Thursday, June 3, 2010

Updates from across the country

I feel fortunate that my rotations worked out *almost* how I wanted them to. Unfortunately, I could not squeeze into anything along the lines of cardiology, surgery, trauma, or anything interesting like that. And I was a bit frightened about the prospects of having a full month of infectious disease, after antibiotics seemed like a blur. However, I was able to snag a two month gig up in Spokane, Washington, miles and miles away from home and everything familiar. May and June are hot and humid in Florida, and our highest elevation is barely considered a hill up here.

I have always been interested in adventures, and have many things I'd like to accomplish during my time, but coming completely across the country for two months, with weekends open to explore, has really given me the drive to actually start working on these experiences. There are indeed a lot of them.

So far I've been here a month, and have already found myself traversing the entire state. I'm staying with another classmate, and we've been traveling each and every weekend to all kinds of places, both big and small. Here's a sample of what we've seen so far (more detailed updates to come):

Week 1: Spokane: We stayed around town for a Pow Wow and introduction to Native American culture. We're working with Indian Health Services on the Spokane Indian Reservation, so this was an ideal opportunity to get to know the customs and history of our patient base. Boy was it exciting.

Week 2: Seattle: We were still unfamiliar with the Pacific Northwest and all it has to offer, so we decided to make it easy the first week and come out to the city. We stuck to touristy things: the zoo, aquarium, and museum of flight. The last one rekindled my desire to take to the skies, which hopefully I can pursue after I get the funds. Living on loans doesn't permit too many expensive hobbies.

Week 3: Hood River/Portland: We decided to adventure a little bit this week and found a place that offered some pretty intense whitewater rafting on a tributary of the Columbia River. Boy is it gorgeous out there, and a quick drive around Portland just sweetened the deal.

Week 4: Vancouver: A long weekend means a longer trip, which means we can drive farther. We ended up spending the weekend touring the city, visiting Olympic sights, gorging ourselves at a food festival, and going whale watching.

So far we've hit on some great spots, with excellent pictures to come of it. I'll get around to more detailed updates in the coming days, as well as some photos that capture the essence of why I do this.


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