The days have just flown by it seems!I am happy that the winter semester is over, summer is approaching and that I finally leave for New Orleans on Saturday
I look back into my calender where I highlighted and underlined the class times in February and it seems like yesterday. I remember selling candy grams with Mandi and Rochelle. I also remember baking St.Patrick’s day themed cupcakes. Selling our goodies and telling Ryerson students why we were travelling to NOLA was great. The feedback we got was positive and many students wish they came with us! It really made me feel important as a volunteer, knowing that I will make a difference.
My feelings are a mix of excitement, anticipation and a lot of intimidation. Up until today I could not sit myself down to pack and finish completely. Usually I am very excited to throw everything in the suitcase and roll away. But when I finally started tonight I couldn’t wipe a huge grin off my face…guess its finally sinking in! I am very well prepared now and equipped with a fully loaded first aid kit (my mom is a nurse)..so yea I have everything under the moon medicine wise.
Over the past few weeks a lot of news has come from New Orleans. With the anniversary of the BP Oil Spill and now the devastating April 27 tornado in Alabama. I have read many of the blogs of my peers in NOLA right now and am touched by the images they have left in my head. Images taken by Tanya and the crew were incredible. So much loss, so much destruction. The reality of disaster and death has yet to sink in for me. Knowing that I may even experience it first hand while in New Orleans is a little overwhelming right now.
I am ready to help, learn and grow as an individual. Ready to paint some walls, plant some trees and talk to some residents from N’Orleans. Experiencing something outside of my comfort zone and the safe walls of my current life. This trip will define my view of promoting health. I believe it is so much more than just a physician exam or an apple a day. I want to leave my handprint on a home that will house a family that was potentially separated by Katrina. That is a layer of health- bringing a family a home and not just a place to live in. I want to hear the stories of survivors and support them for their bravery. I am finally ready for this experience.
Just to add, my friends and family who have visited New Orleans had ONLY great things to say. Not going to get into it because on Saturday it is our turn GROUP 2! Here we come:)
See y’all soon, Iryna.