Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Cards have landed in Trinidad!

The Trinidad and Tobago ISLP crew has landed in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Tomorrow morning, we'll have free time to explore Port of Spain and then we're off to explore the island of Tobago!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ISLP Hosts Doss and Valley High School Service Learning Students

The University of Louisville's International Service Learning Program hosted Doss and Valley High School service learning students today. The high school students were participating in a service-learning course and had just completed a morning of community service at the Jefferson County Public Schools Clothes Closet, a resource providing clothing and school uniforms for students and families in need. AFter their morning of service, the high school students came to campus for lunch and heard from a panel of five ISLP alumni. Students learned all about ISLP and other service opportunities on campus and in the local community. It was a great opportunity for the high school students to ask questions about not only ISLP, but life on campus and college in general.

Special thanks to ISLP Trinidad & Tobabo 2015 student Daquarius Mahone for setting up the visit!

Carson, Daquarius, Nitaya, and Nannie telling the high school students about their own service experience at UofL.

Top: A group photo with our UofL and Valley and Doss High School students. 
Bottom: Our UofL ISLP alumni pose with Ms. Lisa Carter, the facilitator for the high school service learning program. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Caroline's Reflection: I'm Still Learning...

Sitting at home doing the journals for my Belize experience is making me reminisce on everything that happened; from our crazy nights to the amazing days of service we had. I’m going to miss all of these great people who have become some of my best friends in such a short amount of time. It’s unbelievable how things happen in life and bring certain people in but I think it must all be for a reason. I really do believe there is a reason that people come into your life, not all people of course, but there are those few who you just don’t want to let go of. I found some people who I know I will be friends with for a long time. We all think we are hilarious but no one else gets our humor, we appreciate a good sunrise with a cup of coffee, we appreciate having a good time but also knowing when to get serious. It’s hard to find people you click so well with but I’m glad I found a few while on this trip.

It was interesting to be on a trip with so many people from so many different cultures and with varying experiences. I love hearing people’s perspectives on life because I’m still learning, but having friends on the trip who have had similar experiences helped me to look at all points of view and simply talking about life with people on trip made me grow as person. It’s so awesome to swap stories and get to know people on a deeper level. Several of my favorite moments on the trip happened while we were all out on beach at night after dinner, from the weird fruit to the Garifuna dancers- I really got to know most people on the trip on a more personal level rather than solely superficial, which is normal when you only know someone for 1 week. My absolute favorite memory from the trip has he be the young girl from my last day at the dental clinic will forever be stuck in my mind. She made me realize that nursing is really what I want to be doing. I want to be the one to make others feel better; I want to help people. This trip reaffirmed the fact that I’m on the right track. I’m forever grateful to Dr. Nash for sharing her insight with me and giving me all of the experience that she did. This trip was honestly one of the best weeks of my life and I will never forget anything about it. Certain memories will forever be ingrained in my head and I know I’ll be a better nurse because of my experiences.

I would 100% recommend some kind of service trip, whether it’s with school or with a church or a different organization. It’s hard to put into words but I have never been more grateful for the experiences I had and the people I met or felt more humbled than I did in Belize. The Belizian people as a whole are kind to everyone, very trusting of us to help them, unbelievable happy and grateful for what they have, and most of all they genuine. I find it hard to collectively call the people I meet at the hospitals during clinical genuine, but the Belizians were. They were authentic and sincere from how they spoke to how they treated us. It’s something that is hard to explain but that feeling you get when you see a cute puppy or see someone that you care about, that is the feeling I had the entire week while in Belize. The experience was overall absolutely one of the best weeks of my life and I am already planning another service trip to South Africa in a few months. 

Caroline Medley
College of Nursing

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ashle's Reflection: Belize Gave Contracts and Torts a Run for It's Money

First, let me start off by saying that this was this is by far my favorite course that I have ever taken in Law School. Belize really gave Contracts and Torts a run for their money, however, Belize still came out on top. But in all seriousness, I learned so much from this course. Not limiting myself to academic material such as Empowerment, CPR, and the Heimlich maneuver, but about the Belizean culture, language, geography, attractions, spirituality and how to manage a high school and elementary school classroom.

