Thursday, June 13, 2013

Doctors without Borders is amazing!

Check out this great article on the work that Doctors without Borders/MSF is doing in Lesotho!  It kind of makes me wish I was going there too!

Lesotho: Supporting Mothers in the Mountain Kingdom

On Sunday I leave for 2 weeks of YASC training!  I'm so excited to see the other YASCers again and get ready for this journey together!  I doubt I will have the time or access to write blog posts while I'm at training, but I promise there will be a big update when I get back.

Monday, June 3, 2013

No great things

For the past week or so, I've been thinking a lot about love.  It started over Memorial Day weekend, which I spent at my friend Courtney's wedding.  I love weddings.  The service, the readings, the songs, the whole atmosphere makes me so happy.  Two people found each other, and now they're going to spend the rest of their lives together!  It's powerful stuff!  It was also awesome to spend some time with my college friends.  I miss them all the time, and I love getting to see them.

Last week, Jacob and I had dinner with some friends in Richmond.  It was sort of bittersweet for me because it was one of the last times I'll hang out with them when we all live in the same city.  By the time I get back from YASC, they will have moved to another part of the state, and while I'm sure we'll stay in touch and see each other at least a few times a year, it won't be the same.  For the past three years, Jacob and I have spent so much time with these two and gotten so close that I consider them family.  I guess you can say that I fell in love with them. 

I've also been working on getting everything ready for YASC.  Training starts in about two weeks, and I can't believe it snuck up on me like that!  I can't wait to see the other YASCers again, and I'm so excited to learn more about my work in Africa!  I made a big leap last week when I handed in my official resignation at my current job.  It was a little anxiety-provoking, but it's a necessary step to move forward with YASC.

As I've been staying busy with all of this, I've really been noticing how much of what I do revolves around love.  I'm lucky that in my day-to-day life, I have a lot of people who love me, and who I love back.  Friends who I see a lot, friends who I rarely see but think about a lot, family, in-laws, pets, a church home... so much love going around that it sounds a little sappy, but I can't help it.  That's how I feel.  Even my current job as a labor and delivery nurse is all about love.  Most of the time, one of the first things someone in the room says after the baby is born is "I love you".  It might be the father telling the mother, or the mother telling the baby, or another family member telling the couple.  But it's the same sentiment.  It's a privilege for me to be a part of that moment.

To me, going to Africa is also about love.  I'm going to meet people there who I will come to love, and who I will miss terribly when it is time to come home.  At the hospice clinic, I will work with families who are losing a loved one.  I hope that my presence will ease this loss for them and that I can be an extra source of love when they need it.

Mother Teresa said, "We can do no great things, only small things with great love."  The fact that I'm doing YASC is not anything special.  I haven't been a nurse very long, and I'm afraid my skills will really be challenged.  Perhaps someone with more experience could do a lot better than I will.  Pretty much anyone can go abroad to do aid work, but so few do.  There are a ton of reasons why more people don't do programs like YASC.  I know, because I considered all of them when I was trying to decide whether to go through with this or not.  In the end, I chose to go because I feel I have something to offer.  I certainly hope that my skills make a big difference in the lives of the people I'm going to serve, but even more than that I hope to make a difference just by being there.  I hope I can do this one small thing with great love.