Saturday, November 20, 2010


Attention all who plan to come to my Grilled Cheese and Company Fundraiser : Pleaseeeeeeeee print out one of these flyers to bring with you so that I actually get credit for the fundraiser!!:) Thanks!! There are also copies availible on the facebook event!! If you have problems- email me at and I"ll send you another copy. I'd love to see you all there, and I'm just hoping its an amazing event!!!:)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quick update for those following.

Surgery is over and I am now recovering. Everything went really well- they actually did more than they had planned, but we're hoping that will help even more. I was doing well until Monday when they took my stints out. It felt like they were pulling my brain through my nose, but I'm sure you dont want all of the details;) It triggered a migraine since it was technically a serious trauma, so it was not a good day for me at all. Pretty awful. Yesterday I spent the day recovering from that and slowly starting to eat food again. Today I'm trying just tylenol instead of percocet, which i'm rooting for so I dont feel dizzy anymore..

Anyway, I'm officially having a grilled cheese and co fundraiser for my trip- look for the event on facebook! It'll be December 16th from 11am- 9pm and all you need is this flyer that says you're there for the fundraiser. Such great food and an overall great time:) Go!!

That's it for now, off to relax a bit more.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Expecto Patronum(just because)

Just a quick update for those following:
I'm sending out another batch of about 50 letters out this week in hopes of getting my final number. I need at least 75% before January 8th, but would love to go in with 100%.

A few countdowns:
Surgery:10 Days- I'm getting my deviated septum corrected- it's almost a complete deviation, so we're hoping it'll help my headaches/air flow and get rid of the issues that have been making me so sick for so many months
Leaving to TX: 73 days
Gateway begins: 76 Days


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Brief Update...

Hello loyal readers,

I just wanted to shoot out a quick update with how things are going for my trip and preparations for January.

So far, the fundraising is going really great. We're at about 3/4 of our goal, but we're finding it tough to make that final push. I'm recommending at this point that people send me money directly, unless the tax exemption is something they'd like to partake in, or unless they want to do a monthly pledge. I'm saying this because then I can put the money where I need it to go, instead of having to request funds,etc. But, if it's easier online- by all means. :)

Right now, I'm taking a few classes at Howard Community College- Intro to Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastries, Adolescent Psychology, and Medial Ethics. Everything is going well- Baking by far takes the cake(no pun intended), but will sadly be over in October. Work(aka babysitting) really picked up in the last few weeks, but has come to a screeching hault this week. It's probably better for this week so that I can relax and bounce back from the cold that took me over on this past Saturday, but alas, it's a little tough to not be bringing in as much money as I was.

This coming Saturday(the 9th) I'll be having a YARD SALE!! So any of you who are yard sale lovers- shoot me a message and I'll tell you where it's going to be. It's going to be my "moving to africa- everything must go' sale. I have a LOT to get done before that, as there are mannny things I never even thought to put up for sale, but I'll hopefully be using some of the days that I have free to work on that. It's been a difficult task deciding what to keep and what to give up, but I think it's been good for me- realizing what things actually hold value and what things are just merely things. I learned that the most precious things to me are certainly things I've written in the past, pictures, programs, etc. But hopefully I'm not keeping more than I need. I'll need to get myself a small storage unit somewhere/find someone to hold on to my treasures while I'm gone.

Other than that, there's not much going on. I'm starting to get nervous about leaving, but nothing has really hit me yet. It shall be interesting.

Anyway. Please keep me and my family in your prayers. As the trip gets closer, Satan sure does like to throw things at me to discourage the pants off of any plans I had.

I love you all and hope at least someone is still reading this:)


Friday, July 9, 2010

You've Left Me Speechless, So Speechless...

Hey everyone! I just wanted to post quickly that I have finally completely updated my webpage: and I now have a facebook page that you should all become fans on(!/pages/Michelles-Trip-to-Africa/112246238821656?ref=ts).

Fundraising is in full swing(or as much as it can be with me 2.5 hours from home). Please consider supporting me either financially or through encouragement or prayer.

I hope you're all well. I"m heading into Session 4 of Dragonfly Forest, which is Hemotology!

