Saturday, May 19, 2012

Circus Nurse Anyone?

Blogging seems to have become a thing of my past, mostly because I don't have the patience nor the memory to keep the blog updated, but if anyone still looks at this, here are the most recent crazy things I am doing. 

This week I started my second Bachelors in Nursing at the University of Utah. The program is well equipped for those that have attention spans like my own. I will graduate with my RN degree in August 2013, after an intense accelerated 15 months of training. 

I would love to continue worldwide humanitarian trips and include nursing as a skill to promote health education, train other nurses, or just volunteer. If traveling is not an option in the future, I am currently involved with local non-profits, such as the Salt Lake Chapter of the International Refugee Committee. I would enjoy working with low-income families or with at-risk communities and may become a community nurse. One of the perks about the nursing field is that it is diverse with many career options. I would even be content continuing my current work, which includes working with those with physical challenges, geriatrics and memory care. 

I feel fortunate to have received a few scholarships the last few weeks. I was a finalist for Utah's young humanitarian and received a Sally Mae Scholarship based on merit, community service and really desperate financial situation (volunteering full-time doesn't put money in the bank). 

If all else fails, my backup is to become a circus performer. Who's not secretly wishing they could run off doing handstands on elephants? 

Currently, which I'm not including the fact that nursing school is probably going to destroy my perfect schedule, I train 10-15 hours a week on the trapeze, lyra (hoop), aerial silks (people seem to understand better if I call them long ribbons), ballet and pole. 

Here is a link to a quick video of our first drop workshop on the silks. What a blast! 

Till who knows when, create the life you want to live! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Have you been to Africa?

Okay, so I've been home in Utah for four months, surprise! But this last summer I spent my time tucked away in Eastern Africa leading a team of 30 volunteers in development/humanitarian projects with my kick butt co-director, Suzanne Whitehead. We performed a numerous of projects and good-deeds but what the Ugandans taught us will stay with us for eternity. Watch this movie clip I made in summarization of our projects and experiences.

Monday, April 18, 2011

This one Russia

Here is our four-month experience from September to December in a matter of five minutes, but if you care to see what happened every day in St. Petersburg, look here

Monday, July 19, 2010

dear green island: you are beautiful

As our last vacation together in Taiwan, Amy, Brandon, Susan, Megan, and I headed to the south eastern region of Taiwan. 

We left bright and early at 5:30 Sunday morning, as check out time was 7AM anyway, because the new teachers were coming. We were startled by our train heading south when we thought the train route would go to the most northern regions first and then head south. Nonetheless, we figured it out and we were off on our 5 hour journey to get us to our first stop: 


Taitung was actually a relatively dull city with only a few spare beaches and some lousy street shops. 

We seemed to make the time pass just fine though. 

Next stop: Green Island

It's nice to feel wanted or at least know Susan's wanted. 

We had 3 scooters between the 5 of us and we spent many hours just circling the small scenic island. 

Ocean view breakfasts

We snorkeled for a few hours one morning but have no pictures to prove it. 

We climbed through some really muddy swamps and improvised a movie about a king lizard (the swamp was obviously not fascinating enough to keep us entertained). 

We saw the historic prisons and encampments where inmates were kept. It used especially during the White Terror period.

We took ridiculous photos in the themed shops. 

We went hiking (climbed stairs) through the center of the island. 

We did some laying out but most of the laying/floating was either done in the ocean or in our air conditioned room during the peak hours of the day. 

We normally do these things when we watch the sun set over Taiwan, but our most favorite thing was to wake up bright and early to watch the sun's rays beam over the morning east horizon.  

Here are some of the pictures from our early mornings on Green Island:

We're standing in one of the only three saltwater hot springs in the entire world. 

Green Island was definitely a splendid way to end my time with some of my best friends. I'll miss them!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

the finale

I'll miss you Berhan! You were absolutely wonderful. Thank you for the memories. 

Basic Reading class: You seemed all too eager to see me go. I'm only hoping you didn't truly mean it and are now praying to have me back.

Anyway, I enjoyed teaching you all and miss you!

