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How I got involved with MEDLIFE: As a college freshman away from home, I knew I had to get involved on campus. Considering my interest in medicine, I attended a pre-health involvement fair. After an hour of looking at the different booths, I was convinced that all the pre-med clubs were the same. As I walked towards the parking lot I saw one of my old friends at a booth called “MEDLIFE” and that marked the beginning of this romance.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m currently in my last year of college and plan on attending medical school once I graduate. I’m a fitness nutritionist and currently working on a paramedic certification. I enjoy playing sports and dancing (especially salsa), so living in Peru has been like living a dream. Fun fact about myself: I’ve never attempted to crack any of my bones.
Why did you decide to become an intern?: As a MEDLIFE intern, I expected my life to change. Working in a mobile clinic was a great experience, but I felt like there was so much more for my mind to absorb. It felt as if I had read the back cover page of a great novel, only to find out that I couldn’t open it up. Only so much information could be absorbed in a week. So in my mind, the only way to read this book would be through the internship. Being an intern has allowed me to submerge myself deeper into the Peruvian culture and directly work with the little pieces that make MEDLIFE what it is today.
What was your first impression of Lima?: The first time I came to Lima was this past December. I had previously gone to Ecuador and the weather was beautiful with the sun shining everyday. I had assumed that the weather would be the same but boy was I wrong. You’re lucky if you see the sun over the winter. Apart from the sun, the weather was surprisingly relaxing. The constant breeze mixed in with distant car horns isn’t too shabby..
What are your goals for this internship?: I want to better understand the health disparities that Peruvian natives deal with on a daily basis. Seeing what they go through is one thing, but living it is another. There are a lot of socioeconomic factors that take play in determining the quality of care one receives so what better way to be informed than through the publics opinion. Lastly, I hope to find ways to better my chapter and expand MEDLIFE. Many of the other interns have been heavily involved in their respective chapters and each of them brings new ideas to the table.
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: My first year at UC Davis was also the year MEDLIFE at UC Davis became a chapter. My friend Nona Bhatia, now the MEDLIFE at UCD Vice President, thought it would be fun if we went to a meeting. After the first meeting, hearing about the organization's mission statement and goals, both Nona and I were inspired to get more involved. We went on two mobile clinics (Cusco and Tena) and worked on the executive board with an amazing team both in 2014 and 2015. I was fortunate enough to enter UC Davis at the same time MEDLIFE did and be able to grow with this amazing chapter.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I have a lot of energy. I overcommit to extracurriculars. My best friends in college were made from my involvement in Imani Clinic and MEDLIFE. I'm Iranian. Joining MEDLIFE changed my life.
Why did you decide to become an intern?: After going on two mobile clinics trips and being on the executive board for 2 years, I wanted to be more involved with MEDLIFE, and this internship was the perfect way to do so. (Shout out to my sister for guiding me and to my parents for getting me here!)
What was your first impression of Lima?: "This ceviche is sooo good"
What are your goals for this internship?: I hope to gain a deeper insight on the workings of MEDLIFE International. I hope to learn more about the workings of an NGO. And I hope to leave with enough knowledge about this organization that I can successfully and passionately inspire more of the UC Davis campus to join us on the mobile clinics.
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I've always been interested in global health and medicine, and stumbled across MEDLIFE through a friend during the first few weeks of college. At first look, it seemed to encompass what I wanted to do at the time-- to have a global health experience abroad. I went to Lima on a mobile clinic with my chapter in January of 2013, and it completely changed my view of the world. After learning about the work of MEDLIFE and its focus on sustainability through local promotion, I began to understand and value the core of its mission. I've been hooked ever since!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I'm passionate about healthcare, travelling, female empowerment, cultures around the world, and delicious food. Oh, and of course, Beyoncé.
Why did you decide to become an intern?: I've been involved with MEDLIFE for nearly three years as an executive board member and more recently, as a member of the Student Advisory Board this past academic year. Interning for MEDLIFE seemed to be the next step for me.
What was your first impression of Lima?: That it is very busy and large. There are always people traversing through the roads at all times of theday!