Ps- if you haven't already, vote for Dragonfly on Chase Community Giving- only 3 days left and it'd change lives if we won any of the monetary prizes. It cost 70,000 alone to rent the facility we are using let alone all of the supplies. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quick mini-update!!

Please take a look at my updated webpage for fund-raising information!! It has begun, and I have a lonnngg way to go, so please take a look. Im off to camp for 6 weeks!!! If you want to see what my camp is about go to

My webpage: !!!:) Yayy!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hail, Hail, Lion of Judah

I recieved this from one of the dearest people to me on the ship- please take a minute to read it and please keep this young girl, the family, and all of the people on board right now in prayer!

A quick update from a nursing perspective: We've had 3 patients die - 2 of them babies and then last week a patient had a cardiac arrest in the eye room of all places - nothing like that EVER happens in eyes, apart from the week before when a patient had a seizure! A number of patients with weird inexplicable problems affecting their healing and some real sad cases which we just can't help at all.

If you feel at all led to pray for these people, please pray for Lovelace, a little girl from Ghana with the most freaky looking tumours I've ever seen, she looks like an alien.(you may have heard about her from your mum). She was here for ages whilst surgeons deliberated about whether or not they could actually operate on her. Biopsies of the tumours were sent to the USA to see if they are malignant. The biopsies went missing somewhere in transit. In the mean time, it was decided that we couldn't operate here as the type of surgery required was so specialized. Lovelace's father (who was here with her) decided he wanted to take them home so discharged her. There was no point in waiting around anymore anyway, even if the biopsies did show up. One of the tumours is growing into Lovelace's mouth and airway. She is so skinny - you know how that one goes. Let's raise up a prayer covering for her for all that God wants to accomplish in her life.

I'll give a me update soon, but first- finals take over. Keep me in your prayers as well if you could.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why, God. Why today?

My sweet baby girl from this summer, Anisette, passed away yesterday morning. She spit up shortly after feeding but was not able to clear her throat and it was not clear what was going on until it was too late. She was one of the very first patients I met in Benin, the last I saw before I left to come home, and one of the nearest and dearest to my heart. I remember meeting her mama and showing her that I had a cleft lip and palate once just like her sweet baby and I remember very well how excited her mama was to meet me and be around me.

I am so sad not only because my precious girl will never have a chance to live a full life, but also becuase her mama is shamed by all of this. She lost a baby before, she lost Ani, and she is pregnant now. Her husband does not take care of her or support her, and she is essentially on her own. I keep wondering... what is she going to do? I also can't help but be angry. Why would God take this precious 14 month old from us? I know all things have purpose, but this seems so wrong to me. If she had died in surgery or because of an illness, I feel like I'd understand a little bit more, but something so simple that happens to so many babies they are able to clear their airway- why did she have to be a victim. It's nobody's fault. No one could have seen this coming. It think that makes it harder. She was doing so well and had come so far from when I first met her. She had overcome so many battles, and to lose one so seemingly small and insignificant punches me right in the gut. Makes me see how fragile life truly is.

My heart is broken in so many pieces. I know Ani is so much happier up in heaven with our maker than she was here, but she was such a light in so many lives. I accepted the fact that when I left, I would never see my little ones again, but with hope they would live amazing, fully, vibrant lives that they could not live before surgery. Now, I am full with sorrow that my baby girl will not. She is not the first baby I mourned the loss of from the ship, but she is certainly the one who took my breath away both when I met her and when she left us.

I love you baby- keep an eye on all of us left down here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dancin' With Myself

This layout feels better- agreed?

Okay- so, a quick update, then a question for all of you out there.

So, I'm procrastinating writing my Cultural Anthropology paper, which would be super easy if I just did it. Anyway, since school has started and my last post, the only major thing that I feel like sharing to the public is the lovely 40+ inches of snow we got in a week.

We knew the storm, which started Friday the 5th, would be a doozy, but we had no idea we would be getting 2 huge storms in a row. In light of the storm, I decided to stay on campus in order to hang out with my friends. That night, I had some people over for a 'pot-luck' style dinner, which was a blast. Wish people stayed a little later, but alas, they could not. It was still fun:) The rest of the week seemed to be a bust. I forgot that 3/4 of my friends live down the hill a bit from me, and therefore were pretty much unreachable, which really disappointed me, so for the second storm, I went home.

