This past summer I was lucky enough to go on a medical service trip to Cuzco, Peru with MEDLife, an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals in underdeveloped societies by promoting medicine, education, and development. As volunteers, we were required to partake in all 3 initiatives, by shadowing doctors and dentists, teaching children hygiene methods, and helping build much-needed kitchen stoves in a village where consistent water and electricity sources are scarce. Being in a country where I couldn’t understand or communicate in the language everyone spoke (Spanish and Quechua) was a challenge. Learning the essential “tourist” words was difficult let alone impossible when working in a medical environment. Nevertheless, being in such a state of communication-vulnerability really opened my eyes to the health challenges of our society and the need to disperse our knowledge and raise awareness regarding communities that do not have access to appropriate and life-essential health care. Maybe I only found it troubling that so many individuals could be health-deprived because it had never struck me before, but this trip was life-changing. It made me want to do more and help more simply because I was provided with an opportunity to see things from a different perspective, a perspective I only think I would have been able to acquire with MEDLife.
When looking back, the entire experience was phenomenal, yet the beauty behind such a trip was realizing that there is an underlying similar goal that all volunteers and organizers had in mind: the want to help improve the lives of others in whatever capacity they can. It paved way for good friendships and good times, making this trip a truly unforgettable, genuinely rewarding, and one-of-a-kind experience.