Today we ventured to the mountain village of El Palmar. Each time I thought we were there, we kept driving for a little while longer. All I have to say about the drive is that I'm thankful I live in a world where Dramamine exists.
We arrived at El Palmar about 9:00 and were welcomed by dozens of smiling faces and tiny hands reaching through the fence. Our stations were set up in the school buildings. I got the privilege of being in the vision clinic. We set out hundreds of glasses in varying strengths on the table, and "opened" for the day. Men, women and children waited patiently by the door and entered one at a time to get new glasses, or have their existing ones checked. At home in the US, going to get glasses is just another errand to add to our list. Today, I watched a 70-year-old man giggle like a child because he was able to clearly see printed words for the first time in presumably a long time, or perhaps ever.
At other stations, members of our group administered vitamins, deworming and fluoride treatments. Babies and children were weighed and measured. The dentist pulled 19 bad teeth today. Nurses worked tirelessly for hours assessing families and offering medical advice and medications, and referring some cases to FOB’s doctor on-site, Dra. Moncada.
Naturally during my time in Honduras I am comparing life here to how we live in the US. Obviously it's very different. One thing I couldn't help but think about were the medications we hand out to those in need. Things like Tylenol, Tums, adult and child vitamins. Things that most of us have in our medicine cabinet at home. Today, the pills we packed yesterday were handed out to people who walked to the clinic and stood in line and waited. And waited. Standing in the sun. And they were so excited about it! But, at home we consider it an inconvenience when we have to drive (not walk) to our 24-hour pharmacy (with hundreds of remedies at our fingertips) and stand in line (in air conditioning) for 10 minutes. Interesting, isn't it?
The day is winding down and I am personally in need of a shower, so I will leave you with a simple question that was proposed to our group after dinner tonight: Is anyone happier today because you crossed their path?
I'm personally very excited to get started tomorrow, and I think everyone else feels the same. Stay tuned for more updates afte