Mercer On Mission

2015 Blog

2015 Summary of first week: 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’m excited to see what new experiences I will have next week.

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