Today we went to the community of La Union which was founded in 1996. There are 44 houses with bathrooms outside of each house. The school has 41 students, and the nearest health center is 5km which is approximately one hour of walking time.
Shirley, Yolanda, Jessica, Dale and Dr. Vijay were in the medical clinic and saw 192 patients. We saw several asthmatics, skin infections and lots of respiratory infections. Donnie manned the clinic’s door, letting patients in when a table was empty. He also kept track of everyone.
Yolanda has been on many trips to Honduras. She was impressed of how smoothly the first day went. Everyone set up the clinics quickly and worked well together. She saw a 2 year old boy with an abscess in his ear. They cleaned his ear so Dr. Roberto could look in his ear. His ear drum was very infected. They were able to treat him with antibiotics and instructed his mother to take him to the hospital if it does not get better after a couple of days. Her partner in crime today was Carlos. He said that life starts early in these communities. They also saw a patient who was only 43 years old whose hands were severely deformed from arthritis.
Dale and Mario (medical student/translator) worked together again this year. Dale had a patient whom came in complaining of fungus on his toes. When asked him to remove his shoes so she could see, he said he was too shy. She looked under the table in an attempt to convince him to take his shoes off only to find that he was wearing flip flops. (LOL) Mario said his day was rough as he was “fired” 5 times by Dale!
Jessica felt that the community was very appreciative. She treated the community leader/pastor and his wife who were both very grateful and needed very little. His good leadership was obvious with how the community responded to us. Nilia was Jessica’s translator and is also a medical student. This is Nilia’s first time with us and she had a great experience.
Dr. Vijay said she had an excellent interpreter (Juan) and they worked very well together. This is Juan’s (medical student/translator) third time with a team and he feels that he always learns something every time he comes. He was impressed with the honesty of the community.
This is Linda’s first trip to Honduras. She worked with Carlos (medical student/translator). They saw many children who Carlos said went straight for Linda when they came to their table. She cared for one little boy who’s birthday was today. Linda desperately wants to stay in Honduras; however her boss (Shirley) is not allowing it. Carlos mentioned a woman in her 40’s whose blood pressure was 220/110. She was seen by Dr. Roberto as well and referred to the hospital.
Michelle and Tariq worked hard with Pedro in the pharmacy putting together the requested medications. It is the first trip to Honduras for both. Michelle was impressed with how everything came together so well and the patience of the people while waiting to be seen. Having no clinical background, all is new to Tariq. It impressed him with how so many people walked so far to receive a simple medication such as Tylenol. It makes you truly grateful for the things to which that we have such easy access.
Dr. Roberto is a recent graduate and this is his first FOB team. He worked very well with the team and responded to our requests for second opinions on patients very promptly.
Lee and Peggy were in the deworming/vitamin A station together. They gave 45 deworming medications, 38 Vitamin A and 19 Fluoride treatments. This is Lee’s first trip to Honduras. Although he was told how the clinics would be, he didn’t truly understand until he saw it for himself. He was blown away at how grateful and patient the people of the community were. He felt that Peggy, Chanel (translator) and himself all bonded and worked well together. Peggy and Chanel worked as a great team finding creative ways to give the Vitamin A and deworming medications to all of the children.
Susan and Katie were assisting Dr. Arita in the dental clinic where they removed 43 teeth from 30 patients. A 9 year old girl really stood out to Susan as she came in and needed a tooth pulled simply because it was crooked. Had she been in the city, an orthodontist could straighten the tooth. Katie is amazed at the high pain tolerance of the people in this community. At home it takes 20 minutes and a lot of coaxing to take an x-ray of a child while here it only took a few minutes to remove a tooth.
Evelyn worked in the eye clinic with Elmer and Marco. Together they saw 30 people. The oldest person they saw was 77 years old (with cataracts in both eyes) and the youngest was 14. After seeing the people in the community, she felt that many of them aged prematurely due to the hard life that they lead.
Nury was happy to be able to interact with a few children. On a previous visit to this community, a child had an encounter with a horse and the horse won. She was able to see this child today and was amazed with how well the child healed.
Shirley commented on how clean the community was and that the Honduran team knew how to set up and everything went very smoothly. She is grateful to have the medical students with us again. Shirley also said that she is impressed with the new driver, Marco, and how great he did today.
Tonight, our devotional was about a little boy throwing back starfish into the ocean. When asked why he was doing it, he responded that he was saving it. He was told that he would not be able to save them all. The boy said he made a difference to that starfish because he threw it back. The moral is that we may not meet all the needs of every patient we encounter but we will make a difference in many.
For our cultural night, Nury invited a mariachi band to play for us after dinner. Mario was labeled Mr. Dance as he “tore up” the dance floor. Everyone got a little dancing in and it was very welcomed after a tiring day in the community.
Everyone is now getting ready to face another exciting day tomorrow.