It’s been two days since we returned from a three week trip to Honduras, and I’m beginning to adjust to life here. This time our return flight was cancelled, we switched airlines last minute and connected in Atlanta instead of Miami. Have to admit, it was easier entering the States this way…less chaotic, and not the same slap of reality.
I wish I could have taken the time and had the energy to write while I was away, but I really do “live in the moment” while I am there, and spend little time thinking about life “back home.” It’s too bad because I’m often in the midst of intense feelings and perhaps I would be better at conveying it then, but here goes.
There’s no way to sum up our trip in a few paragraphs but I’ll re-cap one experience. My first thought is the night we had an emergency at our home. I was getting the kids ready for bed, when I heard Mita Gomez (our new Honduran coordinator) yelling my name outside our locked gate. I ran to the door and saw Mita, her husband and a young couple with a toddler in their arms. The child was in a seizure, non responsive and they were looking for Tom (a pediatrician). As Tom checked the little girl’s heart and was relieved to find her breathing, I ran next door to our neighbor, “Patricia” who is a Honduran doctor.
I will never forget the sight of this child (rigid and staring blankly) or the shear panic of her parents, especially her step-dad who was drenched in sweat, praying his heart out, pleading with us not to let their child die. Patricia gave her an injection (standard Honduran protocol) , we tried to calm the parents down, handed Mita some money (for gas and medication), and off her husband sped to the hospital.
As they arrived at the E.R. the child’s seizure continued, they had to wait in line with the mass of people and when they were eventually seen by the doctors they were informed there was no medication, they would spend the night and when they came up with the money some exams would be done. Despite the mother’s offer to give us their home (pictured above) in exchange for help with medical care, we assured her it wasn’t necessary.The next obstacle was finding people to donate blood…determining a match and convincing people to give. This little girl remained in the hospital for the next two weeks, and since then, moved to a hospital in the capitol. We are still following her case from a distance.
It was a stark reminder of many things…living in poverty and not having the means to purchase medicine or have transportation in an emergency, life in the third world with inadequate medical care and non existent medicine. These feelings resonate with me as I return to the U.S.A., and try to be patient when I hear people complaining about the most inconsequential things…and remember, I am the “fortunate” one for having the opportunity to experience life elsewhere and gain a different perspective. I hope others will have this chance.