The medical program at the University of Guayaquil really is a great and challenging program, but the lack of resources is just amazing when we are so used to such excess in the United States, even at rather small universities. Here are a few interesting things concerning Wilson's studies in Guayaquil:
1. He has 10 classes at a time!!! So, Wilson actually takes 10 classes a week and they are year round classes, not semester long. He has 7 lecture classes and 3 labs. Obviously, the most challenging and time consuming class is anatomy, but Wilson also spends his time studying biology, biophysics, embryology, histiology, and a few more he told me in Spanish and I can't really translate (b/c I don't understand the words in Spanish or English!). Ha!
2. Students find and share REAL bones!!! Because the school doesn't have the resources to provide models of the bones and all, students just find them somehow and share. Wilson brings home these bones that a friend gave him to use to study. I still don't exactly know what it means that they "find" the bones, but I decided I might not want to know so I stopped asking! :o)
3. They have to rent cadavers!!! Again, the school has 100's of students but very few cadavers. In his lab classes, there are about 60 people crowded around one cadaver with everyone trying to see. So, Wilson and some friends get together and rent cadavers for a few dollars and go when the whole class isn't there with one of the assistants and study. Yikes! How bizarre!
4. Copyright laws clearly do not exist here!!! All of the textbooks Wilson has are copies. They buy them on the street just like you buy a Coke or an icecream. You can pay a little extra and get color copies which Wilson decided to do for a few of them so that he could see the pictures better (especially since the school has no models for them to use!) He was a little worried to spend the money, and I just laughed and told him to go for it. It was only like $30. I told him that in the States, he'd be paying $150 per book or more (not to mention he doesn't have any kind of tuition at all here!).
But, Wilson really is loving it. He studies really hard and is one of the top students in his classes. I've seen him get stressed a few times, but for the most part, he's just completely in his element. It's amazing to me that anyone could get that excited over bones, tissues, and muscles, but I guess he feels the same way about me and Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Milton. Ha! :o)