Summer 2013 has started a bit slow. Don’t get me wrong, having a week (or two) of unrestricted sleep-in time and book reading and swimming has been bliss (especially after the last few hectic terms I’ve had of late late nights and a stiff dorm bed!). But my purposeful, active self likes to have a bit more to do. So while I wait on my volunteer approval forms to begin interning at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) (more about this later), I have decided to start the blog I’ve been meaning to start for the past year. To chronicle the personal joys (and changes) in my life for me and whoever cares to know. So here it is.
Up to this point. I am a motivated (let me tell you.. up until 3 am some nights!) student at Oregon State University studying business management and sustainability. I’m excited for the growth of sustainability in businesses, recognizing how important it is (and will be) to responsibly manage resources and outputs for a healthy continued environment as world populations and wastes increase. My mind has changed so many times regarding what industry I’d like to work in, but the top two currently (likely to change, fyi) are hospitality (luxury hotels and resorts) or healthcare. Pretty diverse but who knows at this point?! I keep telling myself (the planner, who likes to have it all figured out) that God knows what He’s doing and He’ll let me know when I need to know. So while sometimes it feels like I’m free falling, I’ll just trust in Him and wait for the plan! I have two years left at OSU so I still have some time to grow up and learn more about the plan anyway.
This summer. So, after many dead ends and closed doors, I have decided to do an unpaid internship at OHSU for experience this summer. When it became clear that I wouldn’t find a paid position in my interests, I chose to embrace my youth and volunteer instead so I could set my own schedule, gain experience, and still join the family on a roadtrip to visit my favorite big sis at the end of the summer. Looking for some venue to gain insight and experience in sustainability, I reached out to a sustainable food programs coordinator at OHSU and it looks like I will be able to intern under her, facilitating the hospital/university farmers market, creating and improving marketing for several programs she runs and would like to start, and optimizing the transfer of local foods to chefs within the hospital. … It all sounds new but exciting and I can’t wait to see how I can help! Plus, OHSU is downtown Portland and on a gorgeous campus (and it’s kind of been my dream to work & live downtown) so I am thrilled for this opportunity.
After summer… the best part! After many, many prayers, a lot of soul-searching, and QUITE a few hours of planning and research, doors have opened to allow me to study abroad in South Caicos this fall. This is something I have always wanted to do–travel abroad–and with my three year graduation plan I didn’t think I could make it work and still graduate on time. Plus there was the problem of finding a program. But one rainy fall afternoon, as I walked across campus with my lime polka dot umbrella, I saw a sign for the study abroad fair in the Memorial Union and decided I couldn’t let my dream die… besides it probably wouldn’t make a difference, so why not just check? After meandering around a few booths touting European programs for all majors, I found a table covered with brochures of amazing photographic quality (of course I was sucked in!). Depicting Kenyan elephants after a jungle rain on the front cover, the brochures described an environmental field study programs in a variety of sensitive global environments through the School for Field Studies (SFS). A glance through the program and I was hooked on the marine resource program in the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI). Specifically set on South Caicos, the program focused on on resource management and habitat conservation options–and their associated social and economic implications especially for constrained island economies, dilemmas I am especially interested in as they apply to the tourism/hospitality industry. The program lasted from September 1st to December 5th, but would allow me to take courses for my sustainability major and conduct research for my honors thesis. Plus, the endless blue skies and seas of the Caribbean seemed like a pretty good place to boost my science/sustainability background!
It is crazy to think that only 3 months after that first wishful hoping I would be accepted by SFS and now, another 5 months later, I would be planning and packing to leave! God has surely brought me over mountains for this and some days I still cannot believe it will be happening!! In just 10 weeks, I will be leaving for a flight to New York, then Miami, then Providenciales (“Provo”, the tourism hub of Turks & Caicos), and then an island-hopper on to South Caicos. I will live in the sand and sunshine for the next 3 months at a sparse– I’ve heard!– field center with 30ish other undergraduate students and 10ish research professors and staff. So you don’t think it’s all vacation… days start at 7am with 4 lectures before lunch and then field work all afternoon, Monday- Saturday (Sundays are the only day off), and we get 1 freshwater shower a week (ahhhh!! I know we’ll be in the water every afternoon for field work on SCUBA/snorkel but still! will take some getting used to). It is a rigorous academic program that is highly structured, but it sounds like there is not much to do on the island anyway: South Caicos, one of the smallest in the Turks & Caicos chain, houses just over 1000 residents. It has one bank that is open one morning a week. We will get our food shipped in every other Tuesday. Wild donkeys and dogs roam loose. But I’m excited for the smallness and the community-feel; SFS tries to integrate with the local islanders– called “Belongers”–as much as possible so I’m sure I’ll get opportunities. Ok, enough about this for now!
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.