Alumni Spotlight: Katelyn Bant

Katelyn Bant is from Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin. She is 21 years old and is currently attending Hamline University in Minnesota to earn a degree of Bachelor of Science in Biology/Pre-medicine. Katelyn's trip to Honduras was from January 4, 2014 until January 27, 2014. She hopes to one day return to Honduras and use her education in the medical field to help in hospitals in women's health.

What led you to join Volunteer Trip's program in Honduras?

Katelyn and fellow volunteer Katherine Tilton.

Katelyn: I wanted to volunteer in a hospital while also working on my Spanish. I contacted Mallory and Tavo Miralda and they helped tailor a trip to my exact needs. We found a hospital, a Spanish school, and a home stay that would allow me to really be involved in the community while working in a local hospital.

What was the best moment of the entire trip?

Katelyn: The best moment of the entire trip was when I worked in the maternity wing and observed my first Honduran baby born. It was so inspiring and beautiful.

I really enjoyed the hands on work I was able to do at the hospital because it really helped me learn new skills. I am currently a pre-medicine student and to be able to work side by side with doctors and nurses was a great experience.

Another great experience was when my host family and I went to the beach and ate lunch. We traveled through a small village and were able to speak with the native people and buy their local breads, baked goods, and jewelry.

The atmosphere at the beach was amazing. I was surrounded by great seafood, great company, and a great view. I think that the best part of Honduras was how relaxed and safe I felt.

Tell us about one person you met you will never forget.

Katelyn and Rafael, her friend, tour guide and mentor from her trip.

Katelyn: My host family had children and their son Rafael is someone I will never forget. I spent three weeks in Honduras and I became so close with him. We spent time together every day.

He would take us sight seeing around the city every day. He took us somewhere new every day and always found time to have us try new foods. He taught us about the language, culture, and the history of Honduras too.

Everywhere we went he would tell a story about the history and explain traditions. I really enjoyed spending time with Rafael because he was my age.

He also introduced us to a lot of his friends so we met a lot of people through Rafael. His kindness will always remain with me. We were complete strangers and by the end we were family.

It was very hard to say goodbye to him. He is a very special person and the kindness and humbleness he showed me while in Honduras will never be forgotten.

What was the most interesting cultural difference you encountered?

Katelyn with Ronaldo, the Recovery Ward Head Nurse.

Katelyn: In the United States everything is ran on a tight schedule. In Honduras it was as if time didn't exist. Everything was relaxed and moved at the pace that you wanted.

I found that people took their time doing things and enjoyed the little things in life more. I really learned to appreciate having free time and not always being in a rush. I found this to be very culturally different because in the United States I am always rushing from one thing to the next.

How has the experience impacted your future?

Katelyn: My trip to Honduras has only showed me that I am in school for exactly what I want to do. As a pre-medicine student I realized that I really want to go back to a developing country and work in local hospitals.

I found that I have a passion for helping people and I enjoy the challenge of the language barrier. This trip only made my decision to go to med school even more worth it because someday I can go back to Honduras and work.