Mercer On Mission

"Experience is not what happens to a person...Experience is what a person DOES with what happens to him/her"

Hospitality with a smile Honduran Style

Today was a nice day of rest for us after a busy first week of clinic. On our day off we headed to San Marcos de Colon to spend time walking around town. We had been told that this was the place we should buy coffee, so we were all excited to purchase our Honduran coffee to enjoy when we return home. We were trying to find a store to buy coffee and were getting a little turned around. As the time for us to return to the bus approached, we stopped to ask a group of Honduran men for help. I asked one of the men if he knew where we could find a store that carried the local coffee. The man thought on it for a moment and then jumped into his truck and grabbed a piece of paper and started drawing us a map of the city. I was pretty dumbfounded when he started doing this because this was something I wouldn’t expect in the US. After he drew the map he went through the directions with me and had numbered all the turns. Though we didn’t have time to go to the coffee shop I was so appreciative of the time he took to help us as we were walking the streets of San Marcos. I left the city in awe of the hospitality of a stranger on the streets of Honduras who was willing to take time out of his day to help a group of North Americans or “Gringos” find a few bags of coffee to purchase. 
The best part of the day was the time to reflect on the entirety of our first week as clinicians. This week was challenging. My first day of clinic, I was anxious about the responsibility I already felt to the patients lined up outside the gates before the first patient even came in. Looking back on our first week, I think of how this experience is shaping us to be better physicians as we go forward in our careers. Meeting patients who are so grateful for a pack of multivitamins and Albendazole treatment for their children is truly moving and serves as a reminder of the many blessings in our lives at home that we may take for granted. Every patient I saw this week was more appreciative of the time I spent with them than the last. I am excited to see how we take what we have learned from our first week of clinic into our second week starting Monday! 


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