Sunshine and Rotations

I’ve been busy these past couple of weeks. It’s like I barely have time to breathe. As a Student Pharmacist I am required to do rotations, and the last year of school is all rotations. I’m not complaining. I love it! I love actually having a chance to use all of the things I’ve learned. I love being able to work with real patients, real people, real lives. It’s hard work. This rotation is in the hospital environment and so my patients are sick, really sick. If I can do something that helps them to get better or to feel better so that they can go home then I have done well.

Each person, each patient, is so very individual. There is no one who is treated exactly the same because no one is exactly the same. Pharmacy is intricate. I love it. This week I’ve already been touched by the lives of dozens of people. Elderly mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers… in their 80s and 90s. Men who are forced to the hospital by their wives. People who suffer chronically from pain. And people who have lived such lives that it’s not a surprise they show up in the emergency room.

I look on and I wonder how they got there. I wonder what went wrong, what could make them better. It’s not all about the medicine. There’s a man who is an alcoholic and now has nowhere to go, another who is recovering from cancer, a lady who doesn’t qualify for a transplant. There are many who go home well, and there are others. These others who now have to face the end of their time here. Who now have to face the reality of death. Life is 100% fatal and there’s no way around it.

I’m reminded to be grateful for my health and yet I am also reminded that my health is not a mistake. I work hard for it. I eat healthy food, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I drink a lot of water. I take the stairs frequently. I exercise. I sleep… I try to balance my life in a way that keeps me healthy. It’s not an accident. Health is only maintained on purpose. Sure, there are things we cannot control, but those in the hospital? Most of them had more control than they knew. Most of them could have prevented themselves from needing to be there. The smoker could have quit, the obese woman could have gotten help sooner, the alcoholic as well.

So, I wonder, as I go there each day, how did things go wrong? What happened? Why did these people quit taking care of themselves? Or why did no one ever tell them they had a choice? Please don’t bash me. It’s true. Absolutely true, there are things that can not be avoided. But, trust me here, you (and I) have a lot more control of how we end up than we believe. Even the smallest of positive changes can be celebrated for every little change can be built upon and then, then, our lives can be full and healthy.

thank you for reading,

me

C’s Summer

Hey everyone! This is the daughter of the author, I’m going to take over for tonight. This summer I haven’t been home very often so I’m gonna tell you about the camps I’ve been at and what they mean to me instead.

Week 1, MTYC- MTYC stands for Mountain Top Youth Camp and I have been going to this camp for the past eight years and its changed my life in so many ways; Its where I have gotten a better understanding of God’s word, its where I have made so many friendships that I hope last a lifetime, and it’s where I got saved. The speakers and counselors each year have helped me grow in my faith as well as an individual. This camp means a lot to me and I hope to continue going there for as long as possible.

Week 2, Camp Old Indian- This is the first year that I’ve gone to this camp and it was really fun. Old Indian is a boy scout camp in SC that our Troop attends every 4 years. During the week the Crew and I did different high adventure (HA) activities each day. We went rock climbing and rappelling, mountain biking, caving, white water canoeing and rafting. It was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone (especially the HA program).

Week 3, ACS- ACS is only the BEST CONFERENCE EVENT EVER!!!!!! ACS stands for ‘Annual Conference Session for Youth’ and basically it is a week of church politics, resolutions, and awesome growth groups. During the week there is a talent show, a dance, and an amazing communion. Also there are opportunities to lead worship and read scripture for the speaker. There are interest groups as well, this year I took SCI and Faith, and Health (physical, mental, and spiritual) in college. Both were amazing classes with amazing teachers. I made loads of friends and got to reconnect with some of my old ones.

Week 4, MYRTLE BEACH!!!!!
I had so much fun this week, we went to the beach (of course) but we also went to a water park and Margaritaville. I got to hang out with SH all week and we had loads of fun at Karma. But of course what comes with SH is DH and what comes with DH is SS, so I had to deal with them all week 🙂 but we still had fun and it was definitely worth it.

