Settling In…

After a wonderful 8 day trip to California, an extended break with my boyfriend and a move all followed by a nasty case of the flu I can finally say I am all settled into my new home in Northern Colorado.

It sure is different being out of the city but I am very, very happy.  Not only do I absolutely love having all of the space but I love waking up to the horses each morning and I love the view of the mountains that I have from anywhere on the property.

Copper has settled in very nicely.  Each morning I wake up and take him for a walk around the property.  We say hi to the horses and to the goat.  We already have our favorites – and by we, I mean I have my favorites.  There are some horses that are just lovers.  They want to be loved on and stick their necks so far over the fence that you just can’t help but snuggle up to them.  Copper has warmed up to the big beauties.  He’s still unsure of what they are, but he tests his limits by sitting very, very close to them with his back turned away.  If they get too close he’ll growl.  The huge animals are no match for the tiny 23 lb ferocity of the Shiba Inu, thinks Copper 🙂

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Another bonus of living up here, and arguably my favorite bonus, is being close to Andrew.  We were able to spend so much time together even before I got settled into the ranch.  Now that I’m here we’re only 15 minutes away from each other… much closer than the hour drive, on a good day without traffic, it took for us to see each other for the past three years.

School started up again on the 14th.  This semester I’m doing four rotations — OB, Pediatrics, Mental Health and Public Health.  I’m taking 18 units.  My three theory courses include Nursing Care of the Aging Family, Nursing Care of the Young Family and Nursing Care of the Vulnerable Populations.  This is my last semester of theory courses….. and I am set to graduate on May 11th!  I do have two months of summer practicum/internship in the summer – but as of May 11th, I’ll officially be a UW Nursing School graduate 🙂

My first out-of-town clinical experience is set for mid February when I head to Lander, Wyoming for 5 days at the Wyoming Life Resource Center.

I’m most excited about my 13 day trip to HONDURAS!  I’m traveling with some fellow students from the school of nursing on a medical brigade trip to deliver healthcare to a very rural area of Honduras. By doing so, I am awarded 40 hours of clinical – 20 in public health, 20 in pediatrics. I leave Denver on March 15th and will not arrive back in Denver until March 28th.  We fly into Tegucigalpa, a mountainous area of Honduras.  Once there, we’ll board a bus for several hours and travel to a very rural town named Agua Salada. There, we will spend several days working in a clinic that was built in part thanks to donations and staff working with the University of Wyoming and Shoulder to Shoulder, a non-profit group serving rural Honduras.

From the trip website:

The University of Wyoming seeks to serve the people of Agua Salada, Honduras by building a sustainable health care system for its community. Our goal is to provide a unique and valuable cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, service-learning experience for students from the health sciences disciplines and others throughout the UW community.

Our vision is to improve health outcomes among the people in this remote and mountainous region of Honduras by providing primary health care, public health, dental care, nutrition and education. Our efforts are in partnership with Shoulder-to-Shoulder, a private, non-profit, non-governmental organization that is well established in rural Honduras, having provided health care services to western Intibuca since 1990.

At the core of our work is a sense of cultural humility. We make every effort to develop health care teams who share common values with the community of Agua Salada such as respect for family, honesty, and most especially equality. Our team members are volunteers with a spirit of partnership and caring, always mindful of our invisible yet fundamental human connection. We do not assume paternalistic roles, on the contrary, the lives of brigade members are enriched by their immersion experience.

If you would like to learn more, please visit the following websites:

Shoulder to Shoulder –> http://www.shouldertoshoulder.org

University of Wyoming Clinica de Agua Salada –> http://www.clinicadeaguasalada.org/index.html

If you are interested in helping fund my trip through donations, I’d gladly accept any amount.  The children and families are in great need and while my scholarship covers many of my expenses, it does not cover everything related to the trip (brigade fee, airfare, taxes) and it doesn’t cover the supplies I would like to purchase and bring with me for the children and families.

I’m so excited to take the first step towards achieving one of my lifelong goals — to become a medical missionary.  Though this trip isn’t through church – it will most certainly give me some experience and confidence I will carry with me in the future mission trips I do plan on taking once I graduate and have my RN license.

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