Today we traveled the furthest to community of Santa Fe Abajo, although the distance was long it was well worth it. Dr. Arita set a new record with 117 extractions from 79 individuals. This means those patients will no longer endure the pain or discomfort of an aching tooth. It takes a special individual to perform the procedures in the very basic conditions provided in the dental clinic. We all know that many don’t like to go to the doctor’s office, but even more people dislike going to the dentist. Special consideration should be given to those individuals who assisted Dr. Arita; they provided a comforting hand, supporting nature, and a true love for the well-being of the patient. Brian, Jennifer, Kelsee and Penny did a tremendous job; it truly was a team effort to be so successful. Many patients went into the dental clinic grimacing and holding their jaw in pain, and then walking out with a smile from ear to ear with missing teeth.
The FOB mountain medical teams do more than the medical and dental clinics in the communities. The people of the community enter the team area and get registered, children are weighed, and then they start to form a line. As I look out the doorway of the medical clinic I see hope in each individual face. Although they may not be receiving life-saving procedures or medications, we provide hope, love and faith to them. There is a fluoride, deworming and vitamin station, which may not seem important to us in the United States. The people of Honduras don’t have ample access to clean water which can result in poor nutrition and vitamin deficiencies. These are simple things that assist in keeping the Hondurans, especially the children, healthy so that they can continue to thrive. Each community has been special in their own way; however, one common theme within all of the communities is the gratitude and respect that they show each member of the team. During our day the community members bring coffee and fresh baked goods to help nourish our minds and souls.
The coffee we drank in the communities, and at the Barnabas House, is grown and produced here. Honduras is a proud country and after dinner Nury shared a story with us as she does with every team. She told us the history of Honduras, how Christopher Columbus named the country after a life experience he had. Honduras means “deep water.” As Nury continued the story, she told us what Honduras was “famous for”: the coco bean, t-shirts and coffee. The Hondurans who work at Friends of Barnabas are a true inspiration to me. Sometimes it’s hard to find people who take pride in their country and heritage, and continue to support such a wonderful cause. Their faith is contagious and if it could be bottled it would be priceless.