A Visit to El Tontolo

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Hi my name is Rachel Smith. I’m a rising junior at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I came to Honduras for the first time with my dad through my home church, Reveille United Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia.

Today we went to the village El Tontolo. It was one of the nicer villages we have worked in this week. It was about an hour away from the Friends of Barnabas house. Once we got to the village the bus parked at the top of a very steep, curvy and long hill. To get to the village we had to walk down the rocky pathway.

On the right was their church where we held the general clinic. Outside the general clinic was the deworming and fluoride treatment station. Down the road, in a school, was the dental and eye clinics.

I worked in the pharmacy helping to hand the doctors and nurses the medicines they needed to treat the patients. In the pharmacy I was able to see everything that was happening in the clinic. Most patients complained of asthma or a cold, but we had the right medicine to help.

One family that stood out to me was a mom with four kids under the age of 5. One of the boys was struggling to breathe, so we helped with the nebulizer to open the bronchial tubes in his lungs. Although this only helped a little, we were able to refer him to see Friends of Barnabas doctor, Dra Moncada, for further follow-up and treatment. The mom was very young and had walked very far to get to the clinic with a nine month old in her arms. She was so strong.

Towards the end of the day, I had some free time to play with the kids. Mary Beth, Cate and I mainly hung out with two girls named Jaimy and Natalie. Jaimy was helping us learn more Spanish, and we were teaching her English. Jaimy and Natalie were very outgoing and happy in general. They were also very patient with our minimal knowledge of Spanish. We talked to them about our families and they talked to us about theirs.

It was very humbling to see how happy and energetic the kids were with just playing tag or soccer. I thought it was cool how they play many of the same games kids in the United States play, such as tag, tic tac toe, and soccer. They could play for hours. After we said goodbye to Jaimy and Natalie we packed up and walked up the hill which seemed much bigger going up than it did going down. Once we got to the top a few kids were playing and we tried to convince one of them to sing for us, but he was a little shy. Overall today was very fun and I feel that we helped a lot of people to feel better. This experience has brought me closer to Christ and help me appreciate what I have so much more.

~ Rachel Smith

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