What are your goals for this internship?: I really want to learn more about the public health issues in Lima, and the root causes of them. A recent video chat with the CEO of MEDLIFE, Nick Ellis, made me realize this. He said that the success of global health efforts are not measured in weeks or months, but rather, in decades. I hope to truly begin my contributions to this movement during this internship by translating my compassion into learning, listening, and understanding.
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I heard about MEDLIFE through a friend of mine who encouraged me to come to a meeting my freshman year. After that first meeting I signed up for a trip to Lima that winter and loved it! When I returned I became involved as the Mobile Clinics Coordinator for our chapter and soon after joined the SAB.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am going to be starting my senior year at UW-Madison in the fall and am very interested in pursuing a career in Public Health. I love to travel, experience new cultures and learn about the world!
Why did you decide to become an intern?: After being involved on the SAB, I really wanted to gain even more knowledge about MEDLIFE and do as much as I could to help the people in the communities. The summer internship seemed like the next step after that, and is one if the reasons I applied. I also really wanted to learn about the inner workings of an NGO and gain some professional skills that are involved in this type of work.
What was your first impression of Lima?: My first impression of Lima when I came in January 2013 was that it was a different type of city than I had ever experienced. Being from a suburb of Minneapolis, I was used to that type of city, and Lima was very different. Lima struck me as very fast paced in the city with all the traffic and bargaining in the shops, but the further from the city center we got it really seemed to slow down more. The people were extremely friendly and welcoming, and that was wonderful. Overall I really liked the feel of Lima and especially how it seems to "have it all" in a way with the beach, city, food, nightlife, etc.. It was also very important but tough to see that the richest people live right over a wall from the poorest, and that was a very eye opening experience.
What are your goals for this internship?: My goals for this internship are first and foremost to learn more about MEDLIFE and become more involved with helping the communities. I really hope that after having this experience I will be able to go back to the states and articulate MEDLIFE's work better and spread the word about what we do in a more clear and motivational manner than I may have had previously. In addition to that, I hope to gain business and office skills from the office as well as learn about the inner workings of an NGO and understand more fully the roles that are to be filled in the internal of an organization like MEDLIFE.
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I found the internship listing on the Idealist.org and immediately knew this was the opportunity I had been searching for since graduating. When I got the acceptance email I got so excited I threw my phone at the pavement. Luckily, it was undamaged.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: My favorite things are reporting, rock climbing and travel, or more broadly, adventures. I have a very obsessive personality and am currently managing an addiction to salsa dancing brought on by my time in Latin America.
Why did you decide to become an intern?: When I graduated college, I wanted to live in a different country, find work that constantly put me outside my comfort zone and make a positive impact in the lives of others through story telling. I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than by working with MEDLIFE.
What was your first impression of Lima?: Lima- not an easy city to pigeonhole. As a whole it is gritty and surreal, especially given the constant grey, dreamy lighting. Yet, the city has a great and vibrant energy. It is so vast, I feel like I can find anything I want here if I know where to look. I am so excited to explore and see what it has to offer! Oh and the food is incredible.
What are your goals for this internship?: I want to produce great work in every medium, print, photography and video. I hope I can do justice to the amazing amount of great stories I have access to working with MEDLIFE. I want to improve my Spanish to the point where Spanish interviews are easy. Most importantly, I want to create an impact and further MEDLIFE’s mission.
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: A buddy of mine in a similar career path seemed to be doing something much more meaningful with his skill set and I wanted in. He introduced me to an opening in the internship he was doing with MEDLIFE and next thing I know I found myself in Peru.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I'd rather tell you someone else's story. There's a lot more interesting things out there than where I grew up and what I like to eat that need to be told, and I guess I like telling them.
Why did you decide to become an intern?: I am interested in photo journalism, travel journalism, and the chance to document not only different cultures, but the positive effects a non-profit can have within a community. An internship with MEDLIFE offers all these things and more, there was no decision needed.
What was your first impression of Lima?: Every city in the world is different. However, Lima is the first I've been to that has its own climate or where I can travel a few hours on either side and find myself in such different places, be it coastline, desert, jungle or mountains. I don't think anyone has ever been bored in Lima.
What are your goals for this internship?: I want to document something that can make a change. If something I can produce can raise any awareness for MEDLIFE or even a single sol towards one of their projects, I've reached my goal. Learning a bit more Spanish would be nice too.
