It takes a village

One of my friends and ardent supporter, Tricia Rolston Power, recently was working to get me an Ipad that my school was asking me for. I did not have to ask her for this, I did express my disgust at my university for requiring this from me and she moved quickly to make sure this would not be a problem for me. One of her friends said “you will get that boy thru med school, good for you.” she wrote and I quote ” it takes a village or in this case and island and a very dedicated young man.”
Well I am a very dedicated young man and I am proud to say I have an amazing village at my back.

When I started med school back in 2011, I was facing eight years of study and had no clue really as to the amount of funds I would need or how to come up with it. But I knew it was the right thing to do with my life. I had to do it. As most of my friends know I grew up very poor, I am the eldest child of a single mother of four, so I am way out of my league here. This is defying gravity and beating the odds and yes my friends it takes a village.

Near the end of the last semester I started a fundraiser with a goal to raise 25% of the funds needed for the following year. With the help of friends such as Jessi Pfeltz, Karl Stanley, Toney Etches, Caroline Power, Tricia Rolston Power, Harold Green, Tecie Montgomery, Patty Grier, Lizz Riggs, Nicholas Bach, Karin Fehlauer, Kathy Shupe, Debbi Lybrand, Stu cook, and so many others, I was able to meet that goal in less than two weeks. It does take a village and I have an awesome one.

A big concern of mine has been will I be able to maintain this support, this is a very long career and I am just about half way thru it. If it was my parents, well what choice would they have? If it was loans well it would be much easier to repay those if I graduate. But it is people taking their hard earned money and sending it to me so I can become a big shot doctor. Recently while in prayer and expressing these concerns to the Lord, I got a message from my friend Jessi, she said “I will see you thru to the end.” This reminded me of that age old promise “I will be with you even unto the end.” It takes a village and I have an awesome one.

 I hope to someday become an awesome doctor, I hope to help many sick people, I hope to help many poor people get an education, I hope to become a member of our local Rotary Club, I hope to work with Sol, Clinica Esperanza and so many others who are doing so much good work in and outside of my community. I hope to take care of my mother and to help my sisters. I hope to change my world. I hope to one day become a part of this awesome village.

If I am successful I could never describe myself as the self-made man. Because I´ve had a village and each of you are doing so much for me, each of you are such an important part of my journey. If I am successful it will be because of each of you. I will never be able to repay all that you´ve given to me, but I will work hard every day to make sure I am honouring the investment you´ve made in my future, making sure you can look back and be proud to be a part of this awesome village.

I am starting the next semester on Monday and just wanted to take a little time to say thank you for having my back.

The odds are against me!!!


Having finished this semester( referring to 2014 semester, currently I´m in my second 2015 semester) and now back on the Island for a few weeks, Thank God!!!
I have a little time to relax and unwind, this semester was pretty tough and filled with many unexpected and unplanned events. But certainly one filled with many valuable life lessons.

One thing that I have been thinking about a lot the last few days is something that someone said to me a couple weeks ago. This person looked me in the face and said “You do know that the odds are against you right? The odds of you finishing this program are very low, and frankly I would be very surprise if you do.”
Now before you go all judgmental on this person remember I am not providing much context here, and I believe the person was not trying to be mean or anything, just stating a matter of fact, and get into an interesting conversation.
Also if you just look at me, This person was absolutely right. I am an african latino dude dude, raise by a single mother. I was born and have grown up poor, and I´m the product of the public education system in a Honduras (arguably one of the worse in the civilized world). Yep the odds are definitely against me!!!!
Alas what am I to do?

