I’m Karen – one of the few Irish students from Trinity College travelling to Malawi this year! I’m a third year Children’s and General Nursing student and I’m enjoying every aspect of college life! I’m from the medieval city of Kilkenny and I try to get home occasionally to visit; but the buzz of Dublin city is addictive and that’s usually where you’ll find me.
Nursing is a wonderful vocation and it’s such a privilege to care for people when they are at their most vulnerable. I love nursing, but even more than that I love people and their uniqueness, flaws and stories. The conversations patients allow me to engage in is definitely the highlight of my training. Putting others before myself and making them feel loved/appreciated is something I strive to do, on my days off just as much as the time I spend in the hospital. I know I will struggle to withhold myself from directly helping the community in Malawi. I must keep reminding myself of the mission of our trip; rather than providing help through utilising OUR skills, we can help people more through empowerment and pushing them to see their own ability. A supportive collaboration which leads to an independence is possibly the best definition of “selflessness.”
I know this Summer is going to be incredible! The Summer is usually my busiest time of the year as I fill it up by volunteering at kids camps. I’m a leader at different activity camps for children and teenagers that are connected with my church, and I volunteer at respite camps for disabled teenagers. Many similar events run weekly in my church and helping out with all that goes on is something I love to do and I happily allow to take up a good chunk of my free time! Working in Africa is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time; I’ll soon have an actual adult university degree and will be forced to find a job, so this big adventure is a now or never kinda thing. I’m excited to explore and learn more about the world and myself, I hope to get stuck into every aspect of the culture, make plenty of memories and hopefully take a few quality Instagrams.
Hi I’m Katie Schouten, I’m a second year intellectually disability nurse in Trinity and I’m 20. I would describe myself as a fun person and aim to look on the bright side of things. I’m enthusiastic and can see the positive in nearly everything. I am good at listening and have a great caring ability as part of my nursing training. I have no previous experience in volunteering but I’m out-going and am looking forward to having a brand new experience in Malawi.
About the Blog
Since 2013, students participating in Transformative Praxis: Malawi have been writing blog posts reflecting on their experiences of participating in action research in Malawi. The original blog with the full archive can be found here