And so the countdown enters into single digits. In just two days, Michael and I begin our journey to Hanoi, Vietnam. I suppose before we continue anymore with the details of our summer, we should introduce ourselves. My name is Casey McCormick and my trusty sidekick and fellow intern is Michael Wilson. We are both master’s of public health students at the school in the southern slice of heaven, otherwise known as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Michael and I have focused our studies within the department of Health Behavior with a specific concentration in global health. We are both beyond thrilled by the opportunity Helen Keller International has afforded us to work with HKI this summer as interns in their Hanoi office.
We depart the U.S. the morning of June 2nd, connecting in Chicago before embarking on the day-long flight to Seoul, where we will then hop on down to Hanoi. Come the evening of June 4th, we should be sufficiently jetlagged, in desperate need of showers, but incredibly humbled and excited to finally be in capital of Vietnam. From there, the real adventure begins.
Over the next two months, we have the honor of working alongside the HKI staff in Hanoi. They have already shown us such patience and it will be great to finally put faces to the many email correspondents. One of our main deliverables this summer will be a data report consisting of the data collect from the ChildSight® Program in Kon Tum Province. In other words, our statistical skills will be in full gear. Additionally, Michael and I will revise and adapt the ChildSight® Program plan used in Kon Tum Province to fit a school district within Hanoi. We are really looking forward to working with a program HKI has implemented around the world. Can you say global health collaboration?!
Later on in the summer, we will be charged with the development of training materials for the Homestead Food Production program. Anyone with an understanding of HKI knows that nutrition and eyesight come hand in hand, so we are excited to have the opportunity to work on these two key organizational issues. As the work progresses and the abstract becomes more concrete, we will be sure to give y’all more details.
As for the next week, packing two months worth of clothing and gear into our backpacks will be the major task at hand. Until then, follow us on Twitter (@HKIinterns #HKIVietnam) for smaller updates as the week goes on. We cannot wait to share this invaluable experience with y’all!
Casey and Michael