Thursday, December 30, 2010

I've been a little crafty over Christmas break! Finished Owen's quilt for a soft a cuddly Christmas gift and was inspired by the sewmamasew green grocery bag challenge to make a market tote!

The quilt top was done and ready for a month or so before I finally found the backing and put it all together. I used the machine to quilt...really didn't know what I was doing exactly, but I like how it turned out!

The fabric I used for the market bag jumped out at me while I was shopping for Owen's quilt of course I decided why not buy it :) I was surprised at how quickly I finished the bag. I like the size, although I wish the handles were a bit longer...I had to slip stitch the bottom of the lining closed, hopefully no one looks too closely at my handiwork!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

East vs. West

Last night the family headed to BHS to watch the oldies hoop it up. This was the second year they've had an East vs. West alumni basketball game and there was a great turnout. Last year the gym was packed as they honored Les, the old East High coach, who has since passed. It was fun to be back in the gym again this year with an addition to the cheering section...Owen Reid! I can already tell he's going to be the most handsome basketball star!

Dad came through with a double, double earning co-MVP for East and plenty of recognition after the game. He sure is a local legend!

Kendra ready for an accidental slip...

3 generations

grandpa walker

rebounding machine

tip off

Friday, December 24, 2010

nephew love

He really is the cutest...spreading Christmas cheer!
Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it, and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

(Isaiah 43:19)

A promising reminder of God's faithfulness to those that seek to follow him and his will.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Card

I chose my photos carefully for this years Christmas/New Year card. The year has been filled with much determination, adventure and ultimately new growth. My life is a story that God continues to write and bless each step along the way. I am so grateful to have had experiences, challenges and relationships this past year helping shape me into the person God is calling me to be! Merry Christmas friends and family! Thank you for all your love and support.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

personal statement

Rolling paint onto a bare cement wall, I stop to look around the empty room and close my eyes. A vision fills my mind and the space comes alive with voices of medical personnel. A patient lies on the operating table, his vital signs displayed by screens and monitors. I watch as a life is being saved in this room. As I step back into reality, into the smells of paint and sweat, I am proud of the small part I am playing in creating what will become a busy medical clinic in impoverished, rural Dominican Republic. I feel an overwhelming sense of purpose and foresight that one day I will return to this building, not as a volunteer college student, but as a volunteer physician, to help and serve this community of Haitian refugees. Now, six years since this initial trip to the Dominican Republic, I look back on my life experiences and see how they have given me the skills and confidence to pursue a life of learning and service to the underserved as a physician.

Fast Forward three years and I am posing for a picture with a man wearing feminine looking eye glasses, both of us grinning ear to ear. Only half an hour earlier I had seen this man hesitantly walking around our temporary vision and dental clinic. Upon noticing his need for help, I immediately walked over to greet him. We were just starting to close down the clinic for the day, but after discovering he had come straight from work in hope of a new pair of glasses, I led him through the sequence of steps to determine his prescription and fit him with a new pair of donated glasses, even if they had a slight feminine touch. It was in Mexico, that I felt the deep reward and satisfaction of giving new life to someone through medical treatment. We worked hard as a team, seeing over 500 patients in 5 days. I developed a sincere compassion for the people I met that was communicated not necessarily through my limited use of the Spanish language, but more visibly through undivided care and attention for the individual. The ability to serve and meet immediate needs of such worthy, hard working people was gratifying and rewarding. Through simple vision and dental services we helped instill a new confidence and hope within an oppressed and impoverished community.

Fast forward three more years, and I am huddled with the audience under the mango tree, out of the intense sun, watching a story unfold. A story that highlights a struggle typical to the Ugandan household; whether to eat the food they grow, or sell it for a profit. In the stage version, a husband greedily sells the food and possessions for money to spend on a life of indulgence, at the sake of depriving his family of proper nutrition. What amazes me is that this sensitive cultural problem is being confronted and presented by teenagers. During my public health internship, I learned that there is much more to working in global health than the satisfaction that comes with meeting an individual's immediate needs. In the context of a village, the health problems are not solved by the treatment of individuals, but by the empowerment of a community through preventative education and improved access to resources. As we worked together to find sustainable solutions, we faced the challenges of inadequate health infrastructure, lack of available medications, and cultural differences. By the end of the summer we had trained 20 leaders within the community to rise up and lead the village in the areas of malaria, HIV, sanitation, family planning and safe water. Our most effective work was in partnership with the local people because it centered on inspiring behavior change by addressing cultural norms and traditions that outsiders themselves are unable to address alone.

In all of my travels, I saw how disease and poor healthcare were obstacles that families did not have the power to overcome. People would constantly ask me to help diagnose and treat sick family members because of my white skin and relative wealth, to them the equivalency of holding a medical degree. I craved the skills and knowledge to be able to understand more entirely the causes of disease and health problems in order to more effectively treat and help create sustainable solutions. My desire and love of learning is an important factor in my decision to pursue medicine. I have found that for work to be fulfilling and engaging, it must challenge my intellectual abilities and skills. My work so far has been limited to preventative education and training, but I've seen that to be effective, prevention must go hand-in-hand with treatment. The study of medicine would greatly enhance my ability to serve and help create sustainable health systems in underdeveloped communities.

It has been six years since my initial exposure to the developing world and my desire to serve has not faded, but has been strengthened by seeing first-hand the health challenges much of our world face every day. I want to have the training and education that will empower me to help bring hope and resources to these disadvantaged communities. My travels have shown me that people are the same all over the world. They desire to live long healthy lives in order to care for those they love. I want to be a blessing to those who are lacking the hope for a healthy family and future.

the "owen show"

Thanksgiving was blissful...

snow flurries, resulting in 2 days off school
family and friends staying the night
upholding my reputation as the Wii tennis champion
watching husky basketball
cooking and eating delicious food...over the course of a few days

However, the main highlight, who everyone absolutely could not get enough of, was my favorite little man, OWEN! It was the full on Owen-show as we all watched him play with new toys, eat oatmeal and peaches and beans, and laugh and screech (like a teradactyl).

He loves books, his food, laying on his back, pulling long loose strands of hair and necklaces, chewing on anything he can get his hands on and any expensive technological gadget (aka - phones, laptops and cameras)

My, oh my, he is one cutie whose personality comes alive more and more everyday.

he can be such a flirt!

reading brown bear with grandma

mom's lap...the best place for a nap

some of the other guests this thanksgiving


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