Alex Troyer’s Intern Journal

alex2My name is Alex Troyer and I’m a junior at Eastern Washington University studying Therapeutic Recreation.  In the future I hope to go to graduate school to study Global Health, so when I came across MEDLIFE while researching NGOs here in Peru, it sounded like a great opportunity. Learning about its focus on improving medical health for the poorest communities in Peru and elsewhere, really impressed me. I knew it was an organization I would like to be a part of, and one that could offer me insight into how global health research can contribute to community development.

From a young age I have strongly believed one should always follow their heart, take life one day at a time, to never give up, and travel whenever you are able. I believe that people should always donate to local charities or non-profits. If you don’t have the money, than volunteer. If you don’t have time to volunteer ,make the time.  In today’s society, people are a little too wrapped up in their non-stop working lifestyle that they forget to take a step back, relax, and help others.

It was the chance to study abroad through my degree that originally led me to Peru. During my freshman year in college, I decided I wanted to take an adventure to a country that could possibly change my life. I had three criteria for picking a country- I wanted a big city, it needed to be close to a body of water, and it had to be somewhere “unusual”. Somehow, I came across Lima and it met all three of my measures. I brought a plane ticket and off I went. Even though I was in Lima to study, I also got opportunities to travel and see all different parts of Peru for 7 months. Once my seven months were up, I knew it wouldn’t be long until I returned to Peru, its culture and life style was one I fell in love with. As soon as I had the chance I was back again to visit friends in December 2013. It was then that I began the search for a way of securing a more long term stay here, and a way of giving something back to the country that I felt was giving me such great experiences.

People continuously ask me, “What is so great about Peru? Why do you always go back?” The answer is simple: the lifestyle. The way people live here cannot easily be put into words. One may say that it is very relaxed, while another may say it is chaotic. From relaxed to chaotic and everything in between, that is Lima. I love the countless numbers of taxis, the streets that never sleep, and the nonexistent traffic laws. I enjoy their concept of time and how conversations are more important than a list of things to do. The Peruvian gastronomy is something that I particularly enjoy! Peruvians are the most warming, caring, and welcoming people I have ever met.

MEDLIFE’s, mission statement- “to help families achieve greater freedom from the constraints of poverty, empowering them to live healthier lives”, really struck a chord with me. After contacting MEDLIFE, I was very happy that Tim, the Director of Student Affairs and Communications, offered me an interview.


During the interview Tim and I conversed more about MEDLIFE, its values, and future goals. I like how MEDLIFE takes a comprehensive approach through three main components- medicine, education, and development. I believe this forms a core foundation for someone to live a successful lifestyle. I was so happy to later find out I got the job and was soon going to be a part of this wonderful organization.

I cannot wait to see what is in store for me during my time here at MEDLIFE.  From the office to the field, there are always ways to improve a situation, from something as simple as smiling and having a positive attitude to a situation, to thinking of new innovative ways for development. My overall goal for this internship is to make a positive change and impression within MEDLIFE


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.