You may be wondering...

..who I am:
My name is Amanda Baxley and I am from the teeny town of Hartsville, South Carolina. I went to the College of Charleston and graduated in 2006 with a BA in Biology and a minor in Psychology. After taking a year off to work, I got accepted to the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing. I graduated from the Accelerated BSN program this past December and am now officially a RN!!! I have had the same amazing boyfriend for the past 4 years now and will hopefully be lucky enough to be engaged to him very soon! And I definitely can't go without mentioning the other love in my sweet, adorable 4 year old Daschund named Sadie. She is my best friend and always beside me!

...what this blog is all about:
Giving others a chance to experience Livingstone, Zambia right along with me.

...when I will be in Zambia:
From January 31 until March 2 of this year.

...where Livingstone, Zambia is located:
Livingstone is the current capital of Zambia, a country in the southern portion of Africa. Livingstone is approximately 10km south of Victoria Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the world.

...why I am going there:
To provide healthcare to the disadvantaged citizens of Livingstone. Zambia is one of the world's poorest countries in the world and, as a result, healthcare is ineffecient. Because of the lack of adequate healthcare and health related education, Zambia is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa most affected by HIV and AIDS. Growing up, I was lucky enough to see the way that my dad cared about people other than himself. So...long story short, about 10 months ago, I made the decision to go to Zambia so that I could begin using my medical skills like my father used his - to help those that are unable (no matter what the reason) to help themselves.

“For the first time in human history, we have the science, the technology, and the money to end extreme poverty. With this unprecedented historic opportunity comes the responsibility to act”.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Still waiting....

Wow.....what a crazy week this has been. My life has gotten so much more complicated since I returned from Africa. I really don't like how complex everything is here in the US - and people don't realize that life doesn't have to be so difficult! Everyone thinks that having lots of "things" will make them happy.....and if you don't have lots of "things" then you will lead such a depressing life. But I have come to understand that the more "things" you have, the worse life gets. The people of Zambia are such happy people and lead such joyful lives. Others may view them as "poor" and "poverty stricken".....but in reality, they are the richest and most fulfilled people that I have ever met. They don't base their happiness on whether or not they have material things.......they base their happiness on whether or not they have things like love and friendship. Man....I miss it there.....I really, really do. I can't wait to go back.....

To date, I have mailed two boxes of medical supplies over to Brave. Since mailing the second box, I have been given 350 more dollars from some very caring and generous people to use to pay for shipping more boxes! So, I spoke to Brave yesterday and he said that he has not received the first two boxes yet. I mailed them on March 13, so hopefully they will get there soon. But, I am going to wait probably about another week before I ship any more - during that time I will hopefully hear that he has received the first two. If not, then I will know that something may need to be changed with the shipping! But, I will post updates along the way! Thanks again to everyone that has been helping out! Couldn't do it without ya.........

Monday, March 16, 2009

Box #2

So box #2 has been shipped! :) I sent it off today and it contained:

400 tongue depressors

200 q-tip applicators

300 alcohol pads

100 oral swabsticks

23 iodine swabsticks

482 needles - all different gauges

10 packs sterile surgical gloves

1 foley tray

293 syringes

100 lancets

100 surgical steel blades

100 small oval eye pads

280 gauze sponges

The package weighed a total of 14 pounds, 6.2 ounces and the total postage fees were $89.50. Donations are still being made by some amazing people and I already have $150 donated towards the next couple of boxes! So, I'm getting the next ones together! I talked with Brave today on the phone and told him about all the support. He says "Thank you" and that we are "helping the clinics more than we even know". I am so excited about him receiving the boxes and will be talking with him again soon, so I will keep everyone updated. Thanks again guys!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Photos and Videos

I just realized that after you click on the link to view my pictures and videos, you have to either have a Snapfish account or create one before you can view anything. If you don't want to create an account then you can just use mine - so when it asks for an e-mail address type in: and then the password is jan71984. Sorry about that!!!!

Box #1 shipped!!

