Southeast Missouri student-athletes Grace Powderly and Claire Morrill, both biomedical science majors, spent a week in Honduras undertaking various tasks to assist communities abroad this summer.
Powderly and Morrill are Cape Girardeau natives who attended Notre Dame High School. Powderly will be a sophomore on the women's tennis team and Morrill will be a sophomore on the track & field team this upcoming 2019-20 school year.
Powderly and Morrill were among a group of 30 students from schools across the country to participate in the trip organized by Global Brigades, an international non-profit organization that uniquely implements a holistic model to meet a community's health and economic goals. They personally fundraised to make their trip a reality, along with assistance from Student Government Association.
While in Honduras, they provided medical care and dental work, dug trenches, built eco stoves outside of individual homes and helped install a water filtration system in three different towns over the course of seven days.
Each day, Powderly and Morrill woke up at 5 a.m. and made a three-hour commute to their workplace. They would work until 3 or 4 p.m. before returning to a remote compound that had clean water, but no air conditioning or doors. For safety reasons, a 6 p.m. curfew was enforced for those staying at the remote location.
One of the interesting challenges Powderly and Morrill had to embrace was the language barrier as patients they were directly serving throughout their 35 hours of clinical medical work did not understand English.
Following their 1,540-mile trek away from Cape Girardeau, Powderly and Morrill have gained a new appreciation entering their sophomore years at SEMO, and reaffirmed their passion for working in the medical field.
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