It is not until we embark on a journey so far from home that we realize how much we have and how in debt we are to serve the world surrounding. Far from our comfort zone in a new area we are called to make a difference. I have been on many mission trips but the most memorable experience was in Dominican Republic through ISL. What an awesome responsibility and opportunity it is to travel to another country and be of service to others less privileged.
In the Moshi-kia area, just few kilometers from the Kilimanjaro airport, there are few trees and it is very dry. Many people from the Maasai tribe are now living in the area because they work in the Tanzanite mines. They had hired a couple professional tree removal companies to remove the old dead trees, so they could plant new ones.
The O’Brien school for the Maasai, located in that area,
In Costa Rica, we celebrate Mother’s Day on August 15, and in preparation for this year’s celebration of motherhood, the memory of an incident that I witnessed in Tanzania involving a baby girl and her “little mommy” came to mind:
We were serving in Tanzania, and I saw these two beautiful girls outside of the ISL field clinic, so I went to greet them. The oldest was 7 or 8 years old, and the baby girl was 3 or 4.
I cannot believe I have been able to gain so much experience as a physical therapist and I could not ask for better people to experience this with. With only 8 girls, we were able to get to know each other and become close friends. For the first 3 days we assisted the PT team at Santiago Crespo Calvo Nursing Home and learned how to use the equipment and got a crash course in Spanish.
“A New Way to Travel” by Danielle Eves
I contemplate the toenail with trepidation. It is the thickest toenail I have ever seen, with a yellow opaque quality indicative of fungus. Upon closer inspection I see it is even too thick for the pair of toenail clippers Sonia has given me. My elderly patient begins to mumble in a thick Jamaican Patois accent, and I can only just make out what she is trying to say.
I can still remember the feeling I had while sitting in JFK airport awaiting my first flight of the long journey ahead of me before I would arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport. I had no idea what to expect and I could almost already feel a change within myself. There was such a mix of emotions: fear, angst, nervousness… but most of all the excitement. I had never been that far from home for that amount of time on my own,
ISL provided me with a once in a lifetime opportunity filled with adventure, compassion, and more learning experiences than I could have hoped for. I valued each and every patient that we encountered, implementing skills ranging from the basics of the patient history, to a physical exam, to diagnosing and prescribing the appropriate treatment. I was able to see a community very different from my own and treasured the associated adventures from a quinceanera,
ISL was an overall amazing experience. Between working in clinics, hands on experience with doctors, visiting homes in Dominican Republic and Haiti, trying local food, and a day on the Caribbean beach, ISL was the perfect mixture of the type of trip I was seeking. Throughout the trip, I meet so many wonderful people, including the ISL staff and other students I worked with during the week. This experience has opened my eyes to so many things and I would recommend it to anyone!
Favorite memory from trip:
It’s hard to pick one moment as the ‘best.’ Being able to spend 10 days with a group of people who are such good hearted people is in itself special. Anyone who is going on a trip like this has to have their heart in the right place. In such a short amount of time we learned such valuable information that will be pertinent in our future health care careers.
Favorite memory from trip:
My favorite memory of my ISL trip to Tanzania was entering a traditional Masaii homestead and though there were multiple translations going on and people crowding around us, one seven year old boy named Baraka came right up in front of us and stood until he was recognized. He had a skin infection that covered most of his face and had only appeared in the last few days. Though we encouraged the mother to bring him to our clinic the following day,