Kelsey Kusch: Nicaragua & Costa Rica Reflection

Kelsey Kusch was a member of our Adrian College Global Health team this winter break and served in both Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Here is an entry from her day-to-day blog of her time with ISL.

Day 8 – Nicaragua

Nicaragua day 8
View of the city of Granada and volcano Mambacho
Today was the last day in Nicaragua and it sure was a memorable one. We did a canopy tour through a jungle in Granada, Nicaragua by zip lining! There was a total 6 or 7 lines that went up to 300 meters. You could zip down regular, as a crazy monkey (which was completely upside down and was AWESOME), or with an instructor as super chica. It was so much fun and the instructors got a ton of pictures of us all, but they are on the camera so I will post them once I return to the States.
Next we went on a tour of some of the 365 islands on Lake Nicaragua by boat. It’s really amazing how many there are and how many people live on them as individuals. Some of the islands are inhabited by animals only, especially monkeys! We were able to feed a couple monkeys; one came onto our boat and her name was Lucy.
Day 11 – Costa Rica

Pura vida! – a term which means pretty much everything. From hello to goodbye to what’s up to awesome, amazing, out of this world and so on. Today was our last day of clinic. We saw 39 patients in 2 days. The best part was, we saw so many new diagnoses that were different from Nicaragua. Including a few cases of lice, myasthenia gravis, early onset puberty, very large cavities in a 2 year old, mechanical back pain versus neurological back pain, pterigion, and a few different types of rashes. It was bittersweet to finally end our days of clinic. But a wonderful feeling nonetheless because we were able to help a total of 157 people within

CostaRicathe 2 weeks we were here, which is incredible. I am so fortunate and grateful to the people of Nicaragua and Costa Rica for allowing me to continue my medical education through their lives and just for the opportunity to hear their stories.

Another cool thing we did today was have a group meeting afterward and discuss things we learned throughout the last few days, which was great because as we are split up into different triage groups, we don’t always get to see every case. I am also thankful for the doctors and translators we were able to work with for being so patient and understanding with my little Spanish speaking skills and for taking the time to explain in great detail about each diagnosis and treatment plan. I sure am going to miss these countries!

To read more about Kelsey’s experience with ISL check out her blog at: