Thank you so much for taking time to look at our blog! We are a group of edical students who are passionate about training and in underserved areas. This January and February, we are in Peru, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica internationally as well as locally in Flint and Lansing completing volunteer service, rotating in hospitals and clinics, and learning about international medicine and local underserved health care. We appreciate any time you take to read our reflections and any donations you might offer.

Please click the “Donate” link on the side for more details on how to give directly to these communities.

Friday, January 15

Hola from Santa Ana, Costa Rica from the #treschicasenrica !

I think I can safely say that all three of us girls feel extremely happy to be here and lucky to have this opportunity. A week has already passed and so much has happened that it's hard know where to start.  I'll give you a quick overview of the week from my perspective!

Saturday: Our arrival was a little complicated.  Between the 3 of us we brought 6 bags full of medical supplies (each weighing 30-50 lbs), our own personal suitcases and backpacks.  This made for an interesting trip through Customs when landing in Costa Rica.

2 of the 6 bags of medical supplies we packed and traveled with, they were up to 50 lbs! Thank you Donors!
Amanda, wondering how we managed to carry all 6 bags through both airports, customs, and have them arrive safely at the clinic.
Sunday: Our FIMRC coordinator, Rita, helped organize a trip for us to visit a National Park in Costa Rica called Manuel Antonio. This was a wonderful way to get acquainted to Costa Rica. Our driver picked us up at 6:00 am and we headed to the national park where we did a small hike and saw monkeys, sloths, and raccoons (up close and personal) and ended up at the most beautiful beach!!

The beach at Antonio Manuel National Park.
One of the many monkeys we saw along our hike to the beach.
Monday: The first at the clinic was very exciting.  The mothers at our home stays made us breakfast and packed our lunch before the van picked us up and took us to the clinic in Alajuelita with the other volunteers!  Most other volunteers are undergraduate and pre-medical students volunteering for 1-2 weeks.  The employees of the FIMRC clinic were excited for our arrival, because they know we will be staying for 6 weeks and they have a wonderful existing relationship with MSU College of Human Medicine.  They are also excited that we speak Spanish and have a good amount of medical knowledge!  Lastly, I think they were most excited by all of the WONDERFUL medical supplies we brought with the help of our donors--- Thank you!

My breakfast: egg scramble with ham and cheese, tortillas with white cheese, grapes, orange juice, and coffee.  This was a lot of food, but breakfast is the biggest meal of the day here! 
Volunteers at the clinic on Monday, with Diyon (in costume), the Alajuelita Clinic coordinator.  The clinic employees are AWESOME and were so welcoming.

Tuesday: From 8:30am -12:00pm each morning we rotate working through different areas of the clinic (we'll speak more to this later).  Afternoons are usually reserved for education and some play.  Tuesday, we prepared a "charla" or mini educational talk for a group of boys from Alajuelita (the city where the clinic is located).  After, we played dodgeball and kickball with the kids-- they are very athletic and very competitive!!

La charla: the educational talk prepared about healthy eating.

Volunteers and players after the games!

Wednesday: Sick day for me :( but my wonderful group members gave another charla about the importance of breastfeeding and its benefits! 

One of the women attending "la charla" holding the poster with information about breastfeeding.

Thursday: Some mornings we rotate at the soup kitchen in Alajuelita which is partially funded and supported by FIMRC.  On Thursday, Amanda, Nicole, and I went to the soup kitchen to help prepare and serve lunch to many families in the area that also visit the clinic for free medical care. At night, we went to a well known restaurant in Costa Rica called "Mirador Tiquicia" where we were able to enjoy a show put on by Costa Ricans who performed dances very traditional to the country. 

Amanda and Nicole preparing lemonade at the soup kitchen.

The show at Mirador Tiquicia.

Mirador Tiquicia is on the top mountains overlooking the cities below.  The view is spectacular!

These were just a few highlights from our stay so far.  It's been a wonderful week in every respect.  There is still so much more to say about the families we stay with, our work in the clinic, and the people we have met.  For now, we are looking forward to exploring the country more this weekend-- hasta luego! --- Andrea (Huda and Amanda) #treschicasenrica   

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