I have to leave in less than 12 minutes. Things just changed again.
I just found out there may be no electricity or internet at the NGO compound at the airport. I may not be able to blog after all. I may just leave my laptop behind, if the senior execs at the airport agree with me. This will save about 12 lbs for me to leave it and the accessories behind. That's a lot of weight!
Also, another great place to follow our journey will be on Meridian Magazine http://ldsmag.com. The owner/publisher/editors, Scot and Maurine Proctor, are going along on this trip. They are good friends of mine, and are the ones who told me about the trip. I owe them a lot! Please check the site our for coming stories. It was great to see Scot and Maurine last night and get big hugs from familiar faces.
There are other updates to our activities that I have posted on the UtahHospitalTaskForce.org website. Possibly the biggest one being that we are no longer going to be staying at the Healing Hands medical center. There is no longer running water there, and the conditions are deteriorating. We have been moved to the "NGO compound" at the airport. Unfortunately this major change also meant a major change in our water situation. We now have to carry all of our own water down there. The organization will be providing the majority, plus we are carrying our own small supplies. This changes the weight in the plane considerably as well. Tonight we had to ask for volunteers to stay home so that we can carry the necessary water and medical supplies.
Other things we heard tonight-
due to medical conditions, we will be training as many individuals as possible within our group how to do sutures. and we'll be teaching this, and other essential first aid skills, on the plane.
we are p…
Today has been a whirlwind of emotions. There are so many things I wish I had the time and energy to tell you. But first, a story that brought me to tears today.
Our director (a man I actually know from Virginia) has been receiving nonstop phone calls from international agencies and organizations looking to collaborate with us. He has also been receiving nonstop phone calls from families adopting orphans out of Haiti who are looking for assistance. He relayed this story to us tonight that completely broke my heart. (Please forgive me if I get some of the numbers wrong. It is late, and I have heard many stories and numbers today.) A couple from Virginia has been working to adopt a little girl from Haiti. In the days following the earthquake they attempted several times to reach the orphanage with no success. Finally the husband felt he had to travel to Haiti to find his daughter and ensure her safety. He had to fly in to the Dominican Republic and then cross the country to the border, …
When we arrive in Haiti we will be staying within the still-standing walls of the Healing Hands for Haiti medical compound. The 7 buildings within the compound have been destroyed. All 150 of us will be camping in tents within the compound. Today I learned that 2 nearby orphanages have also been destroyed. The children from these orphanages will be staying with us within the compound as well. I have purchased several cheap coloring books- with no English words in them!- to take down with me, as well as stickers, playdough, and other little items. I heard a rumor that a local school girl has collected 100 teddy bears for us to take as well. But anyone has any additional clean, used, toys , or new toys, they would like to donate, I can take them down. I have no idea how many children there will be, or how old they are. I just know they won't speak English!
Speaking of speaking English, I stopped by the library today as well. I feel a little guilty that I took all of their French/Eng…
In 48 hours from now my flight will be touching down in Haiti. I'm still in shock that this is all happening! Right now I am sitting on my bed, my bedroom a complete disaster area, wondering how I'm going to get this all done in time?!
Thanks to some generous donations and assistance from friends and family today I was able to get the majority of supplies that I need. (Most of which are now scattered all over my room, waiting for me to find a way to cram them in my backpack.) Tomorrow morning I will be getting up earlier than usual to head down to the county health clinic to get a series of vaccines. I am really not looking forward to it at all. Hep A, Typhoid, H1N1, and Pertussin (and possibly Polio if my mother decides that I didn't get it as a child. We're very unclear on that right now) are on the list. If I'm not allergic to this year's flu shot, I'll also be getting that. As the nurse ever so kindly put it on the phone this morning, "You are goi…
I've sent it out in an email, on Twitter, and on Facebook now. Now it is time to post it on the good old blog.
I'm going to Haiti!
Yes, in a crazy turn of events, I walked into the Utah Hospital Task Force offices today to volunteer to help with fundraising and marketing efforts and I haven't left yet (7 hours later). Suddenly I'm going to Haiti as the press secretary/executive assistant/medical support on Thursday. I will be in-country for 21 days.
