Making connections

By Olivia Caron


From a trip to the pharmacy to meeting a pharmacist from Bordeaux, France, the camino found ways to infuse my trip with chemical engineering. I arrived in Leon with an eye infection in my left eye that kept me from being able to use contacts and see more than three feet in front of me. Annie and I took a trip to the pharmacy where we were told to check in next door at the optomologist for a quick check in. It was indeed the quickest eye appointment I have ever had. The doctor told me after a few scoldings that I needed a cream in my eye for about a week and that under no circumstances could I put back in my contact lenses. The efficiency and simplicity of the pharmacist and the eye doctor astonished me. Not to mention extremely cost efficient. As I endeavor to join the pharmacy career, I can’t help but think that the system in Europe has a few quality features the United States could benefit from.

Just a day later, I was walking along to Astorga when I happened to meet a pharmacist from Bordeaux, France. I could not by any means consider this a coincidence. As I was able to practice my French skills as well as Spanish, I was also learning about my possible future career. Her simplicity and our ease to chat still amazes me. Time flew by and when we were forced to say goodbye I felt as if I was leaving a long time friend. Sharing a few hours, enduring the same hardships, finding common interests, and feeling the same Spanish sun made us closer. A day and a half on the camino had introduced me to new people and new methods that in some way or another linked back to my studies as an engineer and Spanish major at Virginia Tech.


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