Mercer On Mission

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

Second Day of Clinic, Still So Much To Learn

Hola!! Greetings from Honduras! Today was the second day of clinic. We traveled to the same village that we were at yesterday. There were not as many patients today but it was still extremely busy, and hot of course! Today my assignment gave me the opportunity to interact with more patients, which I loved. I speak very little Spanish, which proved to be an obstacle as well as a learning opportunity. I learned a few phrases in Spanish today which seem simple enough, such as "wait here, please", but goodness were they lifesavers!!! I couldn't have done today at all without the help of the interpreters and Dr. Pino. Although I am not fluent in their language, I was able to share smiles with the patients and they did the same. Sometimes the little kids would just come up and give me hugs for no reason at all! That's just the kind of people that we are dealing with. They had been waiting for us at the clinic entrance since five in the morning and despite that they were so grateful to be there and happy to see us. HOI, the organization sponsoring us, also gave us more information tonight on the culture of Honduras so that we could carry that knowledge over into clinics and our overall experience here. Mostly I've learned how important it is to understand and appreciate another's culture, even if it is different from your own. It's so easy for us Westerners to come in and to act like we have all the answers and that our way is the right way, especially in healthcare. I think that each of us, no matter what discipline (nursing, pharmacy, etc.) can take this information to heart and humble ourselves each day in front of the people as they welcome us into their communities. 

This trip is already starting to put a lot into perspective for me personally, and nothing makes me happier than to see our patients walk out with a smile on their face while thanking us for seeing them, even if there was not much we could do for some patients. Don't get me wrong, the days that we spend at clinic are not easy, they're extremely busy, hot, exhausting, long, and sometimes frustrating. But helping these people and seeing their positive reaction truly does make it worth it all. 


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