Thanks for the Long Weekend, Columbus!

Columbus landed in America (supposedly) at a great time in the semester.  Right as I was beginning to get a bit overwhelmed, the highly anticipated three-day-weekend was finally the next page in my planner.  Friday afternoon, Kristie, my housemate and best friend since freshman year, had her White Coat Ceremony for her PA (Physician’s Assistant Program).  This basically means she can start actually seeing patients in her internship rotations.  Yay!

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I also made it home for my mom’s birthday (although a bit late, oopsie!).  I’ve been posting this picture everywhere this weekend, because it’s just so freakin cute.  :)  Happy birthday Mommy!!

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On Saturday, Dad, Shan, and I also continued our tradition of a fall football game at the Yale Bowl, one of my personal favorite places.  Paint peels off the rigid wooden bleachers in navy flakes and the announcer’s voice booms out at uncomfortably high volumes.  We get to snack and play catch out in the parking lot, and walk all over the field after the game.  It was a teeny crowd and Yale got crushed, but it was a gorgeous day and lots of fun, nonetheless!
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I also got to see my sister pitch and get a couple sweet hits at her softball games Sunday morning!  A short, but happy weekend home.  After getting back to school yesterday afternoon, I locked myself up to get work done for this upcoming week, so as a reward, I took the early part of today off :)  My friends and went pumpkin picking at Pell Farm!  So much fresh air this weekend, I loved it!!!  We did the hay maze, corn maze, hay ride, saw the goats and pigs and mini horses (cue me sprinting away in terror from a 3-foot high shaggy-maned animal), and picked out baby pumpkins and a big one to carve for our house.

I love these things. Meow.

Photo credit to Kris

Happy Fall!!

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Honduras Adventure: Days 3, 4 & 5!

I apologize for leaving you all on a cliff-hanger last week!  Here’s what happened in the last few days of our trip!

Last Friday at Zamorano kicked off the start of their first Women’s Leadership Conference!  It was a really cool event to witness, seeing as this university was originally only for men.  The female students share equal school and field work responsibilities as Zamorano’s male students, but it can be hard breaking boundaries on the journey to higher education in this patriarchal society.  The entire female student body had the day off to attend the on-campus conference!:

Bruce and Lit set up with their camera and audio kit and began their awesome-ness, while I was very excited to be appointed HD picture-taker for another day!  I got so wrapped up in listening to the speeches and snapping pics that I almost got left behind during breakfast haha! Afterward, we ventured off campus in order to get some more shots of scenery on the way to some interviews:

Action shot of Bruce & Lit :)

Kids from the village loved having their picture taken & seeing it afterwards!

Honestly, it was more than a little rough witnessing the drastic changes from the almost-like-home comforts of Zamorano’s campus with clean water, plenty of food, WiFi, and other “normal” wants and comforts, to the villages we drove through outside of Teguc.  The scenery stayed just as beautiful, but the quality of life did not.  I’d never seen anyplace like it.  There is such poverty with lack of medical resources, food, and other basic necessities that I just wanted to bring every person I met back to my comfy, clean, healthy home in the states.  Politicians are often so corrupt they steal away money from nutrition programs in village schools.  Water pipes running to the homes we visited can often be contaminated or broken.  We learned that more people worldwide die every year from the results of smoke inhalation from faulty stoves than people do from malaria.  Zamorano’s staff and students try and play their part in helping others in need through certain programs, such as one with which inputs safer stoves into homes, reducing the amount of fuel needed and making it healthier for generations to come…

Not being able to help those families who need it more than anyone I’d ever met in my life is something I struggled with while we were in the village, once we were back to Zamorano, and still struggle with now that I’m back at school.  I feel it’s so cliche to say that I came away from this experience learning again to “be grateful with what I have”, but it’s true.  But I want it to be more.  What to do, what to do?…

Friday night had us in the capital of Honduras interviewing a graduate of Zamorano.  I don’t want to give away anything specific that will be in final cuts of the documentary, but this guy is a real pay-it-forward model.  Believe it or not, we had amazing an Italian dinner at a restaurant of cousin of a Zamorano rep. we had been working with that night!

Saturday morning had all of us up early once again before the sun.  Final interviews with a pair of amazing women were completed, and we were off to the airport, bound back to Miami then Boston.  Unfortunately, workers of American Airlines had other plans for us!  Because of their strike, our plane was cancelled.  Determined to make the best of our situation, we enjoyed some yummy Honduran food in the city crazy with traffic before heading back to the airport to reschedule flights.  AA put us all up in a nice hotel for the night with taxi and dinner included.  After a 4hr layover in Miami, we were finally on our way back to Boston.  Despite the few minor snags, all in all a safe and super successful trip.  — In the next few days I hope to have a reflection piece coming :)