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Travel

Thu
31
Oct
Synapse's picture

Puyallup, Washington

 

Rides at the Puyallup Fair. Yes, we were there from opening to close, eating fair scones and purple cotton candy. The most interesting food: a side of rice for $5. Being Asian, I had to have rice with my BBQ, so went to another booth just to get rice. My Asian side flinched when I saw the price. Photo by Clara Abejuela, food service worker, UCSF Patient Food Services.

Thu
31
Oct

Uganda: Nurse-to-Nurse Global Initiative

Some of the 25 participants, including licensed nurses, master’s students and faculty of Makerere University, at the 2013 Summer Partnership-Building Workshop. Photo courtesy of Schola Matovu.

By Schola Matovu and Linda Gregory

In the summer of 2013, as doctoral students at UCSF, we committed to initiate the first collaborative partnership with Makerere University’s Department of Nursing in Uganda under the Nurse-to-Nurse Global Initiative (NTNGI).

The summer workshop was one of the first steps towards NTNGI’s mission of fostering international collaborations through collegial dialogue and exchange of knowledge between nurses in the United States and those in developing countries, starting with East Africa.

Nursing is the largest professional sector of the global health care workforce and delivers the majority of primary care in sub-Saharan Africa. However, there is a shortage of nurses in this region, which can partly be attributed to the exodus of highly trained nurses to more affluent countries.

Thu
31
Oct

72 Hours Under the Tuscan Sun of Italy — La Dolce Vita!

Sunrise at the Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence, Italy. Photo by Tina Tran

By Nicha Tantipinichwong and Tina Tran

This summer, we conducted our six-week international advanced pharmacy practice rotation in Western Europe. Nicha Tantipinichwong was at King’s College, London, in the United Kingdom, and Tina Tran at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

We took advantage of our one‐week break at the end of the rotation to explore Bella Italia! Our trip began in the romantic city of Venice. A two‐and‐a-half hour early-morning train ride took us from the touristy Venice to Florence, home of the Renaissance, and our first destination in the region of Tuscany.

Day 1: Florence — “Magnificent!” We checked into Casa Rabatti, run by Marcella, a lovely, old Italian mother who spoke minimal English but loved to chat in Italian as if we understood everything she said.

Thu
31
Oct

Nepal: Escape to the Top of the World

Along the Annapurna Trekking Circuit in Nepal. Photo by Theresa Poulos/MS3

By Theresa Poulos

Despite the fact that I’ve absolutely loved my experiences as a third-year medical student, the hours on the wards mixed with the demands of studying — while constantly trying to learn, impress and care for others in ever-changing environments — can take its toll.

One night this summer, I found myself at my kitchen table after a particularly long call day, thinking, “I need to get as far away from all of this as possible.”

The world’s highest mountain, on the opposite side of the globe, was the best I could come up with, so by the next evening, I had booked a trip to Everest Base Camp in Nepal.

After nonstop work and studying since January, simply sitting on that plane to Nepal at the beginning of October felt downright indulgent.

Unfortunately, weather kept thousands of eager explorers — including myself — from the Everest region this fall (climate change is no joke, friends!).

Thu
31
Oct

Tamil Nadu, India

After taking Darshanam and watching the evening aarti ceremony at the majestic Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameshwaram, I was able to capture the serenity of two religious priests strolling through one of the temple’s colorful passageways. Photo by Mitul Kapadia

By Mitul Kapadia

I spent the summer working on developing a community-based rehabilitation program in rural Sargur, in the state of Karnataka, India. Following my month of volunteer work, I did some traveling in the state of Tamil Nadu.

As we approached the train station, we saw the wrap-around lines at the ticket counter to buy our train ticket. Fortunately, we had arrived well in advance of the departure time and had bottles of water to quench our thirst in the 100-plus degree.

Once we had our tickets, we decided to try to board early to get a good seat. Only then did we see that literally every square inch of seats and floor space was occupied. There were even people lying in all the baggage shelf space.

Thu
31
Oct

Puerto Rico: Swimming in Fire

A beach in Vieques.Photo by Ernesto Diaz-Flores

By Ernesto Diaz-Flores

It doesn’t happen often that I get to enjoy two different vacations in one summer, and one of them to a Caribbean destination: Puerto Rico.