It was nice to go home and see my family- especially little man Jordan:) We never lost power(thanks to Columbia's underground power system) and just tried not to annoy eachother. But, alas, my lack of sleep due to nightmares kinda ruined that. I decided to come back to campus Thursday night because I was just grumpy, plus we didn't know if we'd have school the next morning. It was good that I got back, because I ended up getting some muuuch needed friend time:)

Anyway, other than that and the bad dreams which prevented a normal night's sleep for over 5 days, nothing too interesting has happened. Just pushing through my work, which is proving to be quite overwhelming at times, though manageable as long as I'm good at not getting off-track horrible. Saturdays save my tail most times, though this Saturday is devoted to the Linehan trip, so we'll see. We're going to DC this weekend:) Yay! Gonna be good times with a good friend or two:)

As for other things- Into the Woods is fullll swing now and I'm loving every minute of it. I'm playing Jack's Mother, which is a bit of an upgrade from my original roles(I was cast as Stepmother and Granny). God Bless the person who dropped:) So that's been a nice distraction from previous rejections this semester.

Thinking a lot about after graduation and scared of what is to some, but I know things will work out perfectly. Nervous about my Child Life stuff, but if I dont get certified until I come home, so be it:) Maybe that's not what I need to be doing- who knows.

Anyway- I have a challenge for you all... dun, dun dun, yes a challenge. I'd LOVE to have some kind of weekly or semi- frequent challenge for myself, and am trying to come up with some kind of fun activity to do and then write about every time I do it. Kinda Julie and Julia style (PS LOVE THAT MOVIE- if you havent seen it, PLEASE do). I need suggestions though. Knowing me, just suggest something that you know I'd love to do. Some ideas might include: Watch a movie a week/every other week and write some kind of review, bake something and write about it, try a new recipe a week from some magazine or something and write about it, read a book a month and write about it... something like that? Ideas? Come up with new ones too if you want;)

I'm gonna go work on that paper now:)

Leave me comments on the challenge... pleasee??

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

'You Don't Know, I Know You Don't Know'

My most recent adventures have included a (successful) road trip and moving back to school. My friend Crista and I originally planned a trip to NYC in order to make my trip back to get my friends from their cruise more pleasant. As some of you may remember, the time my car caught fire was the time I was taking my friends TO the cruise. Now, we were supposed to go get them at 9am in NY, and seeing as to do that from MD would cause me to be up at 4 am, I decided that it'd be beneficial to have a trip to NY, see Next to Normal, which was my first Broadway show, and I had been dying to see, and go see a friend from elementary- high school, Camille, who herself is on b-way in Lion King(we didn't have enough money to see that, unfortunately).

We took Megabus(HIGGHHLLY RECCOMENDED!), which cost us only 20$ per person there and only 15$ on the way back(aweesomme), and landed in the city. We had lunch at a fun little place called 'food fight' with my friend, Christea, after getting very lost in Greenwich Village, and surrounding areas. This place was really neat because they had miniature sized foods, such as burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches as well as mini cans of coke and baby desserts. Afterwards, we walked all over the place to get a feel for the area my lovely friend Christea spends her days.

Much exhausted by the extensive walking we had not planned on(but enjoyed), we grabbed Starbucks and parted ways from Christea, heading to Times Square. We hit up M&M world, which is AMAZING, and probably one of my favorite places there, saw this awesome drummer playing on pails, pans, and buckets, went to Hershey world(not that impressive) and sat around.. a lot. We wished we had beds to nap in at that point(the perks which are not included when you have no hotel room). Eventually, we landed at Juniors on 45th street which is RIGHT next to Next to Normal, and ate a great great dinner, and killed a lot of time:)
J.Robert Spencer after the show

