By Luke and Sam Freimuth, Marcus Cramer, Bob Freimuth and Scott Schwartz
Our group woke up this morning to a meal of banana pancakes and we prepared ourselves for the day ahead. We traveled to, La Iglesia de Roatan (The Church of Roatan), where we will serve for the next week, and we met Pastor Wilmer. He led us up a very steep path through La Colonia – one of Roatan’s communities – to the main water cistern, at an elevation of 530 feet, that utilizes gravity to provide water to the population (like a water tower). Throughout the community we were able to see many families, but especially a lot of motorcyclists, kids, and dogs. This was really our first opportunity to see firsthand the communities of Roatan and what daily life is like for the locals. It was eye-opening and inspired us to work hard to help the communities. We ate a packed lunch after returning to the church and spent the early afternoon planning the VBS program that we will be running for the next 3 days for local children. After a quick stop back at the Refuge, we traveled to a nearby wildlife refuge, where we were introduced to monkeys, tropical birds, and sloths – which respectively climbed on, perched on, and hugged kids and leaders alike. We returned for a delicious taco dinner at the Refuge before listening to a presentation by a local marine biologist and dive instructor on the structure, ecology, and protection of the Mesoamerican reefs, which includes the one around Roatan. We ended the night with a devotional outdoors before retiring to our apartments in preparation for the day ahead.
Today Carl and Marcus went to the clinic. It was an eye opening experience. Marcus was put in charge of triage and saw lots of patients. Many of them being seen for diabetes and hypertension, which are big issues on the island. Each patients pays a flat rate of 200 Lempira, which is about 8 USD. Marcus screened patients as they came in before the doctor saw them and explained what all the vital sings meant. Carl helped out one the of pediatric physicians at the clinic. We got a tour of the hospital. It has 2 levels. The person giving the tour said that most of the physicians are there only in the morning and they go work at the public hospital in the afternoon. She said at one point they had a doctor that worked at 3 different hospitals. The entire island is very short staffed for all kinds of doctors. The lady giving the tour said there is only one EMT on the Island.
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