you tomorrow!