*Note: This post was broken into sections (Parkston, St. Louis, Destin, Milledgeville, and Costa Rica) to better explain my summer so far.
Parkston, South Dakota:
I applied for and received an amazing summer opportunity through the Rural Experiences for Health Professions Students (REHPS) Summer Experience Program to live in Parkston, South Dakota for 3.5 weeks. (If you click on the link then you can read my weekly blog). I was matched with a medical student named Emma and we had a fantastic time shadowing other professional at Avera St. Benedict Hospital and learning more about their jobs and how they take care of their patients so wonderfully.
The point of the REPHS program is to introduce students to integrative health care in rural hospitals. and to hopefully convince health care professionals to live and work in a rural area after the completion of their degree. Everyone was so nice and wonderful in Parkston and I feel very fortunate and thankful to have had this opportunity.
|Beautiful Parkston, population 1,600.|
|Spending some time with physical therapists.|
|They did a new type of massage on me and this was the result. Felt so good, looks so bad!|
Story time: Emma and I woke up early to watch a natural labor and delivery process. I was pretty taken aback after seeing the labor and delivery process...and definitely needed coffee, a nap, and food to cope with all that I saw. After that though..there was a baby-sitters club going on. This is where nurses teach children how to take care of BABIES (put on a diaper, feed the baby, burp the baby, wash the baby, etc). I was surrounded by these babies and was learning all about how to take care of them. The picture below shows my face and how overwhelmed I felt.
Here we are getting scrubbed in for the c-section! Emma was so awesome to make sure I didn't pass out and it was so great to chat with her after about everythiiiiiiing that I saw.
|How Luna and I spent most of our evenings after I worked out!|
In the evening I would work on homework for an online class that I am taking for my specialization in Disaster Mental Health, but we also played an awesome lawn game with some new friends, Meredith and Luke.
Emma and I are back at the Hutterite colony, helping women with strength building exercises (I learned that I'm really weak, haha)
|We visited Delmont, South Dakota. It had recently been hit by a tornado.|
|Emma is trying to pull this out of a tree! High winds put it in the tree during the tornado|
We also got a chance to visit the Amish community, which was so interesting to see.
During this time one of my closest friends in South Dakota got married! I was able to attend and I had such a great time celebrating her love and bright future with Matt.
(Euodia is on the left, and a friend from the graduate program, Ryan, is on the right)
After my time in Parkston, I drove down to St. Louis with Luna on my lap (she's obnoxious on road trips, oh geez) and met up with my mom.
|She meows incessantly.|
We went to this AMAZING Indian restaurant on the top of a hotel (It was so shady, but the food was SO phenomenal). We even had a view of airplanes taking off!
|Dessert...mango ice cream. My favorite.|
We stayed in a gorgeous hotel for the night, had coffee and a cookie and caught up. I love just relaxing and chatting with my mom. It was perfect and Luna liked where we were too ;)
In the morning we got on the road and went to Tennessee. We tried another Indian place for dinner but didn't like it nearly as much. Then my mom and I went to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and we linked arms and walked through all of the sections of it, just taking it in, enjoying each other's company, and relaxing.
|Love spending time with my momma.|
In the morning we took a 20 minute (AKA 40 minute) car ride to an amazing vegan place before getting on the road to go to Atlanta.
|Vegan food is my favorite!|
I was back in Atlanta for a grand total of 48 hours before heading on my next adventure. During those 48 hours, I got SO MANY HUGS my heart was about to explode (I love hugs so much). I hung out with some middle school/high school/college friends, laughed a lot, hiked up Kennesaw Mountain, and even got to sleep in a bit!
Then my parents and I were off!
I never get to see my parents anymore and sometimes I'm so stressed that I can't even talk to them for all that long, but we have an annual trip to Florida that I wouldn't miss for the world. I love relaxing with my parents and we always have a great time. We spent a whole week in Destin, Florida.
Things we did:
Happy Hours (8:00 am, 5:00 pm)
Relax by the pool
Relax in the pool
Watch movies (Highly recommend Inside-Out by Disney/Pixar!)
Walked on the beach nearly every night
|This photo makes me smile every time.|
The first night there I got to feed some ducks!
Unfortunately the first night that we were there someone tried to break into our condo numerous times....we reported him to security and thankfully we didn't have any more problems.
Our view from our screened in porch....love sitting out here and so did Luna.
Sitting on the screened in porch drinking this....
It was perfection.
We looooove planning for places to eat :)
We took walks every night along the shore and took in the clouds, the sunset, and just relaxed.
Unfortunately our amazing week came to an end and we had to come back to Georgia.
After getting back from Destin, FL I got right back on the road (We got back on a Saturday and I left on Monday) and drove to see my 2nd parents and my undergraduate professors in Milledgeville, GA.
|View from my 2nd parent's backyard. The "meditation spot"|
I can't tell you where the time went, but I know it was all just wonderful....I got there on a Monday and I didn't come back to my parent's place until Friday afternoon. I love spending time with my 2nd parents and catching up with my professors is always priceless. I drove back on a Friday, met up with some of my amazing extended family, and relaxed for a couple of days..
...before leaving the country for Costa Rica!
Who: Just me. I'm traveling alone, but don't worry, I'm not lonely.
What: I'm living in Costa Rica for the next 5 (now 4!) weeks.
When: Right meow.
Where: San Jose de Heredia, Costa Rica. It's a small town between San Jose and Heredia.
Why: I'm taking Spanish language classes for the next 4 weeks, Monday-Friday from 9 am to 1pm. I've wanted to do this for years, and this is my last free summer before I have to take grad classes on campus during the summer.
On the weekends I'm traveling and exploring the area. I recently hiked through a jungle to a secret waterfall, hiked up a mountain to a volcano, visited an animal sanctuary, and have seen an absolutely gorgeous waterfall at La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
I'm still taking my online class for my graduate school, so it's not all carefree...but it is wonderful and I've missed it so much.
Now you're all caught up and thank you for reading. School starts tomorrow!