HICKMAN’S HARBOUR, N.L.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Nikita Marsh says she will never be the same.
Earlier this month, the 23-year-old from Random Island was in Honduras with a Global Brigades team from Memorial University.
There, she assisted with medical, water, and pubic health projects alongside other Global Brigades groups and local volunteers.
It was the type of humanitarian effort Marsh always hoped to experience.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was very young,” said Marsh, who grew up in Hickman’s Harbour.
“I always knew of people going with their churches on mission trips and things like that, so I just wanted to go on a trip like this and help out first hand.”
And help out, she did. Upon their arrival on Aug 1, Marsh was coasting tables lined with toothpaste, shampoo, and other donated items to help assemble over 300 ‘hygiene packs’.
For another three days she worked at a medical clinic in the community of El Naranjal. It was a unique role for the French teacher, who donned scrubs and filled prescriptions. She also shadowed physicians during patient consultations, and assisted dentists as they performed cleanings and extractions. They saw 502 patients, whose information also had to be digitally filed.
On day four, Marsh exchanged scrubs for a shovel and dug waterlines on a Chandala water project. She also aided the construction of a latrine used to house a family’s washroom facilities.
“In that community, they said by the end of this month all the trenches will be dug and waterlines put through, and they’ll finally have running water to their homes,” said Marsh.
“For 10 years they’ve been trying to get someone to help them and been getting materials together. So that’s awesome.”
The Global group thten travelled to Los Terrones, El Paraiso, where volunteers took patients’ glucose and blood pressure readings during a Public Health initiative.
By August 11, Marsh had returned home to Mount Pearl, where she now reflects on everything the volunteers were able to achieve.
“It’s definitely changed my perspective on life,” she says. “We take so much for granted and really don’t appreciate the little things we have, like running water, or getting prescriptions and having good health.
“I feel like I honestly appreciate and am more grateful for what I have. And I’m just so grateful for this experience, because it was very eye opening and empowering. It just makes you want to do more in your own community.
“Like, you don’t have to go to a different country, there are many people here who are in need, as well.
“It’s definitely changed my outlook on everything, and definitely for the better,” she concluded.
Sarah Burton is a freelance reporter.