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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Let the Adventure Begin

Here I am February 9th at 9 at night about to board my last lag to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  I started this long day at 5 am Seattle time!  I haven't made it very far, but have already received the expected 15 phone calls from my Dad with his last minute advice, guidance, and words of endearment, "money in your front pockets, no jewelery, be careful, I love you, be careful, bags in front of you, don't take the taxi offered inside the airports, don't go to the beach, work, take care of the things, have fun, oh and be safe, I love you." :) It's comforting to know after all our years of travel, he is consistent!

So there I was, two HUGE suitcases, two HUGE carry ones, oh and my wedding dress.  Two hours later and a friendly feel from our beloved TSA, and I was on my way.  As I walked to my flight it finally hit me.  I am leaving everything that is comfortable, my friends, my family, and my job, to move to the city of Belem with little understanding of what lies ahead.  This lit an unexplainable excitement in me and I knew I was making the right decision.  I have spent many years waiting for this opportunity and part of me can't believe it is finally here.  There are few times in your life you are filled with such raw and apposing emotions from elation to anxiety and confidence mixed with fear.  But if not now, then when?

I'd like to take a few moments to give background to how I ended up here today.  I have always loved Brazil.  When I am there, I feel at home.  The energy, positivity, and celebration of life that defines the culture calls to my heart.  Despite the hardships, poverty, and human suffering, Brazilians never stop dancing to the samba beat.  When I finished college I wanted to move to Brazil to live for a year or so.  I wanted to become fluent in Portuguese, samba dancing, and the Brazilian way of living.  With my Mom sick at home that wasn't a reality.  Erin and I planned our trip for short two months all over Brazil combining vacation with volunteering at my Dad's school, Quero Ser.  It was an experience I could never put into words.  The children we worked with, the people who welcomed us into their homes forever changed us.  I returned to the US and immediately started my job at UWMC.  I loved my life, but a part of me felt empty with out this full experience.  Four years later, having the nursing experience, the support of the UW, my incredible family, and an amazing man pushing me to achieve great things, I have the perfect combination to prepare me for this experience.

With everything aligned, I will be spending part of my time helping the medical team in Belem establish their liver transplant program.  I will be educating nurses on Post-op Liver Transplant management.  The other part of my time, I will be taking a boat down the river providing primary care to remote communities in the Amazon.  That is all I know...no more and no less.  So, as I sit in the Charlette Airport, I will close in saying...here goes nothing!


1 comment:

  1. Hi Lia- What a wonderful adventure you are embarking on!!How well I remember the amazing people and countryside from our trip in 2003!
    So proud of your professional and personal journey!
    Love, Mark and Carol Taylor