wanderlust = n, [won-der-luhst], a strong innate desire to rove or travel about


Ecuador - Krems: international exchange in health sciences

Letzte Woche kam ich bekam ich die wunderbare Möglichkeit durch die Initiative des IMC Fachhochschule Krems internationale Gäste aus Ecuador kennen zu lernen. Drei verschiedene Gruppen wurden im Auftrag der Zusammenarbeit mit dem ecuadorianischen Gesundheitsministerium eingeladen sich in Österreich weiterzubilden. Einerseits setzten sich die ausgewählten 30 Personen mit dem Thema Krankenhaushygiene und andererseits Schulungen von Hebammen auseinander. "Train the trainer" nennt die Fachhochschule dieses Projekt mit den Gesundheitsexperten aus Ecuador und einer ecuadoreschen Pharmafirma Odelga Med. Sie erhielten intensive Einblicke in österreichische Institutionen, konnten sich während des 3 bis 5-wöchigen Aufenthalts in Österreich aber auch intensiv mit der Mentalität unseres Landes beschäftigen.

Meeting the Ecuadorians at IMC Fachhochschule Krems © IMC FH Krems
Meeting the Ecuadorians at IMC Fachhochschule Krems © IMC FH Krems

Getroffen habe ich eine Gruppe von Hygienespezialisten aus Ecuador - von Quito bis in die Anden - in einem Seminarraum bevor sie sich zum Marillenschnaps testen in die Brennerei Bailoni begaben. Um meinen Gesprächspartnern die Möglichkeit zu geben meinen Beitrag auch lesen zu können, schreibe ich von nun an in Englisch weiter:

The typical Austrian?

After we have discussed several issues about their journey to Austria due to exchange and improvement in their own country, I asked the Ecuadorian specialists in hygiene what they have learned in Austria cultural wise. "You are so quiet" When they arrived in Austria at Whitsunday the stores were closed and nobody seemed to be outside. "We are latinos, we are speaking with a loud voice. We celebrate. And we laugh all the time!"

Ecuadorian health experts at IMC Krems

Serious faces...

... but their heart in the right place! Austrians seem to be very busy and stressed out walking down the streets of Krems. But when someone of their group has been lost or they needed some help, there has always been a serious looking Austrian helping out and calling Mr. Schulze, who took care of the two groups visiting and staying in Krems. He is also the one taking pictures of the group, for his archive and the university: click here for more pictures!

Furthermore, Mr. Schulze visited their institutions beforehand to get in touch and to analyze which challenges they have to deal with at their working space. These differ from basic hospitals to general hospitals in larger cities. Fascinated of the sizes of our hospitals in comparison to Ecuador, the group told me that towns like Krems would have an amount of approximately 25 hospital beds for 25.000 inhabitants. "Train the trainer" seminars gave these health experts an intense insight into the Austrian health and hospital system. When I asked which parts of their journey were most important for their professional life, their answer was concordant: exchange with Austrian institutions and exchange in-between their own working community. Since the selected experts are working in different hospitals in different parts of Ecuador, they have different needs and a broad variety of challenges. Whereas some of them are challenged to live and work in the Andes, others are inhabitants of the capital Quito or the Sierra or live at the Amazonas.

Ecuadorian health experts at IMC Krems

What a landscape! 

How are you feeling about Austria? Aside of the unemotional faces and our hang to be very quiet, our hospitality and the way we are always on time (or even too early!), the Ecuadorian health experts were more than impressed of our landscape. Of course they have got the Andes, the Amazonas, Galapagos,... but when I asked them about cultural experiences they have collected here, they said, "I was really happy to see where Mozart was born."

I had a great time to talk to cosmopolitan people, interested in different cultures and in improving their special fields, learn from each other and get inspired. You inspired me! 

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