Honduras
Mercer On Mission

2015 May 26: Erika

You know, it

2015 May 24: Kevin

Kevin: Who knew $1.50 could buy so much fun? Our group was hanging out on the beach during a fun and relaxing weekend in Trujillo, when, of all things, a banana boat ride appeared on the horizon. I was skeptical as I saw it approach. I was thinking it would cost at least $15 and be a little sketchy to say the least. However, when I learned it would cost only $1.50, any concerns of safety vanished and I, along with a group of other people, were all in. The banana boat ride was a blast! We all got flipped off the raft, but returned safely to shore. To me, that silly ride sums up the trip. Much of the trip exceeded my expectations, I had more fun than I could have imagined, and I made some great friends along the way.

2015 May 22: Nicole

Nicole Today we were at a two classroom school, with one room used for pharmacy and the other used for patient visits. This is a set-up for clinic we have grown accustomed to over this last week, However, there was one difference between today

2015 May 21: Susan

Today was awesome! The patients seen today were way more complicated that the previous days, but still compassionate and extremely appreciative for all we

2015 May 21: Emma

Emma Today, my worst fear about participating in Mercer on Mission was realized in full force. We awoke at 5am on Thursday morning to embark on the two-hour drive to El Pedrero, a tiny town nestled deep in the mountains of the Agalta Valley. Upon arrival, everyone was a little tired and jostled from the pothole-filled ride. Assigned to interpret for Carson for the day, we began setting up in a back room. We didn

2015 Suffering and Resilience: Dr. Meye

Dr. Andrea Meyer

2015 First Week Summary by Undergrads: Shannon

Shannon: Coming in as an undergrad I didn

2015 First Week Summary by Undergrads: Bristal

Bristal: The first week of clinics was filled with adjustments. The adjustment to having no Wifi pretty much devastated our group, which was sad because these people live without that and other luxuries all the time, but you would never think they are missing out on anything. They carry joy with them wherever they go, and they are so grateful for everything they receive. That was a common theme and observation in our nightly debriefing meetings. We were all impacted by how kind and thankful all of the patients were, even the ones that we couldn

2015 First Week Summary by Undergrads: Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn: **The Internet was not cooperating at the ranch, so each of the undergrad students will summarize the first week in country, followed by blog posts for the second week from different students. We apologize for the inconvenience. The first week in Honduras was an exciting one. I soon fell in love with relaxing in the hammocks after a long day of clinics, followed by a friendly game of pick up soccer with the HOI staff. A typical day begins with breakfast at 6:15, devotional at 7:00 on Mondays and Fridays, and then leaving for clinics at 7:30. Each day of clinic had its own challenges. I was able to work at both the intake station and with a couple providers this week. Next week I hope to spend some time in the pharmacy as well. One patient who particularly stands out for me after this week of clinics was an older diabetic man who came in. He had a cut on his leg and wanted it clean, but after smelling the odor coming from his other leg, we knew there was something much worse going on. Ultimately, he had an ulcer for 14 years, and due to infection we were sure he had to get to a hospital quickly. He was probably going to lose his leg, but that was better than losing his life. It was so frustrating to hear that he could not make it to a hospital any time soon. We felt like he did not understand the severity of the situation, but in reality we did not understand that he was in poverty and could not afford the trip. It was more important to him to eat meals than to receive medical care. This situation is not uncommon here. Many people have told us about having to choose between taking themselves to the clinic or receiving care for their children. I cannot imagine having to make such a difficult decision, and so far, this week has taught me to be thankful for what I have in the United States. We have a much better quality of life than they do here, but that does not mean we are happier. I have seen several children mesmerized by bubbles, and young boys playing soccer with a beat up ball. These kids have never seen an iPad or iPod, and they are more than content. After this week of clinics, I

Enter a Descriptive Title for your New Blog Entry

This entry is for June 2nd since internet here is faulty and unreliable.



