As we begin to ready ourselves for 2016, we say goodbye to Project Amazon 2015 that brought us to Parintins, Brazil to bring sustainable hearing care to those in need.
Our last day in Parintins was bittersweet. We ate our final breakfast, packed up our belongings and went straight to the hammocks for our last bit of relaxation before our long day of travel. We said our goodbyes to everyone, Liu (our wonderful cook), Vanessa (the clinic receptionist), and Rildo. Not to mention our driver (and Vanessa’s father), Marshmallow also posed in a picture with all of us. It was sad to say goodbye.
We travelled to Manaus where after dinner, we boarded our late night/early morning flights – Lena and I to Miami and William to Rio de Janeiro. William was a great translator and an even better friend to experience Brazil with. Lena and I said our final goodbyes after getting over the border and making it through customs. Our next flight back to our homes separated us, but a unique experience was something we will always share.
“This has been life changing, and something I will absolutely carry home to my daily practice. Not only have my clinical skills increased (using new equipment, conducting a hearing test with patients who don’t speak English, learning to improvise with limited tools, etc.), but this trip has given me a renewed passion for audiology, and for helping people hear. Getting to experience another culture is always such a wonderful gift, and I am grateful for my time in Parintins, and with the Viva O Som clinic.” – Lena Kyman
Lena and I will never forget this time and feel honored to have been selected to volunteer and do service work. I am more humbled by the graciousness of the people of Manaus and Parintins, and hope I can exemplify even 1 ounce of their kindness and appreciation.
One of the most important pieces of wisdom I have gained from Project Amazon is how to respect and learn from those of other cultures and backgrounds. I hope to take this openness and awareness to all the patients I see in my audiology career, and to all the people I may come across in life. This empathy and compassion is a part of me, forever.
Thank you Project Amazon.