What better way to spend the first day of the year than catching connecting flights from Lima, Peru to Cusco, Peru? For Sigma Kappa’s Heather Bailer and Sarah Swinehart, this was how they spent their first day of 2016, as they embarked on a mission trip to Cusco, Peru with UGA MEDLife. MEDLife is a non-profit organization, and their goal is to give medicine, education, and development to low-income families all around the world. Both Sarah and Heather are currently on the pre-medicine track at the University of Georgia. Heather is also a Spanish minor, which was why Peru stood out to her among the other MEDLife locations. During the 10 days in Peru, students from schools all around the country shadowed different doctors in the fields of general medicine, OB/GYN, and dentistry. MEDLife can help people in remote areas through the use of mobile clinics, which give them the ability to go deep into the mountains in Peru or to large towns of people who have no access to healthcare.
Heather Bailer stated, “What was so different from the United States was the fact that we would get on the buses in the mornings and drive for 2-3 hours. It was amazing driving in the snowcaps of the Andes Mountains, but it was also eye opening in the sense that this is the distance these people would need to drive if they had any sort of emergency to receive healthcare. There truly is a healthcare disparity in certain parts of the world, but I felt very blessed to be a part of a movement that is trying to change that. My favorite part of the trip was without a doubt when I got to teach the little kids in the towns how to brush their teeth, but also their utter excitement when I told them they could then keep the toothbrush since they didn’t own one prior to that.” (Heather Bailer pictured below).