The other night Keith shared a story about the evening before our first trip out to a village. While he laid in bed on Sunday evening, many thoughts flooded his head. To ease his mind Keith opened his bible. Incidentally he flipped his bible open to James 1:22 which reads, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Upon reflection of the past five days servicing five different mountain villages, Sus Manos can happily say that we have been doers of God’s word.
Yesterday we visited the village of Capiro in Comayagua. As this was the largest village of the week, we had all had mentally prepared for the day ahead of us. A local cement company sponsors this particular village, which was evident in the overall development seen within this village. The schools were well established and posters of class representative elections hung on the outside of each classroom. There was a playground with swings and slides. These structures were created out of metal, some with notable rusting, and the children’s excitement and laughter while in the playground could be heard within each of our clinics. It is worth mentioning that while village residents who work for the cement company receive benefits such as healthcare, their families unfortunately do not. Thus, Sus Manos had the pleasure of caring for multiple large families (many with young mothers). Carlos, our team’s co-leader, gave his cross necklace away to a young single mother who, in addition to having four children of her own, was currently pregnant and was also raising a cousin of hers. Martha gave her cross necklace to a young man with cancer who’d recently undergone chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Despite all that he’d been through, this young man was still able to smile and was very appreciative of the care he’d received in our clinic that day.
Today we visited the final village. This village, Los Aguajes, has been seen by the FOBF for the past four years. Shaun spoke of a noticeable improvement in the community when compared to last year’s visit. Shaun also took it upon himself to take family photos of the villagers today (which Nury has done at the different villager throughout the week), after which he’d print them out using a mobile photo printer and give them back to the villagers as a gift. After returning home from this final venture, the team took a moment to review the total amount of patients seen in each clinic throughout the week, which are listed below:
- General: 1015
- Vitamins: 907
- Anti-Parasitic: 758
- Fluoride: 184
- Vision: 593
- Dental: 79 (with 101 extractions)
There were also 111 total referrals this week. Of note, the dental clinic performed significantly less extractions this year when compared to last, which can be interpreted as an overall improvement in the dental hygiene of some of our villagers.
A common denominator among each one of the villages seen this week is the strength of bonds in the community. As Keith mentioned tonight, there was a certain camaraderie among mutual members of these villages. It was an incredible thing to see that these villagers, who go without so much, still have such strong love for each other.
To all those who have supported us, we thank you. We’ve given quality care to these communities. We’ve met many wonderful individuals, and we’ve made many children smile. We’ve shared love with the mountain villagers of Honduras. And we could not have done this without the support of the FOBF staff (both at home and on-site), the support of each other, and the support of each one of you. We ask that you keep these Honduran citizens in your thoughts and prayers, for we will be doing the same. The challenges experienced by these populations, such as the ones discussed in my own and others’ journal entries, do not vanish once we return home. The sustainability that we wish for these villages does not come overnight. The Honduran people need our continued support, and we have an immense appreciation for all those who allowed us to play a role in giving back to these communities. Thank you for helping us help these people.