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”.

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!!!

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