I woke up this morning as I would any day for crew practice. In fact, I was able to sleep in 30 minutes later (yay)! Today was the date of our departure to Honduras.
Earlier this semester, I applied to a student-led medical brigade trip to Honduras. Global Brigades is sponsoring our trip and accommodating us here in a rural Honduran town that is a few hours from the capital, Tegucigalpa. I have a few friends going and plan on making many more by the end of this trip (Friday)!
Surprisingly, the flight was very short; the van ride to our compound was much longer! In the van, besides sleeping (typical), I gazed outside at unfamiliar scenes. Unpaved roads, painted advertisements on white washed walls, humidity, tons and tons of mosquitoes, and street dogs. But what unsettled me most was the amount of litter. Everywhere. I visited rural and urban Argentina during my sophomore year of high school for an immersion and service trip, and despite its location in Latin America, the Argentine landscape does not compare to that of Honduras. Street aesthetics and public sanitation regulations among other things are mechanisms to build “order” and stratify a society; policies that we seem to take for granted back at home in the U.S. are hardly considered or perhaps considered but not diligently followed here in Honduras.
I have no idea what to expect when we visit the community tomorrow. I was pleasantly surprised by our compound’s facilities, but tomorrow there won’t be a shield of Westernization to protect us from the disparity of resources and the potential suffering of this third world nation. It excites me that at such a young age, I can help create sustainable change in a community with an underdeveloped system of healthcare delivery. I need to keep cultural sensitivity in mind as I interact with the native Hondurans this week as well as keep in mind that this trip is really all about them.