Friday, January 25, 2013

Last night :(

Tonight is our last night in the Philippines. It amazes me how quickly time has gone and thinking about all the opportunities we got to participate in and the many people we met along the way. Today, we went to the Enchanted GK Farm. This village was created by individuals whom we met that want to make a difference. Their mission is to urgently and sustainably build a global company, which will showcase the best of the Philippines! In hopes of uplifting the people, especially the poor by providing affordable, quality, natural products! It truly is a magical place! Our tour guide introduced us to the few French students that he specifically chose because he believes with their knowledge and expertise, the GK village can possibly make the Philippines into a first world country by 2024! They specifically asked for Public Health experts to help them launch this village and take it to the next level! They need people to stay for atleast 6 months in order to be accepted! I can picture myself staying there and hopefully making a difference! This is truly my passion to make a difference in people's lives and turn hopes/dreams into reality! Only time can tell if I am meant for thisopportunity! We shopped and had our last dinner as a group! I will truly miss these people! Gigi is right Noone can possibly understand what we have been through besides the people you shared it with! We allowed to watch each other grow as individuals, we watched each other at our most vulnerable, and gotten to know the most intimate of details! These people will always share a special place in my heart because although we could not stand each other at times, or when we were cranky we still kept our cool with each other and stood by each other! I love them and will never forget the moments we had with each and every one of them! Thank you for allowing me to be apart of something special with all of you! Ill see you guys at the airport tomorrow! Good night!
At the GK Enchanted Farm!
Hopefully soon it will become a wedding reception with a honeymoon suite on the top level! Basically I know where I will get married!
Inside the Reception Hall

Monday, January 21, 2013

Some pictures of our travels!

Day at the beach!
Working with my favorite surgeon Dr. Andres!
Oh our bug infested room!
My favorite translator Hannah and I after a long day!
Work hard! Play harder!

Looking at the glass half full

Today was one of the hardest days I have encountered since being a nursing student. I was encountered with a lot of challenges in the nursing world. I felt lost, my team felt lost, miscommunication with doctors due to language barriers, learning things we have not been taught in school, and not having direction with the staff. We were a great team today at surgery and tried our best! Tomorrow starts up again and what we learned again today we will take into consideration and do better. All we can do as nursing students is to take constructive criticism well and do better the next time. I know it may not be easy because we are human, however if we don't have someone telling us how to do things properly we will never learn. My favorite surgeon told me today that doctors and nurses are a team. They trust nurses with their life. Sometimes they get frustrated and get mad, etc. but what they are really mad and frustrated about are at themselves.

This trip is slowly coming to an end and I am learning more what it is like to be in a team. We cannot function without our team and I would be nothing without them. So thank you guys! I would trust you guys with my life. Thank you for helping me out today! Let's hope tomorrow goes  more smoothly!

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Hello everybody! Sorry for the delay! We have not had internet for the past several days! So much has been going on and so much traveling that it has been hard to obtain internet! There is just so much to say, but just so little time and space. What I do feel like writing about is not what I have done these past few days, but how this place has truly touched me.

The 19 people that have also shared this experience with me have touchd me. We are all so different and somehow it works! We have all cried, laughed, and worked our butts off together! I am so proud to call these people my friends and classmates. To have watched them challenge themselves and use everything they have learned in the classroom and bring it all into real life challenging situations is just amazing!

I am learning a lot about myself and culture throughout this trip! It just amazes me how everyone here is so generous!! I am not kidding I feel like Queen Elizabeth with how they treat us! Always being called ma'am, waving to us whereever we go, having food served to us whereever we go, and asking to take pictures with us! Seeing how they live with so little, but at the end of the day they are happy because they have hope and most importantly love for one another.

After we performed assessments on our families, I gave our donations to them. I watched their eyes in amazement because they had no idea! They kept hugging and kissing me! Telling me I was there guardian angel and all for what? Some old tshirts I thought were outdated and other supplies! I broke down crying because I never felt so good before in my life! As we were leaving the family ran towards the bus to say goodbye to me! I knew right then and there I have a purpose in life and that is to help people!

I live my life loving every aspect of life and what is given to me and they are no different! I always imagined the perfect life having the perfect husband, the perfect house, job, kids, and etc. However, perfect I learned from being here is living my life with the people I love and love me in return. Life is too short to waste on the trivial things. I just want to live my life doing what I love and sharing every moment with the people I most cherish.

This experience is the greatest gift anyone has ever given me because (I am sure I can speak for the rest of my team as well) we all have grown up and learned a lot about ourselves and other people as well.

I have never been more inspired to give back to others and hopefully teach my children to be more open minded, cultured, and giving to others who are in need. It truly is a beautiful thing to give someone hope again whether it be giving them donations, medical care,food, building them a home, or sending their children to school.

My birthday is almost over in the Philippines, but continues in the US. I could not have asked for a better birthday present!

To my family and friends I miss you guys dearly and sorry I have not responded to your emails! Internet here is very hard to obtain! However, I will try my best answering you guys! I love you and miss you guys very much! I wish I could share this experience with each and every one of you!

