T-minus 5 days
In early October I began the process of applying to become a 2015 Father Smith Fellow. I told my parents of my aspirations to spend the summer abroad and my intentions of applying for one of the fellowships which are awarded annually on a competitive basis to ten Providence College students. My parents, who are use to my rather large plans and dreams, said “if it’s meant to be it will happen” which is their nice way of saying “it’s not going to happen, Kaitlyn so do not get your hopes up.” Determined and with my hopes set high, I began searching the internet for Dominicans who were living and serving abroad. A biology and psychology major, my search was directed towards service sites that included a medical clinic. I have always had an interest in third-world medicine and have desired to travel and assist individuals who have inadequate health care. My search led me all the way to Chimbote, Peru and the Centro De Obras Sociales where fellow Friar, Julia Guerette, traveled as a 2014 Smith Fellow.
Centro De Obras Sociales was created in 1963 in an attempt to alleviate the medical needs of the poor in Peru. Run by the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, Michigan the clinic, which began as a small three room out-patient clinic, has expanded over the years to provide healthcare as well as spiritual care to the needy. Their mission to “serve the Poor with Christian Charity regardless of their economic status” and “give quality medical care with loving concern for those in need” resonated with me and I knew that, if chosen for the fellowship program, I would travel to Chimbote.
Several months, numerous emails to Sr. Lillian in Peru, and many nights spent in St. Dominic’s Chapel praying that it was His will for me to embark on such an incredible journey, I received an email saying that I was awarded a Father Smith Fellowship.
With an open heart, accompanied by extreme excitement, I am now preparing to embark on my month-and-a-half-long journey to Peru. I am so humbled and blessed to be representing Providence College and to have this incredible opportunity at the clinic. This blog will serve as my main communication to everyone back home over the next few weeks and will allow me to show everyone what I am doing while I am away, so be sure to check back often!!
It’s time for me to say goodbye to Providence and hello (or maybe ¡Hola!) to Peru.
Until next time,