The first box of supplies has been shipped!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited about this and can't wait for Brave to receive the box in Zambia - it should take about 8 - 10 days to get to him. The box weighed 12 pounds 10 ounces and contained:

8 glucometers (blood sugar machines)
1300 test strips for the glucometers
24 5cc syringes
21 barrier dressings
500 safety seal lancets
6 AAA batteries for the glucometers

I was able to send all of this for $79.00!! It sounds like a pretty big chunk of change but the estimated value of all the medical supplies in the box was over $2500! Can you believe that? Last night, I received another $100 donation! So, I am in the process now of putting together the second box of medical supplies! I am so excited and so grateful to everyone that has helped out so far! Thank you guys so much. And if anyone else is interested in making a donation then please e-mail me at Or, if you would rather it be an anonymous donation, then you can send a check to: 812 Prestwood Drive, Hartsville, SC 29550.
Thanks again!!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My photos and videos from the trip!

Hey everyone! All my photos and videos are finally uploaded! Click on the link on the right!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shipping rates

Wow.....figuring out rates and what all is involved with the process of international shipping is harder than I imagined. But...I think I finally figured it out! The picture that I have posted is the first box that I am sending over to Maramba Clinic! Here are the rates that I found on the USPS website:

Small box (5-7 pounds): shipping cost of $53-$63

Medium box (7-10 pounds): $63 - $79

Large box (10-15 pounds): $79 - $108

Extra large box (15 pounds and above): starts at $108

The maximum shipping weight to Zambia is 70 pounds so you could definitely donate more if you would like. Most of the medical supplies that I am sending are ones that don't really weigh that much (like gauze, syringes, alcohol swabs, etc.) so 5-7 pounds may not sound like that much initially, but it actually takes quite a lot of small stuff together to add up to 5-7 pounds. And then for the larger boxes, I will be able to send the supplies that tend to weigh a little more than the others (glucometers, bottles of peroxide/rubbing alcohol, etc.) Please think about making a donation! The clinics that I worked in while in Livingstone really are in terrible need of these supplies. Please e-mail me at if you would like to help out!

The pictures and videos from my trip will be up by tonight on Snapfish! I will post the web address here!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Adjusting to life back in the states

First of all, to all of those that have been following my blog over the past month, I want to apologize for not having written anything since returning from my trip. The first couple of days at home were spent sleeping off the terrible jet lag that the 19 hour plane ride gave to me. Since arousing from my coma-like state, I have been unpacking and showing pictures to some of my friends and family. The trip back to the states started Monday (March 2) and did not end until the next afternoon. 19 full hours on a plane, in the same seat, in the same clothes, no bath (not even a quick rub-down with a Handi-wipe!!!), and about an hour of sleep. It was definitely not that fun. But, it was hard to muster up the strength to throw myself a pity party because I was too overcome with thoughts about Livingstone. I was not only having to leave a place that I had come to consider home, but I was also having to leave people that I had come to consider family. Every single ounce of my being wanted to stay. I remember how I felt when I first landed in Livingstone - I remember thinking to myself, "Wow...this is really going to be such a loooooooonnnngggg month". But, after just a couple of days, I felt so at home - I remember feeling as if I had finally found where I belonged - I had finally found my place in the world. The time passed so quickly and I really, really, really wish that I had planned to stay in Livingstone longer. But, I know for an absolute fact that I will return to Livingstone as soon as I possibly can. I have already started saving money to pay for my next trip and as soon as I have saved enough, I will be on the first plane back to Zambia. And this time around, I will stay there much longer!

