Intern Follow Up - Elizabeth, MSVU and PIER

ACIC would like to continue our intern follow up by featuring Elizabeth Lee who in Canada was working with Mount Saint Vincent University and in Honduras, Elizabeth has been working with Partners in Education Roatan (PIER). For more information on MSVU and PIER, and to read Elizabeth's original blog, please click here.

Let's see what Elizabeth has to say about her internship so far!

What has your internship been like for you so far?

My internship has included a variety of nutrition settings that are new experiences for me. I am visiting different rural communities and collecting anthropometric data on children. I am interviewing parents and learning about the local diet in Roatan. I’m also working at the local medical clinic and providing nutrition consults to patients by donation.

There are so many great experiences that it’s hard to choose what to write here! I am loving trying and learning about all kinds of new foods. In the picture that I’m sharing here, I am helping to prepare a traditional “macoy”, which was organized by the local librarian at Partners in Education Roatan (PIER). A macoy is a large soup pot cooked in an outdoor wood fire in which everyone brings something different to place in the soup. For this macoy, there were shrimp, conch, pig tails, chicken, green bananas, coconut milk, and dumplings. The sun sets early here compared to Canada, so in the dark night, only the wood fire and the light strapped to my forehead enabled us to see!

How is it different from what you expected, and how is it like you expected?

I expected an experience in a new dietetics setting, which I am definitely getting here. My past experience has mostly been in acute hospital care, which is highly medical. In Roatan, I am obtaining a more community and public health experience in addition to outpatient ambulatory counselling. I am also happy to set up nutrition consultations by referral at the local medical clinic as it enables me to bring donations in to both Clinica Esperanza and PIER, the organizations in Roatan that are so wonderfully accommodating my internship experience.

I did not realize how touristy Roatan is until I arrived here. It really is a 1st and 3rd world together in the same area. It is difficult to see the discrepancies between the poor and malnourished children and then see the more affluent Americanized sides of town. At the same time, the touristy areas enable us to ground ourselves and connect to the familiar when we are feeling homesick.

What do you predict the rest of the internship will look like?

The rest of my internship will encompass further data gathering and then I will transition more into community nutrition education. There is so much diverse and natural plantation in the area. It feels like every couple of weeks, there is a new fruit or herb in season and something new to discover and try! I will continue to enjoy and nurture the friendships that I have made with many of the other ACIC interns, clinic volunteers, and local staff.

To read more about my adventures and learn about local Roatan food culture, please visit my blog at http://DietitianInRoatan.wordpress.com

Thank you Elizabeth! We can't wait for your return to Canada! See you soon.

This initiative was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) | Ce projet a été entrepris grâce à l’aide financière du Gouvernement du Canada par l’entremise d’Affaires étrangères, Commerce et Développement Canada (MAECD).