jcd1013: (Passport by me)
I dreamed about Africa the other night, that I was back in the hospital. It's been just over a year since I came back. I was talking to Chris last night, who's on his journey across the world again (I think he should have arrived in New Zealand now), and will be going to Kenya for a month in March, and I was trying to tell him about all of the people and the cultures.... and realized that I had forgotten. Names, mostly, of the people that I had met. They've come back to me now, after sitting here and scrouging around for the faces. Lenai. Shawn. Raj. Liz. Leigh Anne and Karla. Time moves so quickly, and before you know it even the brightest, most cherished memories begin to fade.

I'm almost 2/3rd of the way through intern year, and I am so tired. Bone weary. This is my fourth month of Q4 call, of admissions and discharges, of early mornings and long rounds, and I'm just tired. Not to mention, I got three emails, questioning my professionalism yesterday (they were directed at a group, not just me), that pissed me off. I had one of my clinic patient's mom call and yell at me (I managed to remain logical, she calmed down and listened to me). I argued with a patient today. I'm usually very good with my patients, I try to be compassionate, but he started yelling at me the moment I stepped into the door, so I was much more blunt and hard than I usually am... and predictably, it did not go well. I left in the middle of another one of his tirades, just turned around and walked out. Didn't apologize or nothing. :( Not good.

I miss traveling. One of the med neuro residents here just got back from a rotation in Zambia, where he worked in a neurology clinic, but really ended up doing everything that they asked for (the stories he tells of taking care of trauma patients after a bus accident!), and all I can think is "I wanna do that!" Make a difference, rather than just feeling like I'm the drug dealer for the patients with pain "crises" and serious drug addictions.

Chris left yesterday for another 3 month stent across the globe, this time to New Zealand and Australia, then to Kenya for the same rotation that I did, down to South Africa for an overland trip that sounds amazing, and finally to Ireland, where we'll met up (with his parents. Did I tell you that development? I like his parents, they're very nice people, but it's already hard enough explaining to people that you're going on vacation with your very platonic friend, without getting parents mixed in). Three whole months of traveling. Bet you couldn't tell I was jealous. :)

Speaking of Africa, this story is amazing: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070220/ap_on_re_af/running_the_sahara. I've been reading their blog at National Geographic (why did it not dawn on me that it would be a website as well), and it's quite fascinating

And still speaking of Africa, would my dear African friends like to meet/host Chris for a few days while he's down there visiting your country? He'll be traveling in and out of Jo'berg Aprilish and in need of a good time and friendly faces. Obviously, I understand not rushing out to welcome people you don't know and haven't even "met", and that you have jobs and real lives, but I figure I'd dangle a little carrot and remind [livejournal.com profile] melancthe that he's pretty cute and see if she'd bite. ;)

It is amusing me, however, when I picture explaining to him how I know you... and how you are aware of his existence. Yep, still haven't "come out of the closet" with the blog to him. :) I guess this will really be my chance.

Okay, to bed. One of my precious days off tomorrow, and I will not squander it!
jcd1013: (Everwood-Perfect day Hannah by me)
The year of 2006 is now dead, settled into his grave, as the New Year now takes over reign. But, as is my nature, I could hardly let him go without a eulogy.

Highlights, month by month (with pictures! Lots and lots and lots of pictures) )

The New Year started much as the last one faded away... with going to working and being at the hospital. Cardiology wards--promises to be even more fun and stress.

A Happy New Year to all of my friends. I am so eternally grateful that you have decided to share your lives with me. With your friendship, your love and support, I am enriched and blessed.

*hugs*

ETA: Don't ask me why some of the pictures are different sizes. I didn't do it! And if you're reading this and are one of the featured, and don't want to be, let me know. I'm sure I can dig up lots of monkeys and baboons to use instead. (j/k).

dear diary

Feb. 15th, 2006 08:32 pm
jcd1013: (Default)
Today, I was close to consumed by a Lion. Most improper for a Lady to end her Life.

