During the summer, Jack Rea headed off to Argentina to gain as much experience of the country as he could....
During the summer holidays, I spent four weeks in Córdoba in Argentina with MyProjectsAbroad. My main aim was to improve my skills in Spanish with the added bonus of experiencing medicine first hand — a career which I hope to pursue in the future.
The experience that I gained in the hospitals was invaluable — helping others only served to further fuel my enthusiasm to become a surgeon and pursue Spanish as an A-level choice. Most days I spent talking to surgeons and observing surgeries including trauma surgeries. On days not spent in the hospital, the other volunteers and I gave talks in schools about dental hygiene and taught kids how they can properly wash their hands and brush their teeth. We also played games like football and taught English to the kids in orphanages. Seeing just how little some of the kids have and hearing some of their heartbreaking stories about the loss their parents was a humbling experience and made me extremely grateful for all I have.
Of course, all of this wouldn't have been possible without Spanish lessons during the day. They lasted from four until half six and, for the most part, we concentrated on medical and conversational vocabulary but also extended into some grammar and media reviews. Our weekends were a time to relax and enjoy the country. On some mornings, we were given the opportunity to paint some of the poorer hospitals.
It is certainly hard to describe everything that happened but overall, the time I spent in Argentina has been invaluable. After the 4 weeks, I had picked up much of the Argentine dialect and local idioms, greatly developed my understanding of medicine in a third world country and vastly improved my conversational and people skills which will undoubtedly help me in the long run.
Jack Rea (Y13)