While I was in Livingstone, I was lucky enough to make a best friend. His name is Brave and he was born and raised in Livingstone. He is the medical project coordinator for the Livingstone division of African Impact. He is 27 years old and has almost the exact same personality and outlook on life that I have - so, we hit it off pretty much immediately. I find it very hard to put into words how amazing of a person he is - but just take my word for it - anyone that is lucky enough to meet him should feel blessed. On our time off from projects, he made sure to show me all the different parts of Livingstone. He also introduced me to all of his friends. Every single one of them welcomed me with open arms and quickly became good friends of mine as well. I enjoyed every moment that I got to spend with this group (I spent most of my free time with these guys) and I can't wait to see them again will be such an emotional reunion I'm sure.
Since Brave is the medical project coordinator and I was a part of the medical project, we worked in the clinic together most everyday. By working so closely with him, I was given the chance to see how the clinic runs on a day to day basis. While working, I saw how badly the clinics need medical supplies. Brave and the other medical staff are unable to do a lot of medical procedures because they simply do not have what they need. It really struck a chord with me and made me realize how spoiled I am. Because in the hospitals here, as a nurse, I have never had to deal with not having what I need. I always know that anything I may need for a patient is only a phone call away. Medical staff in Zambia are unable to do this and therefore have to rely on the medical skills that they possess to get things done. Because of this, they are the best healthcare professionals that I have ever met. I would trust them with my life - no doubt about it.
Their need for medical supplies made an impression on me so when I got home, I decided to try and help out the people and staff at Maramba clinic (the clinic where Brave and I worked). I know that the free clinic in Darlington receives donations of medical supplies on a pretty regular basis so I asked my mom if there were any extra supplies that I could send to Brave. She said yes and proceeded to give me an enormous amount of things that will be SOOOOO helpful for Maramba clinic to have. But then, the problem of international shipping costs decided to raise its ugly head. It is pretty expensive to ship things to Zambia and since I have just returned from a month long trip, I have absolutely no money at all. So this is what I decided to do - I am going to give anyone who is interested the opportunity to help me in this endeavor. I have small, medium, large, and extra large sized shipping containers. The international shipping cost depends on how large or small the package is that you are shipping - so, in other words, small boxes will cost less to ship than medium boxes; medium boxes will cost less to ship than large boxes and so on....So, you decide what size box you would like to pay the shipping cost for and after you make the monetary donation, I pack the box full of medical supplies and use the money that you donated to ship it over to Brave. I will include a card inside of the box that will have your name, address, and a personal message from you (this is optional!!!) to Brave and the other clinic staff members. I have already been given $100 by a very sweet friend of mine and am using this money to send over the first box full of supplies next week. I am going to do some research over the next day or two and find out exactly how much it will cost to ship the different size boxes. After I find this out, I will post the prices on my blog so that you can check them out if you are interested. You can e-mail me at if you would like to help out.
Please consider making a donation because why throw away this overflow of medical supplies??? Instead, let's send the overflow to an incredible community in Africa that needs these supplies! Thanks everybody!!!!

Oh, by the way, I am uploading all of my pictures from the trip to Snapfish today and will post the website after I am done uploading. So, if you are interested in seeing my photos, you will have access to them through this website. I will post the web address in a day or two!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Back in Hartsvegas...

Hey guys! I am back at home and just wanted to let everyone know that I will update my posts and post some pictures as well - but after I take a much needed nap!!! That 19 hour plane ride almost killed please check for updates within the next day!!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

February 26, 2009

Today I had my last HIVE class. HIVE (Human Immunodeficiency Virus Education) is a class that I teach to Zambian natives at Maramba Farm every Thursday afternoon. I, along with another medical volunteer (I was with Gillian for two weeks and Laura for one week), and Brave teach this class to a group of Zambians that are interested. It is a 5 week course that ends with a final exam – if they show up to every class and pass the final exam then they are graduates of the HIVE program. They receive a certificate at the end as well as a picture of themselves with their instructor. I really have enjoyed teaching this class and wish that I could be here for the last one but unfortunately I am leaving on Monday to go home! L I like teaching this class because it allows me to use some of my nursing knowledge and it also allows me to get to know a select group of Zambians really well. I will definitely miss this group when I leave.
Today we talked about Voluntary Counseling and Testing which is a process by which patients are provided with HIV counseling services as well as an HIV test. VCT is completely and totally confidential (which is a major issue because of the amount of discrimination that can happen if people know that you are HIV positive). We then talked about the medical treatment of HIV. I discussed the side effects of taking Anti-retroviral medications and what you can do to combat these side effects.
It was really quite sad to finish this class today because I knew that I would not see these people again for awhile. Although I plan to return to Zambia within the next year, I have become really close to all of the HIVE participants and it is going to be heartbreaking to leave them.