Our group of 18, hardened and experienced by a week of clinic, traveled back to our first destination, San Augustin de Blanco after having a memorable weekend in Catacamas. Interestly enough, if I am interpreting this correctly, the village is named after Saint Augustine, a 3-4th century famous bishop of Hippo. I asked myself, what is the significant of this village being name after a saint. Observing the people, I could see the answer in front of me. They were a people that had the attributes of the saint. Loyal to their family and helping each other out in the community, they care for what they have and are building up their small village. This is just like St. Augustine, who was commissioned to be a bishop of an small relative unknown place and tried to build the community there.



The village was situated at the edge of a mountain with the school further up the road but still placed in the center of the village. The village isn't a small village per area, rather it expands as far as one can travel in half a day by walking. We made camp in the school. The school was probably the size of a high school classroom.



As common in Honduras, people complains about stomach and pain issue. I can see why too. Just looking at their drinking water, you can see plenty of dirt and particles in their cup. Additionally, working to build their community, it takes a tremendous effort to work in the scorching sun day in and day out. It was quite an experience helping them and counseling them how to drink cleaner water because putting food in the table comes first. Pure water is not a priority to them. Hence, I would said to them to boil their water if they can't get clean water.



I enjoyed the village not just because of helping them in the clinic but also seeing the work we have done previously the week before when we first visited to do yard work. We built latrines and laid foundations. Seeing our work put a smile in my face knowing that the bricks and concrete that I laid on the ground, the villagers would be using for years.



Phat

Honduras in Haikus

Estamos aqui
Para ayudarte hoy.
Estamos listos.

(We are here
To help you today.
We are ready.)

Dame las manos
Y a los corazones
Escucharemos.

(Give me your hands
And to your hearts
We will listen.)

Las vitaminas
Son buenas para usted.
Tome siempre.

(Vitamins
Are good for you.
Take them always.)

Hay calles entre
Las montanas brumosas
Y arco iris.

(There are streets between
The misty mountains
And a rainbow.)

Manejando en
Montanas peligrosas
Dios, cuidanos.

(Driving through
Dangerous mountains
Lord, protect us.)

Las ruinas son
Tan antiguas: vamos
A explorarlas.

(The ruins are
Very ancient: we are
Going to explore them.)

Honduras esta
Aqui en mi corazon
Que preciosa.

(Honduras is
Here in my heart
How precious.)

Esperamos que
Podemos volver aqui
Honduras linda.

(We hope that
We can return here
Lovely Honduras.)

- Connie, Ayesha, Patrick, and Brianna

Copan ruins

We went to the Copan Ruins today - which incidentally is our last day in Honduras. I had been waiting for today for many months, ever since I got accepted to go this mission trip. The ruins were splendid - it was a huge plaza with different types of buildings. The hieroglyphs , even though faded were still pretty and gave us a glimpse of how beautiful these ruins probably were at their peak. Some of us paid to go through the tunnels as well. A lot of the city was underground - the monarchs apparently built on top of the older building after sealing them off, so this was a good opportunity to see older infrastructure. Words honestly cannot describe how beautiful and well preserved this place was. We all took a lot of pictures and enjoyed ourselves as a reward for our hard work these past 2 weeks. I am ready to go home though - I miss my mom's cooking. - Ayesha

From Olancho to Copan

The Chupacabra has found me. Despite being sure I am in the wrong time and place for that legend, I feel quite confident it's him. He's about 5 foot tall, has four legs and screams like a Yeti at 4 in the morning. I am also quite sure I've never heard a Yeti... until now of course. Phat my neighbor and unreliable source for all things post 10pm is convinced I am hallucinating on anti-malarial medication. I have no defense. I think I'd believe him if it wasn't for the hoof prints outside my bedroom window. Also, Chupacabras have hooves. In addition, there is a spider that has taken up residence in the electric socket next to my bed. It's actually relatively impressive that he holed himself up in there. At least I think it's a him; I'll have to ask. Do spiders have genders? It's actually more of a love hate relationship in which we try to outwit each other. He tries to attack my phone charger, I try to hit him with a shoe. I wonder if he'll miss me when I'm gone? At any rate, I think Pelle' will miss us. I figured he would be at the World Cup right now warming up but he and his buddies continued to pull up to the soccer pitch on their bikes right after school. They must have a summer home here. Seriously, a hug and a "cuando" that meant "when are you coming back?" gave a small indication that maybe it meant a little more than we expected to have us around. Then again, my Spanish needs some tweaking so maybe he was telling me it was about time I hit the road. Speaking of which, the highlight of the week might be the fact that the car ride tomorrow will be one of the shortest yet. I also told a young lady she was pregnant. Okay, maybe it was a toss up. -Bryan

Clinica Las Manzanas!

