This short and sweet post is largely about one of my newest friends, Hector! I met him in the morning when I shadowed a physician at the consultation station (pretty awesome experience–I performed blood glucose tests, spoke with a Parkinson’s patient, and even saw a boy under local anesthesia get stitches after his machete accident…yes you read that right). Then at the children’s “charla,” I saw Hector again with two of his siblings (he has 11 more!).
Hector is 21. He has 13 siblings. He plays soccer. He wore a Barcelona futbol jersey. His favorite player is Messi. He has a girlfriend named Ludy. She is 18. He cares for his mom (who never ceases to lecture him about anything and everything). He traveled for four hours to get to the clinic. He talked to me about the weather, school, soccer, America, dreams, dogs, accents, fireworks, and Texas. He hugged me goodbye. He looked back as he left. We understood each other, and even though I was the one helping with his diagnoses and teaching him new things, he taught me some new things about Honduran culture (some things I wish we paid more attention to in America):
1. When places exceed maximum occupancy, sit people on the floor, because they’ll appreciate you anyways (aka la Hospital Escuela–one of the two central hospitals of Honduras).
2. You don’t need the biggest dream to be happy.
3. Never stop giving. You can stop when you have nothing left to spare.
4. There’s always a word for what you want to say. You just haven’t reflected enough about yourself, the other person, the place, or the situation to find it.
5. Love your parents. Love your girlfriend/boyfriend. Love your friends. Because healing, friendship, and strength can only begin with this warmth.