Monday, December 10, 2012

Taking a Break for the Holidays

We have had a busy past few weeks. We had the opportunity to advertise ourselves on The Pulse Radio Show on 103.1 FM, in a Channel 7 news story, and we had our fundraising night at Texas Roadhouse. We're making progress on trying to educate the public about our mission to venture to Belize and we are taking slow steps to raising funds for the trip. We received a generous donation from Sigma Theta Tau Internation, the Omicron Xi at Large Chapter Honor Society of Nursing and we owe them a big thank you for their support.

Tonight was our last meeting until we commence the spring semester in January. As we part ways to enjoy some time off from school and enjoy our families and friends throughout the holidays we plan to continue to sell gift card raffle tickets and share our plans for our trip. We will hope to come back rested and refreshed to prepare for our trip that is so quickly approaching!

Happy Holidays and thank you for your support!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser!

Please come and enjoy dinner at Texas Roadhouse Thursday night between 4-8 pm to help support our trip! Print and present the flyer below to the server to contribute 10% of the bill to funding for our trip. Thank you, we appreciate your support!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pampered Chef Fundraiser Party Wednesday

This Wednesday is our Pampered Chef Fundraiser Mega Show! Please join us at the Bangor Banquet and Convention Center on the Hogan Road in Bangor (Next to the car dealership) at 6:30 to join in on some fun and help support our trip! There will be door prices and snacks. Bring your friends!

 If you cannot make it to the party and would like to place an order for a great gift, or as a gift to yourself, the Pampered Chef tab above will walk you through the steps to place an order online.

We are also doing another bottle drive this Saturday, December 1st. We may be stopping by mid-morning to kindly ask if you would like to donate your bottles. Every little bit helps!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Plans in the works!

We saw a lot of pictures from the Belize 2012 trip in our weekly meeting tonight. I think I speak for the group when I say seeing where we're going and some of the experiences we'll have makes us even more excited for the trip. It seems far off, but then the realization that March is really only a few months away hits, and I think of all of the planning that is still left to do! Plane tickets are soon to be purchased, supplies are planning to be collected, and fundraising is still in progress!

We're making good starting progress on our fundraising. We have done the bake sale, a first round of collecting bottles, and we have started selling tickets for donation for our Gift Card Christmas Tree Raffle. The next event is the Pampered Chef party on November 28 at 6 pm-- We hope to see lots of people there! (More information included in the Pampered Chef tab above)-- We are planning to do another bottle drive on December 1st-- Please help us out by donating your bottles! Another fundraising event is planned at Texas Roadhouse on December 6th from 4-8 p.m. (more information to come). Thank you for your support by checking up on our progress!

Monday, November 12, 2012

First Fundraiser Event Tomorrow!

Our Bake Sale in the Union will begin 11:15 a.m. tomorrow morning! This is our first fundraising event and we are very excited about it. We will be featuring lots of baked treats as well as our Gift Card Christmas tree. The Gift Card Christmas Tree is a raffle we will be doing to help raise money for our trip. We have $200 in gift cards to stores and restaurants in the Orono and Bangor area. We are accepting a $5 donation for 6 raffle tickets, or $1 or one ticket. Please stop by and visit us for some sweet treats to get you through the day and learn about our trip! We will be located across from the Book Store in the Union. If we miss you Tuesday, we will also be there Wednesday from 9:45 to 3:00. We hope to see you!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fundraisers Coming Up

We're making great progress in getting fundraisers going as well as setting up travel plans. We have a bake sale in the Union at UMaine scheduled for November 13th and 14th where we will also be introducing our Gift Card Tree Donation Raffle that has $200 in gift cards! Our bottle drive previously planned for this coming weekend (the 10th) has been re-scheduled for the 17th. Keep saving your bottles for us! In addition, we have set up a fundraiser night at Texas Roadhouse on December 6th from 4-8 pm. We will be passing out flyers to friends, family, classmates, peers, etc. If you come to support us at Texas Roadhouse and present your flyer, they will give us 10% of the bill! Please remember our Pampered Chef Fundraiser as well! There is more information located in the Pampered Chef Fundraiser tab above.

We are also making headway on travel plans. Next week is our prospective meeting for ordering plane tickets. We have guests planned to visit us to talk about travel safety, immunizations, and culture in future meetings.  Our adventure gets closer as each week passes and I think I speak for the group when I say we are all very excited!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Making Progress!

