Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thank you from your Sponsored Child!

I am so amazed, humbled, and blessed by the support of my time with Mercy Ships - the things people say to encourage me have been VERY encouraging, the financial gifts have been so generous, and the excitement seems like an overflow of my own.

Because of you, 60% of my $4000 goal is raised, and those of you that have given financial gifts just amaze me - I know so many of you have gone through big transitions recently - babies, moving, marriage, new jobs - and so many of you are either on fixed income or have student loan payments you're working on.  It really just humbles me so much to know how much you want to give to support what I get to be a part of, of God's ongoing work through Mercy Ships and in west Africa.  I feel like it also makes me want to be the best PT I can, the best Courtney I can, because you've put your trust in me in a very tangible way.  So THANK YOU!  I will do my best!!!  I know I'll mess up sometimes, but I'll trust that God is able to work though my mistakes for His glory.

I tend to have a very independent, I can "take care of it myself" mentality, and I know that this can sometimes be detrimental in community - after all, God said it 'wasn't good for man to be alone'.  I think that is one reason it is so humbling for me to be able to see all of your support, both verbal/written and financial, I have asked for your help and you have been SO generous that it's somewhat overwhelming to receive all this goodness at once!!  :)  So again, thank you!!

And a funny story - one of my friends received my prayer letter, and as I had mentioned in the letter, put it in a place (on the fridge) where she would see it often to remember to pray for me.  Her husband came home and glanced at it, then asked her - 'Did you sponsor a kid in Africa?' (or something like that).  She was in a different room and didn't know what he was talking about until she realized he was referring to my letter.  Hehehe.

So in one way ya'll are actually sponsoring lots and lots of children and adults in Africa, just a very specific physical therapy sponsorship!!  :)  To see of bit of the Guinea Screening Day and therefore some of the people I will actually be seeing, here's a video!  Thank you so much from your sponsored children (me and more!)!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Where I've been working...

Falling Springs waterfall on the side of the road on 220N
So this is my first taste of home health, and I'm out in the beauty that western VA provides, driving around through farms, next to waterfalls, turkeys, deer, horses :), and lakes.  Pretty awesome scenery if you ask me!  Plus, it's been fall, so I've gotten to enjoy all the lovely leaves that I missed last year out west!  So here's just a sampling of my scenery, and a story...
Lake Moomaw where I saw a pt in a campground

My trusty steed admiring the view

Charles Ingalls overlook for my "shortcut" from Monterey to Lexington

Heading thru Goshen Pass

Sunrise on my way to see a Lexington pt
I was visiting a patient for the last time, sitting talking with her and her husband, when something catches my eye behind her husband.  A mouse jumps down from the wood pile onto a shelf.  I say, "there's a mouse!" (no, I did not scream, just was really confused as to why this mouse was so slow moving), and the hubby puts on his leather work glove that just happened to be next to his chair, reaches out and picks up the mouse (again, why didn't the mouse run away?!)  He stands up and talks with us a little more, lets me look to see the mouse's tail is atleast moving, and then takes it outside.  This is the same family who the week before had been awakened by a noise, turned on the light, didn't see anything, then went back to bed.  Upon hearing something near the window, hubby shines his flashlight right out the window near his face and a bear snout is looking in at him.  He pounded the window sill and the bear ran away.  They showed me the window, and it's about 5-6 feet off the ground.

Driving down a pt's driveway...the sheep paid me no mind

Humpback Bridge is just off the road where some of my eastern pts are!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A little more about Mercy Ships

So I've learned a lot the last couple weeks since being able to email with Nick, the rehab team leader from Mercy Ships.  He is also a PT, so I will not actually be the only PT (YAY!!!), and he will help orient me with learning how to do the Ponseti club foot casting, learning how to read Xrays (there's also a MD that works with us, Dr. Frank, to help make those decisions as well...I don't know if he's always with us, but I think he plays a large part in things), and just generally helping me understand what to do! 

