A few days back we went on a drive to the nearest main hospital based out of the city La Ceiba. Our mission was to secure placements for incoming medical students who wish to gain credit with their universities by volunteering in hospitals (within developing nations I gather). The team was comprised of my boss Eve Horowitz - USA, project manager Jenna - Finland, medical student Amanda - USA, and myself.
On arrival at the hospital we were greeted by a complete pendejo of a military guardsman who didn't speak Spanish it appeared despite being Honduran. Eve stumbled out nervously but in a flawless sentence 'tenemos una reunion' - 'we have a meeting'. She was made to repeat herself at least five times and then Jenna and I had a go at getting the moron to understand. He just claimed not to get it and barked 'no te entiendo - va va' - 'I don't understand you - just go'.
Anyway, Eve then began to tell me of how things work at this particular hospital. Some mind-blowing things I heard - such as pregnant women having to bring their own sheets as well as people having to pay for everything during their stay from food to medicines. Of course if you've no family to help you or no money - as a good friend Sherman told us (he came along as a translator) - 'that poor guy better pray...'
We ended up waiting in administracion for three tedious hours as the director was occupied. We had come to speak with her. Fed up with the wait three of us went to get ice-creams to then have them taken off us at the first lick as the director was finally ready to see us! We got in there to find a serious looking conversation taking place between Eve, Amanda, Sherman and a stern looking female directora. After some great explaining of the programme and clever negotiation thanks to the aforementioned people - the hospital granted us permission to send the med students!
A truly great success and something that will undoubtedly help those in serious need. We posed for a photo at the entrance afterwards - it was awkward to be honest as people don't tend to take happy photos at a hospital...however we have something to celebrate at the HCA!