Archive for December, 2009

Some Photos

December 21, 2009

Susan and I made it back to the east coast without incident, just the way flying should be. We found ourselves on the same flight as some friends from DC and got to play some great bannagram games, I highly recommend that you get the game….very very fun.

anyways, i’ve posted some photos from our trip…check them out by clicking  HERE

-Nick

snow day on the horizon?

December 20, 2009

i’m amused by a post i just read on a local DC news website…an Occupational Therapist gave tips on how to shovel snow and not get hurt. i’m a bit disappointed that we missed such a huge snow storm back east, but thankful that we hadn’t planned on flying home yesterday.

heading home today…excited to get back to see the inches and inches of snow and shovel my front steps, but still excited about the eventual return to New Mexico/Arizona.

-peine

peine’s thoughts…

December 19, 2009

things i’ll miss will be: riding the metro, going to free museums, eating my favorite thai/indian/lebanese food…

but wait…who cares about the metro, there is no bumper to bumper traffic in gallup.  yeah…the smithsonians, nat’l gallery of art, and the building museum will no longer be within walking distance from my house, everywhere i look the scenery is more spectacular than any picture hanging on a wall.  okay…the choices for eating out in gallup consist of multiple fast food options, but i’ll be more motivated to figure out how to make other kinds of foods in the new kitchen i’ll share with nick.

moving to a new location, making new friends, starting school all over again is nothing new to me.  welcome to the life of a military brat.  one of the best things my dad and mom did for sarah, mark and I was to get us excited about moving by focusing on what we would be gaining in our new home, not dwelling on what we would be leaving behind.  and though there will be much i’ll miss about living in DC, there is so much more I’m eager to explore in NM and AZ…shoot, Colorado, Utah…there’s so much to see.

so, schools in Gallup…it seems that small town life isn’t completely different from big city life.  the schools the furthest east and west of town (the ones with the best views of the surrounding rocks) seem to be the nicest schools.  the schools in the central part of town are much older, run down and often have multiple “trailer units” parked outside for overflow classrooms.  i only managed to talk to two principals as most were either were too busy with winter concerts or meeting with parents to talk to me.  i did get to speak to many office administrators, and they were all extremely nice.  i checked out a school just north of town…i got the best feel there, but even that school will be about a half hour drive from Fort Defiance. this morning, i went to the school that is a spit away from the hospital and housing on Fort Defiance…the people i spoke to were also quite nice, but the message was the same, check back in the spring.

besides the pay and the commuting time, i don’t know much about what the difference would be working on the reservation versus working in town. i have some more research to do about resources, staff, parent involvement, relationship w/community, etc. before i can really get a feel for what i prefer.  now, the issues will be more about where the job openings are and where i will find more satisfaction…working with the kids on the reservation or working in town?  i’d rather make my choice based on what will make me happier.  what a luxury that would be.

a final thought.  it’s so nice to be out of the rush and push of the city.  everyone i’ve come into contact with has been noticeably friendly (fair enough, most have worked in some sort of customer service type of job…but still), drivers don’t rush to cut you off on the road and the only honking i’ve heard from another car was when there were horses meandering onto the road.  the honking wasn’t even at another driver, it was to scoot the horses along.

it’s going to be a fantastic adventure.  i’m glad i already own a pair of fantastic cowboy boots.

numbers and thoughts

December 18, 2009

Ft. Defiance Hospital size :54 beds

number of pharmacists : 17

number of prescriptions processed every day:~1600

according to the current head of pharmacy, not much of a tobacco problem, but a lot a lot of diabetes.

drive from Ft. Defiance to Gallup: 40 minutes.

Difference in salary if Susan worked on the reservation as a teacher as opposed to  gallup as a teacher:  -13,000

elevation at Ft. defiance: 6,838

yes i”ll wear a uniform every day to work

Beyond the numbers though, what i wonder , which no one seemed to mention so far is  what does the local community think about the hospital? What do they want from the services i’ll be helping to provide? What isn’t working? What is working really well?

at the hospital

December 18, 2009

I went to the hospital today for the first time.

first impressions were positive again.

the actual facility was very nice and modern. the computers and automation in the hospital and the pharmacy was very impressive.

the staff  in the pharmacy was all very friendly and all had very good things to say about working at Ft. Defiance. There is at present count 17 pharmacists on staff. It seems that i’ll have good people to help me as i figure out what being a pharmacist is really all about once i get out of school .

the housing attached to the hospital that Susan and i could live in was also very modern and pretty  nice (and cheap, 600$ rent for a 2 br). One of the pharmacists took us over and showed us his house. Nice house, though perhaps a little lacking on character, all the houses are exactly the same, everyone goes to work at the hospital at the same time, wearing the same thing. As its closer to moving time, we’ll have to see whether it makes sense for us to live in Gallup or close to the hospital.

First impressions

December 17, 2009

When my family first moved to St Mary’s county Maryland (where i grew up) my dad pulled in to a gas station in Lexington park, the largest town in the county and announced, “we’re here”. My mom then broke down in tears.  Lexington Park was and is rather isolated, rural, and podunk.

Today Peine and I got our first glimpse of Gallup.  Neither of us broke down into tears. Before arriving i was anticipating needing to make the 2.5 hour drive to Albuquerque if  we wanted to get our car fixed, or go to homedepot or go to a movie.  Not So. Gallup seems to have most things that will make our transition from big city east coast life, to the wild high desert west easier than it could be. First impressions so far are good.

While our first impressions are definitely  positive,  tonight sitting at dinner we also reflected that our move will not be easy,  there will be a lot of hard times and no doubt some tears along the way. It will be hard leaving the things we know and like on the east coast, friends, family, local neighborhood spots.  One upshot to the move though is  we can speak and understand the language.  As both of us have previously experienced navigating a new place while not being able to speak the language, i think we are both glad we don’t have to do that first. Who knows we might learn some Navajo,  but its helpful knowing that we wont have to  ask in Navajo where the grocery store is.

Tomorrow I’m going to see the hospital and Peine is going to meet see some schools and meet some principals, no doubt we’ll have more stories then….

And so it begins…

December 15, 2009

And so it begins…Nick and Peine’s adventure to the southwest. Tomorrow 12/15 we are heading out to New Mexico to see first hand what we’ve gotten ourselves into.