Within the walls of the Vision Nicaragua compound there is a medical clinic run by a very compassionate Doctor. Dr. Michael assists the men and women of Chinandega with their health needs. During the week, Dr. Michael saw multiple patients from Bethel, a neighboring village, who have been affected by chronic kidney failure due to the pesticides used in the sugar cane fields.
As a health care worker, I began to see the major differences between Nicaraguan health care vs. the U.S health care system. I am a physical therapist in the U.S, but in Nicaragua I was a pharmacist, nurse, respiratory therapist, as well as a physical therapist. Despite the people inside that clinic being very sick, they greeted me with a smile and attempted to talk with me despite the language barrier. Other than playing multiple roles at the clinic, another difference I noted was the “patience” the patients had while waiting to see Dr. Michael. They waited over half the day to see him, and never once got upset about their wait time. Prescription medicines are much easier to be distributed (I didn’t need a pharmacy doctoral degree). I just needed to know where they were located in the small medicine cabinet in the clinic. Working with the assistant of the clinic was by far a huge blessing to me.
Her name was Cony, and despite my inability to speak Spanish, we found an effective way to communicate. At the end of my time working in the clinic, she would say a few of the only English words she knew and I will never forget her saying, “I love you.” It was amazing how things can be accomplished and deep relationships can be formed when communication with words is limited, but with God those things are possible!