For the last week of Panama, I ended it going to the hospital, the school, and taking the opportunity to speak with the students majoring in English at the university. I think that the hospital was a little more advanced than I expected it to be. From the technology that was provided, I could tell that Panama was definitely trying to be more advanced which is good for the country. I do think that in the hospital hygiene and PPE should be of greater importance, however, I understand that most of the lack of supplies is due to lack of funds for it. Clinicals at the hospital for my final week were somewhat difficult because of the language barrier and different responsibilities nurses in Panama do. I also noticed that the nurses document everything by paper and pen which also takes a toll on the time of their shift.
Riding the bus up to the top of the mountain was an experience in itself while traveling to the school. We didn’t get to finish all the teaching activities we had planned, but the kids seemed to enjoy the activities that were presented. I think the most important part of visiting the school was helping the children get fitted into the donated shoes we brought. They were so patient waiting in line for a pair and had smiles on their faces. Leslie did a wonderful job with the donations.
Surprising, I think one of my favorite parts of this trip was going to the university and speaking with the students majoring in English. I really enjoyed helping the students practice conversations in English and learning about their culture and some aspects of their lives in the process. You could tell that the students really enjoyed having us all there to converse with them. Some girls I had talked with said we were all so nice to spend some of our afternoon with them. It’s nice to see such appreciation from accepting such a small offer that made the students smile.
Overall, I think if I could go back in time I would choose signing up for this trip still. It’s not very often one can say that he or she has worked in a different country for almost a month. It was also interesting to learn about how a different culture works and being a part of it for a few weeks. This trip was definitely a humbling experience, but one that was worth the time and effort.