Hi everyone, After last night's thunderstorms, today was a beautiful day in Honduras. We began our day by touring the Escuela de Esperanza, which means "school of hope" and is supported by HOI. We met several of the children and were able to see their classrooms, library and playground and soccer fields that are currently under construction. The children seemed excited to see us and one young girl spoke to us in English! After touring the school we traveled to the clinic located in the village of Las Manzanas to visit patients. We saw between 60-70 patients and have really come together as a team! Things ran smoothly and our team seems to work really well together. The Honduran people were gracious as always and were waiting on us when we arrived. It has been a great two weeks and most of us cannot believe that our last clinic day is tomorrow. We have all been making photos to share when we return and I know that our appreciation for simple things such as clean running water and sanitation will forever be changed. Thank you to all our family and friends for praying for us and supporting us! We have been blessed by the people we have met in Honduras and only hope that we have been able to give back to them. - Amber

Clinica Las Manzanas!

Hi everyone, After last night's thunderstorms, today was a beautiful day in Honduras. We began our day by touring the Escuela de Esperanza, which means "school of hope" and is supported by HOI. We met several of the children and were able to see their classrooms, library and playground and soccer fields that are currently under construction. The children seemed excited to see us and one young girl spoke to us in English! After touring the school we traveled to the clinic located in the village of Las Manzanas to visit patients. We saw between 60-70 patients and have really come together as a team! Things ran smoothly and our team seems to work really well together. The Honduran people were gracious as always and were waiting on us when we arrived. It has been a great two weeks and most of us cannot believe that our last clinic day is tomorrow. We have all been making photos to share when we return and I know that our appreciation for simple things such as clean running water and sanitation will forever be changed. Thank you to all our family and friends for praying for us and supporting us! We have been blessed by the people we have met in Honduras and only hope that we have been able to give back to them. - Amber

Catacamas Excursion

Hey everyone, this blog will be short because I expect the WiFi will stop working soon. We enjoyed our weekend in Catacamas very much. On Saturday, we shopped in the town and then hiked 700 steps at El Cerro de La Cruz. At the top of this mountain, we had a view of the entire city.. awesome view!. On Sunday, we went to the Cave of the Glowing Skulls. The skulls were locked away, however we did get to see pure white stalactites. I have been in a lot of caves, but this was a first. After that we went to a combo restaurant-waterpark-zoo called Asada El Viejo Corral. The zoo was interesting! We saw monkeys, boa, parrots, ocelot, capybara, mongoose among other animals. Then we headed back to the ranch to prepare for another week of clinics. I am loving this experience and the mountainous scenery! Megan.

Catacamas Excursion

Hey everyone, this blog will be short because I expect the WiFi will stop working soon. We enjoyed our weekend in Catacamas very much. On Saturday, we shopped in the town and then hiked 700 steps at El Cerro de La Cruz. At the top of this mountain, we had a view of the entire city.. awesome view!. On Sunday, we went to the Cave of the Glowing Skulls. The skulls were locked away, however we did get to see pure white stalactites. I have been in a lot of caves, but this was a first. After that we went to a combo restaurant-waterpark-zoo called Asada El Viejo Corral. The zoo was interesting! We saw monkeys, boa, parrots, ocelot, capybara, mongoose among other animals. Then we headed back to the ranch to prepare for another week of clinics. I am loving this experience and the mountainous scenery! Megan.

Toothbrushes Bring Happiness!

