viernes, 10 de junio de 2011


On Friday we headed to the ROW clinic, an established free clinic in a building. We took all our extra supplies which included lots of medicine, first aid, and orthopedic supplies to the clinic. We also organized all the boxes already in several of the exam rooms so that the doctor and nurse would know what they have on hand. It was somewhat frustrating because the clinic and TONS of supplies but only certain parts of things... Like O2 filters but no O2 machines. Recirculating leg pump cuffs, but no actual pumps. So while in a hospital or clinical setting these thing would be helpful it seems as though some of the supplies are just taking up space.

As you can also see from Charlie's shirt, it was a hot day! So we did what we could at the clinic and as we were getting ready to leave all the students piled into the back of one of the trucks to ride "Honduran style" around the clinic...We had wanted to take a real ride, but it was too much of a liability, which is understandable, but we had to have a little fun! 

After leaving the clinic and our "wild ways" behind us we went to make a house call to the boy earlier in the week who had been kicked by the horse. It was amazing to see how well everything healed in just four days! 

We then headed back to the hotel for a picnic lunch on the volcanic beach across the lake. We had to take a boat ride and we had a lovely lunch, a dip in the lake, una siesta, and fished. 

We then spent the remainder on the afternoon and early evening packing and getting ready to head back to the states. After dinner by candle light (we had lost power again) we had our final post conference... Everyone expressed their enjoyment and happiness that they had come on the trip! We then returned to our screened in porch for a final evening of playing cards, chatting, laughing and having a good time! 

It was a wonderful trip, I learned so much, and I was glad I could be a part of the guinea pig group! I would encourage all nursing student to go and get out of your comfort zone!

Mountain Village

The third clinic day we went to a mountain village. Unfortunately because we had such heavy rain the day before our little 5-speed van had a difficult time making it up the muddy mountain road. Fortunately Israel and his sons have done this many times before and we were towed the last hundred yards or so by the big diesel truck!

Clinic again went smoothly and we broke for lunch. After we had packed up a lady arrived in a wheel chair. It was obvious she had been in a bad accident because her left knee was essentially destroyed. She had been in a car accident three months earlier and once released from the hospital she hadn't seen another doctor. The wound on her left leg was weepings clear fluid and two bone chips had come out. In order to protect her body from infection we gave her some antibiotics and some ibuprofen to help with pain. It was unfortunate to see this women in such a terrible condition, knowing that even temporary help was better than no help at all. 

After this remote mountain village we went to one more village but unfortunately it started raining. It continued to rain and no one will come because they would have to stand outside waiting in the rain. So we gave our remaining supplies to the local "leader", distributed some stickers to the children and headed back to the hotel. 

Clinic Day Dos

We drove to the other side of Lake Yojoa through Pena Blanca to a town and area called Las Vegas.

The road down to the lake was long, winding and dirt. We set up in a community building made from cinder block and had a tin roof.

The surroundings of this town was beautiful! But we came to find out that the local hotel/restaurant was kept alive by drug production and trafficing. Also that the people on the land were basically squaters At some point they had planned an "invasion" where a large group of people (usually 30+) decide to set up house on a piece of land, whether they own it or not. Once the community is established it is very difficult for the real land owner to kick them out because of there is no government help.

During the day we saw about 140 people. We saw our oldest patient on this day, a 70 year old woman. Intake and triaging went much smoother the second day. The reason this was true was because of two things, we knew our roles much better and second because we had a larger space to patients to wait & sit.

This also was the day we saw a boy who had been bitten by a bot fly. These flies lay larva under the skin. Thankfully the larva had already been removed but an abscess formed around the removal site. Dr. Boyd numbed the area and drained the abscess. This process took about fifteen minutes. The wound was allowed to stay open because the bacteria that inhabit wounds like this boys are anaerobic so exposing them to the air helps kill them.

Before leaving the village around 3pm we were able to snap some pictures of the beautiful surroundings.

First Clinic

On Tuesday we had our first full clinic day. We were on the road by about 0815. The village that we traveled too was a little higher in elevation but not considered a "mountain" village. We set up in the local school. Everyone had their specific station. Once intake was up and running (manned by a local woman) things started moving quickly. During the time that we were there we saw 70+ people and the worst was a little baby boy who had pneumonia. He was running a 104+ temp and had ronchi in every portion of  his lungs. By the afternoon we understand how things would work, but because we were running low on supplies we went back to the hotel for the afternoon to re-group, re-pack, and re-supply.

The children at the first clinic really loved Kathryn because she was the one handing out coloring books, crayons, and toys. They were all constantly trying to get her attention for the possibility of more goodies!

