Josh Pederson ’12
– FIMRC in Nicaragua – As I finish my freshly caught fish taco dinner and recollect on the days events, it is impossible for me to wipe off this permanent smile that has been set on my face since our departure Sunday afternoon. The people, the culture, and the experience are all quite amazing! From day one the people of Nicaragua have welcomed us with open arms and endearing hearts. They allow us to interact with their children, sit in on their appointments with the doctor and never ask for anything in return but the mutual respect of a hello and a goodbye.
The day started with a trip to a local herbal medicine healer. She was a strong elderly lady who has been practicing this art for her entire life. One by one, the group went in for consult and she used her experienced hands and mind to determine what was bothering each of us. Some had problems with their knees from sports, some had breathing problems and some were said to be perfectly healthy.
I was last to be examined and as I lay on the table for the inspection, many thoughts raced through my mind. I have always been an accepting person and this so called dark magic has such a negative connotation that its hard not to be skeptical. But whether her telling me I have kidney troubles or supplying me with herbal remedies to alleviate this pain is completely irrelevant because of how good I felt after I rose from the examining table. All in all, 10 white strangers walked onto her property, took pictures of her livestock and home, she consulted all of us, then provided us with supplements, all entirely out of the goodness of her heart.
These types of experiences with the people of Nicaragua just goes to show how welcoming this culture truly is! She did not ask for any sort of compensation for her work and even took us on a tour of her community. She led us through dirt paths and showed us the local fruits and even a few monkeys way up in the trees.
As we finished our excursion into the woods, we prepared to head back to the clinic to finish our day with some data analysis of the locals. We transferred data from previous paperwork into Excel. The former group volunteering for FIMRC had donated a laptop to the clinic which allowed for this transition into electronic files. This action would allow for future data analysis and future prevention by looking at common, repeating trends. The nurses and people of the clinic were quite happy that we were able to take a chunk out of this daunting task.
After we finished our day of work, we returned to our resort and enjoy a nice evening on the beach watching the sun set over the Pacific. We all reminisced about the day and laughed at all the times that we screwed up when trying to speak Spanish. It is so wonderful to see a group of Wabash Men from different social circles coming together, becoming great friends and all focusing their energies on one cause…the idea that every ounce of effort we put forth towards this community goes so much farther than we can even conceive.
FIMRC has provided me with numerous experiences that I wholeheartedly believe will last the rest of my life. It has not only allowed me to meet amuchas personos that I will stay in contact with for the rest of my life but FIMRC has also opened my eyes to the workings of the world outside the lines of the united states and I will continue to use my hands and mind to change as much as I can with all my might!