One thing that's different than I thought is we actually see our outpatients OFF the ship - in a big white tent called the Dockside Rehab Unit, that has parallel bars, theraband, plinths, casting supplies, and all those little things that make a PT's heart smile.  :)  And it's air conditioned!  :)  So this has the added bonus of I probably won't feel quite so clausterphobic because I will be going off the ship everyday for work!  We do a lot of club foot serial casting, and we will see a LOT of outpatients who had their ortho surgeries done in the months of Nov and Dec (right now!!) as that's when the ortho surgeons are there.  So 2nd praise, not only will I be working off the ship some, I will also be seeing a lot of outpatient ortho (which is my 1st love when it comes to PT).

I was able to look through the current PT's blog whose spot I will be replacing, and she also had some photos of a group excursion or two to the beach and upcountry where they did some hiking.  So 3rd praise, I might get to do some hiking!!!  :)  (obviously it's a coastal country, so mountains (high point = Mt. Nimba at 5, 700 ft) aren't that high, but still!)  I look forward to getting to explore a little bit on the weekends!

I'm working on the details of my airplane tickets currently, and hope to have that finalized this week!  I am so excited!!! If you'd like to see my official Mercy Ships webpage, and my basic prayer letter, go here!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dolly Sods Wilderness

So for the last couple years I've really been wanting to explore the Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV and the Art Loeb trail in NC.  Beverly was kind enough to be my hiking companion for a weekend in Dolly Sods a few weeks ago.  They say the scenery is more like Canada than West Virginia (never been to Canada, so I'll trust everyone else).  We were past blueberry season, and a little past peak leaf viewing season, but it was pretty awesome.  I love being up on ridgelines and high meadows, and we did indeed find a little of that!  As well as plenty of thankful for waterproof boots (although after you've already made it to the campsite 7 miles in...and misjudge a rock in the stream, you'll still end up wet! ;) ).

On the drive up we stopped by Seneca Rocks (and got a map of Dolly Sods because I oh so smoothly forgot it at home...)

Ready to go (yeah my sock cap is kinda covering up my eyes...)

Heading down the trail - although the sky looks ominous, we didn't have any hard core rain, but did have some off & on

one of many stream crossings...

or beaver dam crossings...

 We had such diverse scenery - the open bogs and pine trees, hardwood forests, streams, rocky highland meadows (but who can resist a little rock scrambling...

our fall-side "glamour shots"

The sky turns a little pink at sunset...

a little water "feature" near our campsite!


Home sweet home for the night...

Probably my favorite thing about camping is eating...and finally getting to get up in the morning because I didn't really sleep all night (but that's what I expect at this point)  Since it was pretty chilly (didn't freeze the water though, so I'm thinking upper 30's, 2 nice fellas who let us share their campfire since our attempts with wet wood (that's why we brought a stove...) were unsuccessful gave us a couple hand warmers, and I brought one of those thermal heat wraps you stick on from the Dollar Store and stuck it on my backside.  Totally helped.  New strategy for sleeping - hand warmers in the socks, thermal thing on the back, ear plugs, and tylenol pm (which I got, but forgot in the car...)

Hot chocolate! (old school boyscout wear & new age squishy bowl)


a couple miles into the 10 miles on day 2

If we'd been there a week early, the place would have all red!

Looks like an unexploded missile to me!

a little bit of ridgeline...
gotta admire the view!
 Hiking and getting away from it all is usually where I feel closest to God - look at what an imaginative, creative Creator we have.  It's like every breath you breathe out there is an act of worship.
ahhh nature!

Bev demos how the wind blows & tree limbs point in 1 direction
holly berry?

The hills are alive!

Taking it all in...

on top of the mountain!
Gourmet lunch, ala Dottie

Delivery?  not even close...about 3-4 miles left!

beautiful day!

one last stream crossing!
I definitely would recommend some Dolly Sods hiking...if you're doing the northern section, waterproof boots would be advantageous as well...or something you don't mind getting wet in warmer weather.  I think another trip when the blueberries are in season is in order!  :)  Art'll have to wait til I get back from Guinea and I can figure out when to do about 30 of the prettiest miles in NC...  :)