Thursday, June 24, 2010

sooo...its kind of embarrassing that I haven't posted anything on my blog since November of last year! I guess you could say that I was kind of a failure at the whole blogging concept, but I am going to continue to work on this :). The first step to fixing a problem is recognizing their is a problem, right?! This year has been such an amazing experience, and I could not have done it without the support, love and prayers of all of my friends and family. I had the opportunity to travel almost all of Central America, work with some wonderful organizations and really grow immensly as a nurse and a person. Even though I started off in Nicaragua, I finally settled in Guatemala, where I spent the majority of this past year. Primarily, I worked as a Lab tech, spotting parasites in the poop of malnourished kids. Sounds fun, huh?! I also worked with traditional Mayan birth attendents, understanding the customs of their ancient practice. I visited a total of 6 organizations during the year, and documented everything through photography. In March, of this year, I put up a photography exhibit, showcasing all of my pictures and it was a great success!
Right now I am working as an ER nurse at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital- this is turning out to be an amazing experience- its not great that accidents happen, but I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing group of medical providers. I hope that God gives me the strength to be able to work hard there. Also, I am working continuously on my photography- if you are interested in checking out that project, just go to or if you are in Xela, Guatemala, just go grab some coffee or a mojito at EL CUARTITO (next to the dispensa) and you can see my art on display. I am headed back to school as well, to try and wrap up my last year of Nurse Practitioner school at Vanderbilt University. This is exciting stuff! Thanks again for all the thoughts, prayers, well-wishes and encouragement. I appreciate ALL!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Primeros Dias con Primeros Pasos

Here are some photos in and around the clinic where I have been working. The clinic is located right outside the city of Xela, where I live, and every morning my friend, Katie (a Family Nurse Practitioner from Emory, who is volunteering also) and I take the 30 min walk. Its nice on our lungs when it has recently rained here, because when it's dry the 30+ semi- trucks pass and kick up huge clouds of dust. The clinic is run by volunteers, for the most part and I am told that after being started a few years ago, they have sustained themselves almost solely on the contributions of donors and the works of volunteers. On a regular basis, the clinic services primary health care needs, and in addition, they organize traveling medical clinics. These traveling clinics visit the local day care centers, and the doctors and nurse practitioners examine all of the children, distribute needed medicines, soap, and toothbrushes. We are currently conducting these clinics and will be for the rest of this week. I am around for general help and education. After the child meets with the doctor, they come and visit me and we talk about

Jalapa, Guatemala

I partnered up with Iglesia Evangelica Betel in Xela, Guatemala and traveled with some members of their congregation to bring food, clothes and other donations to the town of Jalapa, Guatemala. We traveled for nearly 8 hours and when we arrived, we were greeted warmly by hundreds of people who had lined the streets. Before the trip, I was told that the community that we would be visiting had suffered a series of extreme rain and droughts and that some in this community were in great need. The combination ruined the crops in the village and the people there have felt the strain. The people seemed excited for our arrival, some had made food for all of us, others were in their church clothes but all had huge smiles and warm welcomes. As soon as we arrived and had unloaded all of the food and clothes, we assembled in the large saloon area. Packages of food and clothes were passed out to over 400 families (over 1000 people) and, later, the leaders from the church gave a sermon. It was a wonderful experience to be a part of- delivering aid to those in need. It was most impressive to watch some come to Christ that day- there were almost 10 who converted to Christianity that day. Praise God for such an amazing day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13, 2009

Hola from Guatemala,
Just a quick note to say 'hello'- I arrived in Guatemala safely and am now in Antigua, Guatemala. Today, I will be going on to Xela, where, hopefully, I will be getting settled into my home for the next few months.

MY plans for my time here include living with other volunteers in a 'co-op'- From what I have seen of similar places, most of the people living there are American, Canadians, and Europeans. We live for cheap and all volunteer in the community in some capacity-There are also house chores and responsibilities. I will be volunteering through the same organization that is providing the housing. They specialize in getting people connected with various organizations, mostly NGO/NPO (Non-governement org/ Non-profit's). They have connected me with Primeros Pasos, which is a clinic, close to Xela. I am hoping to work with Vanderbilt's Global Health Scholar, who is there to start a clinic serving women and children in the are. This is really exciting for me to get the chance to work with this group, as I plan to apply to the Global Health Scholar program also when I return to school next year. Scholar recipients receive a grant to start a clinic in a medically under-served and developing area of the world.

Global Health Scholar Program-


Primeros Pasos--

I also will have a cell phone while I am here, so if you have a great international plan, you can call me anytime! (Here is my correct #, I gave some of you the wrong 1st 3 #'s- sorry!)
Mi #- 011-502-5338-3565

While I am in Xela, I need prayers for discipleship, strength, serenity, faith, safety, wisdom and a voice that is guided by the will of God

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Remembering my Grandmother

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." -John 3:16

My grandmother, a woman of great faith, begun her struggle with dementia a few years ago, but she never lost her loving nature and beautiful smile. I returned back to the US 14 hours before she died on September 20th at 6am. One of the last memories that I have of her, before I left for Central America, was when she would close her eyes and recite Bible verses- John 3:16 seemed to be a favorite of hers. Now her suffering and pain is over and she is with God. She was an amazing blessing in my life and a living reminder of love's imperative.

Xela, Guatemala- Aprendiendo Espanol

WOW! Xela (aka. Quetzaltenango) was a wonderful experience!- I so glad that I let my friend, Stacy, talk me into paying extra to study Spanish where I really wanted to. I studied at Sakribal Spanish School for almost 3 weeks. Their Spanish program included living with a family as part of the full immersion objective. My three weeks were full of plenty of salsa dancing, futbol games, wonderful food, new friendships and, of course, learning Spanish.