Oxlajuj B’atz’ Trains Cooperative Tejidos Cotzal

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Oxlajuj B’atz’ belongs to the Mayan women of the Associan. After the scheduled transfer, Lucia Chavez assumed the title of Director. And, with the Gringas gone, her responsibilities have ballooned well beyond ensuring quality standards and designing and delivering programs. Lucia was selected for this position and, as predicted, she has evolved into an intentional and generous chief. Her new activities are as much about promoting leadership as managing quotidian details of the enterprise. Despite the imperious title, the Director must drive operations with the advice and consent of the members. She chairs “committee” meetings and convenes regular general assemblies of members. The good news is that indigenous representatives have assumed ownership of their organization and seem able to find consensus. But, the artisans have neither time not ability to adequately fund their goals. Rosa hopes that having me as a volunteer will change that.
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So, to celebrate our reunion under the new management, I invited myself along on a trip to the Ixil Area — six hours north. The Director, Ana and I would squeeze ourselves in and out of tight buses and finally bounce into the municipality of Cotzal in time for lunch. I knew – from prior trips – that the locals would be diffident and very camera shy. They still associate a camera as the precursor to kidnappings and massacres that occurred during Guatemala’s thirty-six year (proxy) Civil War. So, my companions carefully instructed me that using the military designation “Ixil Triangle” was offensive and that I should refer to our destination as the “Ixil area.”

Lucia and Ana have been coaching this small group of women in the leadership skills required to manage their group – democratically for about a year. These artisans have created pleasant, high quality products and have gained the attention of some hefty donors but the members, like so many Mayan women are too demur . They need “formation” about sales training at least. The Director is a fervent, polished and organized presenter. As soon as the tuk-tuk dropped us off at a construction site that will soon become the cooperative’s center, she began to arrange the room, lay out her materials and prepare to tick off the points on her agenda over the next two days.
The Cotzal artisans arrived with babies on their backs and with their older children to tend them. They sat down heavily taking places in a half and defensively crossed their arms. After opening prayers, Lucia started the program on “How to Run a Meeting” by introducing “dinamicas” — essentially, games. She would explain the rules of, say, “musical chairs” while arranging a knot of seats. Ana provided music for the game by playing “the marimba.” She beat the time using two markers as drumsticks while the ladies circled. At first, the students appeared self-conscious, almost unwilling, but soon they were engaged and playing full out. The trainers went over a few more sets of rules and played games. Then,, they invited individual women to stand at the front and present a dinamica. Instructing on their own games, the women did not seem at all intimidated. They were made secure enough to learn the details of running a meeting.. Lucia would tell them to concentrate and spend quality time on each part of their life.
“Take 15 minutes and really be with your husband, take another fifteen minutes and focus on your children and be sure to take fifteen minutes for yourself and find time to speak to God,“ she advised them.
As a wrap-up and preview of the next meeting, Lucia taped a pair of anatomically correct construction paper cut outs on the wall and asked these questions “Why do men hold places in government and in the church when we share the same space? Here, put dots on the differences between men and women and tell me what is the difference?”
When I asked Lucia where she drew her inspiration from. She told me that she, too, had once been reticent and attempted to shrink into invisibility. But, now, the poised Director expertly recreates the spirit and letter the “formations” motivated by the desire to share her own success.

