Alejandra Marquez Loza recently graduated from Oregon State University with an Honors B.S. in Bioresource Research and a minor in Chemistry. During her final term (Fall 2013) as an OSU student, Alejandra received a scholarship from IE3 Global Internships and interned with Child Family Health International (CFHI) in South Africa.
Fear is temporary, but regret is forever. That was the slogan for the Bloukrans bungee jumping advertisements that really got me to just go for it. Prior to arriving there I really did not think I would actually jump off the highest bungee in the world! Once there however, I just thought back to all my initial fears of what being in South Africa might be like, and how none of my worries had proven to be true. Just as I had conquered those initial worries and worked so hard to overcome the obstacles it took to be interning in Africa, I felt I could not pass up the opportunity to conquer another fear. I decided to jump. The first 2 seconds felt like the most terrifying moments of my life but afterwards came a strange calm followed by an extreme adrenaline rush. I was on the top of the world. I felt that if I had conquered that initial fear, I could really do anything I set my mind to.
During the ten weeks I spent in South Africa on rotations at hospitals, clinics and outside of work I found that the moments where I learned the most were when I placed myself outside my comfort zone and took leaps of faith with uncertainties. Cape Town and Durban were not what I imagined before arriving there but far exceeded any expectations I had. I learned to plan for things to go as unplanned and embrace the moments of discomfort. There were often little fears I had to overcome when I felt hesitant about approaching a doctor, answering questions during ward rounds, or starting up conversations with patients in my limited Zulu or Afrikaans. Despite my initial hesitations, I always felt it was well worth it when, to my surprise, it was such simple acts like those that taught me something valuable or that sparked long-lasting relationships.
Follow the link below to Alejandra’s original entry on the IE3 Field Notes Blog: http://ie3global.ous.edu/blog/comments/1364/