Blessed

Race day is here and I received the sweetest of emails from Pastor Chris this morning!!

Go Cara,
God has your back
We are as well and our prayers are coming your way.
Children at Paicho are so blessed to have you by their side

God bless you my friend
Susan and babbie are doing well. Susan sends her love and greetings

Much Love to you Cara

Chris

Thank you to everyone for all your continued love and support! Time to go run 26.2 miles for those kiddos at Paicho!!!

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Thank you.

I am simply amazed. Family, friends, and people I don’t even know have helped raise over $1500 so far through donations on the website and checks given to me in passing and through mail, for the kids at Paicho. While out for my “easy run” yesterday I felt like I was flying because I was imagining what Pastor Chris and his ministry can do with that kind of money for these kids. Feed them. Educate them. Giving them the resources needed to continue to grow physically, mentally, emotionally…

Thank you.

I have 33 days until 26.2 miles and I’m not going to lie – I’m starting to panic a little! Your continued words of encouragement and prayers mean so very much! Never did i think i would say this, but…I drop down in mileage this weekend to 14 miles so that’ll be a nice break!

Please continue to share this blog with friends and the fundraising website…

http://www.gofundme.com/zsfbc

Again, thank you so much!

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Gearing up for 18 miles.

Last night I attended a beautiful wedding in Lawrence – celebrating two of my favorite people getting married 🙂 Needless to say, I sort of knew that I was going to bump my long run to sunday instead of Saturday this week. I woke up this morning and thought to myself, “How on earth am I going to run 18 miles tomorrow?” Well, I still don’t know how I’m going to do it. However, I got an email from Pastor Chris with the following encouraging words…

Cara, We are so humbled for a fact that you are working alongside us
and willing to sacrifice so much. We mentioned the story today to the
children about your marathon. We believe you will make the 26 Miles.
Wish the kids were there to cheer you. God bless.

Knowing that I have hundreds of kids praying for me will get me through tomorrow morning 🙂

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I can’t believe…

ImageI can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last blogged! Where has the time gone? I suppose I could blame it on school starting back up…football kicking off…the leaves falling, which always leads to an afternoon full of distractions 🙂

The trainging for my marathon has been going – okay. As of today, I have 53 days until I face 26.2 miles (sort of ironic that you double 26.2 and nearly get 53). I am thoroughly enjoying these cooler, fall temperatures and I am looking forward to my evening/sunset run tonight as I slept in this morning! Last week I ran 14 miles – my longest distance yet…ever! I found a great trail in Parkville along the Missouri River and was treated with a showing of wild sunflowers. The best part about running 14 miles, for me, is that the time means next to nothing to me. So, of course, I stopped and took a picture of the sunflowers that reminded me of my Aunt Peggy in heaven, as the sun was beginning to set 🙂

Today, I sent out postcards in an effort to raise funds for the Ugandan children at Paicho Primary School located near Gulu. If I have your address – be looking for yours in the mail. If I don’t have your address and you’d like one – sent me your address! If you’d like to donate to this cause and learn more about it, please visist http://www.gofundme.com/zsfbc

Thank you to those of you that have donated via the website and checks via snail mail!! And thank you for your continued prayers both for those kiddos and my feet as they pound the pavement each week!

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What’s your inspiration?

I feel incredibly lucky that KC has been on a break from the heat – it makes this running thing much easier and much more enjoyable! As I headed out for my 4 mile run this morning, I started to put on my watch and then decided not to. I wanted to have a mind-clearing run and that’s hard to do when I’m checking my watch every few minutes to make sure I’m satisfied with my time.

I spent about 42 minutes (my best guess!) of reflecing on everything from school starting next week, to Chiefs season being back, to what I was going to order at my favorite coffee shop in Parkville after I was done running in the park. But as I was pumping my arms back and forth rhythmically, I saw the two bracelets that have found a home on my right wrist.