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Oxlajuj B’atz ‘ pertenece a las mujeres mayas de la cooperativa. Después de la transferencia programada , Lucía Chávez asumió el título de Director . Y, con las gringas ido , sus responsabilidades se han disparado más allá de garantizar los estándares de calidad y el diseño y ejecución de programas . Lucía fue seleccionado para esta posición y , como se predijo , ha evolucionado hasta convertirse en un jefe intencional y generoso. Sus nuevas actividades se refieren tanto a la promoción del liderazgo como la gestión de los detalles cotidianos de la empresa. A pesar del título imperioso, el Consejero deberá conducir operaciones con el consejo y consentimiento de los miembros . Preside las reuniones “comité” y convoca asambleas generales ordinarias de los miembros . La buena noticia es que los representantes indígenas han asumido las riendas de su organización y parecen capaces de encontrar un consenso. Pero , los artesanos no tienen ni el tiempo no capacidad para financiar adecuadamente sus objetivos . Rosa espera que tenerme como voluntario va a cambiar eso .
Así que , para celebrar nuestra reunión bajo la nueva dirección , invité a mí mismo a lo largo de un viaje a la Cooperativa de Tejidos Cotzal – Seis horas al norte . El Director , Ana y yo exprimir a nosotros mismos dentro y fuera de los autobuses apretados y finalmente rebotar en el municipio de Cotzal a tiempo para el almuerzo. Yo sabía – de viajes anteriores – que los locales serían tímida y muy tímida . Ellos todavía asocia una cámara como el precursor de los secuestros y las masacres que ocurrieron durante de Guatemala treinta y seis años ( apoderado) Guerra Civil. Así que , mis compañeros me instruyó cuidadosamente que el uso de la denominación militar ” Triángulo Ixil ” era ofensivo y que debería referirse a nuestro destino como ” área Ixil ”
Lucía y Ana han estado entrenando a este pequeño grupo de mujeres en las habilidades de liderazgo necesarias para administrar su grupo – democráticamente por alrededor de un año . Estos artesanos han creado agradables , productos de alta calidad y han ganado la atención de algunos donantes fuertes , sino los miembros , como tantas mujeres mayas están demasiado demur . Necesitan “formación” sobre el entrenamiento de ventas por lo menos. El Director es un presentador ferviente , pulido y organizado. Tan pronto como el tuk – tuk nos dejó en una obra en construcción que pronto se convertirá en el centro de la cooperativa , se puso a arreglar el cuarto, exponer sus materiales y se preparan para marcar la casilla de los puntos de su agenda en los próximos dos días.
Los artesanos Cotzal llegaron con bebés en sus espaldas y con sus hijos mayores para cuidar de ellos. Se sentaron en gran medida tomando los lugares en un medio como defensivamente se cruzaron de brazos. Después de la apertura de las oraciones , Lucia comenzó el programa sobre ” Cómo dirigir una reunión” con la introducción de ” dinamicas ” – esencialmente , juegos . A ella le explique las reglas de, por ejemplo , ” sillas musicales “, mientras que la organización de un nudo de asientos. Ana proporcionó la música para el juego, jugando ” la marimba “. Venció a la vez que utiliza dos marcadores como baquetas mientras que las damas rodearon . Al principio, los estudiantes parecían autoconsciente , casi no quieren, pero pronto estaban comprometidos y jugando completo fuera . Los entrenadores se acercaron un poco más de un conjunto de reglas y jugaron juegos. Luego , se invita a las mujeres individuales , hasta situarse en la parte delantera y presentar una dinamica . Instruir a sus propios juegos, las mujeres no parecían en absoluto intimidado . Fueron hechos suficientemente seguro como para conocer los detalles de la ejecución de un encuentro .. Lucia les diría para concentrarse y pasar tiempo de calidad en cada parte de su vida.
” Tome 15 minutos y realmente estar con su marido , toma un cuarto de hora y centrarse en sus hijos y asegúrese de tomar quince minutos para ti mismo y encontrar tiempo para hablar con Dios “, les aconsejó.
Como recapitulación y la vista previa de la próxima reunión , Lucía grabó un par de anatómicamente correctas recortes de papel de construcción de la pared y se hizo estas preguntas
” ¿Por qué los hombres ocupan lugares en el gobierno y en la iglesia cuando compartimos el mismo espacio ? En este caso, poner los puntos sobre las diferencias entre hombres y mujeres y dígame cuál es la diferencia ? ”
Cuando le pregunté a Lucía cuando ella sacó su inspiración. Ella me dijo que ella también había sido una vez reticente y trató de reducir a la invisibilidad . Pero, ahora , el Director aplomado recrea hábilmente el espíritu y la letra de las “formaciones ” motivados por el deseo de compartir su propio éxito.

Sacapulus Health Promoters Profiles

All trainees develop the skills they study in class by treating hundreds of patients each time. On her last trip, Ms. Boccino presented the curanderas certificates detailing the hours each had spent practicing the different methods. A large part of The Integrative Health Project’s mission is to create a path for them to integrate the cost effective TCM treatments into their independent practices.

