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Tena?

August 18, 2010

So, a lot is happening, all of a sudden.

This weekend we went to Baños, an amazingly beautiful little tourist trap in the mountains about 3.5 hours by bus from Quito. We hiked behind waterfalls, went zip-lining across a canyon, and jumped off a bridge.

It was a pretty good weekend I guess. (More pictures soon, I promise.)

Then yesterday I went to talk with the coordinator of the internship programs. After looking at the list of possibilities, I had expressed some interest in doing mine at a hospital in Tena. In the span of about 5 minutes it was decided that I was going to have an interview with the director of the hospital on Friday, meaning that right after class tomorrow I have to go catch a bus for the 5 hour journey there. And so, instead of doing my Spanish homework tonight, I’ve been working on the letter I have to give them about my objectives and interests. Speaking of which, what are my interests? Something something infectious disease something something community health?

Eek. My interview skills are bad enough without a language barrier. I’m consoling myself with the fact that nothing too important is really riding on this meeting: past students have worked at this hospital, and it sounds like I’m pretty much accepted already. I just need to communicate clearly what my interests are, and what I want to get out of it. Plus, obviously, scope out the hospital, the program, and the host family and see if it’s all a good fit for me.

Despite the minor panic that I always experience when jumping headlong into the unknown, I am seriously overcome by excitement right now. Working in this hospital sounds like a life-changing experience. Plus, I really want to live in Tena: one friend who visited Ecuador a few years back said it was his favorite place in the whole country. It’s located in the Amazon rainforest (enough said right there, I am going to eat my little biologist heart out) and has a large population of indigenous Ecuadorians, who historically have been mistreated and disenfranchised by the government (though that’s changing, thanks in large part to current president Rafael Correa, on whom I hope to blog in the future when I’ve learned a bit more about Ecuadorian politics) while struggling to preserve their culture in the face of missionary influence and a generally oppressive society. The process of indigenous empowerment (which took its first great leap forward with a major uprising back in 1990) is really exciting to me, and it would be awesome to see a little bit of it firsthand.

It does feel really good to be moving ahead on this internship thing; it’s something that’s really been stressing me out ever since I first applied to the program. MSIDers that might see this: Emilia is really nice and amazingly helpful; do your homework on the internships and talk with her, and she will really help you out.

That’s all for now, really.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tarini permalink
    August 19, 2010 7:10 AM

    “Something something infectious disease something something community health” sounds pretty good to me.

    Do tell us more about local politics. And while I’m living vicariously through you, please also:
    1. Visit a volcano.
    2. Go whitewater rafting.
    3. Discover a new species.
    4. Save a couple lives.

  2. Patrick permalink
    August 19, 2010 7:31 AM

    I have lived in Quito for over 16 years, I am happy to help with any questions you might have about the country. Patrick- bullock0005@yahoo.com

  3. August 22, 2010 1:53 PM

    “…jumping headlong into the unknown,” indeed! Epic!

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