Saturday, July 4, 2009

C'est Bon!

Bonjour mon amis! Ca va?

Hah. My french is getting a little better, but not too much:) I need to work on it:)

First of all, Happy fourth of July! I think most Americans do miss home badly today due to lack of hot dogs, hamburgers, fireworks(mainly those!), and family, but today was pretty cool despite the longing for those things. I spent my day at an orphanage, which is always tough, but worth it. I saw one of the little guys from last time who was about Jordan's age, and the last time he was happy and running around and wreaking havoc, but this time he was just clinging to the workers. I looked at him, and his arm was clearly burned around the middle of his fore arm, and his hand had skin hanging off(sorry for graphic content). I saw him and my heart sank. A nurse looked at him(seems like every time I go someone is sick or hurt, but at least we can help) and she said that they were dealing with it really nicely, and if they kept up the treatment, it'd heal up really nicely.

Later, I came back, ate, napped, then went to the US Embassy. We had a potluck, which was really amazing and great food. Unfortunately, I was dehydrated aand my head was killing me. I drank a ton of water and took some meds, and by the time I got back and layed down, I was all better. Funny story- I poured myself and a friend some water, and I sat down, reached for my cup, and BAM- the water spilled all over my skirt. Luckily it wasn't that noticeable, and actually made me feel much better since I'd been out in the heat all day- nice personal AC:) Also, the African fabric I was wearing was nice and dried quickly:) After that I got to do coffee for people, which always makes me happy:)

Now backtracking a bit... Ward updates. Edoh, David, Bligone( another kiddo in that ward) and all of my other new friends have gone home. My ward closed down for a while, and we were getting rid of patients so that we could make more room for others(of coarse they were all ready to go, or we moved them to the hospitality center), so I kinda have been displaced, not to mention the sickness that took me out of the game for about a week threw me off, and I haven't been to the ward in a while. It was a needed break for me to realize 1) why I go, and 2) how much I miss it and need those connections. When I visited Maome's mom(the only one left from the beginning), she was so excited she was shouting and jumping:) I haven't been back since, but I plan to very soon to get my head back on track.

Last Friday, I woke up feeling a little weird. I got ready, got to the Academy, realized our planned field trip was not happening, so I asked to go down and change, and while I did I realized how tired I was and how much my throat was killing me. I went to Starbucks on my way back and got some chai to help soothe my throat, and went on with the day. Around lunch time, I realized how exhausted I was and how I probably should take the rest of the day. In the afternoon we have more teachers because the preschool gets out at noon, so we weren't short staffed, and they told me to go take care of myself. So, I went and napped and hung out. Hannah and I watched Anne of Green Gables, the Sequel that night(which is 4 hours, but wonderful- and the last 10 minutes wouldn't play.. KILLER... GUHH!!), but by the time we finished(at 1am) I'd had 4 cups of tea since dinner, and I was dying for sleep. At that point, I knew it was more than just a sore throat.

Saturday, we woke up at 1:30.. why Hannah slept that late as well, is beyond me- I at least had a good excuse;), then ate lunch. I came back after lunch, and layed down, and that's when the rest of the symptoms started to hit me. I was incredibly achy, I had a cough, and I had a slight headache. I was not feeling so good. I ate dinner like a normal person, happy that my appetite was fine, then watched a movie and went to bed. I was invited to church, so I thought about getting up with the girls, but when I got up at 10, I started to read, and felt 1/2 decent. Then, as time went on, I started feeling worse and worse. I tried to wait up for the girls so I could eat, but I fell asleep. I fell asleep around 12ish and woke up off and on until 5pm- hardly able to move due to such an achy body, and I got up once to goto the bathroom, but barely held myself up on the way. I got on Facebook(God bless Facebook), and imed Hannah, who was up at work so I knew she'd be on, saying I needed help. She couldn't do anything, so I asked her to get our other roomate as soon as possible. I needed the nurse. The nurses are all working and there's no crew nurse on weekends, so no one could come make a house call, which is semi- problematic when you can't move out of bed.

After a while, Emily came and helped me over to the ICU, which was basically the waiting room for me, since there were no patients, and one of the nurses came to me, took my temp and told me to just go back to my room and goto the nurse in the morning. She drilled me and asked if I had any stomach symptoms and if I was taking my Malaria meds, and I said I'd been on my meds regularly, and no stomach problems really(except for 0 appetite). My temperature was high, and my nurse friend, Kathleen, said that my temp had to have been higher than just 100 because of the way I was reacting(chills and hot and cold sweats to the max) and also because my temp was only 1 degree colder the next day and I was drastically better.

