Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shoulder to Shoulder - Day 1&2

Shoulder to Shoulder: Day 1 & 2

I left my house at 4am to begin my journey to Honduras. My flight left Asheville, NC at 6am, connected through Atlanta, GA and landed in San Pedro Sula around 12pm. My flight was mostly full of mission and volunteer groups. When I landed I felt a bit lost. I was one of the few people in my group that traveled down alone and did not know anyone else on the trip. I eventually found the rest of my group because there were pretty easy to pick out with their 23 gallon rubbermaid checked bags full of medical supplies. We loaded up the bus and were on our way to La Esperanza were we spent the night. This part of the drive went pretty quickly because it was mostly on well maintained paved and packed dirt roads. The mountains that we drove through were truly breathtaking. Honduras is much more green then I expected. I sat with a 3rd year medical student who is taking the summer off between 3rd and 4th year of school to get her MPh at Harvard. She was fantastic. Everyone that I have met so far has been wonderful, which has really eased the stress of coming on this adventure alone.
After spending the night in La Esperanza when we woke up in the morning a couple of us wandered around the town before breakfast. For breakfast we had a typical Honduran plate of refried beans, homemade tortillas, eggs, fried plantain, and sliced avocado. It was delicious. We loaded back in the bus and drove to Concepion, Intibuca Honduras where Shoulder to Shoulder has just held the grand opening of a new medical clinic. This part of the drive was a little slower going. When we left La Esperanza the roads immediately turned from packed dirt to loose rock and boulder. It was pretty exciting driving. We arrived, unloaded the bus, and then helped unpack a trailer of stove building supplies that would be delivered to families in the surrounding area later in the week. Then we walked around town and hung out with some of the kids that were playing in the town center.

By the end of the day I was completely exhausted. I went to take a shower but unfortunately I was a little too late. In order to conserve water we all were to take "military showers," jump in the water to rinse off, turn the water off, soap up, turn water back on rinse off, and so on. I made it to the fully soap up step only to turn the water back on only to discover that there was none left. I stood in the shower for a while trying to decide what to do next. I ended up ringing the soap out of my hair over the sink. Lesson learned: don't shower last and do not use lots of shampoo! A group of us girls set up our sleeping pads in one of the consult rooms in the new clinic and we all passed out very early.

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