Volunteer Name: Jerry E. So
Project Location: La Ceiba, Honduras.
Volunteered at: La Clinica and Hospital in La Ceiba
1.-How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
Our A Broader View coordinator was a great support throughout the program, During my time here, I found that I could come to him to talk about the duties I was responsible for and becoming used to the culture in La Ceiba, I was always welcome in his office to discuss about the program and really understand the program.
Whenever something malfunctioned or something was needed in the clinic, he always keep in touch with the nurses and tried to supply them with medical supplies or medicines to keep work going.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
At the program: Perhaps the most surprising thing I experienced at the program was finding out a patient who received nebulization from the nurses lived at the clinic. It is the stories that are not heard previously put things in perspective..
At the accommodation: The food, Im coming from college, it was hard to get used to the small portions. The food is delicious, just sometimes at the dining table, I wished there was a bit more left. My host family, the mother was a wonderful lady who made every meal feels homely.
About the country: The market was my favorite. The energy liveliness and music that filled the streets each store had its own character and you could tell by the atmosphere each presumed when you passed by. Everyone here is so nice cool welcoming me to La Ceiba.
3- What was most difficult to experience?
At the program: The language barrier made worry in the archives and in the clinic general a bit hard.
After studying my Spanish up until high school, it look some getting used to, at length to the speed.
At the accommodation: I honestly will say nothing was difficult at my accommodation, living there really made my month here seem so much more meaningful. Perhaps the hardest thing was telling my host mom about issues I might have experienced there. My shower was not working properly for the first two weeks.
The country: Mostly just getting used to the area. It is a beautiful place. Easy to go out and experience it bring friends a long it. Definitely be an experience.
4- Any tips for future volunteers…
Clothing: Pack Minimally. I’d say maybe 3-4 outfits, two pairs of scrubs and of course underwear and socks but that’s a own. Closed shoe pair, sunglasses.
Donations: Gloves, gauze, money US$100, pens, pencils, good items to bring, Something along those lines would be perfect.
Weather: Maybe a rain coat, It usually only showers but its not too big of a deal. Just be really for lot of rain, when it does at least.
4.1-Other things volunteers should know:
a.- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or admit you don’t know when speaking to patients or the healthcare professionals. Were only here to help and it is best the correct information is conveyed in these clinical settings.
b.- Try to come here with in open mind. It’s easy to compare the workplace here to back at home or simply the life style. But it is a different environment and shouldn't approached with expectation.
5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial), don’t leave blank:
The cultural and language lessons after the clinic made me enjoy they Spanish classroom setting. I found myself thinking time went by so quickly here and that I came to La Ceiba not too long ago. Seeing healthcare in mother country, definitely has inspired me to pursue student in global medicine and becoming included though such means in the future.
6- How would you describe your accommodation, meals and security:
Great meals, were delicious, people were friendly and I did feel treated during my stay. The home style makes me feel more immersed in the culture, and as a student waiting improve my Spanish and learn it, this served as a great opportunity.
7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
Program: Finishing all of the duties in archives in record time two days before really made me feel like I played contributed to such an essential process for patients to receive care.
Country: Christmas at the coordinator's house with volunteers, Fireworks, secret Santa, and then heading back to work at the hospital the next day was awesome.
8.- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
Communication (Phone/emails/Online chat):Easy and very informative, calling the head office about the perfect details cleared up a lot of questions and concerns I had.
Website Information: Easy to navigate and provides a snapshot of the clinic.
9 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?
Yes, if they want to contact me, I’d be more than willing to speak with them.