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The Rockbridge Team is in Honduras!

Saturday, June 15, 2024

I’m in Honduras!! Landing was a little rocky but when I looked out the window all I saw were palm trees and mountains, so I have no cares. Immediately after stepping off the plane, I was hit with a different reality and a surge of heat and humidity, which I really do prefer to the cold.


Right out the gate we are met by two staff from Friends of Barnabas, and the reunions began. So many women have been on this trip multiple times that they know all the people in the program. I’m standing there smiling as hugs and greetings are passed around and I get a glimpse of what’s so great about this organization. Within only a few hours I’ve already started to bond with these amazing women.


We loaded up the bus, took a group photo, and piled into the bus. It’s so amazing to see how different everything is here. At first, I was getting to know Becca, and thank God for her! I have a feeling she’s going to be a great help on this trip. She’s younger, this is her second time, and she has such a fun personality! It’ll be great to learn from her. Soon enough though my eyes became glued to the window, gawking at everything. I feel silly acting like some little amazed kid, but I think I just have a special appreciation for what I’m experiencing being so young and it’s being my first time.


At first, we were driving through town. The houses are so colorful but run down and it’s really eye opening how different people live. The roads are just open no speed limit or lines and people will walk up and down the roads selling things, they’ll even come up to your window and tap on it. It was a little sad to see how much litter there was and stray dogs though. After the towns we got into the mountains. They are so beautiful… from afar. There is no real trash system here so people will dump their trash on the sides of the mountains. I refrain from judging even though back home people would be appalled, but I understand that things are different here.


Wow wow wow. That’s all I have to say. This place is amazing and beautiful and just amazing. The drive through the mountains was so cool, there were villages all up and down the cliffs of the mountains and so many little shops selling all kinds of colorful fruit. I just could take my eyes off the view.


Even since I woke up this morning I haven’t been able to stop smiling. I just feel so positive and thankful. I know this is about to be a great experience.


First we exchanged our money which we needed very very crispy $10 bills more. It was turned into a little game of who had the best bills because if they weren’t good enough you were turned away! It was hilarious when MH had almost all her denied and so did a few others. Personally, not to brag all mine were accepted.


We all sat at this huge table together and went over the handbook and ate together. While we all ate dinner, we discussed the week and then got to know each other a little more. Everyone talked about what medical practices they studied, where they’re from, and how they learned about the trip. After hearing about the plans for our week I couldn’t be more excited.


One more thing I would like to add is that while we were eating, I took some time looking at the bulletin boards on the walls. They had picture from trips starting from 1997 to 2020. The progress this program has made over time is incredible.


Till tomorrow,

Hallie





Sunday, June 16, 2024

Good morning!! It is our first full day at the Alfredo House. I slept great but I was also so tired from the day before I slept like a rock. We woke up at 6:50 to be ready for breakfast at 7:30. After breakfast we drove 30 minutes to go zip lining! A great way to start the day if you ask me.


The ziplining was at a national park and was so cool and fun. We all got hooked up and the men running it were so funny and sweet. It was actually pretty cool the group going before us was also a volunteer organization called GLOW and we got to talk to them some as well.


I surprisingly was volunteered to go first in our group, haha. The views were so beautiful. We zig zagged across the river and eventually over the waterfall. Once we finished there we headed back and stopped in a market in the town we drive through. The market was pretty much like a normal grocery store we have back home just much smaller. They had local foods and ones that we have back home as well like Cheerio’s, Oreo’s, and Coca-Cola.


Lunch was great yet again today. Karen and Albita are amazing chefs. For lunch we had cheese and bean pupusas along with pickled carrots and onions and some of my plantain chips. The juice for lunch was hibiscus juice and it is by far my favorite so far.


In the afternoon Fernando gave us a great breakdown of what it’ll be like to work in the different parts of the clinics. I will be working in deworming and vitamin. Once that was taken care of the nurses stayed with Fernando and Minverva for additional training on the electronic medical records system in order to make tracking medical conditions more efficient and organized. The rest of us headed down to the lower part of the house to pack the vitamins and wellness bags. There we met Maria and she explained to us what everything was. We had a line of people packing all the things. First kids and adult vitamins were separated into different bags. Then in the wellness bags were anti-bacterial ointments, tums, Tylenol, toothpaste powder and a bar of soap. We packed 300 well bags because we will be seeing about 50 families over the next 5 days. Once that was done, we all showered and got ready for dinner!


We all went to dinner at D&D brewery. So many stories were shared over dinner, and it was great getting to know these amazing women more before working as a true team tomorrow.


After dinner we all sat around in a circle for the commissioning ceremony. It was a really special moment between the team. We all recited a few prayers together then blessed the crosses we were about to give to one another. Going in a circle one by one we would dip our finger into oil to then draw a cross on the person’s hand next to us reciting, “I commission you in the name of the father, and the son, and the Holy Spirit” and then place a cross necklace on them. One of the best parts was seeing Erica hold the bowl of oil, Doris her mother, dip her finger into the oil to then recite the prayer and draw a cross on Savanah’s palm, her granddaughter. Three generations connecting full circle. That time was truly bonding and special for all of us.


Once that was done, we went over the itinerary for the next day. There was so much information ready ahead of time for us thanks to Minerva, the Community Health Nurse. After hearing all of the behind the scenes work she does and how connected to the community she is, she sounds like an amazing person and I cannot wait to meet her. A long day awaits us tomorrow so now I get to take a very needed shower and knock out! Till tomorrow 💙


~Hallie










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