June 24, 2011 1:52 pm

Meet the Interns: Rachel

Written by Tommy Flint

Rachel Eggleston is a valuable member of MEDLIFE's Student Advisory Board. She will be serving in Ecuador this summer with fellow interns JP and Meredith. Rachel is currently developing a child nutrition program along with JP, under the guidance of our Director of Operations in Ecuador, Martha Chicaiza.

4-1Where are you from?

I grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, but I currently live in Hanover, New Hampshire. I will be a senior at Dartmouth College in the fall. I love studying Neuroscience and Spanish!

Why did you apply for the MEDLIFE internship?

I have been involved in the Dartmouth chapter of MEDLIFE since my freshman year. I bonded with other Medlifers over scarf and grilled cheese sales, and they quickly became my best friends! I first traveled to Ecuador for a MEDLIFE mobile clinic two years ago, and applied for the MEDLIFE internship because I was interested in spending a longer amount of time here. I've served on the SAB for the past year, and can't wait to contribute to MEDLIFE's operations here in South America. I'm so excited to meet all of the students participating in mobile clinics this summer!

Tell us more about this malnutrition project JP mentioned?

Each intern is asked to work on a specific project this summer, and JP and I decided to focus on chronic malnutrition, or "stunting." In May, the government released a new assistance program for pregnant women and children under 5. We met with regional Ministry of Health officials this morning, and are currently in the process of determining how we can most be of help. Meredith is also going to use her media expertise to help us make some educational videos.

What have you enjoyed most about living in Riobamba so far?

Bonding with JP, Meredith, and Martha, of course! Our apartment doubles as our office, so we're always together! Can't get enough. We're hard at work in the communities or in the apartment during the day, and unwind at night by playing Bananagrams or watching Justin Bieber documentaries with Martha. I've had a lot of fun exploring Riobamba as well, and I've fallen in love with the enchiladas at Pizzería San Valentin! Thanks for the tip, Tommy.

Glad you're enjoying those enchiladas, Rachel! We'll be on the lookout for updates from your nutrition project in the coming weeks. Good luck!

June 24, 2011 1:44 pm

Meet the Interns: Minnie

Written by Administrator
Introducing Minnie Dasgupta, one of MEDLIFE's summer interns in Lima, Peru.  Minnie is a star MEDLIFE student member -- she created the MEDLIFE UC Berkeley Chapter 2 years ago and has quickly turned it into one of our most successful student chapters nationwide!  This summer, Minnie will be lending a hand in all sorts of MEDLIFE activities, such as working with our Patient Follow-up Coordinators, leading student volunteers on MEDLIFE Mobile Clinics, and designing new programs for MEDLIFE student chapters for the coming year.
 
Where are you from?
I'm originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, but I live in Berkeley, California during most of the year. I'm going to be a senior at UC Berkeley this fall, double majoring in Developmental Genetics and South Asian Studies.
 
 
Seriously, how awesome are the vests?
 
What is your favorite MEDLIFE memory?
My best MEDLIFE memories are from last summer, when I attended my first two-week Mobile Clinic in Riobamba. I loved talking with all the kids, and one day I remember a few of them asked me how to say all the different colors in English.  They laughed hysterically when I told them we have a word called “purple,” and then promptly ran away to tell the rest of their friends.
What has surprised you the most about Lima?
Probably the fact that there are so many levels of wealth within such close proximity of each other – it's a 20-30 minute bus ride from a really extravagant casino to the most barren and impoverished communities. Also, I've seen at least 3 KFC's here which totally caught me off guard.
What do you like about being an intern?
Learning more about MEDLIFE's goals, exploring a new and exciting culture, and our awesome MEDLIFE vests (not necessarily in that order).
Are you really, really good at the board game Taboo™?
Why yes, yes I am*.
 
Thanks, Minnie.  We're looking forward to hearing more about your work in the coming weeks!
*Statement not yet verified -- we are still waiting to bring some board games to the MEDLIFE office in Lima!

Introducing Minnie Dasgupta, one of MEDLIFE's summer interns in Lima, Peru.  Minnie is a star MEDLIFE student member -- she created the MEDLIFE UC Berkeley Chapter 2 years ago and has quickly turned it into one of our most successful student chapters nationwide!  This summer, Minnie will be lending a hand in all sorts of MEDLIFE activities, such as working with our Patient Follow-up Coordinators, leading student volunteers on MEDLIFE Mobile Clinics, and designing new programs for MEDLIFE student chapters for the coming year.

3-1Where are you from?

I'm originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, but I live in Berkeley, California during most of the year. I'm going to be a senior at UC Berkeley this fall, double majoring in Developmental Genetics and South Asian Studies. 

What is your favorite MEDLIFE memory?

My best MEDLIFE memories are from last summer, when I attended my first two-week Mobile Clinic in Riobamba. I loved talking with all the kids, and one day I remember a few of them asked me how to say all the different colors in English.  They laughed hysterically when I told them we have a word called “purple,” and then promptly ran away to tell the rest of their friends.

What has surprised you the most about Lima?

Probably the fact that there are so many levels of wealth within such close proximity of each other – it's a 20-30 minute bus ride from a really extravagant casino to the most barren and impoverished communities. Also, I've seen at least three KFC's here which totally caught me off guard.

What do you like about being an intern?

Learning more about MEDLIFE's goals, exploring a new and exciting culture, and our awesome MEDLIFE vests (not necessarily in that order)

.Are you really, really good at the board game Taboo™?

Why yes, yes I am*

Thanks, Minnie.  We're looking forward to hearing more about your work in the coming weeks!

*Statement not yet verified -- we are still waiting to bring some board games to the MEDLIFE office in Lima!

Because this is what elementary school kids in Cebadas are using right now:

2-1


MEDLIFE students from Brown and the University of Delaware, alongside local community members, consructed a new bathroom on this site during a Mobile Clinic in March 2011.

When MEDLIFE first started in 2005, our goal was to deliver medical care to those without access in Latin America. As we spent more time in the communities we visited on our Mobile Clinics, we learned more about the myriad problems constraining their residents' livelihoods and preventing them from leading healthy lives. We realized that delivery of healthcare services wasn't the only way that we could help individuals and families in need, so we decided to broaden our work to encompass community development projects. These projects' overall aim is to improve the health and living conditions of individual communities. Always working in collaboration with community leaders and residents, we have since built classrooms, bathrooms, and washrooms in rural and urban elementary schools, and stairways and retention walls for hillside villages. Funding for many of these projects now comes from the MEDLIFE Fund. All public donations and fundraising for MEDLIFE goes 100% to our community development projects.

Rachel Eggleston is a MEDLIFE summer intern in Ecuador. Here's her perspective on a community development project in Chimborazo:

1-1Today, fellow interns JP, Meredith, and I traveled to the rural village of Pull Manuel Laso, Chimborazo, deep in the Ecuadorian Andes mountain range, to check on the progress of a MEDLIFE-sponsored bathroom construction project. We woke up around 7 am and hopped in a taxi, which took us to the bus station. One bus and one government vehicle later, we arrived in Pull Manuel Laso. Francisca Paguay, the director of the community's school, greeted us immediately. Sra. Paguay led us down a trail to the bathroom project, which overlooks the vast agricultural and mountainous landscape typical of many communities in rural Chimborazo. When we arrived, several community members stopped their whitewashing to greet us. They were eager to show us what they had accomplished since Martha (Director of Operations, MEDLIFE Ecuador) last visited.

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