Gearing Up for San Antonio

Zina Blog 1

Zina N Abourjeily

MPH Graduate

 If I’ve learned one thing while preparing for our work in Texas, it's to be flexible. While our project has been in flux and often changes, remaining flexible has allowed me to adapt to dynamic and new information. I’ve not been alone in adopting this mindset; my peers, groupmates, and instructors have helped set this tone. Together, we’ve been able to seamlessly (and not so seamlessly at times) shift our approach to serving best our partner organization, the South-Central Area Health Education Center in San Antonio, Texas.

When working with an organization that is both new to you and serves a community that is not your own, remaining flexible has allowed me to keep my priorities front of mind: to help our partner organization meet its goal. I’m hopeful that prioritizing flexibility with our partner’s goals will create a memorable experience and positive impact.

However, despite keeping an open mind, I can’t help but feel nervous about the unexpected. I’ve never been to Texas, let alone the southern United States. Everything is a bit unfamiliar—the geography, the weather, the food, and the social norms. I’m unsure if I have a wardrobe suited for the hot southern spring! But not only am I traveling to a new place, something I have done before, I’ll be working in a new area, which is an entirely foreign experience. While the uncertainty of what’s to come has been nerve-wracking, it has also been exciting as this leap into the unknown is both timely and symbolic. Once I’m on my way to Texas, I will have recently graduated, beginning a chapter of an unknown part of my life.

 As I eagerly lean into the discomfort of this uncharted territory, I try to remember to be flexible!