Tomorrow, is a 2 day medical and surgical mission! I will be in the surgical mission, whereas Aileen will be in the medical mission. Then, we switch off Tuesday! I cannot wait to tell you all about that! I am posting some pictures of what we have done thus far because I am sure some of you may be curious! Love you all and good night!! Danielle

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 2 of 3 of our first medical mission complete!

So we have unofficial patient counts that have come in...over 2000 patients have been seen over the last 2 days. Yes, that means that every single one of those people was actually assessed head-to-toe and triaged by one of us 13 Chamberlain student nurses! It's nothing short of being mind blowing!!

Just like yesterday, some went to surgery while the majority went to the triage area. Today was my turn to be in surgery and I was so excited because I heard we actually got to scrub in and assist the surgeon. The 3 of us that went today for the first shift was -- Casey, Megan, and myself. Nursing school doesn't teach us how to be surgical techs, but this was the best experience to learn quickly from the amazing surgeon we all worked with.

Our performance continues to build and improve with every patient we see in triage. Asking the right questions, providing a great head-to-toe assessment, accurate vital signs, providing patient education, and concise and clear documentation are just some of our goals. Although we aren't nurses yet, The Filipino people have treated us strangers with such great respect and have been so grateful for us being there to take care of them.

However, tomorrow is our last day here in Cabatuan and it'll be bittersweet when we finally leave on Thursday. So many people walk this earth looking for ways in which they can make a mark on this world, I just so happen to think that our 2013 Chamberlain Philippine Team is well on its way.

Monday, January 14, 2013

First day of our medical mission

What an amazing day, to say the least. We just completed our first day of our medical mission and have 2 more days to go here in Cabatuan, Isabela. We were invited to a breakfast at the home of the governor of the area and then promptly led to the field. Once we pulled up, we were treated like absolute all-stars by all the friendly Filipinos who waited patiently for our arrival. Lots of "hello's" and waves as we walked by.

Some of us were assigned to surgery and some to pharmacy, but the majority of us went to triage. I have to take pure guts to do what we did today!!! How many people can truly jump into something they've never done before on a scale this immense, with lots of pressure to do the job quickly yet efficiently, and all with a language barrier that stands squarely between you and your patient? Every patient encounter was different yet we got real good at what we did. By the end of the day our confidence was sky-high!!! We can't wait to return tomorrow.

Each of us learned something about ourselves today -- we make great team players, we are adaptable and flexible, and we will make fine nurses really soon.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Full day number 2

Last night with my roomies Sarah and Beth =( Prepping for our 8 hour drive to Isabela in the morning! Today was another crazy day!! We had to meet in the lobby this morning at 0745 to meet the group! We traveled for what seems like hours on the bus again to have breakfast and see our families we donated for!! The village was in Pampanga! I uploaded pictures below of what it looks like! As soon as we arrived we were blessed respectfully by the children (filipino tradition where someone would grab your hand and touch their forehead)!! There were probably a hundred children all over! They surprised us with entertainment at the beginning, which consisted of the people in the village performing dances and singing! I really wanted to bring the kids home! THEY WERE ADORABLE!!! One especially reminded me of myself when I was a kid! After, they made an AMAZING FILIPINo FEAST FOR US!!!! I felt like I was royalty with the way they were treating us! It really shows how grateful they are for us being there!!!!After dinner we played with the kids and started to prepare with our medical care for our 2 families we were assigned to! I was really nervous, especially being filipino american!! I was grateful I had a translator there with me the whole time!My first family experience was really overwhelming. I had so many thoughts racing through my head! I wanted to make sure I was culturally competent, but at the same time performing medical care proficiently! Make sure you always take off your shoes when entering their homes, unless they say not to! I almost forgot!! Both of my families' husbands were not home, they were working and would not be back for weeks because they were working at another providence! Both of my families also had 4 children so I definitely had to be speedy with my head to toe assessments! I would have to say the most challenging of my day was patient teaching and the wound care for the children! I had villages spying on me when the children were hysterically crying! They probably thought I was torturing them!! After assessments and teaching, I gave them my donations of clothing, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toys, and medicines. The whole family kept hugging and kissing me and thanking me. It took me a lot to hold back my tears!! I felt that "spark" again! The reason why I wanted to become a nurse! Something so simple... I didn't build them a new home, I didn't cure their illnesses, and I did not give them any money. But, it certainly felt like I did. That feeling I never want to lose no matter how bad my life may get or how hard/stressful work is. I have a purpose in this world and I shouldn't think so negatively on things that do not matter. Well, I talked a lot. Time for bed now. Good night. I dont know when I can write on this again because we will be driving for 8 hours to Isabela for our next medical mission! However, I will try and keep in touch! Danielle
Dont make fun of me but I added this last picture because I LOVE SKY LANTERNS WHEN I GET BACK HOME IM DETERMINED TO MAKE ONE!!!!!! I am so happy I finally saw one live and up close! Very unsafe,but so pretty! I need to make sure no houses or people are around when I construct and test mine!