I've been back home for a full week now and it has been a lot of fun catching up with everyone I haven't seen in almost a full year! Since I couldn't really get a job for the whole 3 weeks I'm home this summer, there isn't too much to do besides prepare for my trip, help around the house and visit friends! The only thing I have left to do for Tanzania prep is to finish packing and get my malaria meds. I recently found out that one of my trip buddies from Kenya last year has spent a whole 6 months in Arusha!!! So she has been giving me tips on everything to do and see and since I'll be free on the weekends I hope to get out and experience as much as I can. I may even be able to go back and visit Losho or Nairobi for a day or two which would be the best thing ever. I am really hoping it works out where I can, especially if I can see the kids again! If you look at the map, I'm really not that far away- I went on Safari last summer at the Maasai Mara. I also cannot wait to be called a Mizungu again and eat chapati- nothing like being called out for being a white foreigner and eating delicious carbs!
Also, here are the contents of what I received in my box of EWH goodies! Everything from a tool box to Imodium are in it! The lab manual of activities we will be doing and info on the medical instruments we'll be seeing most are included so I've been browsing them and am really excited to start. My soldering skills from electronics will be put to the test! It also contains our partner cell phone which I think is pretty funny! I am still amazed I can get such good service to call home while I'm there. I need to find some way to pack it all into a big duffle bag of some sort- the good thing about that is I'll have a whole duffle bag to bring back gifts and souvenirs. I am already brainstorming ideas for potential fundraising through the things I collect this trip for possible future trips! I also just bought a journal so I will be journaling every day while I'm there just as I did in Kenya last summer. I love reading a page or two out of it every once in a while to remind myself of how lucky I am to have these opportunities.
I had an awesome time finishing my visit in North Carolina including some more beach time, wreath making and trivia night. After that I headed up to Long Island to visit Colin and Webb yet again :D I was happy that my friends were there to accompany me on the last two legs of the drive and were able to visit Long Island and the city- and oh my goodness I will never again drive through NYC! I can never imagine living there and actually wanting a car. It's a whole different way of life that I don't think I could handle coming from a small town like Arcade (especially how much money it is... yikes!). But anyways it was fun to visit and I got to go sailing for the first time ever in the Long Island Sound! While I was there, I ended up receiving two important e-mails. One from EWH and one from UPS. They finally figured out where everyone will be located our second month and hospital assignments! I will be located in Arusha and working at the Mt. Meru Regional Hospital! I've attached the info sheet that they gave us on it if you're interested in reading about it! My partner is Søren and he is from Denmark so I'm super excited to meet him and I'm sure we will be great partners :) Lucky enough, I am actually located at the same hospital that Bob was located last year so I'm excited to get more info from him about the people he met and what tips I can get to make a bigger impact in the hospital. My UPS email was a surprise one saying I have a package coming and then realized it was for what EWH has informed us would be our box to take over with us that has things we will need while we are working.Now back in Arcade, I am excited to visit all of my friends from high school - one of the downsides to going to college so far away, I'm always trying to catch up with everyone!
Leaving Tulane was a relief, but I also had a sense of disbelief that my second year of college actually finished! It's crazy how time flies... and the rumors are true that as you get older it just goes by faster. It was awesome when I finally found out I got a 3.86 for the semester... my best yet! So, Sunday morning after taking 10 trips up and down 3 flights of stairs to pack my car, I finally headed to South Carolina to visit my wonderful sister! It took about 11 hours with two stops so it wasn't too bad. The week was filled with nannying, babysitting, and more nannying- but it was lots of fun because I love kids and obviously hanging out with my sister :) Jack and Jules, the kids she nannies everyday are the smartest/sweetest kids ever so that made it even better! The weather was gorgeous, and most of my time was spent lounging by the pool and playing front yard soccer. We also went to the zoo, it was my first time since coming back from Kenya and it was just kind of strange seeing the same animals but in an enclosed area, still beautiful, but sad knowing where they could be. But as usual the days flew by and I found myself packing up yet again and headed to North Carolina. It was quite exciting arriving because my brother just bought a brand new house and I am their first visitor! Being 10 minutes away from the beach is also pretty nice! Sometimes I wander why I chose to go to school in the swamp lands... but then thinking about it I don't mind because I love NOLA... even if Louisiana is the most violent state in America due to New Orleans (fun facts that I like to forget until the radio brings it up on my drive!). So far we've done hours and hours of shell/shark tooth collecting, ventured over to my very first storage auction (I did not believe they actually existed) and cruised around Camp Lejeune to see where Garrett teaches and takes classes. So excited for one of my best friends to arrive tomorrow to hang out and be my riding buddy for the longest leg of the trip up to NY! 37 days until my summer program begins in Tanzania!!!! Below are pics from all the various activities I've done so far :D
Phew... finally done with exams. Luckily I only had three this semester :) After my last final on Wednesday I've spent my time catching up on sleep, endlessly packing (I don't know how this much stuff gets in my dorm to begin with), volunteering at Jazz Fest and running a few last minute errands before I head out on Sunday. Tomorrow is my last day at A's and Aces until Fall and it will be a long day filled with practice and matches! The weather has been absolutely beautiful as usual and I'm a little hesitant about weather back in NY... I'll deal with it I guess. I am already longing for the winter weather in Africa. Last year it rained maybe 4 times, 0% humidity and around 75- perfect I'd say! The best part is there's barely any mosquitos, I think I saw one last year. Regardless, I'll be taking malaria meds the whole time just as a precaution. The newest exciting news for the trip is that I was just awarded another scholarship- the Jean Danielson Memorial Scholarship. I had received an e-mail through the Honors Program at Tulane April 1st and it had a deadline by the 15th. I quickly got all the materials ready and asked my professors if I could put them down as references to give it a shot because it seemed to fit my program to a T. I budgeted the rest of the funding I'll need when I head over to Tanzania and the remaining amount left to pay back my flight so now I am all set to go! I am so glad Tulane had two great funding opportunities for summer study. My major goal is to have my very own project next summer to be able to once again head to Africa. I am trying to experience as much as I can because I know it gets harder as you get older. Although I am procrastinating/dreading finishing the packing process at the moment, I am super excited to head out Sunday morning to my sisters! Here are a few pics from my very first Jazz Fest. I went as a chaperone for a wonderful group of kids who are a part of a non-profit called The Roots of Music. I hope to have time next year to help out with tutoring because they always need help and the kids are amazing.
Go to www.kupikiatanzania.com for all the details on my cookbook!!!