Clinic day 1 with team Rolinda traveled to the small town of El Treinta. In full scrubs and my hiking sneakers, we took off down the bumpy road. It was a beautiful walk and an ample opportunity to get some great pictures of the wildlife, structures, and culture. A few of my favorites were the “coffee shop” which was a small table, two small pitchers of coffee and a couple random pastries, the butcher shop with dried entrails hanging from the ceiling, and the local “ice cream truck,” which was in fact a man carrying a bag of cones, a cooler on his head, all the while ringing a small bell.
Once we got to the clinic and set everything up to get started it was a bit overwhelming. We were able to work through the rough patches no less. I was definitely wishing I spoke Spanish. However, working with an interpreter was a great learning experience. My first patient visit went by slow and steady. I learned with each new patient and began to find a good flow as time went on.
I nearly jumped for joy when I was presented with my third patient of the day, a seven-month-old baby boy with the most adorable dark curly hair. The rainstorm during the clinic offered some cool breezes and a relaxing background noise. I felt that the day went by as well as anyone could have hoped, being the first clinic of the trip.
I loved getting to push myself, interact with such gracious people, and even pick up a few new words to add to my slowly expanding Spanish vocabulary. Working in a foreign place, being so on the go, and seeing so many people coming from so little, you really get a new view on how many things in life you can live without. So many things from my life at home have taken on a new meaning.
Today taught me a lot about the difference between a need and a want, and most importantly to be so thankful for what we have. There is so much need in the world, and so many ways we can make a difference. From measuring heights to taking blood pressures, passing meds to driving supply trucks, today we all came together to help change a lot of lives. So many people with the same mission can be a very powerful force.
– Emily Gold USM Nursing Student
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