Week 5, Dance Intensive- Think of it this way, 30 hours, 5 days, 1 amazing week. Each day started with an hour and 15min of Ballet, after that we got to choose which class to do, I chose to do Pointe, and Jumps, Leaps, and Turns. Then we had Jazz until 12:30, then lunch until 1. After that we either had Hip-hop or Bollywood (Indian) and after that was everyone’s favorite part of the day… Yoga 🙂 We all loved Yoga, and we all had a favorite pose, the relaxation pose, basically you lie on your back with you eyes closed and relax AKA fall asleep 🙂

Week 6, Camp Deer Lake- Well I am leaving for this camp on Monday so I can’t really say much about it except that I went when I was younger and had lots of fun, so yeah that’s basically it.

The End
-C-

USA!

The United States of America is an amazing country.  You can do anything here.  You can hike, swim, climb, kayak, snorkel.  Anything you can think of, you can do here on US soil.  We have oil, gas, coal and lumber all available to us.  There are mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, oceans, canyons, deserts and forests.  There’s every type of weather too.   Physically the United States has it all.

But what makes the United States of America truly great?  It’s people.  People have swarmed here from every nation, trying to make a better life.   We’re all different and we all have different nationalities and we even have different values.  But because of who WE are, WE are great.   Our constitution protects our rights like no other countries’ does. We can speak our mind whether someone else likes what we’re saying or not.  We can worship any religion that we choose or no religion at all.  We can own guns and we can shoot them to defend ourselves or our families, as well as to provide food for ourselves.   We have a right to not let an officer into our houses.  We have a right to a fair trial.  We actually have to be proven guilty instead of having to prove our own innocence.   We have the right to vote, everyone, not just land-owning white men.  Women and men of any nationality are allowed to vote.   The United States Constitution has made this country great by giving us the ability to protect ourselves and our rights from an overbearing government.  Read the Bill of Rights in the constitution and you might be surprised.  You still might not understand but you’ll begin to.

Compare ourselves to other countries and then you’ll start to appreciate your own.  There are countless places where women are not allowed to vote, or even drive or go to school.  Women are considered property in many cultures.

There are now several countries where guns aren’t allowed.  The only problem with that is that the “bad guys” don’t follow the rules and bring the guns anyway.  This leads to massacres like the recent one in Norway.  You know, guns aren’t dangerous any more than hammers are.  It just depends on how you use them.  Law abiding citizens leave their guns at home or in the car when they’re not allowed inside.  But what about those bound to break the law, do they care about leaving their guns behind?  Of course not.

Do you know why we have the freedoms we have?  It’s because unknown numbers of people have fought and died for you to have those freedoms.  They have been tortured, bled and dismembered so that you and I can be free.  They have left behind wives and husbands, children and parents, so that you and I can be free.  They do this so that we can say we don’t like something, or so we can teach our children about God, or so that we can carry a gun when we want to.   They do this because they believe.  They believe it is worth it.  It is worth it.  The United States of America is the last free place on Earth.  Don’t give it up lightly.  Don’t let their sacrifices be for naught.  Remember them and their families, and show them some respect.

I love this country and I hope you do too.

w

Spain

While I’ve lived in several places I’ve also visited several places. My parents were amazing and decided to send me to Spain for the summer after I graduated high school. Dad was working for a French based company and they had a section based in Spain. So I went to Spain and worked in the sunflower fields for four weeks. Every morning I would get up at six and meet Miguel out front for a ride. Miguel was my boss and he was there from Argentina. He spoke English pretty well, which made my mornings much better. We would go to breakfast and have some toast and a drink and then go to the farms. Once I was at the farms he refused to speak to me in English again until the next morning. The farm was a research farm. The sunflowers were covered in mesh bags so they couldn’t be pollinated by something “unknown”. We, the other workers and I, would take the bags off of two different flowers and pollinate them with each other and then put the bags back on. It was busy, repetitive work. I loved it! Loved being in the sun, loved having no one near me. I loved being in the middle of a giant sunflower field. Sunflowers absolutely everywhere.
At lunch time Miguel would come and get me and take me to lunch with the office workers. Lunch was especially unique. I hadn’t seen it before and I haven’t seen it since, but it was a great idea. At lunch time the restaurant would put one table out in the middle of the dining room. That table would fill up and then they’d put another at the end of that one. Once that one filled up they’d add another. We sat next to whoever sat down next, no saving places, no skipped places, all together. I’ve always loved the idea because it forces people to mix with people they might not mix with otherwise. Even now, when I go to a church function I wonder why churches buy those round tables. You can’t fit two families comfortable at one of those tables and so there always seems to be empty seats and people sitting by themselves. At church, especially, aren’t people supposed to get to know one another? How can they do this if they don’t sit with each other? Don’t people come to church dinners to be with other people? It’s not any fun being at one of those tables and no one joining you. I’d change things up a bit if I had it my way. I’d do it just like they did it at that one restaurant in Spain.
On the weekends I would go home with one of the ladies in the office. Inmaculada was wonderful to me. She taught me how to behave more like a proper Spaniard and less like a farm hand. I had picked up some of the colloquialisms of the farm hands and I wasn’t allowed to speak that way around her. She would take me home to Osuna, then we’d hang out all weekend. Sometimes we went to the beach or other places. They treated me like a princess and at the same time treated me like a sister and daughter. Her family was a lot of fun.

