Hola! (real quick, the first picture is a picture of my group at the clinic, reviewing the material we learned in our Healthcare in Latin America class). This past weekend, my entire group and I had to go on a field trip with ICDS to a hospital and a clinic in an area called Alajuela. Unfortunately, our plans to go to a hospital got messed up and we had to last minute change our plans to go to the National Children’s Hospital, which I was very excited for as I volunteer at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), so I was excited to see what Costa Rica’s Children’s Hospital was like. We left at 6:45AM and got there at like 7:20AM which was way ahead of schedule! However, there was a respiratory precaution due to the coronavirus, we were unable to really tour the hospital, so we had a quick tour of the hallways and the playroom for the children. We also had a presentation from the director of the hospital which reviewed the information we learned in our Healthcare in Latin America class. Then we boarded the bus to go to the clinic.
When we arrived there, I was kind of shocked. It reminded me of the DMV. It was a government run institution, so of course it reminded me of the DMV, but I have never really seen healthcare handled that way in the United States, so I was not prepared to see it handled this way here. However, it seemed very organized. Again though, we were not allowed into any of the special areas because of privacy and what not, so we just kind of walked through the hallways and explored the facilities like the outdoor eating area, the waiting rooms, and the outdoor rehabilitation area. And then we again had a presentation that reviewed the material we learned in the Healthcare in Latin America class. Overall, it was an interesting experience. I wish we could’ve been given better access to the facilities, but I’m unsure of how privacy works in the public healthcare system of Costa Rica, so I’m not sure how much access we could’ve been given.
After that, we headed to our hostel! We were going to be spending the night as a group because we had an ox-cart factory tour the next day. The hostel was beautiful, and as soon as we got there we all hopped in the pool and hung out. I really love everyone in this program, so it was super fun to just hang out at a pool and play games and just talk. Then we played charades and Capture the Pineapple (like capture the flag, but we didn’t have any flags, but we did have pineapples), and then we went to bed.
The next day, we woke up and went swimming one last time, and made our way to the Ox-Cart Factory. I know what you’re thinking “Ox-cart factory? Really?” Honestly, that was what I was thinking. BUT, it was actually so interesting. The Ox-Cart factory has been in service for many years and it can take like 30 hours to complete just one wheel on the ox-cart because they are so beautifully and intricately detailed.
Then we actual got to do a little painting of our own and while I stink at painting, it was so much fun to paint with everyone. And then, we returned home!
Overall, we had a lot of fun together this weekend, and I can’t wait for our next group trip to Panama! I will write to you guys again soon! Ciao!