The Food: during our month in San Pancho we dined at nearly every restaurant. I was surprised and delighted by the variety of food we found here. We even had a special dinner prepared for us in a local home as well as a private cooking class where we learned to make huevos rancheros and tortilla soup.
The Beaches and Sunsets: really do not require any words. There is nothing quite like sitting on the beach listening to the waves crash against the shore. The sunsets here are simply remarkable. Watching the sun set was one of my favourite ways to connect with nature and reflect on my experiences throughout the field school.
The People: Spending four weeks in San Pancho allowed us to become fully immersed in the community. The residents welcomed us with smiles and treated us like family. We are so blessed to have been a part of this community for an entire month. I cannot wait to return!
The Relationships: This year our field school was fairly large. We had three junior students (myself included), eight senior students, three alumni and three educators. This group, coupled with volunteers from the local community, served as role models and inspired me with their professionalism and altruism. I could not have asked for a better group to share this experience with. I have formed bonds that will last a lifetime.
The Personal and Professional Development: As a junior student, seeing my first clients here in San Pancho was an eye opener. These clients were more complex than any I had yet experienced back in Canada. Adding to this, we needed to complete their care in a much shorter timeframe and under challenging conditions. The ability to achieve what we did in such a short timeframe and receiving so much gratitude from our clients was tremendously rewarding. I have developed my clinical skills and my ability to work with more complex clients, leaving me more prepared to care for my clients as a senior student next semester.
The Dogs: Okay, I know I said “five favourite things”, but how could I leave this one out? During our month in San Pancho we were surrounded by dozens of “street” dogs. We fell in love with all of them, and one of the students in our group has adopted one (Lola, in the top right photo)!
By: Kyla Oshanek, Camosun College. Winner of the 2016 Stories from Abroad: British Columbia Study Abroad Scholarship.