Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beauty in the Little Things

“ While the world is in worse trouble than we usually think, it is also a more wonderful place than we realize.” –Dean Brackley
View from our sunrise hike
This morning we got up to do a sunrise hike to the top of a nearby mountain. It was breathtaking! We were above the fog surrounded by green mountains that seemed to stretch on forever, it was the perfect start to the day! In this region, the stunning scenery exists alongside the evident injustices.  The people here are so far removed from the city that they have limited access to their basic necessities. Most children in Intibuca do not continue school past sixth grade, many women raise their kids on their own with little income and prior to the clinics established by Shoulder to Shoulder, the nearest hospital was three to four hours away. However now that Shoulder to Shoulder has a contract with the government, there are clinics staffed by at least one Honduran nurse in most of the communities. With that said, access to care is still limited. Yesterday, while we were painting inside the clinic, a father and his nine-year-old son came in. They had traveled for two hours to get to the clinic as the little boy had been bitten by a dog and had a huge gash in his leg. While we painted, we listened to his screams from the other room and watched as more patients filed in waiting for care that would not have been available to them just a few short years ago.  The Shoulder to Shoulder model focuses on primary and preventative care rather than specialized care. Instead of treating chronic diseases and pulling teeth, the organization concentrates on caring for those with common illnesses and educating children about proper dental care as a means of future prevention.  Through this, Shoulder to Shoulder has set up a more sustainable system that is available to the people of Intibuca all year. 
The 5 volunteers and brigade assistants
 Life here continues to be an adventure everyday. Whether its hiking at five am and being followed by two men carrying machetes (an essential staple for most campesinos), getting picked up and riding in the back of a pick up truck while walking to a neighboring community, or having the power go out while attempting to cook dinner for fourteen people in the middle of a thunderstorm, I am constantly reminded of the unpredictability of life here. Yet that is what I love about it! As I get to know the Honduran staff at the clinic and talk with those in the community, I am always amazed at their spirits despite how little they have. They are truly an example for me in how they live their lives and I continue to be inspired here everyday with everyone I am meeting. Thinking of you all!
P.S. The Internet here is very touchy and goes out constantly so the best way to keep in touch for me is e-mail!

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