Name: Mariel Fernandez
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: Although there isn´t a MEDLIFE chapter at Dickinson College, some of my friends from other universities were involved in chapters at their schools and had great things to say about MEDLIFE.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I graduated from Dickinson College just a few weeks ago where I majored in Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies and minored in Film and Creative Writing. That being said, I´m an avid writer and film watcher who loves all things Latin America! For my senior thesis, I wrote an ethnography on street art and graffiti in Lima. I spent about two months in Lima interviewing artists, observing, taking photos and even did some painting myself.
Why did you decide to become an intern?: After studying abroad in Peru last spring, I knew that I wanted to work for an NGO in Peru once I graduated. After learning about MEDLIFE, I loved that all of our projects directly involve and uplift communities toward sustainable development. I worked at my college´s media center for three years where I created blogs, websites and social media campaigns for various organizations and departments on campus so when I saw the job posting for MEDLIFE´s social media and journalism internship, it seemed like a perfect fit!
What was your first impression of Lima?: I absolutely LOVE Lima! The city is so big that it seems as if every time I go out I discover a new pocket of the city that I´ve never been to before. Each neighborhood is unique and vibrant in its own way. I love the colorful hustle and bustle of the city.
What are your goals for this internship?: I´d like to gain experience in the non-profit sector to learn and understand how NGOs operate. I´m interested in sustainable development in Latin America so I´d like to see how NGOs work to create lasting, sustainable change within these communities. In addition, I´d like to continue to improve my journalism and social media skills.
Name: Aly Lange
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I did a mobile clinic to Lima with the UNL MEDLIFE chapter.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I can't smell very well, I'm a hardcore caffeine addict and if I could, I'd go everywhere barefoot. I can also quote every line of Bridesmaids.
Why did you decide to become an intern?: I wanted to dive deeper into issues of poverty and global health. After working to start MEDLIFE KU this past year, I saw that I was only beginning to scratch the surface of the health disparity throughout the world and recognized that I wanted to incorporate it into my career. Plus, I LOVE MEDLIFE! MEDLIFE addresses issues of poverty in a sustainable, community-based way, which is absolutely crucial. I want to help this organization, as well as KU's chapter, grow and help others.
What was your first impression of Lima?: I was initially taken aback by how MASSIVE Lima is! There is so much to observe and learn- which is both overwhelming and exciting!
What are your goals for this internship?: I want to be able to go home and help my chapter improve, as well as soak up as much information as I can about poverty, Peruvian culture, non-for-profit work, the Spanish language, and MEDLIFE!
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: Both of my brothers were involved with this organization while in college. Although I was still in high school, they had immediately hooked my attention. Combining the hands on medical experience with the breathtaking country and culture, I knew that I wanted to do this sometime in the near future.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am about to go into my sophomore at GW and am currently undecided on what path I want to specifically pursue. However, I am leaning more towards medicine and the sciences. I love snowboarding, jogging and traveling to new places to experience the landscape, food, culture and traditions.
Why did you decide to become an intern?: Ever since I went on my first trip to Lima, Peru my junior year of high school, I have wanted to work towards providing universal health care everywhere. MEDLIFE has allowed me to develop as a person and given me the knowledge and support to improve my work experience. I also wanted to learn more about this incredible organization and the work done behind the scenes.
What was your first impression of Lima?: When I first arrived in Lima I thought to myself, “This isn’t too bad. The city looks developed with maybe some rundown parts.” I also thought that the city was very muggy and hectic all of thetime. However after experiencing the city, I realized the true beauty and character of the land and the people. Even though there were more communities living in poverty than I thought, the locals were some of the most genuine and kind people that you will ever find.
What are your goals for this internship?: I hope to discover more about what MEDLIFE pursues and the communities they aid. I am also excited to interact with the community and develop my communication skills for future endeavors. I would feel fulfilled if I brought back the knowledge gained during this internship to improve my chapter at George Washington University.
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I got involved with MEDLIFE through my chapter on campus – I heard about an upcoming trip to Ecuador and couldn’t resist! After my Mobile Clinic trip, I immediately joined the chapter and have been hooked ever since.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am an avid traveller and opportunity seeker. I love to find new adventures for me to take on and new places to see. My favorite part of these adventures usually involves eating local foods and being as close proximity to the beach as possible!
