I Dream Of Greecie: This backpacker is back!

Current Location: JFK International Airport, NY
Current tunes: Matt & Kim, “Block After Block”

Hallelujah! The May mayhem is over! The last few weeks have been spent on all things nursing and acronyms. For some reason, nurses are obsessed with acronyms and we pretty much have our own language. For example, you may be a nurse or work in the medical field if you understand this- “Pt is a 35 yo male in an MVC, GCS 6 with + LOC required RSI, PERRLA, and bil SDH found upon CT. NSS consulted.” Come again? Complete nonsense. I should make a dictionary for nursing students. Maybe I’ll call it the “The Lesser Known Merriam’s Dictionary- Miriam’s Guide to Medical Gibberish.”

Between recertifying for ACLS/BLS, studying for my CCRN exam (Critical Care Registered Nurse), completing my ATCN class/practical (Advanced Trauma Care Nurse) and attending NTI, the largest annual nationwide conference for ICU RNs, I am completely nursed out. Seriously sucked dry. (No pun intended…okay maybe it was intended. Lame but good, right?) Now that that is all behind me I am finally back on TDD and excited to share my June shenanigans with you.  It has been about eight months since my Vietnam adventure and am just itching to get a move on. (Hey Mom, just a reminder, anything highlighted in light green is a hyperlink that can be clicked on to show more info on that topic!)

Over the next month I will be making my way across the world to Greece for two weeks and then I’ll be off to Kenya for the two weeks after that. I have a few European 24 hour layovers as well which I am jazzed about since I hope to meet up with some international friends from previous trips. (Where my London peeps at? Keep me in mind around June 15 and if you’re free holla at ya girl ;])

Flag_of_Greece.svgWhy Greece? Greece has always been high on my wanderlust list, but I really  thought of it as a honeymoon or married life destination that I would get to eventually.  I’ve always been enthralled by it’s magical blue coastal waters, rich history, and incredible eats. And as corny as it sounds, I had never identified more with a film than my first time watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding. From the 80 million first cousins, to the awesome but crazy cursing grandma that lives with the family, and a father that swears everything originates from his culture, I kept thinking, “Yup, these are my people.” Oh and yes, in my preteens I too was a chubby kiddo with sideburns, a unibrow, and had weird foreign food in my lunch pail. Try doing that in the Swedish Village of Kingsburg as a child. So when I found out one of my most favorite people in the entire world would be doing a short study abroad in Greece, I jumped on the I Dream of Greecie train. 480903_10201252974436406_2100920985_nThat’s right, my not so baby sister Jasmine is currently doing some Greece galavanting and am so ecstatic to meet up with her. This will also be our first trip alone together. Lookout Greece, the Mahfoud Maidens are coming for you and we are ready to get our “opa” on. And maybe find me a Kostas like Alexis Bledel  (every girl my age will most likely understand this reference. If you’re unsure of what I’m referring to just picture a broad shouldered tan male model. Dreamboat. Yikes.)

1280px-Flag_of_Kenya.svgWhy Africa? If it’s not obvious already, I have a passion for the nursing field and travel. So when God presented me with this challenging but exciting ministry opportunity, I had to accept. In a nutshell, a small team of nurses and I will be partnering with Hope Matters International to minister the love of Christ in a tangible way to a community in Kenya, Africa.  Rather than providing health care for a small period of time, our primary focus will be education to care providers in the village of Eldoret. More specifically, we will be teaching a curriculum titled Helping Babies Breathe, in which the learners will gain the skills needed to properly and effectively resuscitate newborns with minimal tools and equipment. This program was previously taught to a group of nurses in Tanzania, and the effects were astounding as the infant mortality rate at this particular facility dropped by 47% in one year!

So these two trips will be drastically different (packing for them both in one sitting was a headache!) but I am beyond excited for my adventures ahead. I am currently at JFK Airport and I’ll be making my way to Copenhagen, Denmark for a quick fun stopover with my international bestie, Mette, before heading on to Athens. I also should probably start looking for some where to stay for my first night in Athens since I have yet to book that…minor detail, right? But thanks for stopping by TDD and Dad, I’ll do my best to not repeat some of my Vietnam adventures and get into a dinky “hotel shuttle” car with a little Asian man even if I think I could take him. However, I cannot promise that Jasmine and I will stay off those ATVs in Mykonos…

Cheers and keep on wishin’!

Miriam

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