Welcoming 2018

Greetings everyone! It’s been a while, as I have been unable to access my blog thus far in Bangladesh. For some unknown reason it is working right now, so I thought I’d drop in for a quick post.

For a few different reasons, this post is going to be short on details. Once I’m home, I’ll get into what I’ve been up to here. But for now, I’m just going to share a little bit about the people I’m working with, and the effect that it’s having at me. I wrote this a few days ago. I hope you enjoy.

Today was another great day at work.  My favorite part about working in the smaller, more remote clinics is, hands down, the privilege of working with Randall. He is an absolute wealth of knowledge, and seems to enjoy teaching me, which I couldn’t be more thankful for. Working with some of the staff here has made me a better nurse, and he has been paramount in that. He must get tired of my daily inquisitions; we are not even close to being on par, intellectually speaking. But for some reason he tolerates me, and I’ll forever be both thankful and honored.

Another friend here suggested we play Heads Up since it was New Years Eve. Logistics extrodionare Jeff managed to get us a case of beer (no small feat in a Muslim country) and up to the rooftop we went. I absolutely laughed my ass off. I mean, doubled over, can’t stand up any longer kinds of laughs. In all seriousness, I think I pulled a muscle in my lower back that night. From laughing. I had no intention of staying up til midnight (we wake up around 6am for work,) but ended up having no desire to call it an early night. It sounds sappy, but the handful of us that remained late into the night were bonding.

Each person here has qualities that I admire about them. It’s so incredibly humbling to work in a group of people like this. I’m not sure that I’ll ever get around to writing about my experience at burn camp last August, but this is so similar, in respect to the cluster of people you find yourself living and working with.

Part of me feels strange about talking about people that I’m working with, knowing they may read this. The vulnerability aspect of it is a little off putting. What if they think this is weird? Or stupid? I would have never done this in the past. I was more of the type who would admire from afar. I may have thought that these people are amazing and inspiring, but I was still a little too timid to tell them exactly how I felt.

I worked with a nurse in Salt Lake City that I admired quite a bit. She was smart, hilariously funny, a hard worker, and unique. She knew that I enjoyed working with her, but I never really told her how incredible I thought she was. She died unexpectedly a few months ago, and even though we weren’t especially close, I thought about her quite often after leaving Salt Lake City. She was inspiring and one of the best humans I’ve ever meet. But I never told her that explicitly. And I regret that now. I don’t have any good reason why I never spoke up; I suppose I just thought it was a little weird to be that forward. But after she died and I realized that I truly regretted never having told her how I felt, I sort of vowed not to let that feeling of unease get in the way again in telling someone how great I think they are. So, that’s kind of where all this came from.

The work here is intense, and I think we all gravitate towards those who understand our current situation. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, I considered everyone on that rooftop a close friend. We all said goodnight pretty much right after midnight, and went to our respective rooms. Even after a busy day of work, 2 long commutes, a few beers, and several hours of socializing, I wasn’t the least bit tired. I lie in bed that night thinking about so many things: all the fun I’d just had, how fortunate I feel to be here, how energized I feel by the work that I’m doing, and how interested I am in the people that I’m working alongside. And I came to an astonishing conclusion. I was too happy to fall asleep.

That realization in itself kept me up for another few hours; a real eye opener, if you will.

Thanks for reading. And if anyone who was on that rooftop that night happens to ever read this, thank you. Thank you for cementing a night in my memory that I won’t forget. 

Kelli Wags


2 thoughts on “Welcoming 2018

  1. What beautiful sentiments. and Yes, we need to voice our feelings more. Btw. you are the MOST amazing niece an auntie could have! I’m so glad this has been an enriching experience,even tho heart wrenching, and that its laced with satisfaction, adventure, professional development and friendship building. I’m so proud of you,and happy for your experience.


  2. Your blog tonight Kel, has so much truth! Why don’t we speak up more & tell the ones in our lifes who make a lasting memory, how we really feel?
    You have sparked me , because I have felt the same way at times and we just can’t continue to take life or people for granted. Im so happy to hear your enjoying your mission and are working with incredible talented doctors & nurses who pay it forward.
    You are an awesome giver and I love you honey 💗 Stay safe


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