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These two bracelets are a quick reminder of my time spent in northern Uganda. The colorful beads are the Ugandan colors and I purchased them at a market while in Entebbe. I have been wearing the other bracelet since May and purchased it from kony2012.com – for those of you that do not know who Joseph Kony is, I highly encourage you to check out this website.

These two bracelets have already gotten me through some of my tougher runs – whether it be because of distance or heat. They remind me of all those smiling kiddos at Paicho and throughout Uganda that I can help simply by lacing up my tennis shoes and going for a daily run. Please check out the website below to donate to an extremely important cause. I am 6% to my goal and have roughly 12 weeks to get to 100%

http://www.gofundme.com/zsfbc

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This morning I traveled 10 miles…by foot.

To those who know me – you know that I love to travel. And the thing is, it doesn’t matter where! Yes, I love to travel to far-away places and learn about different cultures and ways of life. But I also love hoping on a plane to visit my brother in Phoenix because I love talking to a complete random stranger on a two hour flight and learning their story. I started this blog just before I left for a month long trip to East Africa (Uganda and Tanzania)…but just because I’m back home doesn’t mean I have to abandon my “travel” blog.

As evidenced by the title of this blog – I traveled 10 miles this morning! And the crazy thing is, I did it on foot. I’m training for my first full marathon to be run the day after my 26th birthday with one of my best friends and my ultimate running buddy! I know that these 26.2 miles are going to be brutal, but ultimately the best thing I will ever do. And I realized, why not turn this marathon into something more than about ME and MY goals. Insert my experience in northern Uganda 🙂

Throughout my training I will be raising money for an AMAZING ministry called Educate Paicho that benefits children in northern Uganda that were affected by the civil unrest for decades up until recently. Please click the following link to help me raise my goal of $5000 and to learn more about the wonderful Ugandan children that I met one beautiful Saturday afternoon just outside of Gulu 🙂

http://www.gofundme.com/zsfbc

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Things I learned while stranded on an island…

Things I have learned while stranded on an island:
-Don’t shave your legs when you have the chicken pox
-Never let Flat Brett out of your sight
-She’s All That is the best movie ever (from 1999)
-Sweet Potatoes…that’s all
-Ellen & I can destroy a box of cheeze-it’s, but only to keep the monkeys away
– E + C = Ellen + Cara
-Boats & Hoes
-Getting stuck in a kayak on a sandbar is a problem I’m okay with
-Writing messages to heaven in the sand is the best form of prayer
-Staying an extra day was the most difficult decision ever made
-Biggest regret…the mask video
-Flipcams have “best friend locks” in their settings
-Mino is apparently pronounced “Peeno”
-Drunk calling Dave = one for the books
-NSYNC Making The Video E & C style is the best form of entertainment
-It’s literally impossible not to feel relaxed at the Lazy Lagoon
-UNO is a really hard game
-Mambo…poa…asante
-Sunrises & sunsets are universal, but way more gorgeous in Tanzania
-Having a best friend since the age of 5 is the shit
-Monkeys hanging out above your head while you sleep is normal
-Sleep with your eyes open, for more than one reason (mom)
-Sailboats in the Indian Ocean are legit
-Space Cowboys with Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez is lost in cyberspace 😦
-I will never eat this well again…until I come back
-Watching your BFF take a khanga out from under her butt while in a kayak = hilarious
-British accents are a must
-Ellen will come home if there is an NSYNC reunion tour
-George Clooney & my BFF got malaria…I’ll be okay
-Porno IS a word….when it comes to bananagrams
-The Mino workout allows you to have 3 cinnamon rolls each morning
-Flat Brett could’ve stayed on the Lazy Lagoon forever, but he passed 🙂
– Desert at lunch & dinner is only okay when you’re the only ones on the island
-You can get rejected to take the kayak out to sea, bummer
-It’s incredibly difficult to choose between sunrise & sunset in terms of their beauty
-Crabs are crazy fast suckers
-I have ONE chin, but my mom still feels the need to check the camera
-I’ve got mad ups, but not as good as Ellen’s…shocker
-Instagram will have one heck of a loyal customer come December 2013
– …………………

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Killing time in Entebbe

Mom and I are leaving tomorrow morning for Tanzania (!!!!) and had a day to kill here in Entebbe. We slept in (as in until 8:00) and then did some “business.” Mom recruited me for some of her accounting/financing needs, and it reinforced my decision freshman year in college that I did not want to be an accountant after taking Intro to Accouting! We did some re-packing, emailing, and other catching-up before heading out to explore a bit of Entebbe.

