Today was an early morning as we embarked on our long (3hr) trip up to Tegucigalpa, where the airport is located. On the way, we stopped at a zoo where we ate breakfast and explored the exhibits. It was much smaller in terms of space and variety of animals, and much to our surprise there were only chain linked fences around the enclosures! They had monkeys, parrots, pumas, jaguars, wolves, lions, turtles and a few other small creatures.
We then continued up to Tegucigalpa to the WGM guest house where we would stay for our last night. We went to the Valle de Angeles for a shopping day where we bought many different handmade items such as decorations, jewelry, woodwork and leather purses. Afterwards, we had a very tasty dinner of lasagna and homemade garlic bread which was a hit after a week without pasta! We spent our last evening together talking and debriefing about our wonderful experiences throughout the trip, sharing the highs and lows as well as our favorite pictures from the week!
We played card games and enjoyed each other’s company for the last night and went to bed in anticipation for our flight home in the morning!
We started our final day in Honduras with a breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls, fruit and coffee (I’m going to miss the coffee – but we all brought plenty home!). Afterwards, we took our final group photo before leaving for the airport in Tegucigalpa.
Our day of travel back to the United States was much less chaotic than I anticipated. With the outbreak of COVID-19, I expected to be screened for symptoms upon arriving to Atlanta, but we were only met with a sea of masks and signs reminding everyone to wash their hands.
I am thankful that we had no hiccups along the way and if I have learned anything from this trip in Honduras is that it is important to remain flexible. During our health clinics, we often had no idea what we were walking into (i.e how many patients would come, the setup of the clinic, presenting complaints, etc). However, our team remained calm and took it a day (or hour) at a time and we always made it work. I am going to continue with this attitude now that we are back home in the United States. It feels like everyday something different is coming out about COVID-19 so I am going to keep up my mentality of taking things as they come, remain calm and flexible – just as I have learned from my experiences Honduras.
Today, we had the wonderful opportunity to teach 1st Aid and CPR at a vocational school. At this specific school, students are taught a variety of skills such as how to fix cars in an auto shop, sewing, and baking skills. The BSN students taught 1st aid skills such as how to splint a broken/sprained finger/wrist and how to dress a wound/burn. These are important skills for these students due to the nature of their work environments and the lack of access to immediate medical care. Then, the students were broken up into groups of ten where they each practiced CPR on one of the dummies. They took turns performing 1-person CPR and 2-person CPR to the beat of the song “Stayin’ Alive”. Lastly, our lesson ended with the Heimlich maneuver.
After teaching at the vocational school, we headed out to the last village that we had the privilege of serving named Village of Nuevos Colorados. Here, we saw about 30-40 patients. While our previous clinic days seemed to be a lot more hectic, today we had a slower trickle of patients. In women’s health, only 5 pap smears were performed while the norm is usually between 15-20 paps. The change in pace was nice as today felt like one of the hottest days thus far. Some of us were even able to play and interact with the kids more. All in all, today was a great ending to being able to provide much-needed healthcare services to the citizens of Choluteca.
Today was our 3rd day of clinic in Choluteca. We set up in a school in the barrio el edén, which was described to me by a local as a marginalized neighborhood on the periphery of the city. Once again we set up stations for adults, pediatrics, women’s health, pharmacy, and health screening and education. We were able to see over 40 patients and address their long and short term problems.
We noticed a similar theme with many of the people we met today. They went to see a doctor, but weren’t able to pay for the recommended treatment, or they were given a list of medications with little to no explanation so that they didn’t know how to manage them all. Our group was able to provide affordable treatments, as well as education so that their medications could be a relief rather than a burden.
After the clinic we were able to enjoy a local Choluteca drink called Pozol, made from milk, corn, and cinnamon, courtesy of the family of one of our interpreters. She shared with our hosts that she’s worked with a lot of people from other countries, even with orphanages in different areas, but she’s never been touched like she has this week to see how the OSU brigade has cared for her people. She said that her family wanted to express their gratitude for what our team has been doing for the people of Honduras by sharing this local specialty with us.
Today was an early morning for us in Choluteca. We woke up at 4:30 AM in order to make it to the public hospital in San Lorenzo. There we split up with the local nursing students to experience different units. Some of us went to labor and delivery while others taught the Honduras nursing students how to do dressing changes. It was interesting to see the local’s medical techniques and teach them how we do it in the United States. All of the patients and healthcare workers were very grateful for the care and supplies we provided for them before leaving. Unfortunately, we were not able to take pictures I sides some of the hospitals.
After working at San Lorenzo we had the opportunity to see the drastic difference between the public and private hospital in Choluteca. The public hospital, Regional del Sur, was packed full of patients lining the hallways while the private hospital, Semesur, seemed virtually empty.
Since we had an early morning, we were able to spend the rest of our day swimming, playing cards, and, of course, napping. We finished the day with a much anticipated steak dinner at El Torito. I think we are all looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow morning!
Today was a hot and sunny day in Choluteca! We began our morning at the local health department, Centro de Salud Iztoca, where we were able to care for a variety of patients. It was an awesome experience as we were able to provide care and connect with the local community! It was interesting to see how the overall health of the people changed from clinic to clinic.
After a really good ‘American’ meal of burgers and fries, we educated the IETI nursing students on CPR and performing a history and physical, two essential pieces of nursing care. Both us and the students had a blast demonstrating, practicing and interacting throughout the afternoon. It was awesome to see their skills in action. We of course got smoothies before dinner; they never ruin our appetite 😉
Tomorrow we will visit the Hospital del San Lorenzo and see a different healthcare setting. It should be another great day with new experiences. Check out some pictures from today below!! Goodnight
Today was day two of our adventures in Choluteca. We started the morning with a hearty breakfast, and then prepared our supplies and posters to teach various nursing skills to the Choluteca Nursing Students. One group taught the nursing students medication administration skills such as injections and safety tips. Another group demonstrated to the students first aid, wound care, and suturing techniques. The third group taught the students how to perform prenatal care and breastfeeding techniques to teach to their future Honduran patients. We also had time to organize all of our supplies in the Bodega to be well prepared for clinics this upcoming week!
After lunch, we headed to Downtown Choluteca to see the markets. There, we bought beautiful hand-made baskets that are known to last many years! We also bought several veggies and avocados to use in tonight’s supper.
Then we went to the Choluteca mall where we enjoyed coffee, popsicles, and Frosty’s. We also bought groceries and clothes to give to children at the foster home that we will be visiting tomorrow. Afterwards, we enjoyed relaxing by the pool, getting to know each other better, and a delicious dinner. We are very excited to get to explore the beach tomorrow!