Also back at the hotel we had lost power for the majority of the afternoon. But ROW to save the day! Thankfully Ben, the director of ROW, sent us with about 8 solar powered LED lights that had been charging in the morning. SO we used these lights to be able to re-pack for the next days clinic. 

Pena Blanca

During the week that we were in Honduras we went to/though a local town called Pena Blanca. In the United States we consider this town a spec on the map, but it was the nearest local area that had Supermarkets, pharmacies, liquor store, bakery etc. The thing that was most excited is that there aren't any traffic lights, parking spaces etc. If you're in a car and you can go, GO! There is no room for timid drivers in Honduras. It's also a normal thing for people to constantly pass you on roads, no matter the road! We went to Pena Blanca on Monday after our well baby/child clinic & after Regena, Dr. Britt Boyd, and his daughter Kathryn.

These little taxis were everywhere all over the country. Cars and gasoline are very expensive in the country so most people don't have the means to have them. So they either wait on the side of  the road for a bus or they take one of these taxis...And you'd be amazed home many people will fit in one of these taxis! I think the record we 5 people, NOT including the driver. 

We also went souvenir shopping. Some people bought presents for family and children. Several students got souvenirs for themselves including clothes, sunglasses, and hammocks. Elaine and Regena managed to find Coke Lite! This we quite an adventure for all searching for Coke because most places only carried Coke Zero or Pepsi Lite.

domingo, 15 de mayo de 2011

Well Baby/Child Clinic

On this past Monday we did a well baby/child clinic. We went to two different villages and saw almost 100 children in the course of only a few hours. We took height and weight measurements of every child and then plotted them on a graph was exactly like the one in the picture.

This was a learning experience for us all. You would think getting to piece of information on a sheet of paper would be pretty simple. BUT... when you add a language barrier, fussy children, impatient parents and 90+ degree weather, everything seems more challenging! 

Even with the environment working against us we all got into a groove... After seeing almost 50 children we were finished and were able to eat our lunch packed by the hotel's owner's wife, Marta. (by the way... ALL the food we had was delicious. Everything was SO fresh and flavorful it was hard to stop eating at meals) We also were able to see the stoves that Rivers of the World provide for families. They are ventilated and much more efficient which improves the families health (because they aren't constantly breathing smoke) and environmentally friendly (because each family goes from burning 28 trees a year to 8!). Also instead of the stove heating the entire house the heat is contained much better to the area of the stove. 

At our second village for well baby/child we set up and got moving quickly. As a result we were done much quicker as well. With a grow chart doctor's and primary care providers are looking to see a trend over time. If a child is the the 5% percentile but continues to stay within that range for 5 years there is nothing to worry about they are just smaller and lighter than most, but developing WNL (nursing term: within normal limits). So it was difficult to provide parents with an accurate assessment of their children's development because we were only measuring a single point in time. 

The other thing we saw at our second village was a teenage boy that had been kicked by a horse a few days prior to our clinic. He had about a two inch laceration above his right eye. Elaine, the ASN coordinator saw him but because it had been two days since the incident we could not suture the wound; it would have to heal on it's own. The wound itself was inflamed and he had a black eye. When we returned on Friday (four days later) with anti-biotics and dressing supplies the improvement was remarkable! The swelling and inflammation at almost disappeared and his black was gone. Take a look! 

viernes, 13 de mayo de 2011

Gringas In Shorts

Last Sunday we went to an orphanage place that houses children from 10 months up to 21 years. These children might be orphans or they might have parents that can't or won't take care of them. It was a sad situation. We enjoyed spending time with the younger children. We brought bubbles, bouncy balls, stickers etc. It was a blast to see how happy they were to have some extra love & attention. We were also able to see where they were housed. It was by no means fancy, but it was clean which is encouraging. There are also dorms for the older children.

They go to a 7th Day Adventist school for both primary and secondary school. Also often they are able to receive technical training so that when they leave each person can support themselves.

As we were leaving the orphanage a boy in a Nissan truck pulled in with 6 armed guards and about 10 other friends piled into the bed of the vehicle. We came to find out that this guy was one of the richest children in the area and his father owned dozens of hardware stores. The reason he had armed is in the past he was kidnapped and ransomed. SO as they were pulling out, I lifted my camera to a "un photo" and they all started whooping and hollering. Then Sara (the hotel owner's daughter and one of our translators) said "Yeah.... they LOVE gringas (white women) in shorts!"

This moment was funny but then all of us students started realizing that all the natives don't wear shorts. The women are in dresses or skirts. The men are always in pants. The only people who at anytime wear shorts are children, both boys and girls. But even then the girls are usually in skirts, and the boys have shorts that are longer than Bermudas. It's just one of those cultural things that you don't anticipate.