We had our weekly group meeting this evening and we are already accomplishing a lot.  Compiling all the little bits of information, assigning tasks, and getting plans organized are what takes up the majority of meeting time. It may seem like it takes a long time to get all our ducks in a row, but we're getting there! We have a few fundraisers planned thus far. We're going to kick-off our fundraising with a bake sale in the Union at UMaine on November 13th and 14th, where we will also start our Gift Card Christmas Tree raffle. We have a bottle drive planned for the 10th of November, as well as a Pampered Chef Fundraiser Mega Show that is happening on November 28th. Stay tuned for more information about our upcoming events and plans!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Belize Trip scheduled for March 3- 11, 2013

The University of Maine Nursing International group will be going on their 2nd international trip to Belize during our  March 2013 Spring Break.
The year group, thus far,  consist of 11 nursing students and one faculty . We have  started to meet weekly to prepare for the trip and to plan for fundraising.
The goal of the trip is to provide healthcare to a rural community in Belize, as well as  enhance our understanding of  global health issues.Our hope is  that thru this experience, we  can become more culturally competent and knowledgeable nurses.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

HOME - the end of an amazing journey has arrived. The students were wonderful ambassadors for the University of Maine School of Nursing. The trip was far more successful that could have been imagined.

Plans are in the making for next years trip. Informational night will be posted in the Nursing School folder. ( I think I will take the weekend off before starting however - Sue)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Last Day in Belize. We are experience jungle rain - it has rain non-stop for 24 hours. We drove over some slippery muddy roads today. Visited a Maya cave - cool and scary all at the same time. It was truly HOT in the cave. I took a natural rain water shower after fully clothed then got cold because of the damp clothes. Traveled to another area of Belize, thankful for a wonderful driver named Martin - crazy crazy roads and crazy Belizean drivers. Tubing down a wonderful blue river in the rain which brought us through some caves. Walls were smoothed by the running water. Up over head were bat holes. It was chilly with all the wet and rain.

Everyone is now packing and wrapping it up. Breakfast in the morning then an hour plus drive to Belize City. We will drop off some medical supplies on our way for the elderly.

Several students are not ready to leave and several are ready to leave. This evening another have fallen ill with nausea - hoping that she also feels better in the AM. Traveling and not feeling well would not be fun. We spent a lot of time riding on a bumpy, muddy, slippery and whinny ( ? if that is the right spelling :) ) road today so hoping it is all related to travel.

Think of us as we travel tomorrow - Thanks for everyone's support.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

We visited a Medicine Man yesterday. He has over 500 plants which can cure many illness. He believes that Western medicine are chemicals which are not good for people. Several nursing students are very interested in alternative medicine so they truly enjoyed this visit. It was an amazing interesting visit.
Day 6&7 - Yesterday was a full day with home visits in Billy White Belize which is a small village. Many homes to not have running water or electricity. Unemployment is very high, it is hard to say what it is exactly. According to folks the government reports a different number than what the parties report. So it is anywhere between the high teen to high 20% if not more. I would be surprised if it is not higher. Many folks plant most of their food and have animals for butcher or buy animals from neighbors. This village is primarily spanish and little English. I was in trouble so let the nursing students practice their spanish.

Today we set up clinic early and soon had a very busy schedule. Many children and mothers today but we did have a few men come in as well. Some high diabetes - with blood sugars greater than 350 ( nothing that can be done ). Nursing students were able to do lots of teaching. Many children had head lice which was visual without having to search. All one had to do is look at their heads.

We had rain today but were quickly told that the rain will only make things feel hotter unlike at home. It is hard to imagine that it can be any hotter than it was today. I played soccer with a few boys this afternoon during lunch. I am not sure what I was thinking - playing soccer in the heat. After 15 minutes I was dying. " What was I thinking?"

Dinner today and Dance lessons this evening. Tomorrow is tubing down a river through caves, visiting a Maya cave and then Zip line - Play day.

Friday, March 2, 2012

End of Day 5 -
Yesterday we saw 65 patients, today it was 59. Mostly Women, children and the elderly. No young men and no men under the age of 70. There were some very very sick people and there is just nothing that can be done. We suspected 2 cases of TB, worked with an HIV family, students found a cardiac arrhythmia but not much that can be done about it, lots of fungal issues, runny noses and cough. One beautiful young child had a temp of 102; gave her some tylenol and sent her home to hydrate. Another lady in her 50's arrived and after a having diarrhea/ vomiting had a blood pressure of 82/58with a heart rate of 88. All they symptoms of dehydration - we sat her down, gave her one Reglan and had her sip coconut water for a few hours. Then sent her on her way - she had almost a two block walk in the heat back home.

One young lady came in the a bag of problems - the students were finally able to determine that all she wanted was Pepto Bismal because it tasted good when she got it once. We quickly ran out of liquid tylenol today and chewable vitamins are pretty low in count for our next clinic day. The greatest need is pharmaceuticals. If anyone knows how we can get our hands on recently expired drugs (they use them up to one year after they expire) please send the info to us. I got up last night with a headache and felt guilty about taking ibuprofen.

