Thirty hours of travel by plane and bus lie ahead for junior Tara Yanez as she prepares for a medical mission trip to Sierra Leone on October 20.
Yanez will be helping out for a week at a medical clinic (sponsored by Ventura Community Presbyterian Church) in Bo, a large, populated city located in the Bo District, and in a small village located in the District of Moyamba.
This free clinic, supplied with medical tools and equipment, will provide health care for the citizens of Bo and the village. Yanez will be working around the clock to aid the people.
“We basically do as much as we can in the time that we have there. If we’re not out of medical supplies, we’re not going to go to sleep,” Yanez said.
Yanez aspires to become a missionary doctor in the future.
“I think it’s a really good way to open my eyes to the field and get involved in it,” Yanez said.
She said she feels as though she has been called to participate in this trip, and she is looking forward to reaching out beyond her community and alleviating people of their pain and suffering.
Yanez has the complete support of her parents and her sister, who understand what she may face.
“We both have the same view: if anything does happen, it’s all part of what is meant to happen,” she said.
Yanez expects to see malnutrition, sickness and injury, and is aware of the possibility of exposure to diseases such as cholera and malaria. Although it is relatively safe in Sierra Leone, she will still proceed with caution.
“I know that parts of it are going to be awful,” Yanez said.
Despite these potential dangers, Yanez is happy with her decision to go.
“It’s going to be a really humbling experience,” she said, “It’ll open my eyes to the bigger picture of the world rather than narrowing my view.”