Erin's Global Health Update: Part 2
My experience in Ometepe, Nicaragua was incredible and totally exceeded my expectations. We each lived with a family in the community, sharing our meals and down time with them. We even spent a day harvesting anjojoli (sesame) with our neighbors. Each evening all the volunteers met for the "global health course" part of the brigade, where we learned about the current global infrastructure that feeds the rich-get-richer, poor-get-poorer cycle. Best of all we spent 4-8 hrs a day in the clinic giving patients physical exams and shadowing the doctors there. I learned soooo much in those 10 days!
You may recall that one of my motivations for taking this trip was to see this model of health care delivery in action. The NDI clinic is permanent and there's a lot of community involvement in its activities - I really liked that. I also learned that the organization depends very much on volunteers like myself for its existence. The program fees you all donated and the tons of medicine we brought down with us are the meat of what keeps that place running. While I was happy to be the vessel for such support, I'd like to use a more sustainable and less energy/time-consuming method to fund whatever it is that I'll be doing in the future.
As some of you know, I've left my heart in Nepal a couple times now and have it in mind as the #1 spot for me to set up shop when I'm a doc. I'm dreaming up some big ideas, and have got my eye on a couple clinics that may take me on as an intern. I'll keep you posted once I've got something nailed down.