Well there is a hymn that I love it says ” Count your blessings name them one by one, count your blessings see what God has done, count your many blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

See the odds have always been against me. I have defied the odds and continue to defy them with my very existence. My mom did not have me till she was 24 years old, that was not by design. My mom had been trying to get pregnant for a long time, she thought she was unable to bear children and sought the Lord and begged him for me. See I was not even suppose to be here in the first place.
When time came for me to be born my mother was taken to the hospital where she was told I was too big and she would have to get and emergency C section immediately, seeing as there was no way she could have a natural birth. My mother was afraid and decided to run away from the hospital, she took a cab home, where my grandmother found her lying in bed with a 9 and a half pound baby . My grandmother then become my mom´s midwife on the spot, full disclosure my grandmother had some experience with these situations before. Yep, I came into this world with the odds against me. I was born in an old beat down house with no medical help and no preparation, my umbilical cord was cut with an unsterilized pair of scissors, and clamped off with clothespins that had been used to hang the laundry, no pots of boiling water, no doctor, no nothing and still here at 26 healthy as a horse and big as a hipo.

When I was a over a year old my mother had left me in the living room playing with a toy and was in the kitchen preparing a meal, she heard a noise as tho I had fallen which caused her to run into the living room, sure enough I was lying on my back, but my mother was alarmed when she saw me frothing at the mouth. She immediately took me to the emergency room, after the doctors did whatever it is that they did. The referred her to a pediatrician which explained to her that I was way too overweight and would need to go on a special diet immediately, They said too much fat was covering my heart, and if it had taken her 5 minutes longer to get to the hospital that day I would have died. Yep the odds were against me, did I mention I´m 26 years old!!!!

When I was old enough to go to kindergarten my mother enrolled me, to her education was very important.She was not able to get very much herself, and she wanted make sure I got as much as I could. I went to kindergarten one day and never went back, because the teacher sent me home that day with a note to my mom. I have never been a troublemaker and while I do not remember that day very well, I do remember hoping I had not gotten in trouble, because I liked kindergarten very much. The next day my mom took me to kindergarten the teacher explained to her I was too smart for kindergarten and for her to keep me there would be a waste of time, I was then matriculated in first grade. Yep I passed kinder garden in a day. The school year starts in february and finishes in november. On a day right after my birthday in august the teacher, this time my first grade teacher, gave me a second note to take home, this time to my grandmother ( she was taking care of me because my mother had to work).My grandmother took me to class the next day where the teacher explained to her that she was moving me to second grade, because I was way too smart for first grade I was just wasting time. Yep I´m the only guy I know who did three grades in a year. My whole family could not be prouder, and I grew up all my life being told how smart I am. You wouldn’t know that from my english spelling and grammar ha?
But alas the odds have always been against me!!! See I was top of my class all the way thru elementary school, but by the time I got to high school my mom had three children ( me and my two sisters) and there was no way she could afford to keep me in school, and as is the case and tradition in all poor families especially single mother homes, my mom needed me to get a job. She did not want me to help pay the bills as is expected of most boys who are the first borns, she just wanted me to get a job so I could afford to keep going to school. Well she got me a job, I started working during the day and going to school at night. But the odds where still against me, there were times I had to drop out of school because even having a job, I couldn’t afford to keep going. Which resulted in both my sisters graduating high school before me, the genius in the family. By the time I graduated high school I was just glad to get thru it, and had a job in the local public hospital that I loved.
So when the Lord called me into medicine I knew that wasn’t going to happen, one my upbringing, and the odds where against me! ME getting to do something like that was impossible.There was no way I could afford it, there was no way I would leave my job, my family, my church, my girlfriend, move to one of the most dangerous places on earth, there was just no way!!!
When the Lord started opening the doors in the amazing way I have described in a previous post, I and everyone that knows me was just amazed. I am now completely done with first step( seventeen classes at the university), and will be starting at the faculty of medicine next year. Yep with the odds still against me!!

The odds have always been against me folks, from day one, Oh the stories I could tell, I suffered things that an adult should never suffer worse so a child, but I’m still fighting, fighting to survive, fighting to make my mark on this earth, I believe I was born for a purpose and I believe God has keep me here this long, yes even with the odds stacked high against me, to fulfil that purpose. I believe I have been blessed and highly favored.

