by Jeremie Oliver
“It’s going to be a good day today,” were the words of encouragement from our physician leader, Dr. Bachman. I distinctly remember standing at the triage station of our clinic, assembled within a local schoolhouse building, gazing in awe at the hundreds of Nicaraguans grasping the fence with desperation in their faces. Our job was to provide the highest quality, patient-centered medical attention to each and every one of them. Feelings of personal desperation began to absorb me, sensing my own inadequacy in this dire situation. After all, what significant difference could an untrained, first-year medical student really contribute to these people in need? How was I going to effectively communicate with them, with a limited capacity to speak their native language? And communicating with them, how would I be able to convey to them a significant message to better their health and personal well-being?