And I seriously need your help!!
I need your help getting cash donations, physical donations, etc. ANYTHING. If you can get it to me to take to Haiti, I can do it! I need first aid supplies, sunblock, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, clean socks, iodine tablets, a pocket knife, batteries, etc, etc. Anything and everything! If you live nearby and can bring it to me, I'll love you forever. If you don't live nearby but really want to help, you can send me money via PayPal (erinannie at yahoo.com). Every little thing will he…
If you have a blog or website, and you are open to helping support the Utah Hospital Task Force and Healing Hands for Haiti with either a backlink to their site, or a short blog post about them, please let me know.
If you are open to sending an email to your friends, family, and networks about the need for donations to the Utah Hospital Task Force and Healing Hands for Haiti, please let me know.
If you would be willing to put up a one line Twitter or Facebook status, or become a fan of the organization on Facebook, please let me know. (You can find them on Twitter already as @UHTF)
If you have an LDS ward email list that you could send an email to about the need for donations and volunteers, please let me know.
In other words, if you are willing to help me get the word out about this worthy organization, please let me know- ASAP! Not getting to go to Haiti isn't going to stop me from helping in any way I can. And really, I think we all know that my best skills are in creating onli…
I am fully supporting the Healing Hands for Haiti organization. As mentioned previously, I had hoped to travel with them, as part of the Utah Hospital Task Force, to do rescue work in Haiti next week (for 21 days). They have secured an airplane, tents, MRE's, and all the necessary supplies to take 150 volunteers to Haiti for 21 days. They had over 400 people apply, and took the most priority qualified individuals first. It costs roughly $300,000 to take one plane to Haiti round trip. (The flight departs from Salt Lake City with the volunteers, and will return immediately filled with medical patients who will receive medical attention in Utah.) This organization wants to take more volunteers down- Haiti needs the help! But they need more funds.
Over 110,000 people have died in Haiti in the past 2 weeks. That doesn't even begin to include the people who have been lost, displaced, and injured. Haiti needs help.
Why support Helping Hands…
I'll be honest. This has been a tough week. If you are my friend on Facebook you already know that I was hoping to go to Haiti as a rescue volunteer, but didn't get accepted. I feel so completely useless right now. I have nothing to do most days, nowhere to go, no one to see, etc. Seriously, I'm a waste of time and skin right now. I hate this!
I didn't have any major job hunting developments this week. That was the first time that has happened. No interviews, no call backs, no rejections either. Just no developments. I hate that! (I did apply to a few jobs though.)
I did volunteer for a completely and totally worthless project. I was hoping it wasn't a huge waste and that the organizer would impress me. (The organizer has seriously unimpressed me in the past.) But no, it was worthless. Yet another disappointment.
I think I mentioned this a few weeks back. I HATE it when people say "we are human BE-ings, not human DO-ings." I am a DOer. I can't just s…
So much to think about.
So much going on.
So bored, in spite of everything.
So little control.
So much patience.
So not willing to gain weight.
So dang cute.
I had a very fun birthday weekend. It started on Friday night at my friend Violet's birthday party. There was a big friendly dinner followed by dancing. I haven't gone dancing too much since moving to Utah, so that was a very fun change of pace for me.
For the past several unemployed weeks I have had some serious insomnia. Friday night was no exception. I finally fell asleep at 5:30 am, and woke up on my own at 8:30 am. (WHY WHY WHY???) So I got up and joined some friends at a zumba class.
HOLY COW. Zumba is just plain evil! And tons of fun!! I loved it and hated it. And I can't wait to go again.
Which reminds me, I finished the HCG diet on Friday. (And enjoyed my birthday pizza on Saturday.) I hit a plateau I just couldn't break. I lost a total of 15 lbs. I didn't quite make my goal to weigh the same on my 35th birthday as I did on my 25th. But nonetheless, I am very happy with how I look and feel right now. I plan to really ramp up exercising to keep the weight of…
Things that suck
1. Record breaking earthquakes
2. Nasty weather inversions in Utah
(see how there are clouds over the mountains and below the mountains? and how you can't see the big huge valley straight ahead? that is because the lower set of clouds is the smog inversion. this picture was taken around 2 pm.)
