Monday, November 17, 2008

Some updates!

Hey! Sorry I've been rather scarce with my posts. School keeps me super busy. But anyways, I just wanted to let everyone know what has been happening over the past week or so. I should be getting my passport with Alex on Friday this week after I'm through with all my exams on Thursday. That is going to be a huge step forward in making this happen. Also, on November 24 (MY BIRTHDAY!!) Jill, the coordinator of the trip is giving a presentation down at Shands to all the members that will be attending this trip. I didn't mention before, but me and three of my friends are working with Jill, who works at Shands (the teaching hospital around here), to organize the trip. My friends and I are going to be the ones to decide who goes on the trip. I've recieved alot of applications and we will begin reviewing them in early December so that we can have a finalized list of who is attending at the very beginning of the semester. I've seen alot of really great applications (and several not so great), but we are going to have a full house going on this trip. It seems like everyone is getting really excited about it. We are also going to be organizing a large fundraising event for the trip to help bring down costs. I think we'll be hosting a guitar hero tournement, which is going to be AWSOME! Anyways, I think that's all I got for you right now. I'll just leave you with a very pretty picture of Banjul, the capital of Gambia! YAY!


Monday, November 10, 2008

World Music Ensembles!!

So last night I went to UF's annual world musics ensembles concert. I must say, after attending that, I realized how uptight we are here in America. The Cuban group had like half the audience up on stage dancing (including me). I happened to see my professor while I was up there, and he made a pretty snide comment about me dancing up on stage during class today. But anyways, it was really interesting to see other culture's music and dance. There was also an Western African ensemble and dance group which interested me a lot. I really want to join the ensemble next semester so I can learn as much as I can about Gambian culture (and music) before I get there. Since I will be working at a hospital which has an Arts in Medicine part to it, I would really like to learn about their art before I subject them to my own. lol Anyways, overall it was pretty interesting. They were in very colorful and elaborate costumes and the music was almost entirely percussive, except for a bit of singing. Of course they had the whole audience dancing and singing by the end of their performance too. Needless to say, I had a great time at this concert last night and I'm super excited to participate in the ensemble next semester. I know this post didn't have much to do with Gambia, but I still thought it was interesting and fun! lol

On another note, I think I'm getting my passport this week. I'll keep you guys up to date about it....I'm SUPER excited though!

-Kerry :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Some great pics!!!! YAY!

So here is more info on my trip. I wanted to let everyone know exactly where I am going. This shows where Gambia is in Africa. It's a small country completely surrounded by Senegal (where we will be flying into). It is on the coast and alot of my trip will be spent by the beach (at least when I'm not working). Im really excited about seeing their culture and learning about their music. I am actually in a World Music class where I learned a bit about Gambia's music and their instruments. They are mostly percussive, which I am not familiar with. I play clarinet, so their music should seem pretty foreign to me. lol Anyways...I also have some other pictures!
That's a picture of the hotel I will be staying at! It is called the Bakadaji Hotel and it is really close to the hospital and school we will be working at! It's so beautiful there and actually doesn't look all that different from Florida. lol We will have roommates and suite mates and I've been told by people who have already been on this trip that everyone kinda ends up together sleeping on each other's couches and stuff. It will be 12 premed students, some med students, pharmacy students, doctors and residents.That's another picture of the hotel. I don't really know if we will be staying in a bungolow or villa, Im sure i'll find out about that later. But I do know that in this area of Gambia there are monkeys which play in the trees around the hotel and hospital. I don't think I've ever seen a monkey so that is pretty exciting! Anyways, I should be getting some more info soon....and I'll be getting my passport pretty soon too! I'll keep you up to date about that! Talk to you soon!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

To Begin...

So I have some pretty exciting news! I will be going to Gambia to study abroad for 2 weeks this summer. I will be there to help out a hospital and work with the doctors there to help improve the health care of Gambia. As you can imagine, I'm incredibly excited and I really want everything to go as smoothly as possible. This blog is going to include information about my training for the trip, fundraising (because its super expensive and I don't really have the money to go) and any another trip related stuff (like getting my passport and visas and stuff). I will also bring my computer there and keep you guys updated during my trip! I hope to get a pretty good following for this blog...I'll keep it interesting, I promise! A close friend of mine will be going on the trip as well and I will provide him with the password to this account so he can write about his experiences too. He will be doing the same training program as me and will also be participating in the same fundraisers. Neither of us have ever been out of the country so we will be getting our passports together pretty soon, which is SO exciting. A bit of info to start you off:

The cost of the trip is $1500 for the credits and ground costs plus the cost of my ticket there is going to be ALOT of fundraising.

We will be there for 2 weeks in July.

We will be bringing medication such Tylenol and mosquito nets to the people of Gambia to help out as much as possible.

There will be no air not happy about that fact.

The trip is being organized by Arts in Medicine at Shands. They have been there many times and know the ropes.

I think that's all I got for ya now. I'll upload some picks of where we are staying and such later. I'm at the library though and I should probably head home. Please visit my blog often to keep yourself updated!