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Review for Child Family Health International, San Francisco, CA, USA

Rating: 4 stars  

The first two weeks were spent getting to know people, adapting to the new culture, and trying my hardest to learn this new language. I loved getting to know all the students in the program. We all came from different states and had different paths for our medical careers, but we all had similarities that allowed us to get along with one another. There were people in med school or working to get into med school, public health majors, nursing majors, and someone about to go to dentistry school. We all shared the common belief that we wanted to help people and we wanted learn and understand another culture other than our own, which helped us get along. It was nice having someone to talk to when you were missing your family, and one of the best parts about being with a group of people is we were always going and exploring the new environment. There were so many things to go do on the weekends. We took trips to Otavalo, Banos, Cotopaxi, Cuenca, the jungle, and much more. One of my main regrets was that at first I wasn’t going on weekend trips because I wanted to stay and take more Spanish classes. Taking extra classes is good, and I am sure it helped me a little bit; still the best way to learn is by going out and talking to people. Learning about the culture and experiencing it. I realized this later on and decided to change my flight for a later date and allow more time to travel. Anyone who is planning to have an experience like this one, I suggest planning time and allocating money to travel, even if it is weekend trips. The public transportation in Ecuador was cheap and interesting; I saw so many things I would never see in a plane. On the way to Cuenca, I got to see so much of the Andes Mountains. We got to see how different cultures were from different parts of Ecuador. People that live in Cuenca have a different culture than people that live in Otavalo and people that live near the jungle have a different culture also. Ecuador is so diversified. I highly suggest visiting different places and planning time after rotations to see some of the amazing places in Ecuador if anyone is planning to do this program.
During clinical, I was able to see and learn many things about the culture. My eyes were opened about how people live on limited resources. When there is limited access to resources, the health care that is given is limited. Patient satisfaction and comfort is the last concern. During my clinical I got to apply knowledge and skills that I learned in nursing school. I was pleased to develop a better understanding of global health care and community health. Each clinical taught me a lot about family practice and preventative health.
This experience has developed me into a stronger and wiser person. I see the world in a different light. I believe I have only started to open my mind into seeing what the world is truly like. I have now seen what it is like for people who have to fight every day. I appreciate all the blessings and luxuries that I have growing up as an American citizen I can’t even put into words how amazing this trip was. I hope to make more trips like this in my lifetime and expand my knowledge about the world.

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Role:  Volunteer