Name: Suzette Wafford-Turner
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Nationality: United States
University: University of Southern Mississippi
Degree: Molecular Biology, Pre-med
Languages spoken: English and Spanish (intermediate)
Past travel experience: Newbie
Volunteer Abroad: Medical Assistance in Quito, Ecuador
Duration: 4 weeks
Start month: December 2015
Claim to fame: Back on her university campus in the United States, Suzette started a mentor program for girls to connect them with professional women in their field. Great work Suzette, and we’re thrilled to have you in the UBELONG Family!
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become a UBELONG volunteer because it was the best program. While searching for a program UBELONG offered everything I was hoping to experience; a holistic cultural experience with the opportunity to be apart of a greater collective striving to make a difference. UBELONG gave me the opportunity to truly immerse myself into another culture while giving me a perspective at international medicine all for a practical price.
What was your impact on your volunteer project?
My volunteer project was the most hands on and exhilarating medical experience I have ever had. My project took place at a free clinic right before the winter holidays and each day was very busy. On average we saw about 15-30 patients before two o’clock, and a varied amount each afternoon. I was able to learn new procedures, ranging from pre-natal exams to penicillin injections, and perform them the very same day. The best impact from my project was being privileged to see small victories everyday as a result of all the work being done at the clinic.
What were your major challenges?
I honestly did not have a major challenges, I went to Ecuador excited and open to everything and that attitude really benefited me my entire placement. If I had to pick something, I would say that my major challenge was leaving.
What is your favorite memory?
My favorite memory was absolutely December 24th, the night of Christmas Eve. We went to church and saw a beautiful service and spent the evening playing games, eating, and dancing with members of the entire family. At midnight the song Feliz Navidad rang through the house and everyone went around hugging and wishing a Merry Christmas. On that night I truly felt a part of the family and it was so amazing to be able to celebrate an old holiday in a new way.