Monday, May 15, 2017

Take me to Taiwan

Hello from Taiwan!

Many of you may be wondering what I am doing 6,936 miles away from home (without my cute husband 😢 ).. I am currently on (another) study abroad! This time I am with BYU's College of Nursing. A Public & Global Health Practicum is required for my graduation, believe it or not. I feel incredibly blessed to be here. First off, many people are not fortunate enough to go to University. Second, of those who do, most are not able to do one study abroad let alone TWO.
I always say I am the luckiest person I know, and honestly I mean it.
I am here with 13 other nursing students (9 of which are from my cohort, 4 from the semester above) and two BYU faculty members--Craig and Ryan. We love* them. We also have Jane, our Taiwanese translator. She is a nurse at the hospital we work at and her English is AMAZING. She is the most darling person I have ever met.

*drive them up a wall.

As Taiwan is a developed country, we are working inside a main hospital in Tainan. We do not have a ton of ability to practice skills here, but I have learned SO MUCH from watching the amazing nurses and doctors who work here. In the States, most nurses on a med-surge floor have 3 or 4 patients. Here a nurse will have 8-12, and up to 25 during night shift. On top of that, Taiwan does not have CNA's/patient care techs to help out. THAT IS CRAZY. Ironically enough, the nurses here never complain about patient load or patients that require extra attention. The Taiwanese nurses give 110% to their patients. They are so kind, giving, and humble. Taiwanese physicians also seem to have very good relationships with the nurses, which is something I greatly admire.

I'll just give you a quick rundown of the adventure so far:

We spent the first day in Taipei, traveled to Tainan, and visited "Monkey Mountain" -- where there really are just monkeys roaming around. Turns out monkeys are pretty mean.
The next day we attended church in Tainan and went to the legendary "stake pit". Honestly, we were all just sooooooooooo jet-lagged. Adjusting to a 14 hr time difference is a whole different beast than the 7 I am used to.
Monday we had orientation all day long on the hospitals we are working at!
And last Tuesday we began clinical bright and early. I spent the first two days in the ER. IT WAS SO COOL.
We also played badminton one night with some doctors. Apparently it's like a national sport here and a HUGE deal.... We just played at a high school but they had a massive arena. How sweet is that?
Wednesday-Friday we traveled to the other side of the Island and visited Hualien and Taroko Gorge National Park. aka the prettiest place on earth.

We hiked a bajillion stairs up the mountain to this temple for some killer views... I have never sweat so much in my life. No joke, we were all just dripping. We are talking hair soaked, sweat beads running down your legs, wet-in-places-you-never-want-to-be kind of sweating.

But for a view like this??

Is this not the most beautiful place you have ever seen?!?? I am pretty sure this is what heaven will look like. Only with Austin there, too.

That was week one! After sweating our way through Hualien we got on the train for 6 hours and went back to Tainan to start another week of clinical. 

It has been so amazing to observe another culture, visit incredible places, and understand a little more about God's love for His children all over the globe. I am so excited to see where the next two weeks take me!

Love Always, Aimee 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Reflections & Resolutions

As I've reflected on the last year and thought about what is coming in this new one, I cannot help but feel overwhelming gratitude for my life and all the love in it.

I knew being married to Austin would be good, but I had no idea how good. It's one of those things that you don't know you are missing from your life until it's in it, and then you have no clue how you lived so long without it. Like avocados or cafe rio, but infinitely more. Austin is so kind, thoughtful, funny, intelligent, hard-working, caring, adoring, and absolutely adorable. He makes every day better and never fails to help me see the good. On top of that, he also does all the laundry, most the cleaning, and half the cooking. So really I am winning BIG TIME over here.

With my new marriage, I have also discovered a whole new level of love for my Savior. Don't get me wrong, I have always been grateful for the atonement and always understood that without it, I could not live with my family again in Heaven. But it was not until I was sealed to Austin that I fully appreciated the atonement meant I could live with HIM forever and ever, and spend eternity becoming perfected, creating worlds, and just loving him. And oh my goodness how my perspective has shifted. I cannot imagine life without Austin in it. I would not want any life or existence that did not include him quite honestly (sounds dramatic, I know). I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father and Savior who provided a way for me to truly have Austin for forever. What a blessing. I can tell you one thing is for sure: I do not deserve it. God really is good.

I am not quite sure what this post is about, but I wanted to start keeping a blog again. Being February, I thought it was appropriate to talk about love as it has been on my mind a lot lately. As cliche as it is, love is what makes the world go round! I think it should be a part of everything we do.

I have also been thinking lately about what changes I want to make in my life this year. The one I keep coming back to is just being more kind. Not that I am a mean person, but I do not want to become a complacent person. I want to actively do good. I want to seek out opportunities to serve, rather than wait until one falls in my lap. I want never suppress a generous thought and just give all I have to give. Because let's be real: I have more than I need, and as Anne Frank said, "No one ever became poor by giving." *mic drop*

So from me to you, Happy Valentines and Happy New Years! I hope you take a moment to appreciate all the goodness and love in your life, I hope you realize where it originates form, and I hope you go find someone you can serve. Whether that is texting an old friend to say hi, making treats and door-belling ditching them, paying for the person's food in line behind you, giving someone the Book of Mormon, donating to the refugee efforts.. there is something YOU can do. How lucky are we that God trusts us enough to serve His children?! Personally, I believe it is one of life's greatest joys.

2017, I am ready for ya.

Love Always, Aimee