Luckily, some Very Brave and Couragous locals helped assist in fending off the Deadly Beast. My Shoes, alas, have seen Better Days and I fear will never recover.*

:)


I leave the continent of Africa in approximately 3 hours. It is truly depressing to see my time here come to a close. I feel like I've been here a lifetime and yet, there's still so much that I want to see. Especially here in South Africa. Six days down here in South Africa was much too short and I've vowed, someday, to return.

To my dear friends, [livejournal.com profile] shirerain, [livejournal.com profile] melancthe and [livejournal.com profile] claidheamhmor, thank you so much for the hospitality, warmth and welcome that you have given me. I have never enjoyed days more than I have the few that I've been here. It has been such a wonderful time and I really, sincerely hope that one day, you can travel to the US and I can show you as great of a time.

{{{HUGS}}}

*details and pictures will be forthcoming when I return to American soil.*
jcd1013: (Write-the redbook by fileg)
I realized last week that the posts that I thought I had been emailing to LJ were getting lost in cyberspace... And here I thought you all were ignoring me!

Anyway, I've finally had time, so I've gone back and posted more adventure stories. You can read them all at the following URLs:

http://jcd1013.livejournal.com/56047.html
http://jcd1013.livejournal.com/56165.html
http://jcd1013.livejournal.com/56572.html

If you're a Plethorite, it's the same stuff as what was on the emails, so don't read back through if you don't want to!

Only two and a half more days and my time in Kenya will be at an end. It truly is amazing how fast the time goes...

(to be continued...)
jcd1013: (Default)
Not much of an update this time. Things haven't changed much since my last letter on Monday. Wards are still difficult. I don't mean to complain, but having a 19 year old suffer a heart attack and died and not being able to do anything about it, watching another 30 year old get sicker and sicker and finally end up in a coma without anybody knowing why (or bothering to find out. That was the most frustrating. He died this morning right before rounds) has a way of bringing down the even most optimistic spirit. And to add to it all, I spent 30 minutes this afternoon coding a one month old. He was sick with chicken pox, which thanks to vaccines is almost nearly gone in the US (such an odd concept to think that we're eradicating a disease that I have scars from!)--but to little tiny babies with no immune systems is very very bad. One of the attendings from IU told me this afternoon that I should come and see the baby, since it's becoming such a rare disease and I might not ever see the lesions again, so we went over this afternoon, with medications to help control the infection. We were just in time to see the baby stop breathing, with no heart rate. So we found a small mask and air pump and pumped air into his little lungs and compressed on his chest, until we got a heartbeat, and the baby started gasping--which was better, but not very assuring of his longterm survival. And there's nothing more that we can do. There are two ICU beds with ventilators--but they are over on the surgery ward and completely full, so it really is unlikly that this little fellow will make it.

It was very hard on me. It was the first time that I've actively participated in a code and to see this tiny baby just lay there... well, I don't think I can put words to my emotions. Worse was that I so desired to help, to do something to bring life back, and yet there wasn't much I could do. He was so small, that there wasn't room to be of assistance, and I hated standing at the back, waiting.

Anyway, that's been this week. I'll be rounding tomorrow morning, and then the Utah group (with all of the husbands that arrived this week--which is why, I'm sitting in my room typing this, because I finally have an wireless card!) is headed to spend the weekend at Lake Naivasha, where we're going to be boated across to see some hippos and do a walking safari on the island where they filmed Out of Africa. There's apparently a large python that is the "Where's Waldo" adventure of the trip. It should be a good time--and because I now have a functioning camera, I should be able share the good times with all of you!
jcd1013: (Joseph Campbell Bliss by Fileg)
Hi Everybody!

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your congratulations! They made me smile. I was glad to have a few of you express regret that I was moving across the country—otherwise, I would have thought that you were just overjoyed to get rid of me! To answer a few of the questions, yes, I did want to go to Milwaukee, it was my first choice (and I was overjoyed to find out that I was theirs), they are a great program, and as nervous as I am to leave, I don’t regret for one minute ranking them first. It’s going to be a good thing for me.

