The Global Health Fellows traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia on February 10th and 11th for a wonderful opportunity visiting UVA’s Center for Global Health, a panel at Darden School’s “Pay for Success” conference, and spent some time reflecting on the year and goal setting for the spring semester.
Below are reflections from our Fellows from the weekend:
Friday Morning – By Kara Kaufman (GHF ’19)
We began our trip with a departure at 7:30 from Norfolk Academy. I, of course, grabbed two Hardees biscuits for the trip, and many of us slept through the entire bus ride. About half way there, Mrs. Goodson handed out the case study on Migrants in South Africa, and we congregated in our groups to devise a rough outline of our plan to solve one of the many issues mentioned within the case. We soon arrived at UVA’s Center for Global Health, which is a really nice work space and a new sight for the 20’s. April Ballard, one of the main directors of the center, gave us a warm welcome, and we received some advice from Colleen Laurence (UVA Case Competition Founder) via Skype about how we should go about tackling the case. Groups assembled once again and progressed their plans until lunchtime.
During lunch, we listened to Ashwinraj Karthikeyan talk about his project, Pheonix Aid, which designs and provids wound dressings for diabetic foot ulcers all over the world. Next, Ashwanth Samuel and Eliza Campbell touched on their research and work through public health. Samuel gave us his story and insight into the system of mobile banking in third world countries, and Campbell shared her experience in developing a more effective diagnosis for child depression in Malawi.
Then, a group of students and professors came to guide us through our cases, and really provided useful opinions and views that, for my group, completely changed and shaped our ideas. I felt much more confident in our program of a mobile clinic reaching outside of the insufficient government community clinics to reach all migrants within a neighborhood, tackling inequality within the heath care of South Africa. Finally, each group then presented their ideas informally, and it was time to leave.
Friday Evening – by Laura Read (GHF ’20)
It had been a long day of learning and interacting with incredible UVa students and leaders in the global health department. We’d had an incredible experience working with these people, but the day was coming to a close, and it was time to unwind with snow tubing at Wintergreen!
After a long day at the UVA CGH and Darden Business School, we gathered our snow gear (and snow pants) and changed quickly back at the Center for Global Health. Then we were in for the winding drive up the mountains! Mrs. Hall passed out some hand warmers which we were all thankful for when we finally reached the peak. After grabbing our gloves and hats, it was time to get our tickets and head out for an hour on the slopes. Tubing was so fun! It was an awesome opportunity to bond with each other, albeit getting our faces frozen and soaked in the artificial snow. There is nothing quite like the feeling of racing down a snowy hill in the dark with wind slapping your bare skin, surrounded by your friends.
Afterwards, we warmed up inside the cozy lodge. Olivia and I grabbed some hot chocolates (that had whipped cream amazingly) and waited for our hands to thaw. Then our journey back down the Blue Ridge began: next stop, Rodes Farm.
The air was fresh and crisp, and we were greeted by Barbara, the kind woman who ran the farm. She welcomed us inside the Rodes Manor House for a warm dinner of lasagna, salad, and garlic bread, which was delicious after a long day! After dinner, we gathered in the living area to present our cases that we’d been working on all day. Each group presented a thoughtful and unique approach to the scenario, and each group member had insightful ideas that they presented to the meeting. It was nice to hear all that we had been working on, and the effects that the UVa students who had previously gone to South Africa had on our solutions. We all found out that we had started with completely different ideas before their input!
It was around 9:00pm, and we were all gathered outside in the dark on the edge of a hill. Just being on the hammock with the 20’s girls in the dark, under the stars and the full moon, was so nice. All the others were messing around on the rope swings on the other side of the tree. It was freezing, and all three of us were wrapped up in blankets and using the hand warmers from earlier. Then Mrs. Goodson and Mrs. Hall called us over to start the campfire, which took a while to start. But thanks to Hunt’s incredible fire-making skills, a lot of lighter fluid, a tissue, and old waiver sheets, a roaring fire was started before we froze. Helen brought stuff to make s’mores!
Mrs. Goodson asked us each to talk a little bit about what we like about Global Health Fellows and what we would like to accomplish in the next few years. It was really nice to just listen to the entire group voice their thoughts about the day and the program. We discussed what we want to do with our futures and the impacts we can make.
Around 11:00pm we finally made our way back to our houses and rooms. The 20’s all played Anomia with Mrs. Goodson, which resulted in a lot of competitive yelling! After a few good rounds of that, we headed to the second house where the others were. It was fun to bond with the 20’s then. We all headed to bed way too late.
It was a riveting day full of learning and laughter, and the fellows program is incredible for just this reason. I can’t wait for the next time we get to travel together.
Saturday Morning – by Ells Boone (GHF ’20)
The Global Health Fellows woke up on Saturday morning at Rodes Farm ready to go for our last day of the retreat. We awoke around 8 AM and enjoyed a breakfast consisting of bagels and bananas. After breakfast, we turned our attention towards improving our needs assessment that we will take to Belize this June. The needs assessment focuses on various questions from 7 main categories: Smoke inhalation problem due to inside cooking, Water/Sanitation, Hunger/Nutrition, Illness, Maternal and Child Health, Education, and Energy Poverty. Once we finished our work on the needs assessment, the fellows loaded up the bus and took off back to NA. On the ride back, we stopped at the Market at Bellair for sandwiches and continued on our way. We got home in time for Snowball (Upper School dance) and called the retreat a success.