Saturday, January 31, 2009

Update on Jen's Upcoming Africa Trip

This week I finally learned more about my trip to Africa this summer. There are seven women going as part of the clinical outreach team and then a few additional women who are the organizers. We will attend an international multicultural mental health conference in Gabarone, Botswana and during the conference we will have the opportunity to go sight seeing. That makes me very excited. I was afraid I was going to Africa and I wasn't going to get to do any of the touristy stuff (big sigh of relief).

After the conference we will spend one week in Gabarone colaborating with mental health agencies and providing supervision. They have a very limited number of mental health professionals and have asked for clinical supervision so they can have fresh ideas on how to better help their clients. We will also spend time in the schools and a day hospice center for individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS. These are two places where I will most likely get to conduct one-on-one counseling with the residents of Africa. We will also spend time doing informal outreach and helping the residents get connected with local resources so they have lasting help that will continue after our group has left.

I will also get to spend a week in Johannesburg, South Africa doing similar work. Sounds like we will also get to go to some of the smaller villages to see how the individuals live and to see what additional help we may be able to offer them.

We will also travel to Malawi where we will visit the National Black Child Development Institute. This is an organization aimed to help the children of Africa receive an education and have other needs met as well.

There is also a chance we will go to Cape Town because this group had a wonderful experience there in 2007. From now until my departure on July 3rd at 5:20PM from Washington Dulles Airport I will take part in monthly teleconference calls, online training, online readings, online videos, and online discussions. All in an effort to ensure I am culturally compenten to be of assistance to the individuals of Southern Africa. Also, it is so the group of us who are going can begin to get to know one another so we can be of support to each other while we are in Africa.

Just today I found out that my passport application has been approved. I should be getting it in the mail any day now. One less thing to worry about. My passport just came in the mail!!! Kara's jealous, she doesn't have one.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Finally.....we got to go snowshoeing!

Jen's cough is finally gone and that means we finally went snowshoeing, for the first time this winter. Seems like the dogs had even more fun than we did! Know what the best part was? The dogs slept all afternoon and evening, and so did Jen.

Kara posing for a quick shot. I think she just needed a break!

North Fork Little Laramie River. Just loved the icicles hanging from the snow,
yet above the river.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I am so proud of America today. This is a huge day in America. In the years to come, people will ask, "Where were you when the first African American man became president?"

I heard a story today that touched my heart. A preschool classroom here in Laramie had the inaguration on today while the kids were playing. A 4-year-old African American boy stopped playing, walked over to the TV, and said to his teachers with a huge smile on his face, "That's Barrack Obama, our new president. He's like me!" WOW!

I have such high hopes for this man. I am very excited to see what the next 4-8 years hold.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jen and Hayden (Hayden is 6 months in this photo)