The hotel or “guest house” as many are called here in Uganda, is wonderful and so accomodating. (Those two words perfectly describe the Ugandan people as a whole.) We were able to get transportation to the Entebbe Botanical Gardens, and I am SO glad that we did! I went to the Botanical Gardens in South Africa near Cape Town in 2009 and was amazed at the beautiful trees, plants, flowers, and wildlife there. Today, Mom and I were lucky enough to have our very own tour guide, Patrick, show us around and share his wealth of knowledge about the Botanical Gardens here. He is studying at one of the universities here to someday become “a park ranger at one of our great national parks.” He was amazing, and mom and I learned so much as we walked through the nearly 50 acre park. I couldn’t help but wish that my dad was with us though, as he is the scientist in the family!

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We were getting kind of hungry, so Patrick walked us to a “Pizzeria” that is actually located on the water. For those of you that don’t know, Lake Victoria is located in East Africa and much of it lies in Uganda. Today, Patrick told us that it is the second largest lake in the world, with the 5 great lakes in the US being the first (which to me, means that Lake Victoria is the largest lake in the world haha). So, mom and I ordered a couple of beers and a margherita pizza and enjoyed the sounds of the waves crashing. I considered it to be an introduction into our time on the beach with Ellen in Tanzania very soon!!

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Bittersweet…

This morning, we departed Gulu and left behind many new friends 😦 Our three weeks went too quickly, and the Lacor nursing students were sure to let us know! Many of us had difficulty saying our goodbyes…and the question, “When will you be back?” was heard numerous times. Although I couldn’t say when I would be back, I assured them that I would return to their beautiful country and hoped dearly to see them again.

I have far too many stories to tell and wish I could tell them all! By far the highlight of the trip though, was when my mom received a live rooster as a gift for teaching a group of 20 traditional birth attendants in Amuru (about an hour northwest of Gulu). Someone got a video of it all so I hope to land my hands on a copy of that sucker upon returning home! Priceless, surreal, crazy, amazing…numerous words were used to describe that day by the group!

Mom and I are hanging out in Entebbe tonight and tomorrow….and then we will be headed to TANZANIA to see the wonderful, Ellen Jorgenson…AKA my bestest of friends! I would not be surprised if I came back hoarse after a week of being with my one of my oldest and dearest friends 🙂

Love you and miss you all!! Hugs and kisses 🙂

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My dream clinical site :)

Yesterday, I spent the morning with a nurse practitioner from the states who has lived here in northern Uganda for the last four years. I found out about the opportunity about an hour before she came to pick me up at St. Mary’s Lacor. Her name is Joann and she is actually a nun, but I can assure you that she throws out any preconcieved ideas of what a nun can be as a citizen in this world. As I was listening to her talk about her life and all that she is done, it came to a point where I almost begged her to write an autobiography 🙂

We spent about four hours in the morning seeing patients – testing kids for malaria, making slings for a man that had injured his rotator cuff while cutting grass (something that is a true art form here in Uganda), and seeing itty bitty babies for their immunizations. The ministry of health here in Uganda is nothing short of amazing when it comes to compliance with children and their immunizations. I don’t know the numbers, but I would say that they are far better than the United States’ numbers!

I had such an AMAZING morning with Joann, and I swear if there is even the slightest possibilty that I can do a clinical rotation (or even part of one) here in Gulu with Joann…I’m going to make it happen!!

Pictured above is the doorway to the clinic, St. Mauritz Health Center II…it is a scale to weigh the little ones 🙂 I left there feeling like I was supposed to come back…fingers crossed!

 

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