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From the first days at the Barbara Ford Center for Peace, the ladies from Sacapiulus had appeared in their eye-popping traje (traditional dress.) Their head-wraps have four fat pom-poms that bob graciously as they joke in lyrical Sacapulteca, a dialect of the Quiche Maya language. For sure, Rosa Espinoza and Magdalena Pajarita stood out in the class of Health Promoters who came to study the treatments being taught by Dr. Joan Boccino’s teams.

 Years prior, their townswoman, Sister Maruca, had bridged them into urban Santa Cruz del Quiche, where the religious woman lives and grows medical plants for her convent. It was Sister Maruca, who introduced them to BFPC’s Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Program.

In order to attend the class sessions and to assist in treating patients during the clinical phases of the Jornadas Medica (Medical Workshops) Rosa leaves her eleven year old son with Magdalena’s grandchildren for a week while a teenage niece watches over them. The ladies need to make a few transfers to get out of their pueblo, Chuvillil, and then, they travel about an hour to attend the New York acupuncturist’s treating & training events. Since last year, there have been six missions instructing their class of local practitioners in the NADA protocol, moxibustion, gua sha, Qi Gong, forms of Tui-na massage and other “barefoot doctor” modalities.

All trainees develop the skills they study in class by treating hundreds of patients each time. On her last trip, Ms. Boccino presented the curanderas certificates detailing the hours each had spent practicing the different methods. A large part of The Integrative Health Project’s mission is to create a path for them to integrate the cost effective TCM treatments into their independent practices.

I became friends with this flashy gang and they invited me to visit them. I declined many times – mainly because my Spanish was too poor for me to understand them. But, now that I can even hobble along in Quiche I accepted when they wanted me to come and participate in their regular clinic. Even though we couldn’t secure any ear needles, the ladies had bags of medicinal seeds and the pierced boards to prepare them for insertion. I designed a sign for this event and would take great pleasure doing intake while they advised, counselled and treated. We four worked non-stop handling fifty three cases in six hours.

The last patients came in because they had seen the Global Clinic banner. This couple was the only “walk-ins” we got and they had a serious story to tell. He would answer the intake questions speaking softly and glancing desperately from me to Sister Maruca, who came over to listen with me. It seems that the wife had been hospitalized last year. After she was released she had lain in the bed for three months – losing muscle tone and suffering from constant migrains. .. She stared vacantly during this recitation. We all jumped to do something with this sad couple. Magdalena put seeds in their ears. And Rosa gave the husband a demonstration on how to do Gua Sha using a “special” TCM instrument — the round edged baby food lid. I would show him how to do the abdominal massage Chi Nei Tsang. We were all very happy to see the couple transformed and certainly more relaxed. As they left, they even asked when the next clinic would be held….

That afternoon, it rained too hard for us to take the easy way to their houses… The mud was just too slick for the truck to carry us in. So we walked. The three boys were waiting for Grandmother and Mom and they waved and hollered as they saw us tread into a clearing before the foot bridge (over white water.) After a mile of this through the quickening twilight I was gratified to see a tienda that sold beer – The bad news was that it was run by one of Magdalena’s cousins, who had been a patient that afternoon. She told me my money was no good and handed up 2 liters to give me thanks. Humbling.

My time up the country passed quickly exploring, chatting with the kids and waiting for Magdalena’s husband and daughter to arrive from the capital. One highlight of the visit was watching the treatment for a patient, who was diagnosed as “overly fearful.“ Magdalena looked around her very extensive medical herb garden and selected the plants that she would be adding to the patient’s steam bath. She then pre-boiled the several herbs and poured the hot mixture into a two gallon amphora. She set the liquid down in the space below a straight back wooden chair and dropped a rather unorthodox heating element into the vessel. She had hot-wired brick and attached it to an extension cord. She placed a tough grade plastic bag with a cinched neck and an open bottom over the whole assembly and explained that patient would climb in through the neck end of the bag and sit down with a towel over her head and face. The woman would take as much heat as she could and be cooled with a wash of clear water three times over about an hour. Rosa, the boys and I would take a walk down by the river while this was going on.

On the way through the fields, Rosa told me that the Civil War’s violence stayed pretty much on the more populous side of the wide river. But, there had been a time when organizers coaxed many of the farmers to form “resistance.” The unarmed men would “guard” the village from vantage points on the hills. Until one day, armed troops killed twenty or so of them. Rosa lost a cousin in this attack.

