Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2.5 weeks until Bangladesh

So I’m done with classes. Possibly forever. Crazy crazy crazy. Crazy. School was a whirlwind. I absolutely loved it but I almost wish it was a 2 year program. We crammed the information and didn’t have time to savor it. And now they released me with the title of “epidemiologist” and I still can’t sufficiently define “epidemiology.” I think I’ll probably go back to school to get my PHD, but not for awhile. Nah uh. Gotta get me some life experiences before I turn into a useless encyclopedia.

I’m off to Bangladesh in 2.5 weeks. My anticipation gave way stress, which gave way to fear, which now is just anxious excitement. Baltimore sucks when people are working and friend are gone. I’ve been flipping through flashcarjavascript:void(0)ds of Bengali, trying to teach myself Photoshop and reading like a fiend. I hope some day I can be a person who can take leisure and relish it. “I think I’ll stroll to museum today, buy myself a croissant, sit at this here bench and read while sipping cappuccino.” That’s not me. I wonder around with my backpack and phantom textbooks searching for my lost homework.

My project in Bangladesh is to help reduce the number of drowning deaths for children under three. A whopping 48 children a day die in Bangladesh from drowning. I will be supplying the children with a bracelet (shaped like a turtle) that has a sensor in it that detects when the bracelet is submerged in water. When sensed, a signal is sent to the base station (similar to a baby monitor) where the parents are and lets out a loud alarm. Then, ostensibly, the parent will go run after their child and save them from drowning.

I cannot believe how much responsibility I have for this project. I am tasked to write the entire project, train everyone involved, budgeting, implementation and data collection. We should be ready to submit the IRB in a day or two.
In addition to this project I’ll be helping the Jiva trial which has enrolled over 160,000 households in Bangladesh.

I have wanderache. When I sign into g-chat and talk to my classmates who are in Zambia (Jessie), Senegal (Sarah), Peru (who isn’t?) and Cambodia (Kiira) it makes me feel like a temporary baller for having such cool friends but also makes me jumpy. I can’t wait to be learning how to ride a motorcycle in Gaibandha. (Which by the way is completely written into my protocol. “Chelsea learns to ride motorcycle. Chelsea gets Bengali License.) To put this year of study and a lifetime of dreaming to practice.

I’ve been thinking about where to move when I get back from Bangladesh. I’m a real person now. It’s so unbelievably scary and exciting. Where should I start my life? I’m thinking Boston. There are so many opportunities there. (PIH, CHAI, Harvard, BU etc etc etc.) I feel splitting my time between hectic and tough cities like NY and Baltimore and the chilled out who-cares-it’s-sunny Florida has made me savor the less hectic city. A bridge between the two. Do you think Boston would be good for that?

Ciao for now,

1 comment:

  1. Hey Chels,

    I am going to be stalking your blog for the next 6 months - living vicariously through you while I become intoxicated with USMLE facts.

    Boston is really nice but Chicago is nice too ;)
    It would be so nice to see you! Promise me you'll at least think about it.

    Now I am one of the people who talks to people who are in Bangladesh and Guatemala and Geneva. lol. Have fun!!