Why did you decide to become an intern?: I decided to become an intern at MEDLIFE because of the experience I had on my Mobile Clinic. It was such an eye opening opportunity that enabled me to see a direct link between my academic career and my personal passions. I also loved theorganization itself and the goals they have – they are very much so in congruent with my own. The cherry on top of this internship was the fact that I got to work in South America and have a grasp on abundance travel opportunities.
What was your first impression of Lima?: I immediately fell in love with Lima. Once you get passed the initial chaos and hustle and bustle of the city, you quickly notice the beauty of the place! I appreciate the outstanding energy and life the city inhibits and its incredible culture. I’m eager to explore more of its hidden gems and to also have the opportunity to visit theunder developed areas – where things may not be so pretty but still hold so much of that energy and life.
What are your goals for this internship?: My goals for this internship begin first and far most with becoming more involved in non-profit work in South America. I hope to learn through this internship the skills and experiences that can enable me to continue within the non-profit domain and work towards sustainable changes against structural and systematic inequalities and social problems.
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: There is a MEDLIFE chapter in my university and I went to a few meetings but never got involved until now. I believe MEDLIFE is the perfect fit for my personal goal of increasing the welfare of communities living in poverty that lack medical access and vital resources such as water. So far, I love all the work that MEDLIFE does and I am eager to keep on working hard to help others for the rest of my days in Peru
Tell us a little bit about yourself: My first language is Spanish but I speak fluent English and enjoy learning new languages, like French. I was raised in Honduras and that inspired me to work in Public Health, as I noticed the inequality of healthcare access that causes much suffering, which many people in Latin America have to endure. I love reading and writing poetry, is the best way to express my innermost thoughts and feelings. Dancing and yoga are my favorite forms of exercise that help me stay fit and bring much joy to my spirit.
Why did you decide to become an intern?: I needed an internship for credit in my Master program and I wanted to work in something that was hands-on and that will bring health relief for people that need it the most in Latin America.
What was your first impression of Lima?: As soon as I got out of the airplane and into the crowded streets of Lima, I thought ''this is such a big and beautiful city,’' and I was ecstatic to be here... because I love Hispanic food.
What are your goals for this internship?: Overall my goal with this internship is making a difference in the life of the patients. Even if I am only contributing in a small way, I know that the work that MEDLIFE does impacts the life of many individuals profoundly by bringing medical care, education and development to the most downtrodden, disabled, sick and poor people.
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I was first exposed to MEDLIFE at the Fall Activities Fair during my freshman year in Fall 2011. The UGA Chapter had been founded in Fall 2010 and began expanding rapidly. I was drawn to its mission and dedicated myself to becoming involved as possible. I soon applied for an executive board position and went on my first mobile clinic to Lima, Peru thefollowing winter. Through MEDLIFE at UGA, I became the Internal Affairs Chair, served as the Co-President for the past two years, and led two more clinics to Esmeraldas, Ecuador, and Cusco, Peru. I also served on the Student Advisory Board this past year and assisted in MEDLIFE's expansion efforts.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born in Calcutta, India, and moved to Georgia when I was three years old. I recently graduated from UGA two weeks ago and plan to attend the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine - Georgia Campus in August 2015. I enjoy eating Indian and Thai food, hanging out with friends and family, and watching my millions of TV shows (Teen Wolf, Supernatural, Arrow, Suits, and Game of Thrones are among my favorites).
Why did you decide to become an intern?: When I returned home from Lima, I could never forget the people I had met and those whose work our efforts supported. I wanted to come back to Lima and continue supporting MEDLIFE’s mission. This summer internship was a perfect opportunity for me to get more exposure to global health and development before starting medical school in thefall.
What was your first impression of Lima?: Extraordinary and breathtaking. When I came to Lima three years go, it was my first time traveling by myself out of the country. I did not speak Spanish fluently or really enjoy the cuisine either. However, everything changed for me after that week. I ended up falling in love with the culture and people. My favorite memory is accompanying Alberto and a field nurse on a follow-up patient visit in Pamplona. Being able to see MEDLIFE's focus on sustainability was eye-opening and amazing.
