Thirty-five students will soon leave the snow and 20-degree temperatures of Dayton behind to head south to Panama, where the forecast calls for sunny skies and highs in the mid-90s all next week.
This isn’t a trip for rest, relaxation and sunbathing though. The students, sponsored by the University’s office of pre-medical programs and campus ministry, are participating in a Winter BreakOut service trip. Upon their arrival Saturday, Jan. 5, they’ll be working in clinics shadowing doctors, assisting with basic functions and conducting workshops on preventative healthcare.
Also sponsoring the six-day trip are Miami Valley Hospital and doctors Tom and Marylynn Herchline. Local organizations, businesses, churches and medical practices donated medical supplies for the journey.
If you’re driving around campus early Saturday morning, you’ll probably be able to find the group. The students will be the ones loading heavy suitcases — about 50 pounds each — into their vehicles in the circle behind the Science Center, along with the personal luggage they’ll take to the airport. The big suitcases contain all of the medical supplies they’ll leave behind in Panama as part of their mission.
Other groups of students will be participating in Winter BreakOuts next week, serving in places as far as Ecuador and El Salvador and as close as Chicago, Bloomington, Ind., and East St. Louis, Ill.