One Week to Go!

There are only eight days left until I am in Costa Rica!

I am flying into Miami where I will meet up and fly with six of the ten other people in the group. I can’t wait to finally meet all of them!

I recently received my housing information and I am eager to meet my host family.
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic
These are pictures of the house and the room my roommate and I are sharing. The room seems much smaller than what I am used to, but I am not worried about it because my roommate Alexis seems really cool.

I am finalizing packing now. We were told to pack lightly, roll our clothes to make them more compact and bring a lot of bug spray. I prefer not to have chemicals on my skin (bug spray) so I opted for “Off! Clip on” which instead circulates mosquito repellent around me.

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It is going to be hot and humid, often rainy, and we are going to be doing a lot of walking, thus I bought a rain jacket and a sun hat to protect my face. The majority of my clothes are workout friendly, but of course I packed a few dressy outfits for going out. For the clinic, I packed scrubs, khakis and t-shirts.

We will rotate among four projects including working in the clinic, organizing patient records, developing health campaigns and a fundraising campaign for an ultrasound system. In high school I did Allied Health and volunteered at the hospital, so I have experience with all of these things. Learning how to do all of this in Spanish, in a foreign country will be challenging but rewarding. I can’t wait 🙂

I am not 100% sure how the rotations are going to work, but I am hoping to shadow doctors and assist with consultations in the pharmacy, surgery and general practice sectors. I hope to get experience in pharmaceuticals and microbiology as they pertain to my career goals.  In addition, the placement description I received says there is a nursery.  Being able to help underprivileged children with their education will be very fulfilling.

I plan on joining the Peace Corps at some point after graduation, so this program is a perfect fit for me. I am forever grateful for this opportunity to learn about international health care and social work.

Last month I went to Portland, OR and it was my first trip alone. I loved walking and biking around everywhere, getting to see the beautiful scenery and meeting incredibly unique people who I plan on staying friends with for a long time. Traveling is one of the most valuable teachers because you learn by experience. I learned that the saying, “what you put in is what you get out” is especially true when it comes to travelling. By seizing the day, everyday, you get to discover so much about a new place—the culture, the people, the tourist spots, the local spots, etc.  I never wasted a minute while in Portland, and I will do the same in Costa Rica. There is so much to discover and I don’t want to miss out.

That being said, I am looking forward to our weekend excursions. Volcanoes, beaches and zip lining are going to be AWESOME. I hope we see some waterfalls too. Cari has been looking up fun things to do and posting them in our Facebook group, so I am enthusastic to delve into these activities.

There is one other emotion I am feeling outside of pure excitement and that is nervousness. I am nervous about the diet. I am vegan…which is quite the idiosyncrasy, especially so in a foreign country. My host family said vegetarians are welcome but I am bringing some protein powder with hopes that I will be able to make smoothies or something to make sure I get my proper nutrition. Further, I am nervous about my Spanish-speaking skills and ability to keep up with the natives. I expect that after a week of being immersed in the culture I will feel more confident with speaking. I am nervous about public transportation and walking in the city (alone), but I am sure I will assimilate after the first week.

I am thankful for the ability to chronicle my journey on UFIC Blog from Abroad and I can’t wait to update everyone from Costa Rica! ¡PURA VIDA!
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