Thursday, May 26, 2011

The medical brigade comes to an end...

I hate to say it, but today (Wednesday) was the last of our excursions out into the secluded villages to provide care. Another rewarding experience for us all, but what else would you expect when helping such a vulnerable population? And vulnerable it was. We saw over 80 individuals today and found three to be very malnourished.

Those unfortunate families soon had their opportunity to optimize their heath by joining us for the ride back and spend time at the nutrition center until they became more healthy. Although three were malnourished, only one came back with us. The woman and her 1.5 year old son (who couldn't walk because he was so incredibly malnourished - one of the saddest things I have ever seen) joined us in our fleet of vans back home without even thinking, leaving the rest of their children, community, and husband behind. The nutritional program that MAMA Project puts on is truly amazing. On the drive back home, we also stopped at a family, who was recently released from the nutritional center back to their family, to see how they were doing and everybody looked great. Again, so incredible to see.

oh, and how could I forget to mention - because of the lack of physicians that can come with us to the villages, the last 2 days we had to "fill in" and act as physicians, suggesting medications to give ranging from ibuprofen/acetaminophen, to prenatal vitamins, BP meds, and antibiotics. nothing like taking our nursing skills to the next level! I wonder what would have happened if MAMA Project didn't have any nurses attending this medical brigade? They would have most likely had to cancel which would have been a huge disappointment.

here is a photo of myself and my partner in crime at the "physician" station. only a bottle of hand sanitizer to keep us clean. We used to complain about washing our hands so much back in the States because of how irritating it was to our skin. Now we would all do anything to wash our hands just once at these clinics.

aaaaand we'll finish off with a group shot of us (minus our phenomenal leaders Beth and Pam) in front of rows of coffee beans!

I can't even explain how gratifying this experience is for us. On that note, goodnight, again.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday in Honduras

The sun is still shining, its still hotter than ever, and nothing can be better (well maybe getting a shower would be nice). Another day visiting a village. This village was much smaller than the one on Monday, but was equally as in need for health care. Today, everybody rotated stations that they were at so they could try something new and get a different perspective on things. Overall, the community seemed to be fairly healthy for not having access to health services. There were lots of kids today, and of course that meant lots of soccer to be played in the free time that we had. They loved it, and they loved us, asking us all to sign our names on a paper for us before we left so they would remember us. And when they asked us where we were from and if we could come back, the looks of disappointment on their faces when we responded with "Estados Unidos" were absolutely heartbreaking.

Here is a shot of many of us and the kids after a heated soccer game - guys vs. girls.
Following our expedition into the mountains, we all came back to relax and reflect on our recent experiences with those who we have helped over some intense games of Uno, and absolutely incredible food made by the one and only, Isabella.

Over and out, for now.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Off the the villages...


So today was the first day we were able to actually get out to the villages and set up our mobile clinic. The village that we saw today hadn't seen any medical brigades in quite some time, and this was the first time that MAMAProject had gone to see them. After a 2 hour drive on some wild mountain roads, we made it and started off by setting up our stations ranging from vital sign screenings, to hemoglobin checks, dentistry, and a chance to see the physician and receive any necessary medications.

maybe we could check hemoglobin like this back in the states? talk about cost saving!
The families that came were incredibly grateful for the help that we could give them. It's such a satisfying experience to share something as simple as a packet of Tylenol with somebody who is having pain - something we take for granted every day of our lives.

After seeing over 100 patients from the village we made some time to enjoy ourselves and give the kids a soccer ball to have for their village. We may not be fluent in Spanish, but it seems as though soccer brings everybody together around here no matter what types of barriers there may be. It's quite satisfying and a great experience.

That's about it for now. Buenos noches!

oh, PS, a good portion of the nursing class of 2008 is pretty pumped to be here! hopefully more alumni can come next year with us!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dia numero dos.

Another great day here in Honduras. Seems to me like we all had a blast. The day started with the group of us chowing down on some breakfast and then heading down the road to the nutrition house and sort some pills and get them ready for the next day out in the village. While here, some of the kids staying at the nutrition center came to join us so we got another chance to play with them again, of course.

The nutrition house really is something special. Packed with hundreds of donations ranging from toys, to clothes, and most importantly the medications and treatment supplies. The clinic exam room is pretty great as well. Here are some photos to show you how it is down here:

After sorting the pills and getting everything planned and ready for the following day, we had some fun and headed to the waterfall, and then to Yojoa Lake. Views from the waterfall were stunning and there were zip-lines that some of the group hopped on and enjoyed while the others enjoyed the sun and views of the Honduran countryside.

after enjoying the views of the surprisingly stunning countryside, we all headed to dinner at the lake, and then back home to relax and rest up for the following day's work in the villages.

hasta luego!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

We Made It!

So the group of the 11 of us made it to to Honduras safe and sound, and what an eye-opening experience it has been already. The 2 hours country road drive to the hacienda that we are residing at was a chilling 97 degrees, but at least the mini-van that we packed into had air conditioning. Our house is incredible and seems like a millionaire's mansion compared to the local "houses" that surround the land, even though running water and electricity is not always a given here, as well as the cable internet (truly a luxury).

After settling in, we took a short walk down the road to the nutrition/pharmacy/clinic house where the supplies of donated goods are overwhelming. There, they also have a few small huts where families from communities can come with their children if they are found to have a substantial nutritional deficit and need extra care. While here, those families are treated with all the amenities they need to successfully regain their nutritional status and return back to their villages. When we visited, we brought the kids some toys and had a great time playing with them. We will have to post some pictures later.

When we got back from touring the grounds, we came back to the house for a great Honduran home cooked meal by the chef of the house. Then the rest of the night was spent relaxing on the porch, listening to locals play music from their homes, and hoping for the water to come on so we could shower.

Talk to you all soon!