Glad to be home. It's always nice to travel...new experiences, friends, thoughts, ideas, places and cultures...and yet I am thankful to come home. I have been reminded of all that I am blessed to have in my health, family, security, safety and faith. My bed is so cozy and I love the snow tonight! Thanks to all who have prayed for and followed me through the photos and blog. May we all be grateful instead of waiting until things are just right to find contentment.
Things have settled down here finally..now that folks are back to work and the New Year's holiday has ended. I went from spending my first night nearly drugged from jet lag...only awaking to the loud fireworks outside my windows all night of New Year's eve to finally settling in and sleeping soundly through the night. Class ended this afternoon and tomorrow I'll take the day to spend with new friends at a beach so long as the thunderstorms don't roll in. Then I'll be off to Manilla the next day to begin the journey towards Seattle. It is always exciting to be a part of another culture even for a short time but I am ready to be home. I am thankful for the practical tools I've learned and the refresher of knowledge in Maternal and Child health and for the sunshine here but am very ready for my own bed and routine. I guess not all trips turn out as expected but I can only choose to see the blessings and trust there is purpose in them all. Off to bed...
Well, I wanted to add some pictures to the site as they say more than words so check out the Philippines tab for those. I will also say a bit about the course I'm taking as you may know someone who is interested in taking this course or being involved with this great organization. Maternal and infant deaths are a huge problem especially in the developing world and SO many of them are easily preventable. The course I am taking here through Mercy In Action offers information about maternal and child health for medical professionals or anyone hoping to volunteer or live overseas. Specifically we are learning how to recognize the common warning signs for tuberculosis, pneumonia, dehydration, worms etc. We learn how to prevent HIV transmission from moms to babies who need breast milk. How to be prepared for and help in a natural disaster is valuable information when traveling and living overseas so this is also covered. We also discussed the connection with poverty and the devastation of natural disasters including the health problems that quickly follow as is currently occurring in Haiti with the cholera outbreaks. Yesterday, I learned that only 16% of Philippino mothers are breastfeeding due to the illegal financial incentives and false advertising of infant formula companies. Although the benefits of breastfeeding are numerous for both child and mother (immune protection, nutrition and health benefits for their entire life, bonding, it's free.....) many undereducated women here think they they have no milk and that spending their precious pesos on infant formula is really what is best for their children. It is a sad tragedy that is robbing many of their lives and health. By the way, the pediatrics journal published a 2009 study in Ghana showed a 4 times increased death rate in HEALTHY infants under a month when given any formula at all, compared to exclusive breastfeeding. It seems we should all reconsider the harmful effects of formula even if it only occurs rarely. Please pass this information on to anyone who is interested.
Outside of class, I've just been walking around to the small markets and along the beach. Enjoy the photos of these.
Today, I was thankful for the sun, new friends and a chance to see the countryside. This is a beautiful country with beautiful people. This morning, after driving as far as our truck could go, we strolled through a semi-tropical forest on a narrow dirt road through a few villages to meet some of the Ita people and scope out the land. The folks I am training with are looking to build a new birth center/clinic closer to the people in these rural areas and would also like to move out there. So, we observed how far back the electricity went, how accessible the trail was for dirt bikes or horses, how high the river banks were (for when the rains came) etc. I also tasted some of the native plants and listened as the natives told about their uses...I think I may have seen motherwort. We went for a refreshing swim in the river and then down to the beach for lunch and another short swim. I will try to post some photos on the home page as well as on facebook. I am still exhausted from jet lag and the challanges of being away from routine and comfort but am trying to remain open to whatever is in store for the next 2 weeks.
Rachelle Price, ND
I am a naturopathic family physician, a graduate of naturopathic medical school at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. After many years of feeling a call on my heart to pursue further education in health care to better serve in the developing world, I attended naturopathic medical school a few years after earning my Bachelor's of Science in Biology from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
My passion is learning from and serving my community as a physician, friend and educator. I focus on helping my patients discover the root cause of illness and improve their overall mind/body/spiritual health.
I also enjoy being active outdoors, backpacking, soccer, skiing, photography, cooking, gardening and working with medicinal herbs. Living simply, sustainably and creatively are important to me as well as song, laughter, music, friends, deep discussions and growing within a supportive community...and, I love to have fun.
Please peruse this website, check out my linked in profile or email me to learn more about me and how I practice naturopathic medicine.