I realized this weekend, that while I have been emailing and updating in terms of my match stuff, I really haven’t written about being in Kenya for a while. Part of that’s due to the fact that I came down with the “Nature’s revenge” and spent much of last week, feeling like I couldn’t sit for long periods to even email. But Cipro is magic and I’m doing much better now.

Cut to be nice )

I don’t know how much you all have heard about what’s going on in Kenya/Africa right now, but I do suggest that you look up BBC-Africa online, if you have time and or interest—most American newspapers don’t mention what’s going on here. Last week, one of the buildings in Nairobi collapsed, trapping about 200 construction workers, and worse, wives and children who were coming to feed the workers for lunch. It’s been a big deal here, in all of the newspapers and we’ve all been closely following the developments. There’s also a huge drought and famine in the North that is causing a lot of problems throughout the country—distress and political unease. Everything is stable right now, but the people are really looking for the rainy season as a hope to bring an end to the suffering.

Well, I’m headed back to the hospital. We have six LPs and a thoracentesis to do today.
jcd1013: (Bite Me by yodaamidala)
My day can be summed up in one phrase: "a mouse ran by my feet this afternoon."

Those of you who know me know my overwhelming fear and loathing and disgust of mice. I'm completely unable to deal with them - I can't help the shriek and jumping to higher ground. I can't. It's worse if I'm feeling exposed in some way - and today, I was wearing a knee-length skirt and shoes that were open in the back. I know it's irrational and they can't hurt me, but I was right behind my mother when she stepped on a mouse and I can still remember the sound that it made. And I'm still haunted from reading "The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder and reading how Pa woke up from a dream of going to a barber and found a mouse chewing off his hair. *shudder*

The thought of going back to the hospital tomorrow ... the day after ... three weeks ... knowing that not only do I have to deal with the smell (which has gotten exponentially worse since the first day), but I have to worry about the scurrying gray bringers of plague, has seriously made me consider finding some horrible disease to contract so I don't have to go in.

*sigh*

The day had started out well, with the chance to round with the neurology resident and the cool consults she had. I was excited.

Man, ignorance is bliss.
jcd1013: (Default)
Jambo! That's Swahili for hi!

It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been gone a week—I feel like I’ve been gone for months. There’ve been some moments of stress—like discovering that my Rank List for the Neuro match had not been delivered to where it was supposed to go and that I only had a few hours to somehow get a copy of it before the deadline. I’m kinda worried about what’s going to go wrong on Match Day, since everything else has. Luckily, with the time differences, there’s some wiggle room so I can figure things out, but ugh. The resident that I’m working with is from Indiana and she’s applying for fellowship in Pulm/Critical care and is having a disaster as well—apparently they’ve all sent invitations to interview through the mail, and she has her mail forwarded to come here, so that by the time she’ll get the letters, the interview dates will be filled. She also said that she had a lot of problems with the match for residency, where they mixed up her rank list order (and wouldn’t let her change it), and she ended up at Indiana, when she really wanted to go to North Carolina. *shudders* I can’t imagine going through something like that, but she seems pretty happy in Indiana, so I guess it worked out well. She’s going to be a chief there next year, so if I do end up going there, I’ll know somebody.

African experiences, week 1, part 2 )

We’re going to Lake Nakuru this weekend, tomorrow morning, actually, and going on a safari. One of the residents did morning report this week, and showed all of these gorgeous pictures he had taken there, so I’m very excited. I might get to see cheetahs. Cheetahs. And he saw black rhinos which are nearly extinct, so that’s awesome. It’s starting to look like it’s going to rain, and the lake’s not far from here, so I hope that it won’t spoil the trip!
jcd1013: (Default)
(copied from email. It's easier that way)

Hi everybody!

