Easing into Fall

The past month has flown by…after summer finals ended the first week of September, I had a few days to finish packing, and then we were off to Korea for a little over two weeks. It was an amazing trip–we made lots of new friends, spent a ridiculously small amount of money on astonishingly good street food, and got to spend time in the southern part of the country as well.

It was good to get out of the country for a while. It was a chance to let myself put all thoughts of midwifery aside, and just relax. While it wasn’t a vacation per se (I was also engaged in a birth search), it was time that allowed me to step away from the nose to the grindstone approach I’ve been taking for the past year in finishing these pre-reqs and reflect on my next steps.

Of course, what ended up happening was that I met an amazing fellow Korean adoptee from LA who’s working in perinatal mental health, and we had many late night conversations about adoption, parenting, full spectrum doula work, mental health, midwifery…and how much work there still is to be done regarding women’s reproductive health and sex education in Korea.

So, yeah, needless to say, my passion was rekindled, and I’m scheming up new projects and ideas for research.

I’m back in Portland now, and already finishing up the second week of the fall term. I decided to go easy this fall, so I’m just taking microbiology, which honestly, is really two classes. Lab and lecture both meet twice a week, and there’s so much work that it feels like it’s worth every one of those five credits.

But this was the class I’ve been waiting for…I knew it would  be fine, and so far it’s been every bit as fun as I was hoping it would be. It’s nice to come back full circle…the instructor I had last fall for cell bio is teaching my micro class this year…it’s been a pretty easy transition home in part because I knew that I’d be in good hands for this class.

This weekend we’re taking it easy…heading out for a weekend trip to rest a bit…but when I get back I’ll be launching full speed into application season. I’ve had the application questions printed out and on my bulletin board, but next week I’ll be starting the writing process. I think it’s been good to take a few weeks off from this process–I feel like I’m coming back refreshed and more eager than ever to get this process rolling!

Manos Abiertos

Manos Abiertos:

At Manos Abiertas we take a holistic approach to women’s health care and seek to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of women throughout their lifespan. By providing comprehensive health care services we pave the path for appropriate, specialized care during pregnancy, labor and delivery. For many women we serve, pregnancy marks their first contact with the health care system, which provides a valuable opportunity to promote not only safe pregnancies and deliveries, but also to address other vital aspects of women’s health including family planning, HIV/sexually transmitted infections, and cervical cancer prevention and treatment. After pregnancy, we aim to provide on-going services for mother and child and empower women to continue to make informed health care decisions, serving as models for their children, families and communities. By investing in individual women, we seek to build a healthier Guatemala.

To be added to the list of possible places to volunteer once I have more skills…

[Friday Wrap Up]: 2

I have several friends who are planning on traveling soon, and some of them are incorporating midwifery into their travels.  I don’t think it would be worth the expense for me yet…and I have no clinic skills to offer yet, either…but someday, I would love, love, love to participate in an international midwifery program.

Some possibilities?

The African Birth Collective, in Senegal…

MamaBaby Haiti….

Or 8 weeks of Reproductive Health in Quito, with Children Family Health International.

I’m sure there are other programs out there, but this is a place to start…