Gabriel is studying at the University of California, San Diego pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Health. He joined the VACorps program in June 2022 and participated in a public health internship at an NGO in one of Cape Town’s townships.
“As a global health major, I wanted to come to Cape Town because of the diversity, and the developing field of medicine in South Africa as a whole. I was able to learn a ton from my internship, as I was able to participate in lab work, which is something completely new to me. This involved conducting various diagnostic tests on participants as well as learning about research in general. My goal of being immersed in a foreign health setting was achieved!
While here in Cape Town I especially enjoyed the amazing hospitality of the South African people. The individuals that I met both at work, or out on the town were really what made this place so special to me. Perhaps the best example of this was on my last day of work, while my coworkers and I enjoyed a celebratory cake, they all gave me hugs and were singing my name as they told me how I will be missed. I was here for about two months and will miss the South African people more than anything. It is such a happy and joyful culture compared to what we have back home. People here rarely seem to stress and are always looking to have a good time. I think that two months was the perfect amount of time for me, and if others were coming I would advise them the same. Another tip I would have for them is to bring their most trusted medicines, in case they get sick.
The VACorps staff are truly wonderful. So helpful in all situations, as well as knowledgeable and caring. Never mind the fact that they are all so much fun to hang out with on the Friday activities! They were some of my favorite people that I met here in SA and I could never speak highly enough of them. They are the best part of VACorps, and took us out on wonderful adventures and taught us all about the culture we came to be a part of.”