Ten weeks has flown by faster than I imagined they could. Right now I am sitting in the airport in Lima, Peru waiting for Aeromexico flight 018 to come in and see my sister for the first time in 3 months as I reflect on everything I have learned in Ecuador.
I spent the last week in Guayaquil shadowing in Monte Sinai clinic. Like most rotations I have had done in Ecuador, they were far from what I expected (in a very good way). Instead of shadowing inside the clinic, I went with the doctors and nurses to the nearby neighborhoods to vaccinate dogs and cats for rabies and give flu shots to the residents. We set up shop outside of a small almuerzo restaurant to get out of the 80 degree Guayaquil heat and humidity as the nurses repeated calls about how we were vaccinating for rabies and influenza for free for anyone who has yet to get vaccinated. We saw a lot more patients than I was expecting to; we administered about a hundred rabies vaccines and a hundred flu vaccines each day. We finished up at about 1 and got some lunch. After that we headed back to Spanish school.
I knew I had improved quite a bit with my Spanish skills over the last 10 weeks, however I didn’t realize how much better I had gotten until speaking with the teachers and going over lessons that were hard my first few weeks and realizing I had new lessons down already. It was a lot of fun to catch up with our Guayaquil friends from school too!
Today I got encebollado (a fish soup with banana chips usually eaten for breakfast here) with my host mom Gisela and Nate, went to work for the last time, and came back to the house to get my bags ready for my flight. After saying goodbye to my sweet host family and their cute new puppy, my host brother Adrian and I headed to the airport. I was very proud of myself for getting through security with only using Spanish this time since the airport was quite a struggle on my first day here!
Looking back on the last ten weeks, I am extremely grateful that I took a step out of my comfort zone to live in such a foreign environment for the last term. Not only did I get significantly better at Spanish and experience such unique medical rotations, but I also made some incredible friends here and had a lot of fun. It is safe to say that I will find myself back in Ecuador again someday soon, but until then, hasta luego!