I thought for a while on how to wrap this all up nicely, but I honestly don’t know how. So I decided on a good list of what I learned in Nicaragua:
-Our final numbers: In 7 days of clinics/home visits, 13 students visited 94 homes and saw 187 patients. We donated over 100lbs of medicine and medical supplies. These were used in the clinic and given to the Children’s Hospital.
-I loved every single minute of clinics, home visits, parties, seminars, and rec days. There wasn’t a single moment that I dreaded, or wondered what I was doing there. Clinic days, however, were my absolute favorite. Figuring out a diagnosis, based on history and current symptoms and a physical exam, was like solving a puzzle. And what a thrill when we got a diagnosis right!
-I now have a stamp in my passport! I can guarantee that it won’t be my last international trip. And I will certainly return to Nica one day!
-The more Spanish I picked up, the more I realized that I have to learn. Since I plan to return to Central America, this is more reason to focus on my Spanish studies in the coming semesters. I also discovered that having to constantly use Spanish pushes your limits. That’s a good thing! And it means I need to hangout with my Spanish-speaking friends in BR more often.
-With that said, sometimes it doesn’t matter whether you speak the same language or not. For example: prayer and dancing!
-My three roommates were fabulous! We all came from different backgrounds, and have differing future plans, but we got along marvelously. I’m thankful for Facebook, Twitter, and texting so we can keep up with each other in the coming years.
-I saw God’s work in Nica, even though it was not through the gospel conversations that I thought would happen. I got to pray with a woman suffering from depression after losing a child, see the devotion and care of the sisters of the Divino Rostro, and learn that I was there to learn more than I was there to share.
-There is a joy to the Nica people. Times there have been tough, but they never hesitated to laugh and dance and open their homes and hearts to us.
-I learned that it’s not the end of the world to not go to medical school immediately after graduating. Of the three members of our team who have finished undergrad, one worked for two years and will apply to med school later, one took a semester off before med school, and the third is taking a year before applying to PA school. And they’re all alive and well, and their world didn’t cave in. I know, shocking to most pre-med students.
-The medical field isn’t just doctors, and diversity is good, needed even. Our team consisted of nursing students, a pre-pharm student, PA students, public health students, a paramedic, and pre-med students. It was a perfect mix. I couldn’t imagine 13 crazy competitive pre-med students together like that for 2 weeks.
-All that said, I will absolutely be going into the medical field. I don’t know yet what path will get me there, but God will lead the way.
I had an absolutely amazing time in Nicaragua, and I was beyond blessed to receive the funding and support needed to go. Expect stories to trickle out, in person and on here, for a time. With such an incredible adventure, how could I not want to talk about it?!