Honduras is such a beautiful country! Everywhere I look, there is another breathtaking view, and the people are just as beautiful. Yesterday we drove for three hours on scary unpaved roads to visit the people of El Pedrero. We saw about 100 patients and they were all happy that we were there, even though they had to wait outside in the heat. For me, the highlight of the day was when a group of kids came to me and asked if they could each have a toothbrush. They had the biggest smiles on their faces as I passed some out, and it made me realize how many small things I take for granted in the US. I didn't notice the value of a toothbrush until I met those children, and yesterday has made me much more aware of how unimportant luxury items are when a person doesn't even have basic necessities. - Daria

Working With The Hondurans

May 26th, 2014



Working with the Hondurans



The land of the rolling hills with troughs and depths

Endlessly, as if looking into the abyss

Our first visitation began with simple steps

With bricks, concrete, mud and a long working list



Scorching above our heads is the smoldering sun

Countless hours building with the sons and fathers

with both hands blistering from the work we've done

Exhaustedly joyful, our journey goes farther



The simplest we did on the 26th of May

Latrines and foundations, O' we barely begun

San Augustin de blanco they gave us this day

Faith, Hope and Charity going for the long run



Maria and Phat

MOM Honduras

Honduras has been an incredible trip thus far! The days have been full of hard work, and I have returned to the ranch each afternoon grateful and humbled. Our one day of building latrines and laying foundations made me thankful for the church group that was staying at the ranch with us. I know I couldn't have done that work all week! The clinics have been so great! The people have shown us so much gratitude. Every single patient has had the biggest smile on their face! The children are especially precious. Yesterday, we were at a clinic in El Ocote. At the end of the day I was taking pictures of the children wearing goofy glasses. They loved to be shown their picture :). Before long, there were about 5 kids around me wanting to be in a picture. One girl (I didn't get her name) hugged me for about 15 minutes because she didn't want us to leave... I have seen so much genuine happiness this week. It just makes my heart happy! I don't think I will ever get used to the mountain views here. They are truly beautiful! As well as the acacia trees (beautiful red flowers that only bloom for a month and we just so happen to be here while they're in bloom)!! We've hiked up a couple of hills (mountains) with crosses at the top which have made beautiful pictures. I'm so grateful that I am here in Honduras and that God has blessed the first week. I'm excited for what next week has in store! Mary

MOM Honduras

Hi everyone! Honduras is a beautiful country with breathtaking mountains and blooming Acacia trees. The blooms are bright red and only occur one time a year and we feel blessed to see them! We have had some difficulty with our wifi connections, but have traveled to Catacamas for the weekend and have a strong signal. We had a service day at the village of San Augustine Blanco and helped build latrines and level the floor of a new school. Our first clinic day was at the ranch where we are staying, Rancho El Paraiso. We saw around 60-70 patients on our first clinic day, and our team is working great together! We have also served in the villages of Coronado, Pacura and El Ocote. The people are so appreciative and never seem to mind waiting for their turn, even in the hot sun. The children are fun and have bright, beautiful smiles:) - Amber, pharmacy student

A Rewarding Experience

Being in Honduras has been a great time. After a long week of living on a ranch, driving to various villages, and hosting a myriad of clinics, I am exhausted. Being at the hotel this evening has given me an opportunity to reflect on my journey. The children have been so beautiful and the parents so appreciative. Yesterday, I saw a woman so happy just to receive fourteen vitamins. It brought joy to my heart and I wished I could provide more. Today we climbed over 600 stairs to get an overview of Catacamas. It was a beautiful sight. I am greatful to be in this moment. -Brittney

May 26, 2014

Today was extremely long. We went out into the village to help build latrines. We also laid the foundation for a floor inside of a school being built. It was wonderful interacting with everyone from the village. The internet here at the ranch is slow because there are two other large groups. We will try our best to keep you all updated! -Professor Lynn Family Nurse Practitioner

Enter a Descriptive Title for your New Blog Entry

This entry is for June 2nd since internet here is faulty and unreliable.



Our group of 18, hardened and experienced by a week of clinic, traveled back to our first destination, San Augustin de Blanco after having a memorable weekend in Catacamas. Interestly enough, if I am interpreting this correctly, the village is named after Saint Augustine, a 3-4th century famous bishop of Hippo. I asked myself, what is the significant of this village being name after a saint. Observing the people, I could see the answer in front of me. They were a people that had the attributes of the saint. Loyal to their family and helping each other out in the community, they care for what they have and are building up their small village. This is just like St. Augustine, who was commissioned to be a bishop of an small relative unknown place and tried to build the community there.



