Friday, July 30, 2010

What We've Been Up To

I've decided that summer time is the worst for trying to keep up with a blog. I just want to be outside all the time! I'll take 100 degree weather ANYDAY over winter. I also realized that I hadn't blogged in so long that my wallpaper had expired. How sad! Anyways, here's some pictures of what we've been up to lately along with a smancy background (just for you, mom!)

A trip to the Outer Banks with this wonderful family

You have no idea how hard this was to do for our family!

Day One at the beach=needed a little bit more of a tan before I hopped in a picture

Relaxing with my favorite sibling and cousins

Denali celebrated his first birthday! Too bad we forgot about it:-)

My latest project around the house: I hung pictures up our naked stairwell and I love it!

I even crashed the Brose family vacation for a little while at VA Beach

King Family Vineyards in Charlottesville with the Reusses

LOVE my in-laws!

A little rock-climbing for the boys

Running around Maymont Park

A visit from my FAVORITE little man, Rader

And of course his mom and dad-- Life long BFF's:-)

Today is consisting of a run (as soon as my husband wakes up), a trip to the river, and a wonderful dinner at Cous Cous. is good:-)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Guatemalan Recap

Well, I have been avoiding writing my Guatemalan recap for quite some time and the fact that I just finished it and then blogger deleted 2/3 of it does NOT make me a happy blogger:-) It's just always so hard to recap a trip that had so much stuff going on! Or one where every day of your 8-day trip held a different experience. So here is my best attempt (the 2nd time around) at a recap:

The Medicine: Every day we would wake up around 6 or 7 and drive about an hour to some remote city/village. We would set up our clinic in a church or community center and would usually see about 150-200 patients a day for basic primary care medicine. They were really long days, considering we had about 3-4 stations set up with a provider, a translator, and usually about 2 or 3 Lee students. We even had a station with Dr. Veenstra pulling teeth. We saw tons of upper respiratory infections, GI parasites, skin infections, and even some pregnancy checkups (my favorite!) just to name a few. On a sad note, we saw many, many things that we could not cure. There were people that traveled far to have us check out tumors and other life threatening diseases when sadly, the most we could usually do was to give them some ibuprofen and pray with them. I wish we could order bloodwork, imagine studies, and other tests, but we just didn't have the means. That was probably the most frustrating thing about the whole experience. The fact that we couldn't do more for these precious people. That just becasue they lived in a 3rd world country, they didn't have access to the healthcare that our country gives. But that leads me well into my next subject:-)

The Faith: The people of Guatemala had such great faith! I think most of them practiced Catholicism, but everytime we asked a person if he/she knew Christ or believed in Christ they would say yes. If you asked them if they drank alcohol or had sex before marriage, they would look at you like you were crazy! We would always pray with them after we finished giving them medicine and depending on the village that we were in, they would usually cry just at the idea of you wanting to pray with them. That was probably my most favorite part:-) We even had the opportunity to go to a Spanish-speaking church one night. It was so cool to experience Christ in another language!

The People (Lee): The group consisted of about 2 physicans (over the course of 2 weeks), 2 NP's, 2 RN's, a pharm tech, Dr. Veenstra (the Lee teacher/dentist), and about 20 students. Most of the students were pre-med or pre- medical profession. I loved answering all the questions they had about "real life" and NP school and all the stuff that I have done to get where I am now. These kids were so bright and I'm excited to see where they end up in the future. And of course that is possible, since we are all facebook friends now:-)

The Travel: This might have been potentially the worst part of my trip. I really love traveling but I was super scared about traveling to a 3rd world Spanish-speaking country. And rightfully so.... My plane landed Friday night around 9pm. The Lee group was supposed to have landed around 8pm and were to have been waiting for me at the airport. Well they kind of usher you straight out of the airport and into a gated area with about 300 people all waiting to pick up their loved ones from the airport. It was chaos. And there was no Lee group. And I waited and waited and waited. I even had someone come up to me and ask me who I was waiting for and then proceed to tell me that they SAW someone holding a Lee sign up but those people were gone. Then I freaked out. I called Adam from a stranger's cell phone and started crying. Thanks to Teri (who is a travel agent), they let me know that the group had NOT let me but their plane hadn't landed yet! I ended up meeting up with them around 11pm and breathed a HUGE sigh of relief. I traveled out of Guatemala with another lady and her daughter that had to come back early and we thankfully did not have any problems. Next time, I'm learning Spanish.

The Sickness: Of course everyone must get sick when they travel oversees. Hannah Baldwin begs to differ with me:-) Around Tuesday night, it began. The diarrhea/vomiting/grossness of everything. I was up a complete night partaking in all of these glorious things and when I woke up in the morning, I didn't feel much better. Thankfully, we had an off day from clinic so I was able to sleep alot on the bus and walk around doing a little bit of shopping. The worst part might have been the Phenergan shot that I received in the wrong location. I say "in the wrong location", because it hurt sooooo bad going in and here we are 3 weeks later and I still am having pain/numbness in my left hip. I think over the course of the trip, everyone I knew got sick just a little bit. It goes to show that you what kind of conditions these people are living in.

All my pictures are on uploaded on here, so if you want to take a look, check them out:-) When asked if I would go on the trip again, the answer would have to be yes (if I got to take my friends and husband along!) It was an awesome opportunity to get to serve these people with the skills/knowledge that I already had. I would encourage all my medical friends to do something like this at some point!