Well, I made it safe and sound to Africa, with only a mild (ha!) case of air sickness to spoil the trip. Of course, I forgot quite a few essentials—medical tools (I really could use my reflex hammer. And my pin light), medical books, gloves, a watch and the Wireless Access Card for the 15 pounds laptop that I lugged all over 4 international airports. So now, I have a computer and no way to hook it up to the internet — the precise reason that I brought it. Luckily, there are some (albeit incredibly slow) desktops provided here, I just have to compete for them. It's not going to make match day fun (but that whole experience is just not fun period), but I guess I'll figure it out. And when Rachel’s husband comes in ten or so days, he’s willing to bring the card. So, Karin, if you could look in the green computer bag and see if there happens to be a small card, I’d greatly appreciate it. If not, dad, the computer’s a Compaq Presario 2100. I have no idea how old it is. If there’s more information that you need to see if you have a card that works, let me know.

So I’m typing this out on the internet-less computer, with the hopes to transfer it to the desktop (I did remember to bring my memory stick! Yay for me!), and as it takes a while, I’m making this a group email to everybody. I promise individual emails soon — especially if I get emails back (hint, hint).

It’s hard to believe that I’m halfway across the country. Actually, it’s not. There are some very obvious differences — the first being that it’s probably 70 degrees and sunny and there’s blossoms on all of the trees!

We arrived in Nairobi on Saturday night and all except for our attending’s, luggage managed to make it with us (not to worry, his came the next morning). We spent the night in a very posh hotel — except for the fact that the beds were very hard and the power flickered (while I was 7 stories up in the air, trapped in the elevator, I might add) and the place had 13 feet gates around it with guards, and the ZEBRAS in the field across from the hotel, one might have thought Dorothy was still in Kansas.

More African experiences )

I miss you all and think about you often. You're all in my thoughts and prayers. Have fun and keep me involved in your lives, so I don't feel quite so separated.

Love to all,

Julia
jcd1013: (Default)
Dear diary,

Today, I kissed a giraffe. I think I'm in love.


Have arrived safely in Africa. Got horribly airsick--the details of which I will spare you--but other than that, everything's been great. Now, I need to get to bed, because I'm surrounded by mosquitos and I don't want to get malaria. Or African sleeping sickness. Will update with details (and pictures of my new lover Daisy!) later.
jcd1013: (Dance by unknown)
Well, folks... This is it. The final post. The last hooray.

Or whatever. :)

I'll be leaving my house in 2 hours 35 minutes to go to the airport. As you can see, I'm still up, going through the final things. I've already "lost" my passport, the copy of my passport, my iPod charger and my permethrin sprayed socks tonight--all were found right under my nose. I'll probably repack one more time and then shower and maybe catch an hour of sleep.

I'm nervous, of course. Most of my fantasies have involved either falling asleep right now and missing my flight, forgetting something horribly important, or somehow getting robbed in the Amsterdam lay over. I'm sure I'll relax once I get there.

[livejournal.com profile] claidheamhmor, [livejournal.com profile] melancthe, and [livejournal.com profile] shirerain--I know we have a few more details about the South Africa trip to iron out, but I will be reachable by email, so we can continue to talk about it. :)

Michelle, I got your wonderful, lovely email and it made me cry. In a good way. I'll write back as soon as I get a chance.

My email address is jcd1013@yahoo.com or jcd1013@gmail.com. Feel free (hint, hint) to write and tell me all the sordid (or dull--I like both!) details of your lives!

So long, folks!
jcd1013: (Joseph Campbell Bliss by Fileg)
I cut my hair today and nobody even noticed. Not even Chris, the one person in my life who notices if I'm wearing new shoes.

Mom's verdict: "Well, it's like you usually do your hair."

But it's shorter (almost 3 inches, people!) and fluffy! I never have fluffy, upturned hair! *sigh* I so wanted to be admired, but no such luck.