On the way, we would see her son’s father and she told a bit of her personal history.

“He has another woman and other children. From time to time he will greet my son but that is all.”

Rosa watches her brother’s house while he works in the city. The place has no cement stove but Rosa cooks her meals on an indoor fire-pit and the house has no latrine to generate night soil to enrich the small plot of milpas. But, Rosa remains joyous, resourceful and persistent. Before her son was born, she learned to read and began to take classes in Mayan medicine. Eventually, she developed a group of patients among her neighbors. After her son was born, Sister Maruca had taken special care to invite her to join Maruca’s cooperative because, as a single mother, she was being shunned by the women. These had been very hard times and Sister’s intervention made a big difference to her.

During the week prior to this, Magdalena’s daughter had been hospitalized in Guatemala City but was well enough to return home with her father, Don Miguel to celebrate her parent’s shared birthday. I had inquired about Don Miguel’s diplomas for perma-culture and Magdalena invited me to interview him about what he knew and how he came to build the elegant latrine. It seems that Don Miguel had been selected by AlterTec a US based NGO and was given an education in soil conservation, medicinal plant cultivation and sanitation in the 1980’s. in the years before the NGO left, they paid him to he teach these subjects. In the meantime, he used this knowledge, so that his family could enjoy richer harvests. These days Don Miguel commutes home once a month from his job in a plastic bottle factory. He came home bearing fresh seafood for his and Magdalena’s birthday feast. As I left, the grand kids were scaling and de-veining with a good deal of skill.

I am invited back in December to see the Mayan ruins that dot their land. 

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Continue reading “Sacapulus Health Promoters Profiles”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

Magdalena Pajarito is one of several health promoters who have been trained to do NADA Protocol by Joan Boccino, L.Ac.

Magdalena Pajarito  heads home through muddy fields
Magdalena Pajarito heads home through muddy fields
Magdalena Pajarito is one of several health promoters who have been trained to do NADA Protocol by Joan Boccino, D.A.O.M.  Ms. Pajarito lives between two rivers in the highlands of Guatemala and wears the traditional garments of the area including a head wrap that is intended to keep her braids from getting caught in the corn mill as she grinds it into masa.
More on Dr. Joan Boccino

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Acupuncturists Treat 1,100 in the District of Quiche

“Sure, it would be easier to ‘just do it,’ but, when they practice they gain confidence. It does take some time for them to improve but, in the end, they own it.”

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The Integrative Health Project’s Clinical  Director, Dr. Joan Boccino, D.A.O.M enrolled a mighty and nimble group of volunteers to treat Quiche speaking Mayans in the highlands of Guatemala.  This team came from both coasts and, almost everyone, except the Treasurer, was new.

I got to Santa Cruz del Quiche in plenty of time to meet the troops. The chicken bus had flown low, slicing around the curves in well under three hours.  I was delighted to meet and have tHe opportunity to introduce Antonio Provencio, Boris Bernadsky, Sidnee Chong, Jill Jancic and Sharon Smith  to the Barbara Ford Center for Peace. The compound would be their “homebase” for the next week.

The gang of us wandered off and outside the gates to get a view of the Quiche valley and to see the homes of the tenant farmers and, at last, to gaze upon a meadow feeding a few , skinny cows. This idyll proved deceptively tranquil as you will see.

By supper, Jeenie Miyoung Chung, L.Ac., Jennie Walker, M.D., Miguel Landron had arrived and that was almost everybody except the very welcome, “pick-up,” translator from Santiago.  This time, this opening day was symbolized by two snakes. Like the underground deities of the Greeks, snakes also symbolize the power of medicine for Mayans (1.).  The opening speech proved both appropriate and auspicious…

Saturday Joan gave out hugs and words of appreciation to the health promoters, all of whom had earned Certificates of Completion for their successful application of Moxibustion, Auricular Acupuncture and Gua Sha over the past year.  They were proud and, appeared a bit surprised to receive the formal recognition.

Then, it was back to class for more instruction on how to work in their own field Clinics, the Yin and Yang of the ear, fifteen new protocols and internal organ massage.  Sharon Smith instructed us in this art  called”Chi Nei Tsang.”  There was time set aside for practice in order to integrate the new lessons before the mini-clinic opened on Sunday.  Despite the sometimes slow pace of her students, Joan is very supportive of them as they ascend the learning curve.

