San Pedro, Honduras ’08 Day 4

I was given the opportunity today to enter the blog as a guest of IVU . My name is Carlos Angel, I am a pediatric urologist and practice in Knoxville, Tennessee. I was born and grew up in Colombia , so being back in a Latin American country is both familiar and reminiscent of my roots. As usual, upon our arrival, the team was inundated with many patients that needed care for severe congenital malformations of the urinary tract. It is now our foutrh day of operating and we have been able to perform most scheduled cases, fortunately, with few complications. As usual, on a trip like this, there are some glitches and this year´s was the resectoscope, which, no matter how much everyone tried, refused to cooperate. A special treat for me when I participate in a team trip with IVU is the chance to meet intresting people of quite diverse backgounds . We do have some things in common, however, curiosity about other peole and other cultures and the realization that we can do our part to help less fortunate human beings. To experience life vicariously through the eyes of the people we meet in these trips and the kids we care for is for me the greatest reward. We are working with three great local doctors, namely Drs. Tome, Gomez and Velez that are caring, extremely hard working and dedicated to the welfare of their patients. The staff in the OR wil do anything they can to make us feel welcome and to help the team, although for them it only means long days, extra work and none of them have a finacial incentive to do any of this. This is what I would call true altruism. Now, about Honduras, a small Central American country still plagued by many of the ills of the developing world such as violence, poor sanitary conditions, poverty and lack of education. What I have noticed is that, while all of the above may be true , as in many Latin American coutries life is experienced with joy and people( often complete strangers) tend to naturally come together and help each other. The children we operate are trusting, very calm, seem happy and do not experience as much separation anxiety as we are used to see in the US. Well, it is back to the OR now…

~Ann Spencer

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