While most George Washington student-athletes were spending their summers decompressing from the long, strenuous school year, one women's tennis player decided her time would be better spent serving a community.
Mimi Hamling, a senior majoring in chemistry, traveled to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, for two weeks this past July to provide medical care for Hondurans who could not otherwise receive it. Hamling traveled with Health Teams International, a missionary organization that provides healthcare services to the poor around the world. Other examples of trips with the agency include Haiti, Myanmar and Uganda. Hamling chose Health Teams because of the blend of religion and healthcare.
"As a Christian, I always had a heart to serve in local missionaries and outreaches," Hamling said. "I contacted the leader of the Honduras team and he allowed me to join as a medical assistant."
Hamling's team's services included medical, dental and optical care, while her role on the trip included taking vitals and giving immunizations to patients. While Hamling plans on becoming a doctor, her only background in medical care had been taking the blood pressure of a fellow student in biology class. The trip allowed her hands-on medical experience she otherwise would not have come across in the United States. The medical portion of the trip was not the most important to her, however.
"I have been influenced greatly - seeing these people with so little and being changed after seeing our team has turned my life completely around," she explained. "I love the people of Honduras and I would love to be able to go back next year."