Had my last "What to Expect in Kenya" meeting, where basically everybody freaked out because plans were being made without everybody's knowledge and nobody knew how we were getting from Nairobi to Eldoret, or where we were staying in Nairobi, or how we were getting to where we were staying if we ever found out where (the circular arguments went on for quite some time). Right now, I'm just going with the flow and letting everybody else figure those details out, because it's the one thing that I have no control over and it won't just be me. (On the other hand, I'm starting to freak out that I haven't gotten hostel arrangements yet for Amsterdam, because then it is going to be Just Me and haven't never been to Europe before, I'm going to be quite clueless. But I have no idea how the bus system works and where I should be looking for housing options.) I did finally manage to get an appointment to get my shots--Wednesday afternoon, so that's taken care of. And I got sunscreen, lotion and travel books, found my passport, plane tickets and Match list barcode sticker (all had been lost in my room), selected the final pictures for my yearbook page (including getting a new photo of Chris and me with my fluffy hair), so all in all it has been a productive day. I'm trying not to even think about the long list of stuff that still needs to be done.

And Chris bought me this awesome bag that's basically one long strip of cloth that you zip to make a bag. Plus it has a really long strap, so I can sling it across my shoulders, just the way I like. My Guatemala bag that I used forever (it was bright yellow and brown, and yes I wore it with everything. I've been told that I have no fashion sense) was retired and I was so needing a tote bag, since I can't really bring my "pickpocket-me-please!" purse. It just tickled me that he knew exactly what I needed. *hugs the Chris*


I've been posting a lot more frequently, now that I have a "following" with expectations that I update. I'm not sure if it's a good thing. For example, the above? Would have been deleted and not have wasted anyone's time.
jcd1013: (LOST-Jack sitting by _daffodil)
Six days. In six days (less really), I'll be flying to Kenya. I can't believe it is coming so soon. I have so much that I have to do to get ready. All that stuff that I said here that I needed to do? Haven't done yet. I haven't even gotten my immunizations done yet (I've been dreading more shots. I can do just about everything else - pap smears, blood draws, whatever - but I dread shots. My muscles contract instantly when they inject the fluid and my arm aches for days. Ugh), but those should be done shortly. Luckily I don't need series shots or anything, so I could theoretically get them done on Thursday, but I don't like the idea of procrastinating that much! I have the next week off to get everything done, and I hope to borrow a lot of stuff from World-Travelling Guru Chris, so it should all get done.

My computer is still dead. I'm unable to get it to power up to more than a black screen now. But, by a bizarre, unexpected move, I do have a laptop to take to Kenya. I have a class that I have to take, and because I'm going to be in Kenya for the start of it, I had to go to a special orientation yesterday. I sympathized with the director over his computer difficulties, told him of my own, and somehow walked out with an old laptop that was used once upon a time in the course to take with me to Kenya. It's slower, but it has wireless internet access, so I think I'm set.

I do have news, though. I got an email, a Very Important Email.Cut to be kind )

With Utah off the consideration list, I know for certain that in less than six months I will be in either Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Stony Brook NY or Buffalo NY (I think that that is the order that I'll be submitting my Match List). It has started to wreck havoc on my emotions. I haven't quite out and out bawled, but the tears just well up for almost no apparent reason. I cried at The Simpsons the other night (granted it was my favorite Simpsons episode ever, when Maggie is born. The ending where Homer has put up all of her baby pictures and it says "Do It For Her"? Gets me every time.), when watching Pride and Prejudice (such an excellent movie. Of course, it wasn't the A&E version, but they did a reasonable job of distilling it down and it felt like Jane Austen. And Mr. Darcy was suitably broody with penetrating eyes, so I was happy), when saying goodbye to Chris afterwards and finding out that he did excellent in his courses last semester, and telling him about the email. I cried on the drive home, realizing how much I hated the thought of leaving him. I copied that driving home last night when it hit me that I would be missing Laura's birthday next year, that her kids will be growing up without me, that not only am I missing Liz's wedding, but there won't be any more dinners out and movie mocking fests. These are the people who have been my closest friends and companions for 9 years and I'll be leaving them all behind. I haven't done that before. I moved from home when I was 18, but besides my family, there were few that I missed.

