Saturday, June 25, 2016
¡Hola Salud Publico!
Hola todos! Me llamo Kayla. Soy un voluntario de Fundación Amos este verano. The previous two sentences serve as the introduction that I have possessed for the past three weeks here in Nicaragua; what an amazing three weeks that it has been!
The first three weeks have served as the practicum portion of our time here (“our” refers to Abrania Marrero, Jennifer Babjak, and I). They have been filled with learning all the fundamental knowledge that every public health worker should to successfully work in the field; there has also been information that specifically helps individuals that are from a more advantaged country or more privileged background work with disadvantaged people in a manner that allows for the empowerment of both groups and not a continuation of the trend of paternalism. The practicum has also included a week of application of the newly learned knowledge in the rural community of San Jose de la Mula, Matiguas, Matagalpa, Nicaragua; the experience was one that has cemented the importance of understanding the context of a community’s culture when implementing public health interventions. On a personal level, it also served as a sign of reassurance that public health is the area of science/ health in which I can invest time into and receive a feeling of fulfillment. It is also clear to me that the field can be both academically stimulating and emotionally rewarding because of the fact that research and collecting data requires monitoring and evaluation, which requires social connection and emotional investment ( if done correctly).
The weeks of the practicum have also included many fun moments that have most definitely allowed me to really fall in love with Nicaragua and its amazingly resilient people. I have had the pleasure to see some of the lush, tropical landscape that makes up Nicaragua. The first two weekends we were able to travel to both Leon and Granada, which capitals during Nicaragua’s colonial period. The second weekend also featured a trip to the beach at Laguna de Apoyo.
As the remaining six weeks of my time here in Nicaragua begin, I am excited to jump into my internship with women’s empowerment; It is my hope that I am able to help make a difference in the maternal and child health of La Danta (the community we will work in) during the time period while also being empowered myself.
Hasta la proxima vez,
Kayla Nicole Somerville