As I woke up in a bit of a daze from the earlier day of travel, I had that first feeling of “where am I” when I looked around the room that my host family had provided. I looked at the clock to see that it was only a bit past 3 AM in Honduras and yet the roosters were crowing and dogs were barking like dawn was breaking. Of course, then I just stayed in bed with my eyes wide open excitedly awaiting the activities which would occur for the rest of the day.
Six AM finally came and I got up to take my COLD shower and get ready to greet some 70 or so children from one of the local orphanages. (did I tell you I LOVE kids?) Driving through the pothole-filled roads to the health compound I found myself daydreaming about the relationships I was soon to make and the potential impact that our team would make in the small village that we were serving. (as well as conjugating all of the Spanish verbs that I could think of)
I cannot even describe the feeling that I had seeing all of those beautiful children, patiently waiting outside the clinic door and how my heart ached to realize that they would not
be going home to their parents. I was going to make a difference today. Child after child came in for treatment. They were well behaved (perhaps a little scared) and trusted the strangers because their caretakers and teachers had told them to. The hours seemed to fly by and before you knew it, it was time for dinner and time to go back with the kind people who had hosted us. We performed a lot of dentistry during that day, but I think what was more meaningful to me were the hugs of the children, the people praying for us and the thanks that we got from the caregivers of the orphans.
After a week of service in this poor community, a fiesta had been planned in appreciation for what we had done. I was emotionally drained, physically tired and yet I was filled with something that I can only describe as complete contentment and a feeling of accomplishment. For you see, I think it was the team and I who should have given the party as I had never been given so much in my life and will never be the same person again.