Well it's back to my old blog, my year away is over and it's back to life as usual in Cleveland. I cant complain though, been rotating at the Free Clinic of Cleveland, have my weekends off, and plenty of spare time. The last year seems a blur...so many experiences, so many pictures :) but here are a few last ones (the remainder I've posted onto my flickr site). The first is of the spice shop man in J. Webde from whom I bought everything from cinnamon bark to onion seeds (yes Emily and I actually went to this man to ask him for the spice which was a small thing you put into a ground from which onions come out). I paid one last visit to him my last few days in Jordan to stock up on some spices for home.
The next photo is from the Fulbright House...our wonderful director Alain who acted as both our porgram director and when needed our Uncle Alain to whom we went to for advice and a sympathetic ear. The last photo is from my clinic where I did my interviews and conducted my surveys.
Started the evening off with the butchering of chicpeas to make our own hummus at the restaurant :P
the restaurant/pub was pretty nutty, I've never seen a place where ppl danced on their tables with their waiters after finishing their meals. It looked like a lot of fun though :P so we had to join in...
The beginning of the evenings festivities...not out table, it was someone elses, we didn't like ours :P
I spoke to my mother about it this morning, and for those of you who've met her, you know that this is a rather odd conversation topic. She's changed a lot in the last year it seems, dont really know why, but she has. Maybe it's the prospect of her daughter headed to the Middle East? Maybe a midlife crisis? Who knows :) But from these conversations I've unearthed her past growing up in a third world country and her experiences in life to get where she is today. Her views on the middle east conflicts are interesting to say the least. She hasn't studied the history of the area, she didn't even know where Jordan was until I went there, and having grown up outside the U.S. doesn't have the same political shading to her opinions. She watches the news, Fox news even, and comes away with a clear stance. She's puzzled by U.S. actions in support of Israel, and in fact puzzled over Israeli occupation of Palestine in teh first place. It was strange to hear her ask me, "why are they there? I thought they hadn't been in that area for a long time?" and she is heartsick over the deaths of victoms across both sides and mad at my stepfather for supporting bush just cuz he's a republican. "Who Cares about parties, you have to see what they are actually doing" she says:) Makes me love my mother even more.
anyways, i'll stop rambling for now, must get ready for some guests who are coming over for dinner.
A quarter of a century and still going, this is my first time in over 6 yrs to be home with my family for my birthday. It's quite nice and the food can't be beat :)
I've been getting to know my brother this summer too. He's turned out to be a pretty great guy, hehehe. OF COURSE with a sister like moi.....lol. This photo was taken by my brother on one of our photo trips to the little pond in our neighborhood. I was quite impressed :) We had a nice little excursion with several cameras, the lighting was great and there were little birds all around.
So far I've met about half the group headed to Jordan and a handful of random ppl headed to the MIddle East, North Africa, or South Asia. I have to constantly remind myself that this room full of 20some year olds who are widely traveled, usually at least bilingual, and are keen on tackling issues such as the impact of mass Iraqi migration into Jordan on the local economy and the access to education by the bedouin population ARE ALL AMERICANS. hehe, guess it's me who should broaden my perspective a little.
All in all it seems like I'll have an Awesome group going to Jordan, I've never fit in quite so well with a group before. Now if I can just catch up on the last 4 yrs of politics in the region :P I've been so out of touch buried in med school. I feel like all i can discuss relates to medicine or international health. Today's talk about democratic change in islalmic societies and current political tensions in Morocco and Egypt were just overwhelming. My head is just spinning trying to readjust to thinking about history and politics again. Oh well I have all of a year to readjust. I think I'm going to end up staying there til end of June or JULY depending on how soon I'm required to begin my 4th year of medicine.
But all in all I'm glad this opportunity has landed on my lap. NOt only will I get to travel once again, but I'll be doing work in my primary field of interest. It'll be good to see if I can hack it in the international health world and in teh refugee camp setting. This is my chance to make all my pipe dreams a reality and it will surely open the necessary doors should I decide to continue with these goals. and as an extra bonus I have another year to digest the last 3 yrs of medical school and make some key decisions in what kind of physician I'd like to become. It's all come at me too fast, especially this 3rd year. I need time to process.
