Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I'm leaving and where I'm going

I think my blog needs some more pictures.  So here are a few that explain what I've leaving behind to go to Africa:

My husband Jacob.  We have been married since August 2010.
My family.  My mom and grandmother are nurses too!
Goldielocks, the love of my life, my first and favorite child. 
Tiger Geiger, who likes to take over my half of the bed when I'm not there.  I don't think he'll miss me at all.
My house in the snow!

 It's going to be hard leaving my home and my family, but I know it's the right choice for me at this point in my life.  Here are some photos of where I'll be going:

The beach in Hawston.  There aren't a lot of photos of Hawstown on the internet, but this one looks lovely!
It's super easy to find pictures of Cape Town.  I can't wait to spend some time there!  Look how gorgeous it is!
I'm a huge fan of Shark Week!  Turns out Air Jaws is filmed in False Bay, right where I'll be!  I'm definitely hoping to catch a glimpse of one of these guys leaping out of the water!  Don't worry, Jacob, I'm pretty sure that's the seal decoy in his mouth, not a real seal.

 That's all for now!

Monday, May 20, 2013

I bless the rains down in Africa

...gonna take some time to do the things we never have!

I couldn't resist.  I've been playing Toto on my iPod entirely too much recently.  Actually, I considered titling my blog with lyrics from that song, but my husband vetoed it (good call Jacob!)

Anyway, I have some very exciting news.  I have been given my assignment and my job description!  I am going to spend my year in Hawston, South Africa, working for Hawston Hospice!  Rev. Pamela Parenzee started the clinic, which now employs four trained caregivers and one social worker.  I will join the staff and visit patients in their homes to assist with their daily care, help them get to clinic appointments, and run support groups at the clinic.  I have never done end of life nursing before, so this is going to be a huge challenge for me, but I think it is going to be very rewarding.  I'm most excited about the idea of home visits because I will get to experience South Africa in such a personal way.  I remember in Nicarauga, one of my favorite things we did was spend time in a family's home.  I helped them make tortillas for lunch.  I think I learned more about Nicaragua from those few hours than I did the rest of the trip! 

Hawston is about an hour and 20 minutes southeast of Cape Town, and about 20 minutes west of Hermanus.  It is in the Diocese of False Bay.  It's in the bottom left corner of this map.

Hawston Hospice

I am relieved to finally have a placement locked down!  It has been a long process, partially because I had such specific requests in mind.  St. James Mission Hospital in Lesotho would have been a great fit for my nursing skills, but I felt that the location and rural setting would be a little too challenging at this stage in my life.  I'm so thankful that HOPE was able to find me a placement that will let me use my skills, try something new, and be in a more urban setting. 

Now it's time for a shameless plea.  I can't go on this mission without your support!  I have been overwhelmed by the interest and generosity of people in the Diocese of Virginia so far, but I am still a long way from the $10,000 I need to complete my mission!  Please consider making a donation.  $30 supports a day of my time in South Africa.  See the Get Involved! link at the top of the page for more information on how to make a (tax decductable) donation.  And tell your friends and family about me so they can get involved too!