Monday, March 3, 2014

A Culture Beyond Rich

Yesterday was a very long day but none the less rewarding.

I was privileged to start my experience shadowing Dr. Lauri in pediatrics where we saw 17 patients in a course of four hours. There was a small language barrier that slowed us down but overall the clinic went by very smoothly. I was able to see very many healthy babies and I could NOT believe how well behaved they all were. We dealt with no screaming or crying babies, they were all patient, well behaved and genuinely happy to be here.

This difference between American babies and Guatemalan babies just show how the culture here is so gracious and thankful for healthcare. It truly touches my heart to see this because I feel like in America, healthcare is something we definitely take advantage of. Dr. Lauri was telling us about how in her practice back home she spends the majority of her day trying to convince parents to vaccinate their children. Whereas here in Guatemala they will walk to the city of Solald (not sure if I spelled that right) and wait all day for vaccination for their children.

The different dynamic of culture really makes me really realize all of the luxuries we have in America that we do not even realize.

As someone who has traveled often, I have realized how spoiled we are as a country but never through the eyes of other people. I have never been able to immerse myself in a culture as well as I have been here (and I have only been here for one day).

I feel like I could go on and go about the children I met yesterday and about how adorable, loving and grateful they were. The children were SO polite, patient and all around well behaved. At one point Dr. Lauri was preforming a check up on a little boy and I began to play with his infant brother. As soon as I reached out to play with him the father handed me the baby. As someone that has not had much experience with infants in my mind I was like ‘’ohhhh god, what do I do with this little guy?” I was wiggling him around trying to get him comfortable and eventually I had him (Daniel) settled on my hip, and before I knew it he was looking at me with the cutest grin on his face. I really feel like I will not be able to forget that little boys smile and how warm I felt while holding him. The fact that Daniel’s fathers handed me him without me even asking, really shows how much they respect they have for us here. He trusted me with his child with absolutely no hesitation. Something like this is really hard to accomplish in our culture and touches my heart that I am able to attain it here.

If you cannot tell I’m absolutely in love with this culture. I have been here for one day and I’m already thinking of how I will be able to come back.

There is no doubt in my mind that this trip is going to change my life. Just from writing this blog I have teared up twice. I cannot express how truly happy I am that out of the 90-some applicants I was chosen for this experience. This just gives me more of an initative to make the most out of my trip. It helps me realize that I am here for a reason and this is a part of my life I am supposed to have to mold me into the person that I am meant to be in the future. I am here with an open mind and an open heart, and because of that I know I will be able to transform myself for the better.

As Dr. Richard was telling us last night; we have to learn to listen to what others have to samy, see through others eyes and live through the experiences that they share with us. That is exactly what I plan to do and cannot wait to see what the next week has in store for me.

The people here are AMAZING, the children are perfect, and the culture is beyond rich.

Thank you for your time,

Kelsey Minix
March 3, 2014

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