Today was my last day in Quito. Since there were only 4 of us that were going to be in Quito all day, I decided to sleep in. After waking up and eating breakfast, Mike and I met Jacob and Derrick at the TeleferiQo. I did not go up it a second time. After Jacob and Derrick returned from the top, the four of us went back to Historic Quito. We walked up and down the old streets but had two locations in mind.
The first location was the Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus. This place was also called the Gold Church. Inside was amazing. There was gold and paintings everywhere. One painting in particular was one that depicted hell organized by the sin of the person there. I'm glad that I had the chance to see this miraculous building. Another church we visited was the old Basilica. Here the four of us were able to climb the towers and get a great view of the city.
A trip to South America would not be complete without watching a soccer game with the locals. Luckily, tonight, Liga de Quito was playing Barcelona (not from Spain but Guayaquil). Jacob, Derrick, myself, and two translators from our group went to a local coffee shop for dinner and to watch the game. It was a blast being able to watch such an important league game in a different atmosphere.
My flight left yesterday, from Quito, at 11:25 PM. After about 12 hours of traveling I managed to make it home safely. I have had such a great time on this trip. I gained everything I had hoped through this experience. Seeing the appreciation on the Ecuadorian's faces made all the cold showers and rice dinners worth it. If my schedule allows me to return I most certainly will. I have seen medical techniques that were not accomplished in a state of the art hospital, I have also seen a culture that can not be appreciated from a book, I have made friends that I hope will last forever, and most importantly, I have performed a service that is appreciated by every person who came to the clinic and anyone who hears about the clinic.
If anyone has any questions about my trip or Shoulder to Shoulder, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Buscher, who will start at UK Medical School in August, is a two-time graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences with degrees in psychology (2009) and biology (2010). But before he enrolls in gross anatomy or makes his rotations in the hospital, Buscher has embarked on a journey to Ecuador as a volunteer with Shoulder to Shoulder Kentucky, an international organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in resource-limited communities.
Jim will spend time working in health clinics performing screenings and tackling the issues that confront the community’s wellbeing, but he also plans on doing more than dealing with health initiatives. Following the lead of Jacob Sither, a friend and student in UK’s College of Public Health, Jim will take part in distributing donated equipment to help develop a soccer program in the community, hoping to build a self-sustaining recreational program to supplement their efforts to improve general public health. The whole point of these enterprises, Jim says, is to improve the lives and families in the community by addressing health, education and economic issues.