Some students had the unique opportunity to translate for the medical staff and were an integral part of providing medical aid to the patients.
"Translating for the doctor [was most enjoyable] because in that little room I got to use everything the Lord has given me to use in my life: nursing, Spanish, and compassion to the lost." said Ana DePuy, a nursing student from Louisiana.
For many of the students, translating was not a possibility. As a result, some developed a new ambition to learn a second language. For others, they were blessed by how much they still were able to communicate with people in the villages. Abby Emery, a nursing student from Lexington, Kentucky, thought seeing the language barrier broken was an amazing feat: "What I enjoyed most was breaking through what seemed like a huge barrier and, through the Lord, reaching out to those people."
One of the projects the students participated in was painting houses for the community at large in El Zorrillo. For a few of the students, painting houses was an activity that they felt really aided the villagers. Sarah Barwick said, "I liked the service we did--doing something small that was significant."
Finally, one of the most enjoyed and meaningful activities was playing with the kids at the medical clinics. Throwing a Frisbee, kicking a soccer ball, or leading a game of "Steal the Bacon" were some of the means by which the students tried to show God's love toward each one of the children. However, the kids also demonstrated love to the students in surprising ways. Debbie Yang, a medical student from Medical College of Virginia, recalls one instance-- "What I enjoyed most was playing with the kids and seeing them show love and care for us, too. While pushing a group of them on a tire swing, they told us to rest. They recognized how tired we were from pushing them for such a long time."
Yet, not everything was hard work. Many of the students found the fun experiences to be the highlight of the trip. Ranging from apple-tasting sodas to cockroaches on beds, the students had their fill of fun. Matt Loutzenhiser, a medical student from Omaha, Nebraska, shares about one time when many students decided to go bodysurfing in the Pacific Ocean. "It was great. Watching the sunset was so beautiful and then when we decided to jump in, the local people decided to jump in, too. It was so spontaneous."
In the hearts and minds of most of us students, the trip to Mexico was indeed one of the highlights of our summer. The circumstances and surroundings that we experienced have forever changed our perspective on servanthood and our roles in the advancement of God's kingdom.