Taken at 10:30 am:
I can’t believe it’s been just over a month since I arrived! Time is flying. I can easily do 2 years at this rate. 🙂
Today was an easier day, and beautiful one at that–with lots of sunshine! We had OB grand rounds this morning, where we go around the table and review all of our pregnant patients and make sure we have done everything needed for their prenatal care. It’s a fun community, working together because any of us can deliver these patients if we are on call. I really can’t wait to deliver more babies. 🙂 In grand rounds, I met a few amazing people, and another third culture kid who actually described me with that term, when I told her where I grew up! She grew up all over the world. I love how Alaska draws people with all sorts of interesting, unique backgrounds and stories. Maybe the sense of community here is partly enriched because there are people from all over, and the local people cross two different cultures as well.
Before doing radio traffic, I went to the post office, ran errands and I am *still* trying to get my driver’s license.
At first I was thinking how little the government shutdown really affects a little place like Nome (and I went to Wales the day it happened, which really feels unaffected), and how it’s so far out of the way from the rest of the US. But I have been realizing more and more daily that it is still felt here in many ways. For example, I tried to contact the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for TB advice today, but they are closed. Then I had a small time opening to work on getting my driver’s license (The DMV is only open 4 days a week from 1:30-4:30, it’s impossible to get in there!). While the DMV is open (which I was surprised about), I found out that I have to bring in my social security card (which has been lost for years). Strangely, Alaska requires that you not only retake the written driving test, but that you bring in your birth certificate (or passport), ID and social security card in order to get an AK driver’s license. The social security card is non-negotiable, and you can’t just tell them your SSN.
Not to get political or anything….buuuuut now I can’t get a new social security card, because the government is closed. Just like that. Thanks, Government (whose main job is to be looking after us) for just shutting down! And what’s most frustrating to me, is the reason why it’s shut down, which seems to boil down to essentially that Republicans are “fighting to make sure the working poor don’t have access to affordable health care.” I wish people weren’t so opposed to helping our neighbors/fellow countrymen out, even if it does mean higher taxes or a little more sacrifice. While I grew up Republican and I used to oppose this, different events led me to rethink it all…isn’t that what Christian/American ideals are supposed to be about? In truth, I still can’t figure out why the Republican party is so fanatically, rabidly, doggedly opposed to Obamacare. (In trying to figure it out, I stumbled onto this good read.) And I also saw good news that maybe the GOP may be starting to back down from their staunch opposition as they find themselves taking more and more heat for shutting multiple public services down (including the funerals for fallen soldiers). Not to mention that they are still getting paid, while ~800,000 employees go without income during the shut down… It’s upsetting! Nicholas Kristof covers it best in several articles, here’s the latest: Governing by Blackmail. Anyway, I’m really not a political junkie. I actually hate politics and economics, and at my core I would avoid them like the plague. But when it affects human lives (and it always does), and when I see it so much more closely and frequently now–since I chose a career in medicine, it forces me to care.
In the middle of writing this, I felt like I needed to take a deep breath and get some fresh air, and I could see the sunlit sky changing to orange. I walked down to the Bering Sea for one of the most breath-taking sunsets yet:
I love water. When I went to Colorado, I wasn’t sure if I was more of a mountain person or an ocean person. And today I felt that as much as I miss the mountains, the beach was exactly what I needed to feel rejuvenated. I think I might be more of an ocean person…
This was at 7:45 pm:
I did the yoga “Mountain Pose” on the beach, and it felt so reinvigorating! 🙂