My goals for Ecuador:
Experience a different culture
Not get homesick
Gain knowledge of the medical situations in other countries
I feel pretty confident about my time here. I have been able to experience Ecuador in full force. There were times when I was very frustrated with my speaking ability and homesickness, but with some help of some very good friends both problems passed fairly quickly. My time in classes was very good and I had the opportunity to take a class on the culture and civilization of the country, with focus on current politics, social issues, and past governments. This class not only taught me about Ecuadorian politics but also let me take a different perspective on American politics.
The culture, it’s everywhere!!! This past week was a very large celebration here as it was the anniversary of the Foundation of Quito. For just about the whole week, the streets were filled with vendors, parks full with concerts every night, and all of the people of Quito seemed to be celebrating. I have noticed that the “Fiestas of Quito” really kind of act as our Thanksgiving, where families spend time together and celebrate, then also kickstart the Christmas season. This is one example of the very rich culture that just about everyone holds very close. It is interesting to me to be able to experience living with a different family.. Especially one who is from a completely different culture. I absolutely love my family and am so lucky to live with them, but living with another family makes me appreciate my family in The States all the more!! Which leads me to the homesickness… It’s not fun, but a good way to combat it is stay busy and try to make the best of everything. I have some wonderful friends, both here and at home who have supported me and been there when I need them. Being homesick is not fun, but similar to the family aspect, it has really shown me the important things in my life, and all too soon I will be back home living “the comfortable life” as some have put it. This phrase bothered me at first, but the more time I spend here the more true it is. Yes, I and most everyone I know has worked hard for the things that we have, but it’s easy in comparison. We don’t have to walk up and down mountains to get to the bus station that would take hours to get to a destination. Where I am from we don’t have to use a gate and three doors to get into the house ( for security purposes). I am very fortunate to have the life that I do and while I realized that before, now I have a whole new understanding.
In my 17 weeks here I had 9 weeks of grammar classes, a week vacation, four weeks of culture and civilization and now the final three weeks are spent at an internship at a clinic! My time is spent watching surgeries and caring for patients with the doctors. I absolutely love ever minute I spend there, sometimes I get confused because medical vocabulary is very different than the style I learned in class, but that just means I get to learn that much more. Every day is different, some days there are three or four surgeries to watch, and others are spent talking with the doctors and nurses (in Spanish because very few of them can speak even a little bit of English . I have learned so much about the healthcare and education systems here and it has definitely affected my appreciation of healthcare in other countries. Sometimes they don’t have the resources necessary and have to “make due”, which in my opinion is almost more interesting than going by the textbooks. They have to work by hand writing patient records, surgery charts, and other necessary documents, where in most clinics in the US use computers for everything.
I want to go to Physicians Assistant school after I graduate in 2014 and then hopefully use my knowledge of Spanish to work in an area of high concentrations of Latin-American people. And hopefully one day be able to work abroad in a Spanish speaking country.
For I agree with Mr. Emerson when he said- “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson Hopefully one day I will be able to say that I have lived, and lived well.