I'm not sure on Match Day, if I find out that I'm going to Milwaukee that I'm going to be bouncing up and down - or crying my eyes out on my pillow.

Updates

Dec. 22nd, 2005 10:05 am
jcd1013: (Homerborg by ghosticons)
I'm still not able to log on and reschedule the exam. Now, I'm getting error messages that I don't exist. Lovely. And my phone is dead, so I can't call anyone. *head bangs* At this rate, it'll be next Christmas before I'm able to take it.

I need to get back to studying. Somebody force me to sit down and study.

Haven't been Christmas shopping yet. That might be a problem. Hmm.

I did get my tickets to Kenya and my travel Visa, so everything is progressing well for my trip. Still haven't gotten my shots. I'll probably do that next week as a study break. Glee!

[livejournal.com profile] shirerain, [livejournal.com profile] claidheamhmor, and [livejournal.com profile] melancthe, here is my flight information for my trip to Kenya and South Africa. I haven't bought the plane ticket from Johannesburg to Nelspruit yet, so I don't know exactly when I'll be seeing all of you, but this is a rough estimate.

South Africa, here I come! )

Okay, now, it's really time to get back to the books.

ETA:

Reactivating scheduling number with stupid company to reschedule exam before Dec. 31st: $100
3-month extension because no dates are available anywhere in the US in December: $50
Sending 3-month extension application overnight delivery so can reschedule exam ASAP for January: $14.50
Discovering that one can't check if dates are even available in 3-month extension because of stupid company's stupid computer program: Priceless.
jcd1013: (Write-pen words)
A Long and Painful Reign of Terror Will Come to An End

This has honestly made my day. I can't recall ever getting better news!! (I'm ignoring that bit about the threat of a spinoff. Don't bring down my good mood!)

(Sorry to the Arrested Development fans--I myself could never get into it, but I know it had a following.)

On the home front, I had my "Here's What to Expect in Kenya" meeting on Thursday. I don't know if it made me more excited or more terrified. :) Probably both. I'll have a lot of opportunity there to do tons of procedures (spinal taps, chest tubes and drains, abdominal fluid draining, blood gases, etc.) that I'm really looking forward to--it will really make things in intern year just a little better if I have some practical experience. I'll see a lot of bizarre and interesting diseases that I'll never see here, and I'll have a lot of autonomy with my patients. But as thrilling as all of this sounds, there's the downsides--such as not having residents and attendings around to be of help when I really need it, seeing a lot of death, not having a toilet in the hospital (!!! Apparently there's a hole in the ground. They did build a new pediatric building next to the hospital, with running water and a toilet, so all isn't lost, but ... ) The living conditions in the student dorms leave something to be desired--no hot water, no toilets, bugs and mice (shudder), but I was willing to endure it, until I found out that nobody else is staying there. The other medical student and the residents are staying at the "Compound" where they have wireless internet and three meals a day, as well as all the basic necessities listed above (hopefully, minus the mice). So I think I'll be upgrading. Maybe. The cost for the dorms is less than $100 dollars, that for the compound is over $400.

So I have to start getting my vaccinations next week (yellow fever, tetanus, typhoid, polio booster, meningococcal, pneumococcal - and the flu one, which I keep finding excuses to put it off. I know, I know, I was so sick last year and with the threat of bird flu, I should be doing my part as a health care worker, but I hate shots!). Then malaria medications, and antibiotics for the unavoidable "intestinal distress" that comes with traveling to a third world country. Permethrin to soak my cloths in. Etc.

