Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Finally settling in, by September blogger of the month Chris Brown

One of the many trips of carrying belongings from one apartment
to another in 97 degree heat, I am so very,
very tired of moving. I really hope this apartment works out.

So after a successful first week of real classes it’s on to moving day. A day where hopefully I’ll be able to settle in a bit and really feel at home, an event that has been a long time coming after having spent  a little over two years living in a hut in rural West Africa.

My name is Chris Brown, no not the singer Chris Brown, and I get the opportunity to share a little bit about life here in Be’er Sheva and experiences in the MSIH program. A little about myself; I grew up near Seattle Washington, and graduated from the University of Washington, then after a brief break, about three years, working as a phlebotomist, doing construction, and  teaching French on a volunteer basis, I went back to school to get my Masters in Teaching at Seattle Pacific University. I worked as a high school science teacher (mostly chemistry, with a little physics and biology thrown in to keep things interesting) for about 3 ½ years before deciding, though albeit an extremely honorable and important profession,  I found it to not be an ideal fit for me. It was a great opportunity and experience, one that I will always treasure for the rest of my life. Hopefully helping people learn about health and prevention will allow me to exercise the skills that I learned while teaching on a daily basis and I hope to also one day integrate teaching into my medical career at some point in a more formal fashion. After leaving teaching I left to serve in the Peace Corps as a health volunteer in Senegal, West Africa. I finished Peace Corps about 3 months ago and now I am on to my next adventure, medical school in Israel. As a side note I am also the oldest student in our class at 33 years old despite Avi’s generous 21st birthday wish in the August blog entry or the bar mitzvah card from the whole class for my birthday last month, stating that I’ve finally became a man, at least now I have it in writing.   

One of many beautiful flowering trees
around Be’er Sheva.
Despite the rather “rockety” start to being here in Be’er Sheva, things are going rather smoothly. The school did their best to give us the most up to date information and even changed our classes to a more secure location, including having class in a bomb shelter for a short time, always up for new experiences... Granted some things have not gone as well as they might have gone in the US, the staff is doing well, despite what must be for them and their families a very nervous and stressful time, they still were able to deal with concerns that many of us were feeling.

The raging river in Be’er Sheva,
has a bit of silt in it at this time of year.
It’s the gray thing in the middle…
As conversations within the first year class transition from talking about what we’ve done before medical school, to getting cell phones, to furnishing apartments, to now talking more about classes and the impending deluge of information that is beginning to swarm around us. It feels good to be here, working towards something great. Professors and upperclassmen have been extremely welcoming and one week into the education, granted I was a teacher and am critical how the subject matter is taught, has been going well and I am looking forward to the next week. Well that’s it for now.  I need to go study for Immunology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Histology, Hebrew, Global Health, and Biostatistics, that’s a lot of classes…

Interesting fact about life in Be’er Sheva: If you don’t like/want or need a piece of furniture you can simply take it outside and place it on a corner or the side of the street (preferably near a garbage or recycling bin) and it’s gone within 30 minutes to a couple of hours, off to be part of another person’s life. - blogger of the month, Chris Brown