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”.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February 8, 2009

1 down, 6 to go!!!!!! I went and saw 1 wonder of the world today...Victoria Falls!! It really, really was the most beatiful thing that I have ever seen. Walking over the bridge, over the falls, while getting sprayed by the water was thrilling, refreshing, and life changing! I stood on the bridge today alone and just watched the water come down - I began to cry b/c I was simply amazed and in awe of what I was witnessing. The tears were uncontrollable and were a result of the most honest feeling that I have ever had. The falls in front of me were enormous and so majestic - it really made me realize how enormous and majestic this world really is. We as humans, b/c we are human, tend to think that our problems or the struggles that we go through everyday are the largest and most significant issues that anyone could ever be forced to go through. I know that my life has, and is still having, some pretty difficult situations. But, standing on the bridge today, as my tears mixed with the spray off of Victoria Falls, I realized how small we are compared to the vastness of the Earth. I saw how truly small my "huge" problems are - although they seem to take up so much space in my life, they really are just a small, tiny piece of the life that I have been given. The beauty that surrounded me today was incomprehensible and I am so very lucky that I was able to witness it. Life is about having moments like the one that I had today - I vow that I will fill this life with more moments like this. Moments that take my breath away and that conjure up emotion that is pure and real.
The only thing that could have made this day any better is if I had been able to witness all of this with Bradley - it was quite a romantic, emotion-inducing place. Having him by my side while standing on that bridge would have made today absolutely perfect. He is who I am meant to spend the rest of my life with, the one that I want to experience everything with, and the one missing piece of today. But, I know in my heart that I will be standing on that bridge again someday, witnessing the incredible beauty once again - but this time I will have Bradley by my side and the missing piece will no longer be missing - it will be the perfect day.

I remembered!!!

I'm at the internet cafe again tonight and I remembered to bring my journal with me this time! :) So, here are the next couple of journal entries:

February 6, 2009

This morning I went to Libuyu Clinic with Nicole and Bex (two other African Impact volunteers). It is a pretty cool clinic and very easy to work in because I feel as if it is a lot more organized than all the rest. It was really pretty slow in there today but I really welcomed the much needed break. I have literally never been this tired before in my life. I now know what hard work truly is. Since it was pretty slow today, I was able to get to know Bex and Nicole a little better. Nicole is a radiology tech from Canada. She is a really sweet person and easy to get along with. Bex is a student from London. My first impression of her was definitely wrong - I thought that she was kinda snobby at first but after today, I see that she just has a really strong personality and is a very confident person. She is only 18 years old but seems much older - more grown-up than most 18 year olds that I have met. I really, really like her.