Thank you so much for taking time to look at our blog! We are a group of edical students who are passionate about training and in underserved areas. This January and February, we are in Peru, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica internationally as well as locally in Flint and Lansing completing volunteer service, rotating in hospitals and clinics, and learning about international medicine and local underserved health care. We appreciate any time you take to read our reflections and any donations you might offer.

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Thursday, January 31

Puppies are cute but not worth it

Hello from Mbale! Late last week, we got to take turns going with Richard, one of the health educators at the clinic, to do some assessments with the primary school kids that he works with. Justin and I spent approximately 5 hours hiking to 3 homes. While the hike was grueling and hot, it was really enlightening to see how far the kids have to walk each day just to get to school. This weekend, we went on safari out west, to Murchison Falls National Park. We saw hippos, elephants, giraffes, and even a leopard (a rare find)! Happy to be back home, I went for a run early this morning with our Field Ops Manager, Ryan. When we came back, there was a puppy stuck in our rubbish pit. I tried to rescue him. It backfired. He nipped me. I examined my foot and there was a small abrasion. Deciding to start the practice early of being a patient when it's appropriate instead of trying to be my own doctor when there is another available, I consulted Dr. Peter, the physician staying here at our guesthouse, who recommended that I travel to Mbale to get the vaccine. Turns out, it's 5 vaccines. And the first one hurt like the dickens. Holy Dinah! Those puppies are cute, but just not worth it. The physician that I saw at the clinic patiently listened to all of my concerns about the vaccine. (The form used here is not used in the US.) He wasn't even offended (or hid his offense) when I asked to use his computer to consult the CDC and WHO websites. He also offered to let me do obstetric fistula surgery at his facility when I complete my training and gave Ryan and me a tour of hospital. He even talked about the importance of self-care as a physician, making sure that one's own needs are met in order to meet the needs of others. Such a good thing to be reminded of! In all, today turned out to be an unexpected and educational adventure. We're looking forward to working with Dr. Peter, a British physician here for a couple of weeks along with his wife, Helen, a veteran of the British NHS. They brought an electronic medical records system that was custom made for the FIMRC clinic, and we are planning to help implement it and train the staff. Maybe we will be thankful for all the time we spent learning Epic, the system we use at Hurley. Our apologies for the spotty blog posts. We haven't had electricity for 2 weeks, and while we can charge things sometimes at the clinic, we always managed to run out of battery. We will try to do a better job, and hopefully the poles holding up the electric wires will be replaced soon (apparently, they are a hot commodity).


  1. What I love about LMU students is their resilience and ability to turn a challenge or obstacle into a learning experience. "Holy Dinah!"

  2. Rabies vaccine, or something else? Yikes!