Hola! The cover picture is the view from Clinica Biblica classrooms! This blog post is going to be more focused on the group dynamic, the daily life, and the classwork of this program. I have mentioned previously that there are multiple schools being represented here, but I will go over them again just to jog your memory. On this trip, there are 5 Drexel students (including myself), I think 14 Kalamazoo (Michigan) kids, one student from Furman College, and one student from Hunter College. Remember, I didn’t know anyone coming on this trip, but it was comforting to know that I would have a few other Drexel kids here that I could try to get to know better. The first day of orientation, everyone was kind of scattered. But when I got to the San Jose airport, I ran into two other Drexel kids and the student from Hunter College and we very quickly bonded over the bus ride to our host houses. So, at orientation we kind of stuck together and hung with the other two Drexel kids. The Kalamazoo kids kind of stuck together as well, so everyone was friendly, but everyone kind of had people to be with.
Over the past few weeks, we all hung out as a very large group and slowly we’re starting to mix and get to know each other much better. I think the general consensus here is that we are all on this trip together, and we’re all we got. Obviously we have our resources at the university, at ICDS and we have our host families for assistance, but we’re all in the same boat, so we mind as we’ll all get along. And honestly, the people here are great, we’ve all found our groups and we all vibe real well.
My daily routine on Mondays and Wednesdays is wake up at 6, get out of bed at like 6:15, eat breakfast at 6:40, and leave at 7 to catch the bus to Clinica Biblica around 7:15 (there’s no bus schedule, so you catch it when it comes). Then I have Healthcare in Latin America from 8:00-10:00AM which is very interesting. The class focuses on the Costa Rican Healthcare system, how it functions, how people can utilize it and then we compare it to the healthcare system in the United States. Then I have Vulnerable Populations from 10:00AM-12:00PM where we discuss what makes a population vulnerable, what factors contribute to vulnerability, and we try to discuss ways to improve conditions for vulnerable populations. I love this class. Then we have a break, when we travel back to ULatina (our university) for Spanish class at 1:30PM which is broken into a few levels based on skill. Because I am in the clinical rotations, I was placed in the advanced class. I kind of struggle with the Spanish and become very frustrated because the rest of my class seems to grasp the language better than me, but the teacher is very supportive and I am slowly gaining confidence in my speaking and comprehension! After Spanish class ends at 4:30, I normally hang around ULatina to do homework because my house is very close by and I like the campus.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays it’s similar, I have Economics at 8AM and then I have a long break because I did not opt to take the Tropical Disease class, but I heard it’s very interesting! My break lasts until 1:30PM, which is when we begin rotations. We have rotations until 4:30, and I get home around 5:00 almost everyday.
It’s a long day everyday, almost like a real job, but ya know, we’re in Costa Rica, so honestly it’s okay. Besides, we have Fridays off so we travel to really cool places all over Costa Rica and really get to enjoy our weekends! So far, we have travelled to Jacó, Tamarindo, and Cartago, and this weekend we plan to visit La Fortuna, so we’re really taking advantage of our three day weekends!
That’s basically my life here in Costa Rica, and it’s busy and I’m tired a lot and midterms are approaching, but we’re in Costa Rica studying medicine and traveling every weekend; everything is honestly Pura Vida.