Thursday, May 31, 2012

Primeros Pasos

The clinic I'm working with, Primeros Pasos is a very small clinic located in the Valley of Quetzaltenango (Xela). Through the clinic there are various initiatives, including the Child health education program, women's program, and the newly started nutrition program. The clinic provides health care and education to people living within the Valley, both close and far away. Primeros Pasos is operated by the various program coordinators, one permanent doctor, one permanent dentist, and rotating Guatemalan medical students. It is really interesting to see healthcare in such a different environment. Here is the website if you are interested in finding out more about the organization:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 2!

Sooooo today was MUCH better than yesterday. I was just completely overwhelmed and felt lonely yesterday. Today, after staying in my room for ~14 hours straight, I finally went out to take a shower and explore the city. The city is built on a grid (similar to Savannah), so it is fairly easy to find everything. As I was trying to find el supermercado, I ran into 2 guys from the US, one from Minnesota and one from Connecticut. They were so nice and walked me to the store I was trying to find. After, I met up with Rachel (the volunteer coordinator of Primeros Pasos- which I'll post about later) and had lunch with her and found a lot of different places to eat. After, I decided to do some MCAT studying (yay) at this coffee shop near parque central, and met not one, not two, but FOUR Duke Divinity school students. FROM DUKE. I was SO excited, I can't even put it in words. I love Duke people so much and they were so nice and inviting. After conquering my MCAT section on mechanics, I left and have been watching TV ever since. So overall, I'd say it was a good day :)

Here are some pictures from the day:
                                      My room!

                                     Lunch! All of this for only $3... I'll be returning here regularly!

                                     Hahha the funniest bathroom sign ever

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 1

After much anticipation for the past semester, I left my house at 3:30 am this morning to get to Charlotte Douglas Airport. I connected through Miami and ended up arriving to Guatemala City at 10:35 am (2 hours behind EST). Upon arriving in Guatemala City, I realized I was in for a rude awakening. Guatemala City is like nothing I have ever seen before. While the people look nice, the city is extremely run down, with security guards carrying rifles everywhere. Thanks to my Spanish school, I had a pickup service, and the family was very nice and helped me to order my ticket for the bus out of the city. Once I arrived on the bus, the ride seemed to be tranquil until a drunk boy (about my age) came and sat down next to me and tried to talk to me in Spanish. I didn't understand anything except when he said "te quiero" aka "I love you." Thankfully, 2 very nice older men (one who is an American) were able to get him kicked off of the bus for me.

Besides that, the ride was long (about 4 hours) and I've had a long day. It's just now hitting me that I'm so far away from home without knowing anyone, which is really hard right now. Hopefully it gets better.

Until next time!