There, we met such nice people(as we did around the city as well), and stalked the stage door:) Anytime someone went in, or out, we were always like 'OH MY GOODNESS WHO IS THAT???' and realized we didn't have a clue. After dinner, we went over to the Booth Theatre, and waited, and waited. We met the drummer, who is a temporary for a few months, named Jarod and we talked up a storm with him. A few minutes after the conversation started, J. Robert Spencer, who plays Dan in the show walked by us to enter, so I jumped on the opportunity and said, "HEYYYY How are you doing?' and Crista, awestruck just let out an excited noise:) I kept cool and talked with him for a moment, and he said that he just woke up from a nap, was headed in to eat chocolate and it'd be a great show. So. Funny:)
The side doors of the theatre

We saw the show, and then it was over. Wonnnnnnnnnderful- I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is interested in a thought-provoking, hilarious, and stunning show for only $36. We sat in row H of the mezzanine, but we didn't miss much of anything. Afterwards,we waited at the stage door and met everyone, except for Jennifer Damiano. I mean, do I blame them? After having 2 shows in one day- a 2.5 hour show.. NOOO. Everyone was pretty nice and wanting to leave, but Alice Ripley was exceptional. Wonderful woman, who loves her fans. I hope to be in contact with her because I didn't get to tell her my thoughts. This show has a huge place in my heart due to the parallels to my own life. After that, we met up with Camille, who took us out for drinks, then around 3 or so, crashed.
Alice Ripley after the show signing my program:)

The next morning, we got up, almost missed our bus due to missing our alarms, and my forgetting my wallet at Camille's, but we made it, and got home, where I crashed and was sooo tired.

Since then, I've started up classes again, and was greeted by a rather rude awakening when I was not cast in any show for the department. As a senior, you hope that you will have a place in the shows because, this is it. I was hoping to have one final performance that would just knock the others out of the park- one chance to have a large part and prove that I'd grown. Not that I can't show that without being cast, but it was a huuuuuugee blow to myself as an artist. I felt, and still feel extremely discouraged, and wonder if I've wasted my time on my art. Now, that's impulse reaction- I KNOW i have not wasted my time, and I've learned so much that I can apply to my future career as a Child Life Specialist, but that's how it felt for a while.. well.. honestly.. still does sometimes.

All of that made me extremely THANKFUL for the Musical Theatre Club, who has presented the wonderful opportunity of me being in Into the Woods, one of the most stunning shows I know of, where I will be able to spread my wings both vocally and acting-wise, and I'm so much more excited than I was for the show. It'll be great. As for classes, they're all extremely reading- heavy, so we'll see how things turn out. Honestly, I just want to slam these classes and be done.

For those who do not know my current hope for the next year, I hope to graduate in May(will happen, unless something goes TERRIBLY wrong), then nail an internship at a hospital in the summer, after potential surgery for me, and then have a part-time internship as well as take my final 4 classes for my certificate, take the exam before I leave, and hope I pass. I'm thinking that could open up some great opportunities for me on the ship, but maybe not. All I know is it'd be great to be done with that before I leave:)

Anyway- I'm HIGHLY procrastinating my paper right now, so I'm gonna go do that;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rosa, oh Rosa...

So, I wanted to figure out a place to write this down and keep track, so alas, I figured why not my blog? I wanted to keep track of all of the fun things I've made/baked/ whatever as I'm trying to explore the culinary world a bit more.

Things I've Mastered/ am close enough and count it:
Mac and cheese(from SCRATCH) 3 cheeses, and AMAZING- ask anyone who has had it!!
Lasagne- soooo goood(mom helped)

Now, in this list I am NOT including the things that I already have down pat- chicken, spaghetti, etc. These are new explorations:)

Anyway... I'm excited to get baking my first cake for someone. If you're interested in having me bake something great for a small price(considering it's quality)- hit me up. I just want to know at least a week ahead of time so I can prepare and find time:)

Anyway- I"m off to drink tea, have m&ms and watch Dead Like Me(wonnderful show). And I'm telling you because I knooow you're dying to know. More on other life happenings later

Oh and check this out-
I love it- try out a few songs- they're all very different.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Keep Holding On

Officially, as of now, this blog will not just be about my trips, but about all of the wild adventures of my life.. or.. sometimes, maybe the not so wild:)

To update those of you who do not know my current status with Mercy Ships, I will(hopefully) be joining them again in January of 2011 for Gateway, then from there goto the ship for 2 year. Yes, two. Now, the reasoning is pretty simple:
1)Why not? I'm at the point in my life where there are no strings attatched to me, so why wouldn't I do this. This will not happen again probably ever.
2)It's actually CHEAPER to go for 2 years- it costs about the same as 1 year
3)I get a month off to come home, which I will more than likely use around the holidays. This is great for fundraising, but also to refuel and get myself pumped
4)I feel it's where I belong.

