“Eye opening,” said Junior Varsity rower, Victoria Pond, who swapped her singlet, oars, and the Otonabee for a pair of scrubs, and a 10 day community health nursing placement in Honduras last month. “I now have a new perspective on how people around the world live, and understand the unique challenges they face.”

Accompanied by 16 classmates, Pond, a second year Trent University compressed nursing student, embarked on a mission to implement health promotion projects focused on menstruation and feminine hygiene.

“It’s a very taboo topic in their culture,” said Pond. With the quality and access to health care in Honduras directly tied to income levels, adequate health care is only available to those able to pay the high cost. And with health care for the urban and rural pool being extremely limited in a country that has persistent poverty, there is an extreme lack of health care education for majority of the population, especially young women.

Thus, Pond and team not only wanted to help educate young women about the topic, they aimed to address all misconceptions to improve overall health. They presented their projects at girls’ schools, and a school with children coping with disabilities, and ran a workshop style event for professional develop with teachers in hopes they could help instill best practices for them moving forward.

Now back at Trent, with her mornings beginning with training sessions in the tank or grueling sprints on an erg, Pond dreams of hiking through Nepal’s Himalayan country amongst the 481 remote villages, and making a positive impact on marginalized communities. Pond’s goal is to be an international nurse.