The next day, after fighting through the night and finally eating something that Em got for me, I got breakfast in bed( thanks to my looovely friend Emily:) ) and then went to the nurse. She told me I had the Upper Respiratory Virus that everyone else had(the one I said I had escaped the last time I posted) and I just needed rest. At that point, I was getting bored, but fell in love with my book, and sleep, and fared well. The next day, after taking the German equivalent of Nyquil(which serriously felt like taking a shot of alcohol(bleghh) and put me to sleep for over 10 hours) I felt worlds better. I skipped work again because they were on a field trip, but it was a good decision, and just relaxed and did some things that needed to get done for the program, and myself. Now, I still have a cough, but hardly a sore throat, no congestion really, no aches or fever- which is totally a blessing. I will never take my health for granted again on this ship. I do still have low energy, but that'll get better with time.

Now for what I want to do with my life. I have no idea. I thought I did, but I do not. Things I've thought about were a nurse(which I'm not sure that I"m cut out for), or some kind of volunteer with another job teaching or something. My friend Kathleen told me that I'd be an incredible Child Life Specialist, and it's something I'd like to look into. It's basically a person who helps the family and child understand what is going to happen, helps the child cope, and helps to entertain the kids in the wards. I'd get to do some medical stuff, but nothing too crazy(just learning), and help kids. I know I want to be with kids. Adults are cool, but kids have my heart-always have and maybe always will. Anyone who knows me, knows that if a baby is around, my attention is on them:) I feel like I've gone through everything I have medically for a reason- and I think that reason is to help other kids through similar(or different) problems and fears that I had growing up. My situation was a pretty sweet one in the sense that everything went well and I hardly remember anything- great nurses and doctors, staff, my parents were great, and things just were good(mostly;) ). If I can help other kids have an easier experience and come out happy with their experience, I'd be happy. Also, getting to hang out with kids- soo much fun and wonderful job. If I got paid for this.. HOLY MOLY I'D BE IN HEAVEN. Now, there are some problems, such as you have training and an unpaid internship, but I have faith that if that's what's supposed to happen, God will help me there, and my family will support that. I think since I stepped foot in a ward, and my mom saw me, she knew something was going to change, and has been semi- prepared to help me through(I hope:) ).

I'm also hoping to find a sweet job at a coffee shop next year:) I'd love it. Starbucks, or something else that's got a nice atmosphere would be wonderful:) Working at Starbucks, getting free coffee, then going to study- what could be better? ;)

I'm also trying to think of volunteer positions around the area with kids. If anyone knows of any orphanages or places that need help in Baltimore, please let me know. The sooner I get hooked in with someone, the better. I have never ever been happier than I am here- and it's because I feel like I'm needed and I make a difference in people's days/ lives. Nothing is more satisfying, so if I could get linked in ASAP at home, that'd be good for transition- something to look forward to. Honestly, at this point, I'm not wanting to come home and go back to school, but I know that having my degree, and my program will ultimately help me in my job. I talked to Kathleen, and I told her that Actors are amazing people when it comes to relatablilty. Their job is to think about what if they were in this person's situation, how would they respond- constantly putting themselves in someone else's shoes- what better person to help others, no? I think it's a skill God has put in me to find some joy in helping others, cheering them up, and relating with them.
The summer program is going great by the way. It's much more chill than I thought. It's basically just us getting to hang out with the kids while their parents work- so we go on trips to pools, etc, and have a ton of fun. We played with Jello, made slime and bouncy balls all in one day this week!! :) The people I work with are great, the kids are amazing, the families are great:) It's interesting because I never can escape work, but I don't mind:)

Anyway- my brain is fried. If you want to call me, please do. I'd love to talk. I've only talked to my family and maybe 1 other person in the past month.. it's getting lonely. I love it here, but there are times where I just wish that I could go home to talk to certain people ,or see them, or just share these experiences with you guys. I never wanted to go home more than I did when I'm sick, and I'm just praying I don't get sick ever again on this ship.

Alright- well I hope to hear from some of you soon. I hope you read this all, because I put a lot into it:) I love comments and messages and emails- so please please please feel free to put your 2 cents in...PLEASEEE????

I love and miss you all!

The first one is Geraldo:)
The second is me and Julian.
All of my pictures I have are on Facebook- so take a peek, and keep looking for new ones(coming soon)

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