Thursday, 12 July 2012

I'm back!

Yesterday, after a journey that took place over three days, I returned home from Colombia. I had such a great time! I'm going to miss the country and the people I met but it still feels so good to be home!

I should probably start off by saying that things didn't quite go according to plan. It turns out that I didn't get very much hospital exposure at all. The problem was that I don't have the required insurance because I am not yet at medical school. I was still able to meet a few doctors, and was shown around a hospital, but I was not able to observe the work of any doctors. To be completely honest, I wasn't too disappointed as I know I will get plenty of experience in hospitals come September! It also meant that I had more time to get to know Colombia, which really is a beautiful country! Below are some photos that I took in different parts of the country. 
The top row is from Bogota, the second from Medellin and the third from Pasto and Narino.

I was very close to missing out on Las Lajas (bottom-centre) but luckily I managed to go on my last day in Pasto. Phew! I would have been devastated if I hadn't because it was truly amazing. Another exciting thing that happened in Pasto was that I ate the popular dish called "cuy". Here's a picture:
Can you guess what animal it is? I'm not ashamed to say that it's a guinea pig and it was delicious! I don't quite know how I'll react the next time I'm see somebody's pet guinea pig though.

Despite feeling pretty nervous before my trip, I feel I got so much out of it. I still have a long way to go but my Spanish has improved immensely. I'm surprised by how much I picked up just by hearing the language everyday. Also, it's strange because I believe it has made me more confident as a person. Maybe it's just because I can be a little shy and nervous at times but after speaking a foreign language everyday for the past month, it has made me realise just how easy it is to speak English again. It's hard to explain but I definitely think I will have less problems in certain social situations now.

I do miss Colombia, and hope I can return one day (there is still so much of the country I would like to see), but I think one month was just enough time. I didn't feel homesick but as a 17/18 year old travelling alone for the first time I was satisfied with a month. It feels so good to be back in my own bed again and I'm relieved to say that my cat hasn't forgotten me. Embarrassingly, that was one of my biggest worries as I do love my cat!

One another note, I wasn't entirely sure where I would go with this blog when I first started, but it's already clear that it won't be solely dedicated to medicine. I plan to write more advice posts to hopeful medical students but aside from that you'll have to put up with these personal posts until I'm actually at medical school. After reading some other blogs though, that's not necessarily a bad thing though, right?

P.S. Paris-Orly airport is bloody horrible!


  1. wow.. seems you had an amazing time in Colombia. Pictures are really very beautiful! Love it! BTW those are big potato in the dish?? They also serve the face??

    1. Yep, that's the face to the left of the three potatoes. It was a wee bit unsettling!

  2. oh wow, believe it or not when I visited Ghana, I tried Guinea Pig too! Only they called it Guinea Rat, but I am pretty sure it was the same thing hahah! That was a few years I am a vegetarian, and it's weird...but guinea rat is the meat I miss the most!! So embarrasing to admit lol! I was thinking about taking a medical adventure to Ecuador in the spring, so this article for sure helped put some things in perspective ^_^ thanks!

  3. I'm glad you found this post helpful. I visited a town called Ipiales in Colombia, which is very close to the border with Ecuador. I didn't manage to cross the border though. I hope you have a great time!