As I reflect on the past month of the Mexico field study, a flood of immensely valuable experiences come to mind! It was not just the clinical skills that I found beneficial but also the unexpected treasures that I picked up along the way as well. For instance, getting to know the people of San Pancho instilled in me the importance of community! Seeing how they interacted with one another really left a positive impression on me. Also, their appreciation for what we had to offer touched my heart! I was constantly impressed with how grateful they appeared with what we had to offer. This was evident everywhere we went-from one-on-one clinical treatments to screening in the schools and teaching at the new moms group! As I observed the way they interacted with one another it made me think of how wonderful it would be if our culture back home could be just a little bit more like the people of San Pancho. On a side note…overall we found that the blood pressure readings were quite a bit lower in San Pancho than what they are in the clinic back home!
When we first arrived to the small fishing village everyone greeted us by saying “hola” which means “hello”. Although they were strangers, their faces lit up when we returned the gesture. It did not take long before the people we interacted with would greet us with a hug and a kiss on the check-much like the French do. As I observed the way that people interacted with each other, it warmed my heart! There seemed to be a sense of mutual respect towards one another and this trickled down to the children as well.
There was a restaurant that we frequented after the long days in clinic and while we ate together outside on the patio we had the privilege of seeing the children running freely through the streets-interacting with one another. We would often see little ones riding on tricycles or chasing each other-laughing and simply being children! It was wonderful! I was impressed with how well behaved and patient the children were. For instance, during the first week of clinic at the hospital several of the parents came in with their children and while they were receiving treatment the children waited patiently. There seemed to be a mutual respect between the children and the adults.
The clinical involvement was also an incredible experience for me as well. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to see many clients who had tenacious calculus and this provided the opportunity to really deepen my debridement skills. My clients were very patient and the experience was very rewarding. Although there were times that my ergonomics “went-out-the-window” this provided me with a greater understanding of the importance of proper ergonomics and positioning for efficient calculus removal. This experience also gave me a deeper appreciation for what we have back home in the clinical setting!
Overall this was an invaluable experience for me on so many levels! It was hard to say good-bye to the small fishing village of San Pancho…they captured my heart and taught me the value of community!