All tagged give back

Support and Inspiration from the Sixth Grade

It has been just over a week since I left Lesvos to return back to the USA and I just got home on Monday. I took the longest route home, partially because it was cheapest and partially because I made a detour to see some friends on the east coast. Since getting back to Portland, it's been a whirlwind few days as I tried to get my bearings, as I pack for a move to the Bay on Saturday and as I try to say hi (and bye) to as many people as I can. One of the highest items on my to do list during my 5 days in Portland was to stop by my friend, Ms. Maynard's, sixth grade class.

From Stab Wound to All Smiles

While the weather the past few days have been reminiscent of spring days, sunny with a chill but dry, we do have winter days where the rain doesn't let up and the cold sets into your body. As a result, most of what we see in the clinic are colds, or what's come to be dubbed as the Moria flu (headache, runny nose, sore throat, cough). Every once in a while we do get something different, like a broken leg, sprained ankle, toothache, pregnancy issue and even a stab wound. Yes, stab wound. That's what happened the other day.

My Monday night was a special one. It was my first shift on my own at the clinic, meaning there wasn't anyone to ask questions to. I kind of knew what I was supposed to do but also had no idea what I was supposed to do--but it was going to happen. Fake it 'til you make it? And made it I did. From helping reunite two different families with missing family members to using my Hindi/Gujarati to act as an Urdu translator (very similar languages) to working with an incredible group of people, it was a good night. The highlight of the night was meeting David though.

Reuniting Never Felt This Good 

Yesterday was a good day. I finished my first solo shift. I helped two different families semi-reunite with missing loved ones. And I held back tears as a wonderful soul shared his story and experience fleeing the Taliban with us (covered in a later post). This is why I'm here.It was my first day of working solo and working an evening shift. And 5/6 people who were working were new. With so many volunteers coming and going, this is pretty typical but it also means you need to think on your feet and just figure things out. Challenge accepted.

Day 0 and Day 1

As I was telling you last night before I drifted off into deep sleep (melatonin, you are helping me kick jetlag's butt like no one's business!), I had the option of taking it easy yesterday and acclimating, or checking out the camp and helping out. I wanted to do something so I opted to head to Moria camp to finally see with my own eyes the camp that I heard so much about.  This black barn right here is the Moria Medical Clinic that's run by Offtrack Health, and where I'll be spending most of my time. I'm what they call a floor manager--I'm responsible for intake of patients, crowd control, recording notes and anything else in between. I stopped by yesterday to see the clinic, meet some people and just get the lay of the land. And to buy a local SIM card nearby.

Where Did You Go, 2015?

Yesterday, when I started writing this post, it was the last day of 2015. Where did this year go? So much has happened, and so much hasn't either. I've been getting all of the "end of the year" type of posts from different places; online retailers I frequent, social networks I'm part of, updates from friends and family... The end of the year is a common time for people to pause, reflect and share the lessons they've learned. To be honest, I don't even know where to start. The past few months have been a blur and I barely think I've had time to breathe or sleep, let alone process what's going on. But that's my life and I've chosen to be that way. No complaints, just sharing observations.

Lending a Hand in Lesvos

I'm home, in Portland, for a week. Whoa. That's the longest amount of time I've spent in Portland since early November, and the last time I'll be here for that long for the foreseeable future. <That's just sinking in now.> After 20 months of funemployment, I've accepted a job. I start training mid-February (that I need to pass before I officially am back in the workforce again). I was originally supposed to start training in a week, but it got pushed out, which means I had an extra month and a half of time given to me. I hemmed and hawed about what to do with that time; do I spend it in Portland, getting ready for my next step while also freelancing to make as much money as I can in the meantime? Do I head somewhere warm to top up the consistent bronzed glow I had built up from trip after trip to a warm destination? Do I check something off the bucket list--specifically I was thinking about taking a dance-cation to Cali, Colombia and work on my salsa and Spanish skills? Then I saw this post in a travel group that I'm in on Facebook: