There is about 48 hours until I embark on a new life-changing journey to Oaxaca, Mexico. With that being said, I can only feel feelings of excitement and slight anxiety. This program lasts only one month; I will be arriving on June 8th and departing on July 11th. I am excited because I know from a prior adventure of working abroad in Nicaragua that you experience enormous personal growth from expanding your world-view. New lifestyle, culture, cuisine, arts, issues, politics, interactions, etc. (list goes on and on). All of these diversify an individual’s thought process and outlook on life. Ironically, I am anxious for the same reasons.
My name is Kenny Disbrow and I am a rising senior. I major in Public Health with a minor in Biological Sciences. This program is entitled Public Health in Oaxaca, Mexico which makes me feel that this program was tailor-made for me. Unlike other study abroad programs, this one is “service-learning based” which means that the program addresses the needs of the community through service while developing the academic skills of the student. My community placement will be in a health clinic called Clinica del Pueblo. This clinic provides healthcare services to the poorest members of the community in Oaxaca. This will be an invaluable experience since I aspire to become a physician in the future.
The last thought on my mind is the language barrier. I took a few Spanish classes back in high school, and I traveled to Nicaragua for one week. My Spanish skills are not the best, but I know enough to get around. However, there is no better way to learn a language than to fully immerse yourself in the culture that speaks it. I will in Mexico for a total of 4 weeks and 4 days. Only time will tell how much I improve.