What are your goals for this internship?: During this experience, I hope to continue to improve my understanding of cultural competency, patient interaction, and collaboration. I have valued my time so far with MEDLIFE because of its service-minded environment. The clinics are completely run by volunteers, student interns, and local medical professionals aside from a few official employees and a national executive board. I believe that patient-centered care always puts the patients before the physicians and creates a collaborative effort among all individuals that are involved. MEDLIFE has laid a solid foundation for this principle in my life, and I believe that this internship and my future medical school experience will further strengthen my commitment to patient-centered care. By further understanding the relationship between culture and medicine, I aspire to become a competent, empathetic, and effective physician in the future.
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: At the end of my freshman year of college, my friend told me about this club she'd found and that it seemed really cool. I attended the last MEDLIFE meeting of that year and knew it was something I wanted to be involved in. The next year I went on my first mobile clinic to Lima, and have since been the co-president of my chapter and travelled to Moshi, Tanzania.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I just graduated college, which has definitely created some mixed emotions for me. I am passionate about medicine and public health, and hope to pursue a combined MD and Masters of Public Health. Reading is one of my favorite activities, but I also love to travel and eat - two things that I'm so excited to do in Peru!
Why did you decide to become an intern?: I've always known that I wanted to work with marginalized populations in some sort of medical context. After graduation, I wanted to live abroad at some point and contribute more of my time and effort to MEDLIFE, so this internship fit perfectly with that. I am so excited to be here to help provide medicine, education, and development to communities in a sustainable way!
What was your first impression of Lima?: Lima is definitely a very busy city - I noticed that right away. There are so many new sights, sounds, and smells that it's a bit overwhelming to take in at first. That's not to say it's not charming, I love all the colors and culture and I can't wait to explore more!
What are your goals for this internship?: I would love to broaden my world view and learn how an international non-profit organization operates. I also want to better understand the root causes of health disparities. I'm excited to bring new ideas to the office and take new ideas back to my chapter to promote MEDLIFE's mission.
Here at MEDLIFE we are proud to introduce Neema Lyimo, who recently began her work with MEDLIFE in the summer of 2014. Neema will help further MEDLIFE's development in Tanzania. Read more about Neema below:
Where are you from?
I am from Arusha, Tanzania and I received my Bachelor degree in Human Nutrition from Sokoine University of Agriculture in 2010. After that I went for masters degree in Public Health at Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences with partnership with University of Calgary Canada in 2012. I enrolled in a course in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Eastern Finland in 2013.
How did you get involved with MEDLIFE?
I had attended a seminar on teaching children with Autism in Moshi, which is where I was first introduced to MEDLIFE. I met Terry Mulligan, MEDLIFE's director in Tanzania and I was interested in the organization, since I have been dreaming to working with organization which helps to improve the lives of the poor. Attending mobile clinics is an amazing and fulfilling experience to be helping people in poor communities.
What is it that you like most about working with MEDLIFE?
I love working at mobile clinics because I find it very uplifting to provide Public Health Education to the communities. It is wonderful to be able to provide them with treatment and medicine and improve the lives of people within the community.
Can you name a particular patient that has had a strong impact on you?
Well I have been very pleased/impressed when going on the mobile clinics and find that older people (90 or 100 years) walk great distances together with their families to get the health care. They really impress me and I enjoy working with them.
Before MEDLIFE, what were your experiences with non-profit/humanitarian organizations?
Before MEDLIFE I worked with Compassion International just after high school while waiting to join the University in 2007. Thereafter I worked with St. Elizabeth Hospital as a Nutrionist after earning my bachelor degree in 2010 before going for my Masters degree. On top of that, in 2013 I worked part-time with World Vision in the evaluation of Mid-Term Review of the East Africa Maternal Newborn and Child Health (EAMNeCH) Project.
Why is this work important to you?
The idea of reaching the poor through a comprehensive package of access to medicine (mobile clinics), community development and education is so appealing to me because of my education background and passion. Also, as a trained nutritionist, I know firsthand how important this work is in health and community development. In addition, as a Public Health professional I know the value of multi-sector approach to solving access to health services challenges. Hence all of the above mentioned points, combined with my passion, is what makes working with MEDLIFE so attractive. This work has always been my dream.
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoying learning new things and traveling to getting exposure to other people and cultures.