Lyn’Nazia traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador for two months to study Spanish and Ecuadorian Culture and Society. She also had the opportunity to intern at a free medical clinic through the inter-institutional cooperation with the North American Ecuatorian Center (CEN). During her internship at the Instituto Superior Techologico Bolivariano de Techologia (The Box or ITB Clinic) she observed integrative activities such as medical attention to Guayaquil's community and presenting treatment to patients.The activities carried out were vital signs control that included assessment of blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate, as well as the preparation of medication that was required for patients who use basic services in the ITB Clinic. While traveling to multiple cities in the country, Lyn’Nazia learned about the history behind the country's capital, Quito and the equator line that runs through the city. When she traveled to Cuenca, she visited numerous cathedrals throughout the city and a museum to learn about the post-colonial architecture in the area. Lyn’Nazia developed her knowledge of the Spanish language through her interactions with her host family and in the classroom. Her free time was spent at the boardwalk with her American roommates, who encouraged her to fulfill her goal of becoming more adventurous and trying new foods like Pon de Yuca, Cuy (guinea pig), and different variations of soups that are traditional in the culture. By immersing herself into the Ecuadorian culture Lyn’Nazia was able to gain a true understanding of the Ecuadorian lifestyle, a medical interning experience, improve her language skills in spanish, and form a great relationship with the ITB Clinic health professionals and her host family.
CEE Title: Thinking Outside Your Comfort Zone
Sara, Kaitlyn, and I titled our CEE Thinking Outside Your Comfort Zone. It consisted of a presentation while taking short breaks for audience interaction. The first discussion topic was my choice, sexism and colorism abroad. I talked about the two experiences I had when I experience colorism from a store clerk and sexism from my coworker at my internship. I explained how instead of reacting in a negative way towards my coworker, I informed him about his cultural insensitivity and enlightened him about my African American culture. I emphasized the fact that there is more power in being a mature person and reacting in a more positive way to sexism and colorism abroad and in the US. Sara presented after me, she discussed how she practiced being fearless in Costa Rica by trying extreme sports and cultural dishes. Sara encouraged the audience to “get comfortable with the uncomfortable” and to follow a Costa Rica motto, “Pura Vida”, which means pure life. After Sara’s presentation, we interacted with the audience to see if they could relate to our challenges we experienced abroad. Kaitlyn was the last member to speak. She discussed the importance of knowing yourself before going abroad and why she choice to study at an HBCU as a white woman. She chose Lincoln University because attending the school would challenge her to adapt to a setting unlike what she is used to. While concluding her discussion she asked the audience to emerge themselves into uncomfortable settings and take note of the positive changes that they will experience personally. To conclude our presentation, we all spoke on how the Vira I. Heinz leadership program affected us and our time abroad and us returning to the United States.