Monday, March 21, 2011

Dreary Day

Who would've thought there would be rainy days in the desert? At this particular moment I'm sitting by a fire while it pours rain outside. Don't get me wrong, the "plants" need it but I need some quality lay out time! Life has been kinda hectic trying to get back to my regular routine after being in Ecuador! It was so weird to come back to America. It was kinda boring at first and then Stevie came to visit for her spring break! We had so much fun! We went to Williams, Az which we found out was only 2 and half hours away and not 3 and half (gave us a little extra time to take a nap) and rode the train from there to the Grand Canyon! It was so fun! I highly recommend it to anyone who plans on coming out west.  Williams is such a cute town which Route 66 actually runs through! After the train ride and the awesome grand canyon (which can not be described) We headed to Sedona. Another great place to stop off at if you have a chance to ever go there! We took a pink jeep tour which was so cool because you get to go down into some small canyons and really get to see the beautiful landscape up close.  It was breath taking. We watched the sunset at Sedona Airport (another great thing to do). I know, I'm starting to sound like a broken record. Just know, Sedona is pretty great.  We then headed back to the great land of Scottsdale.  We found out while shopping around one day that a saloon around here has bull riding on Wednesday and Friday nights.  So leave it to us to go try and find it. We did. And did we look like out of towners.  We were dressed up from dinner so we obviously didn't have cowboy boots and jeans on. This is probably the only time thus far that I have felt like I was back in the south. Just a little bit.  It was so much fun (watching, not riding) the bull rides. And it didnt hurt to watch the cowboys either ;). After a couple more days of shopping and relaxing by the pool we had to say goodbye but not for too long!

This past Saturday, my aunt, uncle, and myself hiked black mountain in Cave Creek and let me tell you. It's called black mountain for a reason. It's pretty much a 1,500 foot vertical climb and I thought I was going to die for most of it.  Don't get me wrong, the view from the top was great, but on the way up I've never prayed so much on a hike.  Embarassingly, my uncle beat me up there but he does run marathons so I don't feel too bad. I was just glad to be at the top and to be breathing. I wish I was exaggerating! One cool thing that happened while we were at the top of the mountain was meeting a fellow Auburn grad who is a veterinarian, lives in Washington part time like my aunt and uncle, his wife was a teacher like my aunt, and he is neighbors to one onf my uncle's good friends.  Talk about six degrees of separation. All jokes about dying aside it really was fun and and another thing I can add to my check list!  

I feel like my time here is flying by! I only have a month left and I feel like I haven't been here a week! The Lord has definitely been showing me a lot while I've been here. This has truly been a eye-opening experience and I've loved every second of it! But I will be glad when I get to see everybody back home! I miss everyone so much!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The First Week and Ecuador!!

Wow a lot has happened since I've posted last! I had my first week of work which went great! I love my preceptor, she is definitely an answer to prayer! I can't wait to get back there and keep working!

Now onto the best trip of my life!

Ecuador is quite possibly one of the neatest places I've been too.  I left Atlanta last Saturday and headed towards South America with no clue as to what was going to happen next!  We arrived in Quito after a 6 hour flight and some interesting in-flight food and luckily my luggage made it! The hotel we stayed in was actually really nice and we had running water and a toilet which was more than I thought we were going to have!  One of the things that you had to get used to right away was that you cant flush toilet paper there. Gross I know and its something thats really hard to remember especially when you have to pee at 6 in the morning and you're half asleep.

The second day we were there we went to the equator which was really cool! They showed us some really neat things that happen because of the magnetic forces from each the north and south poles. One we all know is how the water flows in opposite directions on each side of the equator but right on the equator it flows straight down.  We also got to try and balance an egg on a nail while on the equator which is a lot harder than it sounds! Somehow my egg stayed on the nail and I have a certificate to prove it! ha! The coolest part was standing on either side of the equator and being in the northern and southern hemisphere at the same time!

From Monday to Friday we conducted a health clinic for the women of the community where we educated them on things from nutrition to birth control and everything in between while they were waiting to see the nurse practitioner.  Every day we switched working between different places like the pharmacy, working with the children, triaging patients (getting their height/weight/blood pressure/etc.), and then doing exams with the nurse practitioners.  My favorite part was working with the nurse practitioner, which starting out the week, I was not real excited about seeing as I'm not a huge fan of women's health. But it was so neat to have a relationship with each of the women that we saw and then helping them with their problems and seeing that they left you different than when they came. The women that we saw were so sweet and they were so eager for someone to help them. All they were looking for was encouragement and someone to show them hope.  Throughout the week I would estimate that we saw near 200 women.

On Thursday night we went out to old town Quito which was such a beautiful part of the city. We ate at this amazing restaurant and then toured the city. When we got to one of our destinations a party bus pulls up and it took us around the city and the sights were breathtaking.

On Friday it was really sad to leave the people we had been working with all week who we had grown to know and love. I cant wait to go back soon and see the children we played with and see the women that we helped.

On our last day we got to go to a zip line in a cloud forest.  While we were zip lining we got to see a monkey that was swinging in the trees which was a surreal experience and then we went on a nature hike through the forest which was really neat to see because of all the pretty flowers, little water falls and to see that beautiful places like this still exist.  Then sadly we had to leave to go to the airport to catch a 12:30am flight. Talk about culture shock.

Now back in the US I realize how the Lord has truly blessed my life and I have realized that I love doing medical trips and I will be taking many more.  Please pray for the people of Ecuador, that the Lord will stir in their hearts.  In their society it is very male-driven and the women have very little say in what happens.  This past week we saw a lot of hurting people and I pray the Lord will comfort them in their struggles.

Also, a lot of the kids we worked with are being sponsored by compassion international and if anyone would like more information on how to sponsor a child please let me know!

For now I'm going to bed since I haven't really slept since yesterday morning and then its back to Arizona in the morning!