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Jae Goes to Bolivia [Part 1]

Jae Maeng

I’m back. My adventures in Bolivia have come to an end. For the past month I have been staying in the city of Tarija, Bolivia where I have learned about the health care system within the country by observing several Bolivian physicians in both a clinical and hospital setting.

It was a great time over there where plenty of new experiences were had. I plan on writing a series of blogs over the next month or so about my adventures. There were plenty of strange and new experiences I went through such as: not being able to speak Spanish getting stared at by everyone and watching child birth.

A lot of things happened and its a “good” thing our Spanish teacher made us write journals for what we did everyday. Now I can share my adventures with all you great people who read my blog.

So, you might be sitting there thinking, “Why Bolivia?” and honestly, I’m not really too sure. But it seemed right at the moment I made my choice. Sometime in November, I realized I had a stipend attached to my scholarship that I could use on a program to travel abroad. So, I went to the scholarship office to find out my options. They told me as long as I found some kind of program that was at least 1 month long, I could apply to it and if accepted, I’d be given the funds to the program.

That set me off on a scavenger hunt. I wanted to take this opportunity to do something medically related in a developing country because, as I have mentioned previously, that type of work is what I want to do in my future. My ideal trip would have been a month long trip in June to Brazil so that I could watch the World Cup but alas, I had to stay focused. After coming off a semester of “Advanced Elementary Spanish,” I thought I’d go to a Spanish speaking country. I then narrowed it down to South America since that would mean the flight would be cheaper which would mean more spending money for me. And boy, did I spend money in Bolivia…

Anyways, the program that I settled on was the Child Family Health International program called “Doing More with Less.” And in no time, I found myself on a plane to Bolivia. It was quite the experience.

Before I get started with the thick of things, I’d like to thank Vanderbilt for giving me the opportunity to go on this trip. It was through them that I was able to experience all that I am about to recall without paying a dime. I am truly grateful for VU.

Now, I present to you what is sure to be an artwork in itself: Jae Goes to Bolivia.

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