When I moved the Maine last week, I didn’t know much about what I was getting into, persay, just that I was excited for it.
Today, I got on a boat to spend the day with fellow staff from Maine Sea Coast Mission, cruising around the beauty of Mt. Desert Island. Under the blue September skies, I toured the 72-foot boat, called the Sunbeam V, and learned about the incredible island outreach program that the mission runs. With a telemedicine health clinic and a nurse on board, the boat travels to islands where healthcare access is difficult. By reaching the islands, even in the dead of winter, residents can receive high quality care from doctors on the mainland. Not only can they receive medical exams from doctors, they can go so far as have sessions with therapists and attend AA meetings from the boat. Mothers can receive prenatal care and the nurse tells us, they often bring their babies for check-ups with excitement after birth. The webcam system allows for those who might otherwise forgo healthcare to receive much-needed care. The boat goes so far as ice-breaking in winter and the devoted captain, nurse, and crew work through difficult cold for these islanders.
Today, on the boat, and connecting with others in my organization, I was proud to be a part of it.
As for what my department of the organization does, we run a youth development program for students in grades 4-8 in coastal Washington County. It is designed to encourage youth to stay engaged in school, build character, improve academic performance and build self-confidence. In 2006, our program was recognized as the outstanding 21st Century Community Learning Center Afterschool program by the Maine Afterschool Network. In person, it is beyond outstanding. I personally am gearing up to help with the enrichment in Millbridge Elementary School and am helping launch a Science Technology Engineering and Math program, which we received a huge grant to start. My co-workers are so amazing and listening to them talk inspires me. I already feel a part of the team and we are going to do amazing things this year. Yesterday, we even drove 13 hours to and from Concord, New Hampshire just to observe a learning center in order to take ideas and grow our own program further.
Outside of work, too, I’m loving every minute. I get Thursday yoga with my neighbor at the Women’s Health Library and birthday dinners with my Maine family from church. On weekends, I walk out in my yard and the beauty of the leaves changing around the pond stops me in my tracks. The golden rod and wild turkeys only add the amazing wilderness around me. And I get to watch the sunset at the beach whenever I want in front of my house. I go for runs down to beaches at the end of Steuben. I laugh a lot every day.
So, Maine, yes is filled with sunbeams, real and figurative and sea-faring.