Anybody been to Amsterdam? Any ideas of what to see? Where to stay? I did figure out my tickets so that I could afford to go down to South Africa, but it meant a two day layover in Amsterdam, rather than London. When I told Chris, his first response was that I was NOT to go out at night, or I'd be seeing things that I wouldn't want to see. LOL! I had hoped that there would be time to take a train up to Denmark and see my extended family whom I've never met, but uh, Europe is a little bigger than I thought and it'd take me a day to get there. But I might pop over to Germany. We'll see. In Europe, if you cross country borders, do you get a stamp on your passport, or do you have to fly into the country?

I have my third interview on Monday--but it's my first internal medicine interview (the last two were neurology interviews). It's here at my school, I know everybody well, so hopefully, it'll be a better experience than Minnesota. I have dinner with the residents tomorrow night, the casual "get to know the program dinner", where I get fed for free. NICE! Then on Wednesday, I fly to Wisconsin for two days of interviews. They are one of the four schools that have the combined program that I want--the five year Medicine/Neurology program--and theirs looks the best of them all--well organized curriculum, good patient mix, three hospitals, etc. I've been excited about their program for a long time, so I'm really praying that it goes well. Wish me luck, guys. I really could use it!

I saw Elizabethtown with Chris this week, and I gotta admit--I was horribly disappointed. I mean, I didn't have grand expectations--I had read the reviews and realized that it wasn't going to be more than mediocre. But I expected some attraction between the leads, and some plot and dialog! Instead it was 2 hours and 18 minutes of random music that didn't really fit with anything. The last 1/2 was good, and if the rest had been like that, I don't think I would have been so utterly disappointed. Orlando was cute, but I think that was it's only redeeming quality.

My sister finally bought Firefly, so I've been slowly making my way through the series. Wow, what a fantastic show. It's witty and brilliant and everything that everybody has been saying about it! :) I LOVE IT! The more I watch though, the sadder I get at the thought of there only being 14 episodes! If there was ever was a show that needed to be resurrected, that would be it. !4 episodes, and we got ten years too many of 7th Heaven. It is an unfair world, my friends.

BTW, I got my fanfiction generator fixed (I keep forgetting how wonderful my web host is. I sent them my code and within 5 minutes they had fixed the problem - apparently I had some "windows only" code. If I had done that when I started having problems!). So, for the LOST fans, try it out here and for the Gilmore Girls fans, I made a special one just for you right here. I think that some of the minor characters might be a little too minor, but I'd like your opinion. Use it! Promote It! Be Inspired! Write a story that you never thought you would! Write Jess! Do It! You know you want to!
jcd1013: (Walk Alone by ragingquietly)
I am going to write a long entry about my interviews, visiting Iowa and Minnesota and meeting Becka ([livejournal.com profile] bjorks_defender)!, but I am road weary and world weary, and just slightly queasy to my stomach. I guess that's what I get for only eating Starbursts and Goldfish today... Ugh.

Meeting Becka was wonderful, guys! *HUGS Becks* I totally recommend doing it. I think I was a little more subdued than normal, because the interviews did not go exactly well (they didn't go horribly either--just more of a letdown), so it kinda put me in a little bit of a funk, but she was wonderful and we had some great times. But I shall describe everything in more detail, tomorrow. And hopefully I'll get it illustrated with pictures!

[livejournal.com profile] shirerain and [livejournal.com profile] claidheamhmor, I do have some bad news. The program got back to me on how much the tickets to South Africa was going to cost... and it's more than double what they were willing to cover. And I don't know if I have the money to fund that much either. I'm trying to do some internet searches, see if I can find it for any cheaper or if there other options. But. I don't know. It's all very frustrating, after thinking that things were set in stone.
jcd1013: (Spike Grr-arg by iconifer)
I think is the part of that I hate the most--the planning.