I worry about the odds sometimes I must admit. I worry that the funding will dry up for this program. I worry that I will not be able to raise enough money to cover the cost for next year. I worry about the high crime rate in the capital and pray I am not a victim before I´m finished. I worry about my heart, it already almost gave out on me once. I worry about my mother, she is getting older and needs me to help her financially rather than her still having to help her 26 year old boy go to a fancy medical program in the capital. I worry about my sisters. I worry about the odds.
But I know that the same God that has brought me so far, and has placed many good people in my life, will lead me till my journey here is done. The best thing that God has given me is my mother she is the strongest woman I know, she taught me to work hard and dream big. She taught me to keep fighting and to never give up no matter how hard it gets. She always tells me I am a blessed person, and I believe her.

Next January I will be starting in the next step of this journey, and I would like to know I have you in my corner, share my blog with someone, make a comment on here, send me a message, anything you can do I greatly appreciate.

As I have mentioned before I am only able to continue on this journey because of the generous support of people like you, I would really appreciate it if you would go over to sol foundation website and make a donation of any amount to help me thru next year and to help me complete this program. I assure you I will honor that donation in loving service, and by making sure I am doing everything I can to pay it forward. Just make sure to type “Natan Webster” in the dedication box. Every penny sent to sol with the dedication line Natan Webster is administered to my scholarship Program, and is a foundational stone in helping me become a doctor with a message and a mission in Honduras.

Every donation made via SOL is tax deductible
If you have any question please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for your support
This Hymn has been on my mind a lot lately, thought I would share it with you.

Life is like a mountain railroad, with an engineer that’s brave;
We must make the run successful, from the cradle to the grave;
Watch the curves, the hills, the tunnels; never falter, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore;
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore.

You will roll up grades of trial; you will cross the bridge of strife;
See that Christ is your Conductor on this lightning train of life;
Always mindful of obstruction, do your duty, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.


I have now completed My third semester at the university.
This semester in many ways was the most difficult I have had. There were many things that happen that I had not planned for, and even those thing that I had planned for just did not go the way I expected them to.
Like my mama says make sure to make some plans, but make sure you write them in pencil because you might have to go at em with an eraser before you know it.
But for now I am thankful to be finished with this semester, thankful for all the lessons learned, and new friends made. Look forward to the future with hope. With the assurance that if I do my best the Lord will surely do the rest.

I am ready and anxious to get out of Tegucigalpa and get back to Roatan. Ready to get some of that greasy, bad for me, bojangles fried chicken!!! Did I mention I’m thinking about a specialty in nutrition. One thing at a time people, one thing at a time.
I’m also looking forward to getting back to work with our Rotaract club, trying to get new people involved and see what new exciting projects we can come up with. Also looking forward to seeing my family and friends.

I will try to add some pictures of what I did last break, with our rotaract club and stuff later on.

The medical program

I’ve already told you probably more about myself than you care to know. Therefore, I’ve decided to tell ya a little bit about the medical program I’m in.

As I’ve said before I attend the National Autonomous Universiy in Tegucigalpa (UNAH). The medical program at the university is the only public program in the country, it is also the oldest and most prestigious and listed in IMED. There are two private medical programs in the country one at the catholic university (UNICAH), and the newest at the (UNITEC). They are both very expensive and have real structural problems.

The program is and 8 year program of general medicine and surgery.It is a four step program. The first step ( two years) is one that has been highly debated it is a fundamental step. It consist of 18 classes. The university says this step is necesary because of the problems with our high school system. They argue that a lot of students come out of high school not having the basic knowledge and skills necesary to strive in the medical program. Step two start at the faculty of medicine with what are called the morphological classes. Step three start at the end of fourth year it is what are called the angelical years because you get to dress in white and start caring for patients. Step four are the last two years which includes one intern year and one year of social service. At beggining of step four you start to get paid, lest than the janitor at this point, but money is money. The university also offers several Post-graduate degrees in various branches of medicine.