"Yo nunca olvidaré a Nicaragua"

I will never forget Nicaragua.

As part of my 9 day trip to Nicaragua, I worked in a medical and public health brigade. It was absolutely amazing to see the culture and welcoming faces of the Nicaraguans. Unlike Chicago, if you wave to someone on the streets, they will enthusiastically wave back. They were generally wonderful people with some of the biggest hearts I have ever seen.

For example, I was building a sanitary station (as my leader liked to call it), which is a bathroom, shower and sink area for a family in El Limón. They had absolutely nothing. Their clothes were donated. They walked to a pond to collect water from on top of their hill. However, on the second day, they generously made coffee for all of the Americans that came to help them. Without even blinking an eye, they offered such hospitality while knowing they had no money. It was absolutely beautiful and inspiring. 

On the medical brigade, we helped 330 people receive much needed medication, which they could not otherwise afford. The profusely thanked us and were very grateful for receiving medication. An average family makes about $150 a month. When we got to Santa Ana, the majority of people did not show up because they were busy coffee bean picking. They worked for 12 hours a day and made only $3. They walked 2 hours to get there. It is absolutely heart wrenching to see these wonderful and amazing people barely feed their family. They don’t even have time to stop by a medical brigade and receive much needed medication because they ware working to feed their families.

On our last day of our public health brigade, one resident said that “Nicaragua will never forget all that you have done for us.”

As I left the country on the airplane, while looking over the country of Nicaragua, I thought to myself “Yo nunce olvidaré a Nicaragua…I will never forget Nicaragua.”

"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens"
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens"

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

New Beginnings: Cheers to 2013

With the new year on its way, everyone is making resolutions for 2013. Well, I guess it’s time to evaluate what I hope to happen in the coming year.

My resolution: be more open.

Open to opportunities, people, concepts, and most of all myself.

Opportunity: a set of circumstances that make it possible to do something.

With the beginning of the new year, I am traveling to Nicaragua on a medical brigade with 34 people, who attend my college, that I do not know. It is an exciting feeling to be doing something helpful for others in third world countries who most likely rarely receive proper medical treatment. Also, it is also nerve-wracking to be going to a completely new country without a familiar face. However, that leads to the second part of my resolution.

People: human beings in general or considered collectively.

My trip to Nicaragua will introduce me to new people from back at my college and the people of Nicaragua. With different cultures and personalities, it will be fun to meet new people and hopefully make friendships as we go on this adventure together. Furthermore, as second semester of my freshman year of college approaches (rapidly, might I add), I want to get out more and socialize beyond the circle of friends that I do have. While I dearly love my friends, it is always interesting to meet new people and make experiences while I am in college.

Concept: an abstract idea; a general notion.

Since I am a biology major, I feel like I have been confined to just science alone in my studies. With that being said, I have decided to pursue an international relations major as well just to extend and branch out of science. I have always felt passionately about exploring the world and seeing different cultures and countries interact. So, my Monday nights from 7-9:30 will be filled with learning about a new concept. Hopefully, this will inspire me to branch out of the comfort of science and explore other topics at Loyola, like art or theatre.

Myself: I or me personally.

Finally, myself. Although it sounds cliché, college really is a time to explore yourself. It is a liberating feeling being away from your family, old friends, and the comfort of your home. It gives me time to figure out who I really am and what I want to do with my life. With college being a new experience and frankly, a bit terrifying, I want to explore the city of Chicago A LOT more. Hopefully, I can make time for myself every week to explore a little bit of this big and exciting city. Maybe I’ll learn something about myself along the way. Therefore, in 2013, I wish to learn more about myself.

Cheers to 2013! Wish all of you the best!

“"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."
-Oscar Wilde”