“Sure, it would be easier to ‘just do it,’ but, when they practice they gain confidence.  It does take some time for them to improve but, in the end, they own it.”

As usual, patients enjoyed the relaxation exercises – whether they  were called (improperly) “Yoga” or whether they were correctly named “Qi Gong,” and considered an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.   Jill and Sidnee spelled Sharon Smith in leading the exercise module.  For one class, I translated for Jill as she put on a very laugh-y session.  After that, from time to time, I would catch her coaxing some folks into a playful balancing circle.

As always, Claudia Castillo rocked the kitchen – she doled out lots of delightful green sauce and we wildly put it on everything from waffles to ratatouille.  Only a birthday cake (a pineapple upside down confection big enough to feed thirty) escaped “greening.”

The first days passed about blur  But, when we returned from Cotzal,  four crew members went down with fevers and Miguel was riddled with bug bites.  Then, there were the snarl-ups on the day known for Four Dog bites – Three patients from Sacapulus would be sent to the hospital for stitches after being attacked by neighbor’s dogs just outside the gates of BFCP.  (The viscious dogs were subsequently impounded.) That night, Jenny Walker would dress a “suspicious” fourth wound — She told us that the patient did not seem mentally stable and, so, following a line of questioning,  the doctor wondered if the woman’s in-laws owned the offending dog that took a chunk out of the patient’s leg.

That evening, as Joan discussed ways to move the patients through all the treatment stations and still give good treatment,  Sabastiana, a medicine woman from Quiche, would tell us that this particular day with it’s horrors was  right on time.  She predicted (correctly,) that the patients would recover and stated that the next day would was a key pivot point called “Batz” -meaning thirteen.   If the group could pull through the next day, she said, that the Medical Jornada would succeed.

And succeed it did, albeit miraculously.  From inside the Pharmacy, where I got tapped as a runner working with Flor and Eva the Jornada appeared unending and, at times, monumental.  This was a somewhat harrowing position to play, but, very light duty, compared to Joan’s and Jeenie’s.   These anchoring acupuncturists, wrote out herbal prescriptions for more than 1,100 patients.

The stalwarts stayed behind on the last evening.  Jeenie, Boris,  Jenny, Sharon completed packing and inventorying the Pharmacy and headed for bed after a late supper.  All hands, were able to attend Flor’s closing ceremony meant to celebrate the team’s fine work and to conclude the volunteers’ week with a special healing.

Thank you everybody..

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(1.)  http://syzygyastro.hubpages.com/hub/The-Sacred-Diamond-Back-Rattle-Snakec

Prior Posts on Global Clinic  - Santa Cruz del Quiche
Brave Team Treats Quiche Maya
Mayan Women are Empowered to Defend Themselves by a Black Belt
Acupuncturists Launch Sustainable Treat and Train Mission in Guatemala
Mayans Rediscover Acupuncture at Centro de Paz Barbara Ford
Acupuncturists Treat 1,000 Patients in Santa Cruz del Quiche, Zacualpa and San Filipe
Meetings with Remarkable Mayans</

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Director Clínico de la Global Clinic, Joan Boccino , L.Ac. inscrito un grupo poderoso y ágil de voluntarios para tratar de hablar mayas Quiche en las tierras altas de Guatemala . Este equipo vino de ambas costas y , casi todos.

Llegué a Santa Cruz del Quiche temprano en la tarde , después de haber volado bajo , derrapando en las curvas y en menos de tres horas a través de bus de pollo . Yo estaba encantado de conocer y orientar ligeramente Antonio Provencio , Boris Bernadsky , Sidnee Chong , Jill Jancic y Sharon Smith at “base ” para la próxima semana . Paseamos apagado y fuera de las puertas de conseguir una vista del valle del Quiche y ver las casas de los colonos y , por fin, para contemplar una pradera alimentar unas cuantas vacas , flacas. Este idilio resultó engañosamente tranquilo . En la cena, Jeenie Miyoung Chung, L.Ac. , Jennie Walker , MD , Miguel Landron había llegado y que estaba casi todo el mundo , excepto el ” pick-up “, traductor muy bienvenido, Yeshai Peluquería

