2 Weeks Until…

I leave to QUITO!!!!

Originally posted: May 23, 2014

I don’t think about my trip much – or at least I try not to overwhelm myself. I am nervous. I am anxious. I am a worry-wart. I am also EXCITED, OVERJOYED, & THANKFUL for this opportunity. I can’t believe that I will spend 2 months or 8 weeks or exactly 56 days in Quito, Ecuador. This will be my first cultural immersion trip where I will stay with a homestay family, study Spanish (medical terminology), volunteer at an NGO, and dive into beautiful Ecuador and its culture.

With about 2 weeks until the start of my internship in Quito, I have received several documents – Program Guides, Intern Manuals, and other resources. These documents give me the “How-to:” as a Susan McAshan Intern, my internship through Child Family Health International (CFHI), and as a LEAD 150 student.

This resources are very useful, but they also make me too anxious and worried about what is ahead. You know what I’m talking about – cultural shock, cultural competency, do’s and don’ts, and the like. I keep reading about health risks, safety, and other risks and guidelines to be aware of. I can’t stop thinking about the fact that piropos or catcalls are very often, and I have to be aware of not wearing anything that shows too much skin or to not walk alone at night. There’s a whole section on safety, crime prevention, and risks upon arrival.

 I am absorbing all the information, but I know everything will be different once I do travel. I have registered with the U.S. Embassy, ISOS (assistance program), and the Department of State. I feel safer doing all these things, however it’s adding onto my worry. Although I sound nervous, I know that the PJHC program, Rice, and CFHI have given the necessary resources to ensure a safe trip, and an exciting one at that.

For the next two weeks, I will be making last-minute arrangements with friends and family, photocopying all my documents, and tying the loose ends before this journey. It’s unbelievable, and I can’t wait.

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