Where to begin with blog 3? There is so much I could talk about in here and want to try to narrow it down to the most important things I noticed and learned while here on this trip. Having never been outside of the country before I was really excited to come here. I knew it wasn’t going to be luxurious conditions and that it would be a hard three weeks but I pushed those thoughts aside and got really excited and anxious to leave the country and use my passport for the first time! There was so much I was taking in from the second the plane landed on the runway. How small the airport was compared to Miami or Tampa, the weather, the planes. As soon as we went into the airport I started looking around, noticing everyone and how the looked and dressed and how the signs were all in Spanish. Once we had finally arrived in Chitre we had a bad first couple days with bugs and all but after that was settled and I got into a routine I was really excited to see how the hospitals and schools were in another, underprivileged area. The clinicals and hospital weren’t much different than I had imagined but the schools were very different. I wasn’t sure how schools would be but being a little naïve I expected them to be similar. I was very surprised to see how the schools were. They were less advanced than I thought with no A/C and stray dogs walking all around the school. The teachers did seem like they were doing a good job of teaching the kids though and that is really all that matters.
Something else that I could not believe was the amount of stray dogs that are all over Chitre and Panama in general. It seems like many people here just walk past dogs like they’re squirrels or regular animals that Americans just walk by. As an animal lover it was really hard for me to see all of the stray dogs around.
Overall my entire experience here was really great. I am very happy I had the opportunity to come to Panama because I now have experiences that few people in my nursing profession will have.