The doctor we are working with said to the students, " there are no chronic disease here because here they die before it becomes chronic." The poverty is heart breaking.

Tomorrow - we assess a village called Billy White. We will be there all morning, then have a soccer game planned with the villagers. After we are meeting with a Medicine Man that will share his wealth of knowledge related to plants and pharmaceuticals.

Too tired to re-read and edit/ sorry for any errors or poor grammar.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 4

Today was our first clinic day in Santa Familia. It started out with many patients waiting for our arrival. We  split into 6 groups of 2 to assess our patients, while Sue set up the "pharmacy". It was a long, challenging, yet rewarding day of providing care and diagnosing our total of 65 patients with everything from the common cold, to parasites, kidney infections, tuberculosis, and diabetes. Some just wanted vitamins. Makes us really stop to think about how lucky we truly are, and how much we take for granted. We are humbled by the Belizians' sense of community, respect, and warmth; and are hoping for another incredible day in Santa Familia tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 3 - We triage a village. Many babies with runny noses, cough and rashes. Elderly with coughs, muscle/joint pain. One lady is 89 (she thinks) and has knee pain. She wanted to see the doctor. I had the translator ask how she was going to get to the clinic which is probably 1/2 mile away from her home. She said " I will take my time and I will walk." Can you imagine - she didn't expect anyone to take her there - remember she wants to be seen for knee pain. She was so pleased when we made arrangements for her to have a ride.

Students are doing an amazing job - great assessment skills. They want to give everything and anything to them. Abbey is ready to take them all home with her. Amy doesn't want to leave. Cassie has decided to dedicate some time when she gets back to learning Spanish.

Everyone is doing really well. Tonight we packed medication and will set up the clinic early in the morning at the community center. We will probably see 100 people or so.

I will be the pharmacist. I will take medication, which will have been ordered by a physician and hand write the scribe to put on the bottle. Then provide instructions with a translator.
Can you imagine -

We had the opportunity to go to a Maya Temple. We will be doing cave tubing, an hour zip line ride down a mountain - after climbing UP, we will visit a cave with Maya relics and visit a natural plant pharmaceutical place.

Lots of work a head - lots to do - it is hot hot and humid !!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 2 - It was a very full and exciting day. Orientation - met the medical doctors we will be working with.. We are going to a village tomorrow to triage/assess and make clinic appointments. Return back the next day with the doctors to provide the folks we meet tomorrow clinical care. We sorted out medical supplies to dispense and children goodie bags. Got a tour of the little town we are in - souvenir shopping before dinner. The food has been unbelievable - awesome food. The people have been extremely friendly. It is very hot and humid :) Will post pictures to the Facebook page.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 1

After two flights, an hour and a half commute, and a flat tire on the bus, we made it safe and sound in San Ignacio! International Service Learning provided a delicious Belizean dish at a local restaurant and we are all getting settled into our wonderful guesthouse. Looking forward to orientation tomorrow. Stay tuned for pictures to be posted to UMaine Nursing International on Facebook.
Day 1 - We arrived at Boston Logan safely at 5:15am. American Airlines were wonderful and cleared an attendant to take care of us all together - allowing us to skip a long line of travelers.
No problems with security. Amy had to repack her snacks since her luggage was bulging. Hopefully the check on luggage makes it otherwise she will be out of snacks.

Lots of exciting - we are all on super charge. Ok coffee time for me

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Count down has begun. Malaria medication is being taken, passports are in hand, airline confirmation and seat assignments, 200 hundred pounds of medical supplies packed and ready to donate ( thanks to Partners of World Health and Allison Doe) and tons more to do in a short period of time.

We will be heading to Boston Sunday, February 26th. A 5:15 am meeting time at the front of the American Airline check in counter for last minute adjustments. Next major obstacle - security with all our STUFF.

We will keep you updated - The excitement and energy is palatable.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

An update with 1 month to go!

So with one month to go things are certainly falling into place. We have our airline tickets confirmed, met with Bud Walkup concerning safety in Belize, have immunizations coming up, and another safety meeting next week. Additionally we are partnering with Partners for World health, an organization out of Portland, to bring medical supplies along with us. You can check out this incredible organization and all their work at  

Also, as always, we have fundraisers coming up.  We are having a Pampered Chef party at the Bangor Motor Inn on February 15th. I will be posting the time very soon so stay tuned. We all would love to see you there!

We of course want to thank all of our many generous donors and supporters up to now, but we still do have a long way to go to reach our goal. Every little bit helps!