How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I got involved with MEDLIFE after seeing a presentation by Nick Ellis at the University of Leeds; I was in my final year of a Politics degree and couldn’t see what I was going to do with it. After hearing about the work MEDLIFE does in South America I realised that this would be an opportunity to experience some of the abstract concepts I’d spent four years studying, in reality.
What was your first impression of Lima?: My first impression of Lima was solidified in my car journey from the airport to the neighborhood where MEDLIFE is based, from the chaos of 8AM traffic: bumper to bonnet cars, bikes and buses all beeping at eachother while constantly changing lanes, to speeding past the Costa Verde with gorgeous beaches and the first surfers of the day, and finally into the relative tranquillity of Surco district with palm treesand flower beds. It seems to me it’s a city with many different faces.
My favorite part so far: My favourite part has been the surreal lunch of raw fish-ceviche- a couple of hours after landing, with the other interns whose faces I knew from video calling but had never met before, bizarrely I feel like I’ve been here for ages.
Name: Arthur Sharples
Hometown: Oxford, England
School: University of Liverpool
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I stumbled across the organisation whilst looking for something to do for my year abroad.
Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in Oxford, England. I became interested in this kind of work when I travelled to South Africa, after finishing high school. While I was there I worked on an academic study in the peripheral Townships of Cape Town. The poorer areas that the work took me to, whilst being some of the most vibrant and energetic that I’ve seen, opened my eyes to the realities of poverty. Why did you decide to become an intern?:I was interested in coming to South America and doing something practical, so it seemed perfect.
What was your first impression of Lima?:It’s huge and there are a lot of cars, but it has a great energy to it and a landscape like nothing I’ve seen before.
Name: Elizabeth Beattie
Hometown: Inverness, Scotland
School: University of Aberdeen
Major: Politics and International Relations
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: Nick (founder of MEDLIFE) got in touch with me with the idea of bringing MEDLIFE to my University as I was President of a society that held similar projects on a smaller scale; volunteering in local initiatives. I became aware of MEDLIFE’s year-long internship programme and jumped at the opportunity to work with such a worthwhile organisation. I am passionate about helping others and through this work I can learn firsthand about alleviating poverty, whilst also experiencing the rich South American culture.
Tell us a little about yourself: I am currently in my third year of studies but decided to take a year out in order to gain practical experience of the issues discussed in my classes to gain a more rounded understanding. I have a passion for travel and experiencing cultures outside of my own and my goal in life is to work with local communities to help alleviate poverty and key to this is to understand how other cultures work. I have seen so many times how badly ‘international aid’ can be done and I am enthused to be working with an organisation that is doing it the right way: working with local doctors, community leaders and representatives and listening to the people on the ground.
My favorite part so far: Visiting the various communities MEDLIFE works with has been very interesting. Understanding the differences between these, seemingly similar, communities is very important in order to provide the most beneficial relief. Following the process from the first meeting with new communities right through to the completed staircase projects and continued in patient follow-up has been an eye-opening experience into how to conduct aid the right way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.