In June 2012, I went for my second time to El Carrizo, Honduras with eight other Sharefish volunteers to work in a medical clinic. The mission was to see all the children in the area and the adults who needed some type of specific health care. We carried enough vitamins for 300 kids to have a year’s supply and enough medicines for 200 families to have a supply of ibuprofen, antacids and sore throat lozenges. As a pharmacist, this trip was near and dear to my heart. I was excited to be able to go down there and help. Not surprisingly though, the trip proved to be much more than me using a professional skill to help someone. Yes, we provided lots of medical care, but the trip was as much about getting to know children and their families as anything. It was about visiting a mom to tell her what a respectful young son she had. It was about hitting a beach ball with four girls in a field. It was about playing Miss Mary Mack. It was about telling a young girl that she had natural leadership abilities and encouraging her to use those. It was about praising young children for the skills that they are learning in school. It was about caring for others. It was about hugging and smiling and communicating, even through a language barrier.
Sharefish has created such a connection with the community and listens to what the needs are. It organizes and works with the community leaders to do things the right way, with respect for the people that live there and in a way that will make a long-term difference. Sharefish works with people, not for them or on them. I admire so much the work that Sharefish is doing and I have seen the difference it can make. The children there are just like the children here. They need resources and encouragement and occasional medical care just like my own children do. In such a poor community, it takes others to provide much of that. What a gift it was to be able to do that for a brief time. I will most certainly be going back to support the work of Sharefish…and to see those precious children!