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Students go on medical mission

Cindy Ramunno/Special to the Daily

What were you doing the last two weeks of June?

If you were relaxing by a pool, sipping an ice-cold lemonade or even working a tiring job, that’s nothing compared to what some of our valley’s kids were doing.

Four Battle Mountain High School students and one Vail Christian High School student went on a medical mission trip with one of the valley’s top doctors, Dr. Kent Petrie.

The students, along with some parents and Dr. Petrie, went to Honduras to help out and learn about life there. Nathan Simonds and his brother Justin, Keegan Garnsey, Maddy McCauling, Jodi Fleishman and McCleese Stephens were the students who took on this great adventure.

Generally, the students are enrolled in Spanish courses at their respective schools.

Battle Mountain Spanish teacher Kathryn Benysh was impressed with what the kids took on.

“These students and their parents paid their own expenses and were teaching residents in Honduras simple things that we take for granted,” Benysh said.

She said the students taught residents to how to brush their teeth and shampoo their hair.

“It also took a few days of walking to actually arrive at the sight,” Benysh said.

The learning experience far outweighed the negative, though, and students returned with a different outlook on life.

“The trip was a life-changing experience for me,” says Fleishman, a Battle Mountain senior. “What we look at as a necessity really isn’t. We experienced a ton of personal interactions with patients.”

Fleishman said it was incredible to improvise in an environment where there wasn’t the medical supplies and technology that we have become accustomed to in America.

Senior student Garnsey agreed.

“The whole trip was an amazing experience,” said Garnsey, who’s looking forward to a career in the medical field. She said she also enjoyed working with kids and teaching dental hygiene. She’ll never forget the visit to the orphanage.

“I want to go again,” she said.

For more information on this program or other programs at BMHS, call 328-2930.


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