The clouds hung heavy and low as the team made their way to the front steps and veranda of the Alfredo House. Honduran and American teammates smiled and giggled alike as we posed for the photographer. Though from so many backgrounds, with various emotional and spiritual baggage, we stood together, a symbol of unity in our mission and faith.
After the photograph, we all ambled onto the bus…the destination Palmichal, our third village hosting a clinic. Our invincible driver, Giovanni, skillfully maneuvered several tight spots, including an exceptionally narrow bridge.
The village school of Palmichal was surrounded by mountains and valleys with many lime trees along one side of the walled courtyard. The yard in front of the school was quite muddy, and several wooden boards were strewn across the muddiest portions. That did not stop the village children from running joyfully throughout the muddy courtyard, anxious to acquire some gift: a sticker, a cross necklace, or some new flip-flops.
In many ways, I felt that Palmichal was where our Honduran team and our American teams achieved a new level of working together in unity. Throughout the day, we shared patient stories together, assisted each other at our various stations, and discussed diagnoses together. As we worked, one of the Honduran doctors remarked, “We have a really good team.” It made me realize the inability of either of our teams to do our mission alone; each part of our team brings something unique to the clinic environment.
As I sit relaxing with my teammates after a lovely dinner drinking chamomile tea and listening to the rain dripping on the tin roofs of the surrounding buildings, I bask in the thought that we are all made in God’s image ( Genesis 1:27). I feel like my favorite quote by the inspiring Mother Theresa explains this concept well: “Every person is Jesus in disguise.” If every person is Jesus in disguise, then every person should be treated with respect, dignity, and love. I love how our multicultural team displays this truth in an infectious and beautiful way.