The village was situated at the edge of a mountain with the school further up the road but still placed in the center of the village. The village isn't a small village per area, rather it expands as far as one can travel in half a day by walking. We made camp in the school. The school was probably the size of a high school classroom.



As common in Honduras, people complains about stomach and pain issue. I can see why too. Just looking at their drinking water, you can see plenty of dirt and particles in their cup. Additionally, working to build their community, it takes a tremendous effort to work in the scorching sun day in and day out. It was quite an experience helping them and counseling them how to drink cleaner water because putting food in the table comes first. Pure water is not a priority to them. Hence, I would said to them to boil their water if they can't get clean water.



I enjoyed the village not just because of helping them in the clinic but also seeing the work we have done previously the week before when we first visited to do yard work. We built latrines and laid foundations. Seeing our work put a smile in my face knowing that the bricks and concrete that I laid on the ground, the villagers would be using for years.



Phat

Enter a Descriptive Title for your New Blog Entry

This entry is for June 2nd since internet here is faulty and unreliable.



Our group of 18, hardened and experienced by a week of clinic, traveled back to our first destination, San Augustin de Blanco after having a memorable weekend in Catacamas. Interestly enough, if I am interpreting this correctly, the village is named after Saint Augustine, a 3-4th century famous bishop of Hippo. I asked myself, what is the significant of this village being name after a saint. Observing the people, I could see the answer in front of me. They were a people that had the attributes of the saint. Loyal to their family and helping each other out in the community, they care for what they have and are building up their small village. This is just like St. Augustine, who was commissioned to be a bishop of an small relative unknown place and tried to build the community there.



The village was situated at the edge of a mountain with the school further up the road but still placed in the center of the village. The village isn't a small village per area, rather it expands as far as one can travel in half a day by walking. We made camp in the school. The school was probably the size of a high school classroom.



As common in Honduras, people complains about stomach and pain issue. I can see why too. Just looking at their drinking water, you can see plenty of dirt and particles in their cup. Additionally, working to build their community, it takes a tremendous effort to work in the scorching sun day in and day out. It was quite an experience helping them and counseling them how to drink cleaner water because putting food in the table comes first. Pure water is not a priority to them. Hence, I would said to them to boil their water if they can't get clean water.



I enjoyed the village not just because of helping them in the clinic but also seeing the work we have done previously the week before when we first visited to do yard work. We built latrines and laid foundations. Seeing our work put a smile in my face knowing that the bricks and concrete that I laid on the ground, the villagers would be using for years.



Phat

Stefan's Ending Thoughts on Honduras

So many people have inspired and influenced me on this trip. The Mercer faculty and students I have met here have been some of the finest people I have ever met. Even the staff members at the ranch, the doctors, security guards, and the ladies in the cafeteria all inspired me in some way to find a common goal and interest among us. While I couldn't be so hooked up to the Internet, because it didn't function very well, a ranch culture modeled by the staff compensated for the lack of communication I had with home. They found fun and interesting things to do, which didn't have the least to do with technology. It is not surprising that this reflects on the happy moods and smiles of the workers here.

Personally, I was delighted to enjoy myself without the horror of the electronic quicksand of our phones that so completely absorbs us. I didn't need to speak to anyone outside my group on Facebook because all I needed was to social with the group members here. That gave us an amazing chemistry among us. As Americans, we tend to think that we need the internet to be connected, but we really don't. Some people in the states have an addiction to the internet. It is this addiction that afflicts most people in the United States. This aspect of the trip allowed me to realize how relaxed I was from the moment I stepped foot in the country because I was free of all those restraints. It allowed me to be more absorbed in the experience around me. I was more focus on socializing and understanding my team members personalities and them; and, I enjoyed running with patrick, Amber, Mary, and Megan, instead of playing video games. Also, the weather was way too beautiful to miss out on with just fifteen days of visit Honduras.

I learned a great deal about myself and the future I want to pursue in the health sector. I'm now looking to move forward by continuing into the nursing school, or even medical school. Who knows. I learned that I need to be a role model, just like my team and faculty members, to influence lives. Therefore, the experience in Honduras has been priceless. I just want to thank the Mercer faculty for how they led such an amazing program.