Oh, Enrichment: You could be fun but a little much when all you wanted to do was have/make fun. I don't blame any of you though; you shouldn't be forced to be in English class till 7PM. 

So, you might have been a handful but maybe one day we'll be able to actually effectively communicate to each other. 

My little kindergarten kiddies: How you reminded me of the innocence and purity of childhood and how precious the time is. You taught me patience and endurance while exemplifying unconditional love.


These little girls are around age 4 but they are already fashion divas and they pose like so.

Little dwarfs colorfully dressed up to do their graduation dance.

Carol just kills me. 

I miss Tristan and all his many stories. 

Cute little piggies. 

Monica grew on me during the semester and she became my hardest working dancer. 

Trouble kids

Cooper calls me Miss Cupcake!

I miss these little guys a lot. 

My co-teachers: What an amazing group of people who inspired me to work hard and enjoy every minute of Taiwan. 

I miss my buds but hope to cherish our friendship and memories together forever. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

down south

Being a resident in the middle of Taiwan (Taichung, Feng Yuan), I was told I must visit the southern regions of Taiwan to experience a change of pace and to see some beautiful sites, and that I did!


Amy and I departed on a rainy Saturday morning at 6:30AM to head to Kaohsiung. We planned to meet up with a couchsurfer who would be hosting us for one night in her city. We were excited when Christina (our host) and her friend wanted to tour around the city with us. 

They took us to a beautiful college which sat on a small hill overlooking the Taiwan Strait.

We then zipped to Chichin Island on a quick ferry ride. 

We picked out our lunch from this array of fresh seafood (some even alive) just outside the restaurant. 

 I touched the ocean for the first time while on the island. Brandon met up with us and we all slept, read our books, and watched surfers while lounging on these rock slabs. 

We smacked down on this ice, ice cream and fruit dish, and we finished our dinner off with chocolate popcorn. 

We absolutely fell in love with The Love River back on mainland Taiwan as we took an hour ferry ride through the entire port. 



The next morning was a complete downpour but we were determined to take the two hour bus south to Kenting.

We had a rainy first day but it was endurable as we made a tour on our scooters down the most southern roads in Taiwan. Stunning scenery kept us captivated as the lush mountains were on one side and the sandy beaches on the other.

Our first stop on our ride was this gigantic rock in the ocean. Brandon felt the need to cliff jump just as non-Taiwanese tourists have most likely done before him.

We made it to the most southern point of the island where the downpour stopped just in time for some photos. 

Squinty-eyed, big smile and peace signs hunched over the most southern Taiwan plaque.


Our scooter ride led us up the east coast of Taiwan where the empty country roads and cliff views of the oceans made the scenery unbelievable. 

We had a few small dinners that night. One of them being at this famous Thai restaurant where all the guests sat outside under small pavilions. 

And no town stop is complete without checking out it's night market. We shopped the Kenting streets (after realizing it's like everywhere else) where we found this incredibly unusual large ceramic woman. 

The next day, Brandon left early to make it back to teach while Amy and I hiked around Kenting National Park all morning long. 

The coral gorges were full of crabs and lizards a plenty. 

We made for some relaxing at the beach and it's at this spot that I dropped my camera in the sand and it hasn't worked again since. 

Later that day we met up with Jamy, a couchsurfer, in Wu Chuan which is just 20 minutes north of Kenting. We had a wonderful night, without a camera, as he took us to five or so west coast beaches, dined with us at some of his favorite places, and then gave us a history tour of his town.

That night we slept at his place on his spare wood bed. 

 The next morning the sun was out and shining. It was the perfect day to hit up snorkeling and a boat ride in the ocean that included a banana raft ride. 

Here we are outfitted in our gear. At the beach, we were given lifejackets, a life preserver and a lifeguard just so we could snorkel in the 4-5 ft. deep water. We saw some great coral and a variety of fish in all different shapes and colors. Out of just the six or seven times I've been before, I think this was some of the best snorkeling I've done. 

After a refreshing morning, we made some empty stomachs very happy with this Thai food. 

We then did a whole lot of this until we had to pack our bags and head back to 'real life' in Feng Yuan.