Dear Family and Friends,
Thanks to your continuous support through this adventure called medical school. I am now a little over a month away from having another year completed in this effort to become a doctor in Honduras. I feel so privileged and blessed to be on this amazing journey.
I was thinking today about the words of Gandhi who said, ¨I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.¨ Gandhi also said ¨Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.¨
See I live in one of the most violent country in the world. while my country is amazing and I love it, it is no secret that we are plagued by great violence and extreme poverty. Studying medicine here in the capital I see both in all their splendor and glory everyday. Here one could be targeted for murder any day simply because some young man is getting started in a gang as is reported here ¨One man had been shot in the back repeatedly by a gang initiate, and had to spend two months in the hospital and relearn how to walk. Even though he’d initially been targeted at random — the initiate was told to kill the next person he saw — he found out after he recovered that the initiate was now obligated to track him down and finish the job. People have fled the country after they watched their mothers killed by gang members — knowing that witnesses of gang murders aren’t allowed to live.¨
I have a friend whose mother and brother were murdered and I had to leave my apartment and move to another part of the city because my landlord had been threatened by a gang. More on this latter!
In 2011, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime labeled Honduras the Murder Capital of the World with 82 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants. In 2013 the rate increased to 91.6 with no signs of near-term improvement. Our new president proclaimed that the rate has indeed decreased in the last year. as one of my classmates pointed out in my public health class, the president clearly meant to say that the population was decreasing.
I see it in the face of all the people digging thru every garbage dump they can find for food, or the people who make the long lines at the hospital next to the faculty. A lot of these people have to stand in line for hours with no money to purchase food or water after having gone thru great lengths to get to the hospital only to be told that the medication they need is not available. There is extremely limited access to any kind of medical care, which is why it terrifies me to think of Ebola reaching our shores.
It is in this country of deep violence and extreme poverty that God has called me to serve. Not as a volunteer or as a foreigner who does great work but leaves after a few weeks. But as a product ,if you will, of this place.
I sometimes feel ashamed or weary of being an advocate for myself. trying to get people to give me money to go to a fancy medical program is not very inspiring and to think that this has to go on for a few years is frustrating. But them I pass those long lines and I realize that it is worth it. When I am able to help fill that need it will be worth it! I do not know why I have been set on this path maybe in being and advocate for myself I will be a better advocate for others when the time comes.
I certainly look forward to being able to look other young men in the face and say there is a better way. Thru hard work and determination you can do more than you can imagine. That when you stand for good there is an army of people , me being number one, that will stand behind you. To be able to look into the face of young people and say here is how I did it. Every adversity I face every setback along the way just serves to strengthen my resolve. I am a happy warrior and a champion for my cause.
I remain being hopeful that more opportunities will arrive in the not too distant future to be able to continue funding my academic expenses, in this country that is my home, where need and the lack of opportunities are persistent.
Thanks to Generous donations from Karin Fehlauer, Janice Fehlauer, Caroline power, Averard D’Souza and Jessica Pfeltz I have raised 415 dollars for the next school year and step in this journey. I still need to raise 1335 to be able to come back next year and I need your help to do so.
If you would like to help me on this journey go on over to http://www.solsite.org and click the donate button today. I can not do this without your help. Please consider sharing my story with your friends via Facebook. I greatly appreciate any action taken to help me.
I proudly continue working hard to be a community doctor. I continue to dream of helping and healing people and with your help, I will be one step closer to creating a healthier, and more just world for all of us.
Please go on over to SOL today and chip in making sure to type Natan Webster in the dedication line, and please make sure to share this post with your friends. Also remember that all donations made via SOL are tax deductible.
I am thankful to my mentors, friends, and supporters who continue to share my story with others.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.