Volunteer Name: Jessica Lim
Project Location: Cusco, Peru
Volunteered at: Health Care Program
What was your favorite memory of the Volunteer Program?
Seeing Machu Picchu for the first time in person
I was surprise that….
There are no toilet seats here…only lids. Also, how few supplies the clinic had at their disposal. It was really interesting to see how the physicians here work around the lack of supplies.
What was the most difficult thing you experienced?
Figuring out he showers and getting used to taking tepid showers in cold weather.
My best received lesson:
The best way to learn Spanish is to speak it, hear it, and hope someone corrects your mistakes.
Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations, sightseeing etc)
Bring lots of layers!, t-shirts, long-sleeved, hoodies, jackets. Exchange some cash at the airport in case of emergencies, but exchange the majority of your cash w/in Cusco to get the best rate.
Also, if your ATM fee is low, it’s safest/cheapest just to withdraw sales from a bank in Peru.
How would you describe/rate your experience working with the ABV staff in the USA and in-country?
ABV staff both in the USA and in country were great. Really available and supremely helpful.
How would you describe your accommodation, meals and host (host family, on-site, shared house)? I had 2 host families. The first due to an unexpected sprained ankle I had (they lived on a ground floor apartment) for 3 days then moved to another host family. The second, my actually assigned host family for the remainder of my time there. Both families were very kind and accommodating, giving me tips and advice about living here and being very conceited of what I liked to eat and if I was warm enough at night. My host mom, Carmen, even lent me her down jacket for a weekend excursion to lake Titicaca b/c I didn’t bring a thick enough coat to Peru. I love my host mom!!
Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial): I wish I could have been more involved in patients care in the clinic, but am glad that I was able to volunteer and help at all. The clinic I works at is a government run clinic and severely lacks resources. It was amazing to watch the physicians diagnose and treat using only history (limited exam w/little to no tests (ie. Labs scans)
I felt very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have worked and lived in Cusco for the past 3 weeks. I have learned how fortunate I am to be studying medicine in the USA, where there are so many resources. I hope to continue to travel and serve countries and hope to one day return to Cusco as a license physician.
Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? Sure