Saturday, May 26, 2012

El último verano

Something that I've heard a lot over the last few months is, "Enjoy this summer... it will be your last." Dr. Brink went as far as saying that it's the last that we will have until we retire. I don't know why it hit me so hard when I read his email, but I quickly realized that whatever I do this summer better count. That's exactly why I'm so happy that I'm now in Guatemala. I'm the first of our crew to arrive here which made the first night a little lonely, but I made it to Antigua this morning.

The family that I'm staying with is quite lovely. Lissette, our main contact picked me up from Guatemala City and introduced me to Antigua.She said that Guatemala is known as the land of the eternal spring because something is always in bloom.Its hard to think of something that wouldn't be able to grow here with all of the rain we had today. I was exploring the streets of Antigua when the sky opened up. I returned home drenched and of course I couldn't figure out how to unlock the door.

What I've enjoyed most about the trip thus far is how much Spanish I get to use. I've already practiced a lot with Lissette and the rest of her family. Learning another language is much easier when you are thrown into a situation in which you don't really have any other option of communicating. We start Spanish lessons on Monday. I'm excited to learn new words and phrases--especially those unique to Guatemala. After two weeks of practicing Spanish we will get to work in a clinic. I think that it will be very rewarding to be able to speak to people in their own language about the state of their health. Healthcare is an intimidating system for people to encounter, no matter what country you live in. The more that we can do to better obtain information and clearly communicate a patient's status the easier our jobs will be. My hope for this trip is that my classmates and I will become both effective communicators and cultural ambassadors so that we may better serve as future physicians.


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