We have now reached the end of our practicums. Our adventure that we started a year ago has now drawn to a close. We are hanging up our duty dresses, and donating our shoes and scrubs in hopes they will get put to good use. After two weeks of community in rural Matag-ub, two weeks of community in urban Antipolo, one week of hospital at UERM, and three weeks at St. Paul, we feel we have learned and gained an abundant amount knowledge of Filipino nursing.  The lessons we have learned from this experience have changed our outlook immensely; we feel the extent of our experience will continue to impact us as we begin our career as registered nurses as well as in our personal lives. There are no words to describe many of our experiences, what we have witnessed, and what we have learned; we could only wish  we could  have brought you all along with us as we immersed ourselves into the Filipino lifestyle and community.

We would like to use this final blog post as an opportunity to thank those who have helped us along the way. 
To Sue, our faculty resource advisor, mentor and mother. She did her best in all of our pre-departure meetings to prepare us for our experience. But in reality,  there is no one that could have prepared us for this opportunity. We were stretched physically, emotionally and mentally on an almost daily basis; and there is nothing anyone could have done to make us realize this. Due to the distance, she encouraged and enlightened us through email. We always appreciated her insight to certain situations we found ourselves in. We look forward to meetings with her when we return from our travels to debrief with her about our experiences.

To Dean Butler and the University of Saskatchewan: we are very fortunate to attend a university that enables us the opportunity to do what we have done. We hope that a healthy relationship will be maintained between all institutions so as to give future students the opportunity to experience what we have. Also to Marlene Smadu and Elaine Maksymiw, who ensured that our experience went smoothly and ensured the legalities of the trip were understood and reviewed. Thank you also to all University of Saskatchewan faculty and staff who worked hard to ensure all the details were covered. 

To Dean Carmelita, and all our instructors at UERM, thank you for your time and effort for our time exposed in the hospital, it was short but sweet. The community nursing we did there was rewarding, however we only wished we had more time to see if what we had done had an effect on the health of those we encountered. The events we were fortunate enough to attend gave us the opportunity to further immerse ourselves in the culture and also to see a different side of nursing education. 

To Sister Carol and all the Sisters, instructors, hospital staff and administrators of St. Paul Hospital and University, thank you for your warm hospitality, kindness, instruction and patience. We were really enjoyed community and hospital immersion and the opportunity to rotate through the wards we did. 
We would definitely accept another invitation for another meal at the Sisters’ residence, it was an honor to have shared two meals with them. The instructors will be remembered for their ingenuity and for opening our eyes to the differences in health care delivery. 

To the students, at first strangers to us, you helped us, shared with us, cooked for us, and were very open to learning with us. We have learned a lot from all of you, we feel very fortunate to have been paired with such a great group of students from both institutions. Thank you also to the students who took their time to plan extra excursions for us to experience a different side of Filipino culture. 

To our family, friends and loved ones; thank you for the support you provided us with, it was welcomed many a times. 

Our final day in Iloilo we had a tearful yet enjoyable day with the students and instructors. They did a great job of ending the immersion with a slideshow, song, dance, and of course food! It really gave a sense of what sort of impact this trip has had, both for us and for them. 

It is now the end of our excursion and we felt a little hesitant to leave Iloilo. However we are looking forward to our travels; the five of us have further destinations awaiting to be explored! 

We hope the blog has been an enjoyable read, thank you all for following it! 

Brooke, Elaine, Leah, Lerissa and Sharaya