After the weekend it was back to work on Monday. Even though I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in my life since, this was one of the best adventures of my life so far. It was my first chance away from home, far away. I had just turned 18 and I was an “adult”. The freedom I had between dinner and breakfast was more than any ever before. I once walked around most of the night with a boy who worked near by, we walked up and down the Seine and then went and got a drink and then he walked me home. My landlord was pretty mad about that. (I really can’t blame her). After work I’d walk around the shops and sometimes buy something or get a snack. (I did get paid for the time I worked). I blew all my money before I came back home. I’m surprised I survived it and came back unharmed. There was this exciting train trip I took at the end from Seville, Spain to Lyon, France. But that’s another story.  Hasta luego.

w

Where am I from?

All my life I’ve moved around. My parents were missionaries and so we moved to where they took seminary and then we moved to the Phillipines and Indonesia, and then, with a job change, we moved to Honduras. From there we moved to Minnesota, then to Florida and then to California. I then moved back to Florida, then to Georgia, and finally up to North Carolina. All in total I’ve lived in over 30 different houses. Why do I start with this? I’ve been in North Carolina now longer than I’ve ever been in one place before. Having lived a gypsy like life, I could look forward to moving again in the future. I loved starting off in some place new. It was always a fresh start. New places to see, new friends to meet, new things to do.
Living in one place has been a growing up thing for me. I discovered a few years ago that I couldn’t count on getting that “fresh start”. I actually had to be careful not to burn any bridges, because I might need to go across them again. Really, it was an eye opener. Now if I don’t like someone I can’t just say what I want and move on. I might see them again at the store. Heaven forbid, our children might want to play together.
I know most people don’t understand living in different places. Most people around me, now, have been in the area for years, sometimes for generations. When people ask me where I’m from, I’m not sure what to tell them. Born in Georgia but didn’t live there for very long? They want to know where my accent comes from. The world? Sometimes I miss being able to start anew. Sometimes I can’t imagine having to pick up and move again.
What’s so good about moving around anyway? The places I’ve seen! The people I’ve met! The cultures I’ve been apart of! I remember being the only “white” girl around. The old ladies especially liked to pinch my cheeks with a twist to see them redden. I remember learning not to shake hands with someone with my left hand because it was rude. (You really don’t want to know what some people do with their left hands.) I remember lying on the floor of the bed room because it was Independence Day and everyone outside was shooting guns into the air. I remember playing with the kids in the neighborhood, all of us running around naked or half-naked because we were still young enough to get away with it. I remember sitting in my dad’s lap while he and my mom were taking language lessons. I remember going on a flight with my dad to get me to a doctor who could make me better. We had to spend the night in a hotel because the plane was delayed. (I had an undiagnosed abscess in my mouth and was apparently so sick my parents were getting scared. I can still taste the nastiness when they cleaned it out.) I’ve seen the top and inside of an active volcano; parents bathing their children in the hot springs that were flowing down the sides. I’ve seen the sacrificial stone where many a head was chopped off in years past.
Most people I know have never been where history books speak of. Most people I know don’t see things like I do. Racism? What’s it like to be the minority color? Poverty? What’s it like to live with people whose houses were made of thatch? Whose bathrooms were the river? People who knew nothing about germs and cleanliness? People who had one outfit and one pair of sandals? Who slept on the floor and bought their food a day or two at a time because they had no refrigeration? We were surrounded by them.
I do miss living in different places. Living in one place, though, does have its benefits. Later on that, though. Good night!
w