Things are busy and scary, but I think I'm ready for my year off and ready for my crazy adventure in teh middle east
We had lots of great conversations, music, dancing, and of course, no evening at abi's is complete without the hookah session on the porch. I'll miss this group of friends very much while I'm away, I guess I have more roots planted in Cleveland than I would have ever expected. I'm sure though that I'll be in touch with these friends wherever i go. It's always sad to leave and i'm sure i'll be just as sad this time next year as i'm leaving jordan to come back to the states. Bah. thus is the life of a person with restless feet I guess, always on the move and always saying good bye. But the world is a funny place and a very small one too, I meet old friends in random places, and it's easy enough to return to see old friends. This summer I return to Jordan, it's been 4 yrs since my last visit, but I'll see them again in just a few months. Anyways, here are some photos. :)
Nights on call are always intersting experiences....it's just you and a few people in the deaprtment managing all the issues on the floor and the surgical possibilities in the emergency room. Last night we had some minor emergencies but nothing too exciting. I think the highlight of my overnight shift came at about 2:30 am at the bedside of an elderly gentleman recovering from major surgery who was hypotensive and in atrial fibrillation. So after some hemming and hawing and fluids we decided to consult cardiology. So there I was at the bedside, eyes getting blurry as my contacts were drying and starting to consider napping in the standing position, when in walked in a tall dark and handsome man (wavy dark hair, dark blue eyes) in a white coat. lol, i thought i heard music in the background. :P hehehe he introduced himself as the cardiology fellow with a jaunty irish lilt. He miraculously fixed our problem :P well..no miracles here actually, just some beta-blockers and anti-arrythmic agents. then he tipped his cap and went on his way. bah anyways, i get silly when i'm up for so long.
It was an hour filled with horror stories from our fellow residents :) You know, watching these medical tv shows and dramas I often wonder wehther those sorts of things REALLY happen. lol well they do! we had stories that ranged from beepers flushed down teh toilet, pornography video store owners masturbating themselves into cardiac arrest, foreign objects in not so foreign places, pranks on poor interns (big category), intern's first traumatic overnight call experiences ranging from starting CPR in a hallway for a pt being brought down for a CT, to inexperienced interns running a code and defibrillating a patient who was actually AWAKE and with a PULSE (noone seemed to notice that his head was moving back and forth as they cracked all his ribs and shocked him with 350J) to one notable resident resuscitating his patients by pounding his fist into a pt's chest like a WWF wrestler only to be yelled at later by the patient who survived the code. :) quite entertaining, but a little scary....my intern year is going to be interesting i think.
On a whim I accepted an invitation yesterday to a concert- Amina and Sigur Ros. What a fantastic evening! :) Visually and accoustically stimulating. Both groups are from iceland, apparently they play together quite a bit, both groups are unique and distinctly different. Amina is a quartet of females playing their songs with rather unique instruments- customer service bells, water glasses, and even a saw which they used as both a string and percussion instrument. Sigur Ros (thanks for the cd giffe) I had heard of them a few yrs ago, but this was my first chance to hear their new album 'Takk'. hard for me to describe the songs...they're sung in an invented language i think, not that it would matter since how much of their fan base even understands Icelandic(?) anyway. their songs have this crooning, yearning tone to them mixed with a little rock (their drummer's pretty awesome), and strange sounds made by playing an electric guitar with a bow. Their music builds in layers when I listen. Anyways :) gotta head to clinic.
So I went to the bank to deposit a check from my dad which was drawn from a bank in guam. The tellers wouldn't let me deposit it! They kept insisting that since it was a FOREIGN check they would have to send it to collections and in 2 mo i would get hte money from it and they wanted to charge me a 150 dollar fee. I argued for about a half hour with this teller that GUAM was a US TERRITORY and the fact that the address on teh check had a US zipcode should tell them that. They didn't believe me, they kept asking me where it was in the US, i told them it's part of micronesia in the pacific, so they asked if it was part of Hawaii. lol. so i had to talk to the manager who knew that guam was a US territory, but even then didn't know if they were allowed to deposit checks directly from a Guamanian bank. So he called the National banking office who talked to collections..and FINALLY 1.5 hrs later I got my check deposited. ARRRGGHHH what a waste of time! lol. in any case. this branch of Huntington NOW knows that Guam is a US territory in the Pacific Ocean.