I was online all day (and boy is my shoulder telling me so!) looking up tickets to South Africa to see if it's feasible to visit [livejournal.com profile] shirerain and [livejournal.com profile] claidheamhmor while I'm in Kenya (I finally emailed the secretary--after all of my looking around, she said that she'll arrange it all with the travel agency, so I think I'm set.... South Africa here I come!), looking for car rentals, trying to figure out if it'd be best if I drove the car from Iowa to Minnesota and back or if I just drive to Minnesota and then fly out from there, checking email every 5 minutes in hopes that I would hear from Wisconsin (I haven't--it's really making me worried that I haven't heard anything) so that I could finalize my plans, discovering that I had applied to the wrong school in Iowa for internal medicine, applying to the right school (I hope. Or did I apply to the wrong neurology department to begin with?), etc, etc, etc.

And then Chris reminds me that I need to buy tickets to his wedding in May, because it's a tourist destination and things fill up quickly. *sigh*

So as it stands, I have a plan ticket to Iowa on the 1st. No return ticket. No rental car yet because I'm not quite sure where I'm returning much less when. Minnesota wrote, and unlike the other programs, they don't pay for motels, so I now I have to call and make reservations - rather than just telling the place I was at that I wanted to extend.

*sigh* It's just getting to be overwhelming. I want it all figured out NOW. *stomps foot like Veruka Salt*

So I told my parents tonight of my plans to extend out my trip to Kenya by a week. My dad got a little quiet when I told him that I had met my friend from the internet. :D (and here he was worried about my younger sister moving to DC for a year!) But I did explain that we had met because of my Tolkien group, which I think calmed him down a little, and he'll get over it. Visiting Donna ([livejournal.com profile] donnazita) and having her come out here relieved them of the worry that it was internet lunatics I was talking with. Actually my parents biggest concern is the 3 extra days that I'll be spending in London. By myself. Which if I think about too much will freak me out too. Any tips for surviving on your own, Ali?

Well, I have to get off now. My shoulder has quite honestly taken me hostage and if I don't behave, it'll figure out a way to ruin everything for me.
jcd1013: (Ewan nerdy by encrypticons)
It didn't take me very long to completely convert back to my night owl routine. :)

So I have news.

I'm going to Kenya for a month in January!

I applied for this international rotation months ago, and didn't it. There were 4 students picked, all of whom had had fantastic international experiences, and I was rather crushed when I didn't get selected. I've been considering doing another international rotation, but that would have cost much much more money, and I wasn't sure how I felt about going all by my lonesome to some random, 3rd world country.

Well, a couple of days ago, I got a call from the secretary organizing everything, stating that someone dropped out and there was a spot available and did I want it.

Suffice to say, I jumped on it.

I'm a little freaked out by the idea. I've been taking an international health class for the last eight (er, I only made it to six) weeks, where we've done nothing but talk about the nasty parasites, worms, fungi, viruses, etc. that you can contract at these foreign places. Almost made me swear off the idea entirely. *shudders* But I'm going to be brave and get all of my shots and bring lots of Cipro and just do it!

Ellie--I don't know if you'll be on at all today, but how would you feel about flying up to Kenya and maybe doing a safari type of thing for a few days? I'd be done with my stuff around the 11th of February and since we'd be on the same continent, it would be a fantastic time to meet. I have no idea how much it would cost or anything. I'm supposed to let the secretary know my plans by tomorrow night (she told me this afternoon. Sheesh), so that they can arrange tickets and everything. Will you be around to chat today? 2ish my time?

I start my interviews next week. I have been feeling nervous about them--more so about the dinner with the residents the next before, where I have to make charming, small talk with people I've never met before--until Chris's comment today of "Everybody loves you, you'll charm everybody." Sometimes I forget why I keep him around--and then he reminds me. Why he has so much faith in me, I have no idea. Of course, this feeling of calm will probably only last until this weekend, but I'm enjoying it while I can. I have to go shopping for a suit tomorrow/Friday. Have completely outgrown (and not in the good way) the one I bought for medical school. Hopefully, this time, I'll manage to remove all of the tags before the interview.

And I think that's the quick and dirty update.
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