Having returned to the States, I feel as if I'm within a different world. The view of the mountains, the breadth of the clouds, and the crystal clear skies to see the stars at night are all things I've begun to miss. And, since arriving at the states, I see more clearly the technological differences between the two countries and its obviously colossal gap. Americans have floors that act like escalators to make traveling faster in the airports; meanwhile, Honduras experiences a wide spectrum of national problems, which range from the simple necessities of life, like clean drinking water to the lack of the technology. One thing I will always admire is the wonderful attitude of the people there. In terms of making construction, projects, advertisements, sponsorships, and more, westernized countries normally have sufficient technology to handle the simplest mistakes or obstacles that exist on a daily basis. On the other hand, in countries like Honduras, technology is crude and deeply limited. Since the prioritization of funding for programs in the country is seriously stressed, assistance to the health sector is hardly adequate, especial for people in rural areas of the country. So, instead of the people wasting the funds for a poor return, they make up for this in there resourcefulness. This is something that everyone in industrialized countries could always use. For survival's sake, the Honduran people seem to find a way, mostly difficult and rarely simple. Only the Honduran people have the potential to change their country for the better and themselves. Starting with the correct mindset, we can help them resolve these problems and speed up the process.

I really love Honduras and can't wait to return again, hopefully next summer. With deep sincerity and respect, I would like to thank the efforts of my fellow members on the team for the planning of the facility, the various activities, journeys to the villages, and the connections from HOI. Only with the amalgamation of these three groups were we able to result in such a wonderful program

Summary of first week by Undergraduates

Kaitlyn: The first week in Honduras was an exciting one. I soon fell in love with relaxing in the hammocks after a long day of clinics, followed by a friendly game of pick up soccer with the HOI staff. A typical day begins with breakfast at 6:15, devotional at 7:00 on Mondays and Fridays, and then leaving for clinics at 7:30. Each day of clinic had its own challenges. I was able to work at both the intake station and with a couple providers this week. Next week I hope to spend some time in the pharmacy as well. One patient who particularly stands out for me after this week of clinics was an older diabetic man who came in. He had a cut on his leg and wanted it clean, but after smelling the odor coming from his other leg, we knew there was something much worse going on. Ultimately, he had an ulcer for 14 years, and due to infection we were sure he had to get to a hospital quickly. He was probably going to lose his leg, but that was better than losing his life. It was so frustrating to hear that he could not make it to a hospital any time soon. We felt like he did not understand the severity of the situation, but in reality we did not understand that he was in poverty and could not afford the trip. It was more important to him to eat meals than to receive medical care. This situation is not uncommon here. Many people have told us about having to choose between taking themselves to the clinic or receiving care for their children. I cannot imagine having to make such a difficult decision, and so far, this week has taught me to be thankful for what I have in the United States. We have a much better quality of life than they do here, but that does not mean we are happier. I have seen several children mesmerized by bubbles, and young boys playing soccer with a beat up ball. These kids have never seen an iPad or iPod, and they are more than content. After this week of clinics, I

We had a great day today at the school! Finally, we are all together - pharmacy students, nursing students, undergrads, and medical students. We spent hours unpacking and repacking, counting and labeling, sorting and gathering...At times is was stressful and frustrating, but it is going to be so worth it.! 


We are taking so many medications and items that will bring relief to so many. Though the medicine and treatment may only last for a short period, the fact that we are going and showing that we care will last much longer. Hopefully the programs that we establish will continue after we have gone. 

I'm looking forward to learning from Drs. Girton and Allen. I'm also excited to learn from my colleagues from the other schools. The pharmacy students and staff will be invaluable in dispensing meds and glasses. The nursing students will be essential in providing background information and gathering vitals. And I pray that the medical students will have the knowledge to diagnose and treat. Not only will we all have these individual roles, but we will also all be learning from each other. We'll be experiencing patient care in capacities that we may never experience again.

Keep us in your thoughts as we travel. Between planes and buses, we have a long journey ahead of us. A long, life-changing journey.

-Tyler

Add a Comment

(Enter the numbers shown in the above image)