So, I'll be, as of now, working in the kitchen as an assistant cook and I'm hoping to build my way up the ranks.

I've realized my passion for cooking is not quite one that can be containted(thanks to Julie and Julia.. I know.. but I loved that movie), and I feel like it might be one of the best jobs for me, and certainly they're in need of people to be more consistent in the galley.

Anyway, now for the story many of you are more than likely waiting for... the car fire.

Last Thursday, I was supposed to be taking a couple of friends for a cruise in Cape Liberty New York. So me, and that couple along with my friend Ellen loaded up my Buggle(the bug's name), and took off. Not long after our stop at McDonalds, where I said we shouldn't stop because somethign bad always happens(ohhh the irony), we stopped because a member wasnt feeling so well. About 10 minutes after that, the overheating light starts blinking and beeping at me.

We decided the blinking was a warning, not a 'get out of the car now', so I called my dad. He was at work. He didn't answer. So, we kept driving. Five minutes(or so) later, I see smoke pouring out of the back, which we later concluded was coming from the front, but was pushed under the car and came out the back. I got out of the car, tried to find the hood latch, couldnt(thank God) and told everyone to get out of the car. I say Thank God becuase if I had released the latch, there was potential the fire would've been energized much more quickly, potentially exploding the car and me, just gushing up at me, or catching onto the fluid pouring out of the car leading yet again to explosion.

Once everyone was out, one of my friends saw told me the paint was coming off. Much to my horror, I looked and saw that the hood of the car was Bubbling... yes.. you read that right. So, we knew something bad was going to happen and we got all important items out of the car.

I was completely freaking out by this point, but didn't want to melt down in front of my friends, so I took a little walk. I say it was to find the number to call, but really, I just needed to have my moment. Soon, I look over and see my friends throwing lugguage out of the car, and black smoke absolutely pouring out of the front. I knew.

I knew that the car was on fire from my experience on the ship. White smoke is normally not so bad- steam or something of that sort. Black meant fire. We saw a few ships like that, and it's not what you want to see coming out of any vehicle. Soon, I see fire and it got bigger and bigger until finally the fire department came.

Thank GOd for my friends too- I'm so glad that they were as on top of it as they were beucase I didn't think to call the police until my mom was like 'CALL 911 MICHELLLE!!' haha. But, they'd already taken care of it. My lovely friends also got all of my most prized possessions, such as my ipod and some money, out of the car before it went up. Whatever was left was either burned, or had serious water damage- there was about a foot of water in my car by the end...

Anyway, I'm also thankful the car never blew up. My friends were standing so so close to it, that if it had, I dont even want to think about the nightmare it would've been.

It was all so surreal and I dealt as best as I could. I'm happy to say the insurance found that there was faulty part and we are getting over 7k back and they are filing a claim with VW to recall these cars. Apparently many models from 2000 on are catching fire, which is absolutely terrifying, and means I will not be getting another buggle(which is really kind of sad), but I am looking for a new one:)

It's a little bit overwhelming to be looking for a new car, preparing for auditions, getting ready for a NY trip to see Next to Normal(YESS!!! and hopefully I'll actually make it to NY this time), and fixing up my apartment so it's ready to go once I return full-time, but I'm alive, and for that I am so thankful.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'll Stand By You

I will be resuming my blogging adventure in the very new future, so be on the lookout for new posts. In the meantime, please, if you haven't, take a look the posts from this summer which include many of my stories and adventures from that trip. I am hoping to begin processing for a two year trip in 2011, so be looking for details:)