I booked my flight and the first night in a hotel in the capital, San Juan. The next nine days were pure adventure. The weather was sunny, hot and humid, with occasional storms.  I loved it. Old San Juan is beautiful, with city fortresses that stood for 400 years to keep it a Spanish colony, until the United States took over the island.

On my second day, I made it to El Yunque National Forest, a beautiful rainforest of lush green and picturesque waterfalls. I hiked under the sound of birds and the coqui frogs — one of the symbols of Puerto Rico.

The next day, I took a ferry to the island of Vieques, where I discovered that island time passes at a different pace. Five hours after departure time, I finally boarded the ferry, but that long wait was about to pay off.

Thu
31
Oct
Hannah Patzke's picture

Ahuas, Gracias a Dios, Honduras: Travel Nursing in a Rural Hospital

Dr. Ovelio, Hannah Patzke, and patient in la sala operatoria at Clinica Evan- gelica Moravia. Photo courtesy of Hannah Patzke

By Hannah Patzke

“Ispara ai klakan, doctor. Latwan, doctor. Latwan!”

“The machete cut me, doctor. It hurts, doctor. It hurts!”  I heard the cry ringing through the halls of our tiny rural hospital in Ahuas, Honduras, and I knew I needed to get ready to scrub into surgery.  Already that week, we’d had three people come in with serious tendon damage from machete wounds.  

Machetes (or ispara as they are called in Miskito) are the tools of choice for many laborers here in La Moskitia.  Farming, cutting grass, harvesting yucca, splitting open a coconut — everything is done with the machete.  Boys of barely 4 years of age are already wielding these giant blades to cut grass.  

Our first case of the day was indeed 4 years old.   The machete had sliced through his palm and severed his fourth and fifth fingers.  His pinky finger was only barely attached to the ring finger.  

Thu
31
Oct

Iceland is for (Nature) Lovers

Cozy, eco-friendly guest cabin at sundown on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland. Photo by Angela Broad/MS1

By Angela Broad

A rugged island nation with 40,000 square miles of arctic fjords, boiling hot springs and stunning cliffs, Iceland offers spectacular scenery and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.

With only six days of vacation to spare, my boyfriend and I worried that we wouldn't have time to get a real sense of the country during our August trip. However, with some careful planning and a little luck, we saw and did a great deal.

Due to the cost and hassle of domestic flights within Iceland, we decided to stick to exploring the west side of the island. We flew into Reykjavik, the funky capital city, rented a 4x4 and headed north.

Thu
31
Oct

Catacamas, Honduras: Good Samaritan Clinic

Working with young people in Catacamas, Honduras, to identify challenges facing their community. Photo courtesy of Mayela Gutknecht

By Mayela Gutknecht

Honduras has a reputation as the new hub for drug
trafficking and as the country with the world’s highest murder rate and the 
most dangerous airport. That did not stop me or Hegla Fielding, however,
from joining Medical Teams International’s two-week Adolescent Holistic Health team in the summer of 2012.

It was an opportunity for Hegla to return to her homeland and for me to gain nursing experience working with youth in a developing country alongside a more experienced nurse.

A passion for and a commitment to public health nursing runs deep in our veins, as recent graduates of the Advanced Practice Public Health Nursing (APPHN) specialty in the Master’s in Nursing program at UCSF.

Thu
31
Oct
Synapse's picture

Spain and Guatemala: Last Summer of Freedom

Pacaya Volcano near Antigua, Guatemala. Photo courtesy of Jeannie Celestial

By Jeannie E. Celestial

After completing the first year of my clinical psychology doctoral program, advanced students warned me that Year 1 summer was going to be the last summer of “free time” for the next several years. So, in lieu of starting my psychotherapy rotation during summer vacation, I chose to spend a few weeks traveling. I used frequent flyer miles to visit friends living in Vilafranca del Penedès, Spain—a town founded in the 12th century and a center for the Catalan wine industry.

One highlight of this trip was visiting the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, designed by Antoni Gaudí. I attended mass in the crypt with elderly Spanish women, wearing delicate lace veils on their heads. Another highlight was making a little pilgrimage by train to the coastal town of Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dalí, and exploring his larger than life Theatre-Museum and mausoleum.

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