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A Whole New World

Posted by on Friday, March 28, 2014 in College Life, Health Care, Pre-Med, Service, Student Life, Summer.

On May 4th 2014, I will be making a once in a lifetime trip to the country of Bolivia where I will spend four weeks shadowing and learning the intricacies of rural and community health care.

The organization I am working with for this program is Child Family Health International and the name of the program is “Doing More with Less.” This entire trip is not Vanderbilt affiliated and it was one that I found through the guidance of the Office of Honor Scholarship. I have the opportunity of going on this trip only because my scholarship that I currently have has a $5000 stipend attached to it which I am using to pay for this trip. Vanderbilt does a great job in itsfinancial aid department and almost always offers the opportunity of scholarships when doing things abroad.

So, on May 4th, I will be boarding a plane and flying over to Santa Cruz, Bolivia where I will change planes to Tarija, Bolivia. I haven’t been on a plane in 7 years so I don’t really know what to expect. Like, do I have to get my bags from that bag disposing merry-go-round every time I change planes? I’m just very confused. But, there’s one thing I’m certain of. If we happen to get into a plane crash onto a deserted tropical island and survival becomes key, my experience of watching all 7 seasons of Lost will surely allow me to survive. I just have to remember to trust no-one and that everyone has some mysterious dark secret that they are trying to hide except for Jin, he just can’t speak english.

Right now, I’m not exactly sure what I will be doing for the duration of the 4 weeks but from what I have been told, I will be on a clinical rotation where I will have spanish classes in the morning and work in the afternoon doing these rotations. I will be staying with a family from that region and I have no idea who else is coming on this program. Now, all of this might sound really sketchy since I don’t seem to really know anything about what’s going on but… hopefully I’ll find out some more details soon enough. If not… #yolo

It’s definitely going to be an interesting experience. I’m looking forward to trying to get by using my minimal knowledge of the Spanish language. I’ve been practicing the phrase, “hablo un poco espanol” which I think means “I speak a little spanish”. I’ve been trying to talk to my Hispanic roommate more often in his native tongue. He is not very receptive of my poor communication skills.

If I had to pick one thing I’m most excited about, is that for some odd reason, my mum knows 8 Catholic Korean priests who live in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and I might try to meet up with them because I have to spend a night in Santa Cruz for a layover. That’ll be interesting.

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