Hi, I’m Kerry Huang, one of the interns here at Unión MicroFinanza in La Unión, Honduras. I just finished my freshman year at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. I haven’t decided my concentrations yet, but I have many different interests within business, including marketing, entrepreneurship, finance, and statistics. This summer, I will be doing a variety of activities with UMF and will be able to work with local coffee farmers on financing, analyzing leaf rust, and more. As a result, I will be writing blog posts throughout the next few weeks to share my experiences in Honduras and with UMF!
So much has happened in the 10 days that I have been in Honduras. Everything is so, so different from my comfortable life back home in New York and my college life in Philly. Right as I grabbed my luggage and walked out into the airport of San Pedro Sula, I took a good look around. Even though San Pedro is the “industrial” city of the country and has one of the busiest airports, this airport was miniscule. I felt like a stranger amongst so many Hondurans (also referred to as catrachos). Jeremy and Heather were there to welcome Sakina (the other intern) and me with hugs and to introduce us to Albin, whose house we are staying at.
|The central park in La Unión.
We stopped by Heather’s house and could hear Albin’s kids screaming “papi, papi!” The three children are very adorable but too hyper for me to handle. They all have a sweet tooth and get much too excited when there’s chocolate in the house. We even have two ice cream freezers now, since the parents decided to start selling ice cream as another side job! They are definitely going to make a lot of money off of us gringos!
|Local fare includes pollo con tajadas
(fried chicken and plantains)
On Monday morning, I was too sick to go to the office. Although I went to bed feeling better, I woke up at midnight feeling sick again and really needed to go see a doctor. Here in La Unión, there are clinics for checkups. Heather brought me to the public clinic, which was a great experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the doctors here in Honduras, but I was very pleased. We arrived around 7:30 a.m. and got to talk to the doctor in the consultorio (consulting room) fairly quickly. She explained to us how there would be no consultations in the office for the next two days because she was going to the nearby aldeas (villages up in the mountains) to treat pregnant women (who don’t get many opportunities to check up on their health). During the checkup, I explained my symptoms and how I felt over the past few days. She felt my stomach and asked if I felt any pain (no), and then listened to it with a stethoscope (apparently there was a lot of noise). My lips were really dried out, and she kept on commenting how I was dehydrated. She also listened to my heart and checked my throat, both of which were good. The doctor quickly concluded what medicine I needed and then suggested I get an IV since I had lost a lot of water and would probably throw up if I tried to drink anything.
|Chickens are free to wander around La Unión.
It has almost been 2 weeks since my arrival, and I am excited for the 8 weeks to come! We are distributing microloans for farmers this week, so it will be quite busy. Despite getting sick, I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience in La Unión so far and can’t wait to learn more. The people are very kind and have a simple but fulfilling lifestyle. It’s impossible to explain everything that has happened, since you really need to live here to understand, but Sakina and I will be writing blog posts throughout the next few weeks to talk about our experiences!
|Me in front of the UMF office.