July 7, 2011 4:24 pm

Meet the Interns: Oana

Written by Tommy Flint

Oana Butnareanu is serving as a MEDLIFE summer intern in Lima, Peru. How did she end up in Latin America?  She puts it in her own words:

9-1Where are you from?

I was born in Romania and I grew up in Hollywood, California, but I'm totally Latin American at heart.  I just wrapped up my junior year at Stanford, where I am double majoring in Biology and Iberian and Latin American Cultures.


Why did you decide to be a MEDLIFE intern?

I love Spanish, people, medicine and adventure! I have always wanted to work with underprivileged communities in Latin America, especially in a medical setting, and this seemed like the perfect place to start.

What was your first impression of Lima?

I dubbed Lima “the city of contrasts.” It's absolutely astonishing that places of extreme poverty like Pamplona Alta and areas of relative wealth (by Peruvian standards) like Miraflores and Jockey Plaza can exist within a few kilometers of one another. The people are also pretty amazing; they're some of the most warm and welcoming inpiduals I have ever met!

What do you look forward to most this summer?

Peruvian telenovelas (soap operas)! Also trying the amazing local cuisine and hanging out with all the Peruvian staff here in the office – they're awesome!

Oana's fluency in Spanish has come in handy so far – she has served as the group's translator on a number of occasions. We look forward to having Oana assist with a number of educational initiatives MEDLIFE is launching this summer. Check back here to see the results of her work!

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!

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