After listening to periods of heavy rain on the roof of Alfredo House through the night, the Harrisonburg FOB team was relieved to see the sky clearing as we walked outside a few minutes before 6:00 this morning. We were also relieved to find that the roads on the way to the village of EL Palma hadn’t been affected by the rain.
Once we arrived, unloaded, and got our various clinics set up with help from the villagers, the FOB staff turned what at first appeared to be a mob of men, women, and children into an orderly flow of people from one clinic to the next, based on their needs. We operated a general medical clinic with Jack, Don, Mary, Art, Julie, and Karen seeing patients and prescribing medications, which Stan and Joanie would dispense from the pharmacy. Up the hill in the dental clinic, Denise and Gary assisted the dentist while he numbed mouths and extracted teeth. Around back, Paul’s eye clinic was passing out prescription glasses to those who needed them. In the middle of it all, Elizabeth, Maggie, and Taylor were measuring/weighing babies and children, applying dental fluoride, and giving deworming medicine and vitamins.
As a person on his first-ever trip to Honduras and first-time FOB missioner, I can say that I spent a lot of time on this first day of clinics just taking it all in. Reading the eJournals from the FOB groups over the last several months, there seems to be a common experience of feeling humbled and extremely fortunate when we, as Americans, interact with the people from the mountains of Honduras. The first-timers amongst us all felt those things today. Seeing the medical and dental situations that people here—and many other places in the world, for that matter—live with on a regular basis showed us just how necessary operations like FOB are to the well-being of these communities.