I hope you are all doing well back at home. I have really settled in here. I am loving the country and the people more and more each day. Work has been moving very quickly, that is why I have not been posting as often. The KAP study as been finalized and translated into Mongolian and the pilot study for that is currently being worked on. I am hoping that will be accomplished before I leave.
It’s hard to believe that a month has already gone by. I am sure the month of April will be even faster than March and I will be home before I know it. I apologize for not writing sooner, I have been under the weather the past few days but am finally much better.
One of the first ex-laps I did here in Kijabe was a planned gastrectomy on a 74-year-old female for gastric cancer. She was thin and frail and had progressive difficulty with eating for over a year now with resultant profound weight loss. I feared the worst when I felt her abdomen after she had been put to sleep; when she was fully relaxed, you could feel a large mass in her upper abdomen.
It seems to me that global surgery, or really any work in a resource-poor country, requires a different type of intelligence to be successful. Indeed, it requires ingenuity, the ability to think outside the box at nearly every level to make do with the resources available. This has been demonstrated to me over and over again for the last four weeks here in Kijabe, Kenya.
I am writing you tonight as I sit on my living room couch eating scrambled eggs for dinner after a full day of travel outside of the city. Today, three new friends and I traveled to see part of the Mongolian health care system outside of the city.
Yesterday International Women Day was celebrated by giving cakes, sweets, flowers in appreciation of women around the country. It kind of reminded me of Valentines day in the states- I was walking around towards the downtown square and passed countless men carrying flowers or cake boxes home. So naturally- I got myself a cupcake to celebrate :). It actually was pretty tasty! The day was also celebrated with no work- so I got a holiday on my second day.

Travel helps me better understand and appreciate the world around me.  Public health has become my passion. Follow me as I learn to bring the love of travel and public health together through my Master of Public Health field experience in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

This adventure will begin on March 2nd as I begin my two day trek from East Tennessee State University to my temporary home for two months.  There will be many lessons learned, knowledge gained, and many pictures to share with you throughout this experience.  I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

"One may observe in one's travels to distant countries the feelings of recognition and affiliation that link every human being to every other human being." – Aristotle

At the age of nineteen I scribbled this quote on the inside cover of a journal I kept while interning at an HIV/AIDS clinic in Kampala, Uganda - a one month experience that I, in my naïvety, had assumed would shine light on answers to the world's problems and provide me with direction in my future studies and career choices. Not so shockingly, I returned home with more questions than answers about the all-too-exhaustive list of social injustices in this world and how I could possibly play a role.
The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington DC, holds a monthly speakers luncheon for Congressional staff interested in the various topics related to foreign assistance. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.
I have never been so thankful for a shower! I am happy to say that after a two day journey and a lot of jet lag I have made it to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I arrived late last night around 3AM here to meet wonderful hosts who welcomed me to this beautiful city. I can honestly say I had no idea what to expect, or what it would look like coming in. I feel very comfortable here so far and have enjoyed walking (not too far) around my apartment.

Subscribe to our newsletter to recieve the latest updates.