The school year in Nicaragua, unlike that in the United States, follows the calendar year. When we visited students in December, they were completing the second semester of 2019. As is our practice, we met with each class of students currently funded by Adelante Mujer. What was significantly different during the December 2019 visit was the meeting with our students in their second year of medical school.
The difference may be attributed to the fact that this second year class was the largest we have ever had. Students interacted easily with each other and really taught us about the challenges they faced when they committed themselves to higher education and the medical curriculum. The following gives you the opportunity to hear their challenges and the blessings they readily shared.
“We never went to school for a whole day before. In primary and secondary school we attended only half a day. To be in school all day was pretty hard at first.”
“I live far from here. Our little community is on the river. I had to take two small boats to get to a place where I could travel by land to come to URACCAN. I miss my mom so much and she is so far away.”
“Last year 160 applied to get into medical school and of those accepted, the university would advance only 20 into the second year. It was so, so difficult to learn so much. But we did it!”
“Medical school is strict and we are here all the time. We can’t be in good contact with our family and we miss all the celebrations.”
Challenges, students assured us, were balanced by blessings.
“It’s great to be part of a medical career! Getting to see patients and have a relationship with them is special.”
“For me it was very emotional and exciting to qualify for second year studies.”
“We get to join the doctors by going house to house to test for malaria and to teach people about it.”
“I am happiest when I visit medical units and get to practice what I am learning.”
“It was scary to suture but the doctor told me I did a good job and the patient thanked me.”
In February this class became third year medical students. Please keep them in your prayer.
Sister Diane, CSA ~ April 2020