Giumri Hole in the Rock 2014!

Once again we ventured to the “Hole in the Rock” where upon squeezing through said hole one’s wish is then granted!  Who made it through?

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Stephanie Monaco- Student Reflection for June 9, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 11.28.16 PMToday was one of the best health fairs of this trip so far.  Everyone was warm and receptive, providers and patients.  I finally understood what was meant by people you when they talk to you, as I had my arm and face pet by a sweet older lady.  I gave her a big hug at the end of explaining my handout and her face lit up. Another man my heart broke for.  As he walked in to the clinic his arms and hands shook from Parkinsons.  He asked me for the nervous diseases, which I couldn’t help him with and by the time I tried to find a doctor he was gone.  Later Telyn came by with him and said he wanted to hear about nutrition.  I explained my handouts to him, and he asked if there was anything he could do to help his condition.  With a heavy heart I said no, but a good diet will keep him healthy.  He was grateful and kept saying thank you and shook my hand.  After I felt so moved I gave him a hug which he seemed pleasantly surprised by.  It is these moments which I know why I love being in this field. I hope even though I couldn’t help him much, just showing that I cared will give him hope to find more help.

Ryan Dawe- Student Reflection for June 9, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 11.44.02 PMGiumri: the fourth destination for our outreach here in Armenia. The road leading us there was well traveled and worn, as if foreshadowing the state of some of the buildings whose rubble stands as a witness of the destruction that the earthquake of 1988 left in its wake. Our bus driver was confused of the whereabouts of the polyclinic we would be serving. This led to an extra tour down some of the side streets where we could see some of the humble circumstances in which many of the inhabitants of the city live. Arriving 30 minutes late to our destination, those in my bus hurried in to set up their portions of the program. Tina, Ryan Matthews, and myself quickly rearranged the nurses break room in to our own personal assessment chamber where we would be making our best effort to educate the population on blood glucose levels and the risk factors associated with their elevation. Though the town landscape was weathered and seemingly standing-offish, the people in the clinic were the exact opposite. There was nothing but smiles and gratitude for our presence there. The people that we were able to serve were receptive to whatever information we had to give them. As a team we are really starting to hit our stride. The presenters are spot on with their preparations and delivery, the surveys are being completed according to the goals set, and the outreach tables are helping the population to understand the information presented to them. The interpreters have become an extension of the work that we have set out to accomplish, and many friendships have developed through our interactions. It is evident according to the many thanks that we were receiving that our efforts in Giumri were worthwhile. I look forward to hearing about the further success of Armenia Global Health groups in the region. With only one outreach left our Armenian adventure is rapidly coming to a close.

Blake Burton- Student Reflection for June 5, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 11.28.57 PMWhat a good day. I found meeting at the medical school to be very helpful. We went into a good amount of time talking about consenting the surveys. I thought that was some good advice as it will help solidify how important the information is when we are speaking with the people at each of the health clinics. Talking about things it makes me think where this program will be in 5 or10 years. Will there be more people involved and what other health programs will be implemented? It is really neat to think that our group helped move it forward.The activities today were sweet as well. I was really impressed with being so close to Mt. Ararat. The dungeon hole was also a very unique experience. The event of the evening was the ballet at the Opera House. I was skeptical going into it. I have never been to a ballet and I never thought I’d enjoy one. I was really impressed. The dancing was fantastic, the music was riveting and the skills required by the performers were astounding. I really enjoyed the different types of dances thrown into the mix. The outfits were bright and colorful and I could sense the rich tradition and sense of pride the performers conveyed to the audience. It has been so neat to have a little insight and peek at the culture and traditions.

Alec Daghlian- Student Reflection for June 5, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 11.29.34 PMWhat a day! Today after our small classroom session we had the great privilege of visiting the Armenian Genocide Memorial. I thought I knew most of the history behind the genocide, but was surprised when I learned even more. The memorial site was unbelievable. The fire burning in the middle was bittersweet tome. The fire to me reminded me of the sacrifice, pain, and suffering my grandparents along with millions of Armenians had to go through to protect their belief. The journey of the Armenian people has always been shadowed by heartache and struggle for centuries. The genocide was the most recent showing of fighting for your beliefs, even when it costs the ultimate price. The fire also reminded me of the everlasting burn within the Armenian people to overcome any challenge or obstacle that may be put in our way. People will always try to smother the brightest flame,but no one will ever be able to put it out. The trees of support from different countries and foundations reinforced the support I thought Armenians to have throughout the world.Once we left the memorial site, our next stop was the monastery of St.Gregory the Illuminator. I was able to go down about 25 feet into the small pit,where stories tell of the imprisonment of St. Gregory. This was truly an amazing experience. I was finally able to see Mt Ararat up close. I had always seen the mountain in pictures growing up, but finally got to experience it in real life. I took many pictures so hopefully I can re-live this moment many times over again