3. Not getting the job I had my heart set on after 3 interviews
4. Raging insomnia
5. Having to keep the house colder than I like because I'm poor and have to cut back on the heating bill
6. Hitting a weight loss plateau and not losing anything for 4 days
Things to be grateful for
1. I get unemployment insurance
2. Inversions can't last forever
3. Friends that give me projects to do
4. "deferred payments"
5. At least I have a house to live in
6. I lost some weight, right?
An awesome Porter story from my sister- (FYI- Porter will be 5 in just 2 weeks! Such a big boy!)
(Giving one of their 12 puppies a nice tight squeeze.)
Tell (now age 10) found a box of matches. Porter was in awe as Tell struck and lit a few of them. Porter cried and said he wanted to do it too. I told him no. Porter's eyes followed me as a I put the box away. Porter then turned to me and oh so innocently said, "Mom. Go take a nap."
I'm back on HCG again. I really do love being on this diet. I thought I'd share a few of the lessons I've learned from my third round of HCG.
I tried the diet for the first time back in August and lost 18 lbs. I gained 5 back. I did the diet again in October-ish, and lost another 15ish. I gained every single pound back within 4 weeks. I've now been on the diet again for 15 days and I've lost 17 lbs.
What I learned from the second attempt on the diet is that I could cheat and enjoy the diet a whole lot more. And then I discovered that, what I think is a result of the cheating, I couldn't keep the weight off at all. So here in round 3 I am doing my very best to not cheat at all. (Last week I couldn't help myself and ate 5 french fries and 2 bites of cheddar cheese and gained 2 lbs. Talk about not worth it!)
I've also discovered that my body just might have a limit as to how much weight I can lose. In round 2 I approached my current weight and couldn't…
While today was a fun and enjoyable and unexpectedly good day, I still have to say it. I'm so sick and tired of being unemployed. I need a job and bad. Its not just a money thing. It is a sanity thing. I am not good at just sitting around all the time. Keep me in your prayers will ya? There's lots of good irons in the fire. But all it takes is one, right?
I've lost track of how long I have been unemployed. It feels like years, but I realize it has only been about 5 weeks really. (But give me some credit here, it was a really crazy 5 weeks.) I'm so over it. I so very badly want a job and something to do! I spoke to an interesting company about a part-time remote position that I would be able to start very soon. I am really hoping that will pan out. It doesn't pay too much better than my unemployment insurance, but I don't care. It will give me something to do for a few months (something I actually enjoy doing), and that is all that matters to me right now.
In the meantime, it is all about sitting and waiting. I've had several great interviews, and I'm continuing to apply to jobs as I find them. There are two I really would love to hear back from. One of them I am absolutely sure I would accept if they were to make an offer (but it is too early in the game for that still). This whole patience thing is killing me.…
I have a feel good story for you. One that involves me, a bank, and a website called Twollow.
I'm not going to bore you with the full details of how this all came to conspire. Here's the nutshell instead. Last week I received 4 unexpected charges from Twollow. I have unsubscribed from their site multiple times, but due to a long story that doesn't need explaining here, I keep getting charged by them.
The charges are only $5.99. And sure, don't most people have $6 in their bank accounts? Well, yes, obviously. But here's the catch. I'm unemployed. I'm not using my regular checking account anymore. (For those of you unfamiliar with unemployment funds, it doesn't go into your bank account, or come in the form of a check. You get a debit Visa card, which pretty much negates the need to use a bank account.) My regular checking account is completely empty. The 4 charges of $5.99 earned me 4 charges of $25 each from my bank.
I'm trying to take advantage of my free week and really get into writing again. ("Because I Can" week continues!) I've managed to write a little bit so far, and I'm glad I did it. But I can really feel my creative side hasn't kicked in yet. When I feel creative, I LOVE to write. I can write and write, and daydream and get it down on paper in a heartbeat. I love it.
