Hopkins senior to join Peace Corps Honduras

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By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 6:50 pm: Edit Post

Hopkins senior to join Peace Corps Honduras

Hopkins senior to join Peace Corps Honduras

Hopkins senior to join Peace Corps

By Gretchen V. Porter
News-Letter Staff

A few days after graduation, Mikael L. Lucas will be flying to the Honduras with the American Peace Corps on a mission that will last for over two years.

"I guess I just wanted to try it out - I wanted to see and live in a different part of the world, and meet a different kind of people," he said. "I just thought it would be a great experience."

Lucas, a Biology major, decided that he wanted to join the Peace Corps after taking classes in both International Health and Careers and Issues in Public Health over Intersession.

Lucas will be working primarily in the area of Child Survival. He expects to be stationed in a health clinic and will serve around six different villages. After three months of training, he will actively participate in maternal health education, pediatric immunization, and other health care services.

"The class really got me interested in working in another country, with the kids, especially," he remarked.

Since the Peace Corps only pays for one round trip ticket and basic necessities, Lucas admits that he will have to give up certain conveniences.

Coming from Englewood, Colorado, Honduras' equatorial heat is going to be one of many challenges that Lucas will have to face. The abundance of mosquito colonies and lack of indoor plumbing are among the others.

He doesn't seem to mind.

"I want to sort of get rid of this materialistic attitude and see what's really important to me," he said.

Lucas' interest in pediatric care has already manifested itself in his internship at the pediatric unit of Mercy Medical Center. He has long wanted to become a pediatrician, but did not want to go directly into medical school. Even after completing the pre-med curriculum at Hopkins, he remains unsure.

"I feel that this experience will help me decide whether or not I really want to go into med school. There are other options out there... either way, this is great preparation," he pointed out. "Whatever I decide to do, I know this is going to help me."

Lucas mentioned that his parents, who were once hesitant to let him go, now fully support his plans. "They were just a little reluctant at first... I mean, I wouldn't be seeing them for two years, not even for Christmas or anything," he explained.

Although the Peace Corps does not prohibit trips home during the twenty-seven month period, they strongly discourage the practice.

Lucas' only sibling, an older brother, is coming to visit him before he leaves. "He's going to take me hiking," Lucas laughs. "Good preparation? Yup."

The fact that his two-year trip will not exacly be a luxury-vacation does not seem to dampen his spirits. "I get to work with the kids, it's great... I talked to other people who did it and none of them had anything negative to say. I mean, they said that there were some bad conditions and no modern [conveniences], but they thought it was interesting and they had no regrets."

Lucas had to get a number of recommendations upon applying for the program. Those who helped him were equally enthusiastic.

"There's a lot to learn... those families, someone told me that they lived really simple lives, but everyone was all warm and caring... Life is rough and when you don't have much, you tend to grasp what a lot of people nowadays take for granted."

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Story Source: JHU

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Honduras



By kristy massengale on Monday, December 09, 2002 - 9:19 am: Edit Post

Hello I am a citzen in the United States and I have a friend who has a son in Honduras who is very sick. My friends tell me that the doctors in Honduras can't make his son better. I am trying to get the information on how maybe his son could come over to the United States to get medical treatment. If anyone knows of anyway to get started on this project could you please let me know.

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