En ausencia de la hermana Ginny , Florecilla Manzano , una vez más , dio la invocación. Esta vez, ella dijo que este día de la inauguración fue simbolizado por dos serpientes . Al igual que las deidades subterráneas de los griegos , las serpientes simbolizan también el poder de la medicina de los mayas ( 1 . ) . El discurso de apertura resultó apropiado y auspicioso …

Sábado Joan repartió abrazos y palabras de agradecimiento a los promotores de salud , todos los cuales habían obtenido los Certificados de Finalización de su exitosa aplicación de la moxibustión , la acupuntura auricular y Gua Sha en el último año . Estaban orgullosos y parecían un poco sorprendido de recibir el reconocimiento formal.

Luego , fue a clase para obtener más instrucciones sobre la forma de trabajar en sus propias clínicas de campo , el Yin y el Yang de la oreja, quince nuevos protocolos y masaje de órganos internos . Sharon Smith nos instruyó en el arte del Chi Nei Tsang . No había tiempo destinado a la práctica con el fin de integrar las nuevas lecciones antes de la mini- clínica abrió el domingo . A pesar de la a veces lento ritmo de sus estudiantes , Joan es muy tolerante con el ritmo a medida que ascienden la curva de aprendizaje .

“Por supuesto , sería más fácil simplemente hacerlo, pero , cuando practican ganan confianza . Hace falta algo de tiempo para que puedan mejorar , pero , al final, que lo posee ” .

Como es habitual , los pacientes disfrutan de los ejercicios de relajación – si fueron llamados ( incorrectamente ) “Yoga ” o si fueron nombrados correctamente “Qi Gong “, y consideran una parte integral de la Medicina Tradicional China. Jill y Sidnee escanda Sharon Smith en este . Traduje para Jill mientras se ponía una clase que era muy reír -y. Y , de vez en cuando me gustaría recuperar el persuadir a algunas personas en un círculo de equilibrio juguetona.

Claudia Castillo sacudió la cocina – se repartió un montón de salsa verde delicia y violentamente se lo puso todo de gofres con pisto. Sólo la torta de cumpleaños de Alice Kim ( una piña al revés confección suficientemente grande para alimentar a treinta) escapó ” greening “.

Los días pasaron rápidamente. Pero cuando volvimos de Cotzal , tres miembros de la tripulación se hundieron con fiebres . Luego , estaba el lío en el día de los Cuatro mordeduras de perro – Tres pacientes de Sacapulus serían enviados al hospital después de ser atacado por los perros de los vecinos a las afueras de las puertas de BFCP . ( . Los perros infractores fueron confiscados por la policía ) Jenny Walker se vestiría un ” sospechoso” cuarta herida – El paciente no parecía mentalmente estable y el médico le preguntó si habían poseído el perro que arrancó un trozo de la pierna del paciente. Esa noche, mientras Joan discutió maneras de mover a los pacientes a través de todas las estaciones de tratamiento y aún así dar un buen tratamiento, Sabastiana , una curandera del Quiche , nos diría que este día en particular , con sus horrores estaban justo a tiempo. Ella predijo ( correctamente ) que los pacientes se recuperen y se indica que el día siguiente sería es un punto de giro clave llamada ” Batz ” – es decir, trece años. Si el grupo podría salir adelante al día siguiente, dijo, que la Jornada Médica tendría éxito.

Y lo logró , milagrosamente . Desde el interior de la farmacia , donde me hice tapping como corredor trabajar con Flor y Eva la Jornada parecía interminable e, incluso, monumental. Esta era una posición un tanto angustioso para jugar, pero , el deber muy ligero, en comparación con el de Joan y de Jeenie . Los acupunturistas anclaje , escribió las recetas a base de hierbas para 1100 pacientes.

Los incondicionales se quedaron en la última noche . Jeenie , Boris , Jenny , Sharon completó embalaje e inventario de la farmacia y se dirigió a la cama después de una cena tardía . Todas las manos , pudieron I asistir a la ceremonia de clausura de Flor quiere celebrar bien el trabajo del equipo y para concluir la semana de los voluntarios con una curación especial.

Gracias a todos ..

( 1 . ) Http://syzygyastro.hubpages.com/hub/The-Sacred-Diamond-Back-Rattle-Snakec