But sometimes I just can't get into the groove. I just don't feel it. Right now when I relax and let my mind be free, I find myself writing lists and lists of things I need to do. Or looking up houses online, or checking moving van prices. Anything but releasing my inner creativity. I miss it! I want my creative side back!
Normally my creative side is very literally fed and fueled by chocolate, cheeseburgers, and pepperoni pizza. Apparently my creative gene requires grease and sugar to stay alive.
So how to be creative? I don't know. I know it is an important step in becoming a writer…
Today was a good day. In fact, it bordered on a fantastic day. Really, it did. Here's some of the reasons why.
1. After 3 weeks of multiple times a week going to the chiropractor, my back, arm, and neck finally don't hurt.
2. I had 2 job interviews today. Both left me smiling.
3. After a scary weekend thinking my aunt's breast cancer may be back, we had out of the blue good news instead!
4. I'm back on the HCG diet. In less than one week I've lost 12 lbs. I'm back in my "not fat" jeans today.
5. The birthday party got planned- pizza and gelato, followed by some dueling piano singalong fun. I've invited 95 people. (Of which I really hope I get more than just 10 people there.)
I think the only reasons it wasn't a fantastic day is that my cat, Tiny (the one who never goes outside for more than an hour), has been gone for over 24 hours and I'm getting nervous about him. (Seriously, what is it with me and cats disappearing??) And I didn't …
In exactly two weeks from today I have a birthday that I am dreading. Maybe it's just the current state of my life, but I don't want to celebrate hitting the age that officially marks the entry into middle age. I'm officially at that age where I'm an old maid. Where I'll probably never get married and have children. Where it's all about a career (and I'm unemployed) and not much more. Where it could be all down hill from here. So what is there to do except throw myself a big party? But I need your help!
Do I throw myself a-
big, huge pizza party?
fancy dress-up party at a fancy high-end restaurant?
cake and ice cream party at my own house where I have to do all the set up and clean up and everyone has to drive to Lehi?
(it won't be a costume party because Big Alliance is throwing an awesome costume party just a few weeks later)
Using the Erin rating scale- Would I see it again? In a theater? Or on DVD? Not in a theater, but yes on a DVD.
Would I recommend it to my movie snob dad? Would I not recommend it to him because it is too explicit or the language goes too far? For reasons I won't be explaining here, no, I wouldn't recommend it to my dad. We'll just leave it at he's not a fan of Nelson Mandela.
Would I recommend it to goes-to-less-than-2-movies-in-a-theater-a-year-and-even-then-only-kid-movies-with-her-kids- Juli? On DVD, yes.
Sidenote- I would recommend this movie to most other people. Including my mother or sisters to watch when my dad isn't around.
Did I get bored or wish it was over? I really enjoyed it. It was a story I had not heard before. The beginning was a little slow.
Was I intrigued by the plot? Absolutely. It was an interesting view into healing South Africa, and made me want to learn more about rugby.
Or just entertained by the special effects? If by special effects you …
Thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Vidli Booby competition. I took 5th place! Not bad for only one week in the competition! (the top 2 people were in the competition over a month)
For placing in the top 5 I score an initial job interview with them. That makes 3 more interviews (1 third interview, 2 first/phoner interviews) next week! I'm also expecting to hear back on where I stand with two other companies (advance on to another interview, or out of the running).
I'm looking forward to "write because I can" week starting tomorrow. "Watch movies and NCIS until I turn into a pile of goo because I can week" has been lovely. "Back on the HCG diet because I need to week" has been tolerable as well.
Again, thank you for your support in helping me score the job interview! Let's hope I can actually get a job offer sometime real soon!
GET IT FOR LESS!!!
It’s fun, it’ll make you laugh and if you pre-order now, it’ll save you money. List price is $15.95, but if you order before January 10, 2010 you can have it for $13.95*. Books will be shipped February 1, 2010.
I contributed one short story to this collection. Which story? You'll just have to read it and guess. I've been sworn to secrecy! I'll never tell!