Beginning with the Communications material, I learned more than I ever thought I would ever know about empowerment and self-esteem. I was able to discover how to get youth of both elementary and high school students to interact and participate in class by asking certain questions and having them engage in certain activities during the classroom presentation. During this presentation I FINALLY learned the CARDS cheer which I have somehow failed to learn in the four years that I have been a student at the University of Louisville. I learned it so well I was actually able to teach it to the students!

Although not as interesting as the Belizean culture, I learned the Heimlich maneuver and CPR from the nursing students. As a nursing student explained to me, “the Heimlich maneuver is an emergency technique for preventing suffocation when a person's airway becomes blocked by a piece of food or other object.” I also learned how to perform Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on both infants and adults. The interesting aspect of inter-disciplinary work is that you have to learn the material well enough to teach it to students of all ages. This means answer any questions that the students might have and get it right the first time so as to not confuse the students.

At the dental clinic I learned how to take a manual blood pressure as well as a blood pressure using the machine. Sometimes, a person’s arm would be too big for the cuff to fit on for the automated blood pressure machine and a nursing student showed me how to use the cuff to take a forearm blood pressure. I participated in sterilizing dental equipment and learned about the different sterilization machines. I like to think that I learned how to extract a tooth since I watched so many being extracted but…I’m not quite there yet!

Nevertheless, I was able to get to know Belizeans throughout Belize from Independence to Belize City to Dangriga. I had the opportunity to experience different cultures of people located within Belize from the Maya Mopans to Georgetown and Independence who were located not too far away from one another.

One of my most interesting learning experiences while in Belize was how to open a coconut with a machete. While walking down the road, Erika, Mahnoor and I came across a coconut while the Maya Mopan students had gone home for lunch. Erika decided that she was going to walk up to someone’s home and ask them to open it. I thought this was funny because I honestly didn’t believe that anyone would open the coconut for her. However, to my surprise, a man handed Erika a machete and told her to open it while laughing hysterically. Seconds later he offered to open the machete and I saw the proper technique how to open a freshly fallen coconut. In this experience, I learned so much about the Belizean people as a whole. Their sense of community, helpfulness and friendliness surpasses anything that I have ever seen before in my life. People that live in shacks and have the clothes on their back and walk miles and miles to work today appear to be happier, friendlier, and more fulfilled than people I have met in the United States with every type of material item that you could imagine.

This trip made me think twice about what is really important in life and the type of life that I want to lead and how I would like to be remembered. It’s amazing how far a little kindness can go and the impact that it can have on someone. That man probably will forget my name, face, and everything we discussed, but I will never forget his kindness at a time when he had absolutely nothing to gain from helping three-young girls from Kentucky.

Thank you for the opportunity to go on this trip. It was life-changing and an experience that I will never forget.

Ashle Motley
Brandeis School of Law

Video from Belize highlighting our cultural excursions!

Thanks to our videographer, Carson Tilley,for the video! Up next will be a video highlighting our service days!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ashley's Best Week Ever!

BEST WEEK EVER! Seriously, I had an amazing time. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. This trip helped me gain a new perspective not only other cultures (specifically in Belize), but on life in general. On this trip, I felt small. Not in a low self esteem way, but I finally realized that there is so much more to the rest of the world and to living. Louisville can seem pretty small at times. Visiting Belize helped me realize I’m not as significant in the grand scheme of things as I might have once thought.  

I’ve learned to appreciate other cultures. Just because people don’t live the way we live in America, doesn’t mean they aren’t happy or that they’re under privileged. People live in a tremendous amount of ways and its important to understand it before one makes any assumptions. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. Building off of each other, the locals and the ISLP group, can create some stunning work and a beautiful experience.

I’ve learned to take things as they come, don’t anticipate anything and don’t worry. Things will be as they are meant to be. Worrying does not change a single thing. Don’t be selfish and don’t continuously put yourself first. Appreciate where you come from and where others come from. Together we make up this crazy little planet in space.

              There was a huge pit in my stomach after we landed back in the states from our trip to Belize. I didn’t want to leave all my new friends that made me pee from laughing too hard. I also just had one of the coolest experiences of my life and was not looking forward to facing the week ahead. I swear to you, I have never, ever laughed as hard and as consistently as I did on this trip. I came back with a six-pack of abs. I met amazing people and had the time of my life. More importantly, this trip has given me a new perspective on life that will indeed make me a well rounded and smarter woman.

(All pictures are mine, Carson Tilley's, or Erika Doll's)