Going into this experience I did not know what to expect. I was feeling so many different emotions. I was scared, excited, anxious, and so much more. When we first arrived, it was late at night after a long day and I was tired. I couldn’t really see what was going on and it looked scary to me. When we got to the rooms I was also feeling very skeptical about everything. It was not what I thought it was going to be. I definitely had a down moment that night and was praying the next day things would get better. It did (: After all the orientations, I had a better understanding on what was going on and that weekend we got to explore the country and have some fun. The lagoon was the best day and my favorite day there. It really was paradise. After having so much fun that weekend, it was time to get to work. I was excited at this point to help in the community and help people in the clinic. We got to go to the pharmacy and many of the medications the people needed were unavailable which was sad. We also got to go to triage, which was a lot of fun. We got through so many patients and I really felt like I was helping out and was able to use my skills to help the nurses and to help the patients get a better experience. We also went to homecare, which was such an eye-opening experience. All of the people let us into their houses and were so welcoming. The houses were so small and in some homes, there were many people in the house. I can’t even explain what the houses looked like, it made me speechless that these people lived on so little. They were so kind and so appreciative of us, it made me feel so good that I was able to do something for them. We also had many days of working hard in construction to build the clinic. We got a lot further than we thought we would, helping the clinic be built faster for them. The only thing that bothered me was how skinny all of the animals were, I wish I could have taken them all home and give them the love they deserve. Speaking of food, I am so happy that I am no longer eating rice (and I don’t like beans so that didn’t help much). It is just a different culture and their priority was to feed themselves and their children instead of the animals. At the dorms, we did not have any TV and there was the bare minimum everywhere, so all of us got very close. Every night we would sit outside, talk, color and listen to music. I made closer relationships with people and new relationships with those I never knew before. It was so nice going on this trip with such a wonderful group of people that I got to share this experience with. It is hard because there are so many details about the trip that is almost impossible to put it all in words, but it’s great that I have the others that I can talk about the trip with and have those memories together that only we understand. I would do this again in a heartbeat. It was such an amazing trip that people need to experience to understand.
~ Sarah Vallee ’18