Minerva Fellow Interview: Charlotte Bloom

Charlotte Bloom. Ddegeya, Uganda

1. Where did you go and what was your experience like? 

My placement was at Engeye Health Clinic in Ddegeya, Uganda, and I was incredibly fortunate to be placed there. It was a wonderful and challenging honor to live in Ddegeya.


2. What was your fondest memory of your time as a Minerva Fellow? 

All of the relationships I formed with community members and the Engeye staff. All of the time I spent with the community members, coloring, playing with the babies, and talking with the clinic staff.


3. What did you do during your time? What does the fellowship entail? 

I worked in the clinic, completing simple lab tests, taking vitals, and filling pharmaceutical orders. I played with the babies and the village kids when the clinic was slow. In the past 4 months, my fellow fellow, Joe Hinderstein, and I, worked with the staff and the U.S.-based board to develop comprehensive plans to add maternal services to the clinic. Each day was different, but we spent time getting to know the community, learning as much as we could about the clinic and central Uganda, and ultimately devised plans to make the community stronger–all things inline with the fellowship’s ideals.


4. How has the trip changed you?

I learned what mattered to me, and often these were thing that were far different from what held importance in my life before living in Ddegeya, Uganda.  I learned a lot about perseverance, healthcare, dedication, grit, and global health. I learned about passion, and following my dreams. It gave me passion for global health and women’s health. My time in the village added to my perspective in many ways.


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