Mercer On Mission

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

The Differences That Unite

After sluggishly boarding the bus for our third transport to clinic, I think we were all surprised to find that, at our new clinic location, we would be working inside classrooms that would allow us to create a system of seeing patients that was irrefutably more efficient while also providing more time for us to interact with them. Since we see an incredibly large number of patients each day, it has been difficult to find this balance of efficiency and quality relationship-building. However, as we all get more used to working as a team, understanding eachother's working styles, and navigating our workspaces, we have so many more opportunities to interact with our patients and further understand them, despite the incredible language barrier that separates us. Our HOI representative told us a very interesting and funny story/concept yesterday as we were learning more about the Honduran culture and how it is different from Western culture. She said that if Jesus were to ask a group of Honduran people to fish farther in the water after a long day, they would all say "I'm too tired; I want to take a rest," and if he asked the same of a group of people from the US, they would be determined to go and catch the fish, but when they did, they'd forget who told them to continue fishing in the first place. Although this a vastly broad generalization, it truly demonstrates the error that can be found in every culture and the idea that it is such differences and faults that unite us. In order to truly have an impact on people of various cultures, we must learn to both recognize and respect the differences while choosing to focus and build from those experiences and qualities that relate us to one another. We are so immensely grateful to have this opportunity to reach out and help these rural Honduran communities while also learning and better understanding their culture and what it truly means to work on an interdisciplinary team.

-Emily S.

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