As some of you may know (and some of you may not), I am headed to Africa in January. John and I will be going to Burkina Faso with one of the doctors with whom I work.
Where's that? It's in West Africa. Here's a link the the Burkina Faso page on Wikipedia.
You can read about Dr. McCreary's previous trip there on her foundation's Facebook page.
I don't have a lot of details. They are slowly coming together though, which is exciting. I just spoke with Dr. McCreary yesterday and it sounds like I will be spending some time at the Protestant hospital with the other nurse who is going (I believe she is a family practice nurse from Nome, AK). I'm not sure what exactly we are going to be doing, but it sounds like the doctor who Dr. McCreary works with over there definitely has a plan for us. One of the other important tasks that has been identified is for us (specifically Dr. McCreary) to perform cervical cancer screenings.
When I first decided that I wanted to go on this trip, I decided that I was not going to go unless John came with me. It just didn't seem like a place I wanted go without him, nor an experience that I wanted to have without him. Fortunately, he loves to travel and never hesitated at the idea when I suggested it. Dr. McCreary's husband went with her on her last trip and had a great time doing projects and spending time with kids in the orphanage there. I'm not exactly sure what John is going to be doing, but I have been assured many times that he will be an asset and there will be things for him to do.
Here's where I ask all of my friends (both Internet and real life friends!) for help. Plane tickets are expensive and the foundation is paying for me to go. If you would like to donate money towards this trip, you can donate through Alaska Medical Missions and designate the funds to the 2014 Burkina Faso trip. You can also give donations directly to me (as some of these funds will go towards my ticket).
I am also working on getting information about specific supplies that might be needed, or how we can get funds directly to Burkina Faso so that supplies can be purchased there.
We will also be doing a couple of fundraisers in the coming months. I'll post details about those as soon as I have them.
Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to help! You can email (firstname.lastname@example.org), comment, text, Facebook, or Twitter!
I am both very excited and quite scared about this experience. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to put my knowledge and skills to use in helping others outside my job (I help people every day, but not in the same way I anticipate I will be helping people in Burkina Faso).