Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mirad A Vuestros Pequenitos

June 9th, 2007

Before the old girls left we had a banquet/slideshow in their honor. It’s a tradition here…in seven weeks I will be the one saying goodbye. It struck me as I watched all our kids’ faces flashing momentarily on the screen how much has changed. OSSO uses the slideshow to give the new girls an idea about what they’ll be doing here and I can remember a time when those faces meant relatively little to me…now they mean more to me than I could have ever imagined. I know their personalities and what their smiles mean. I’ve put up with their tantrums and been the recipient of their besitios and sticky hugs—in short, I am their mother. They are in my prayers at night and in my thoughts during the day and I am dreading the 27th of July when I have to leave them.

The summer after my freshman year of college I decided, on the recommendation of a friend, to venture out into the great wide world and volunteer for a program called OSSO (Orphanage Support Services Organization).

It was one of the best decisions of my life.

With fifteen other girls (boys are allowed to volunteer too, my group just happened to full of females), I spent three months working in an orphanage in Quito, Ecuador with children under the age of two and with older children with mental and physical disabilities. I learned how to securely tie cloth diapers, successfully feed wiggly toddlers, and how to cuddle five babies at once. But most importantly I learned the meaning of unconditional love from the children who had nothing.

OSSO needs new volunteers for this upcoming year. If you have ANY interest whatsoever, please let me know (I can wax eloquent on this subject :)) or check out their website for more information.

“Behold your little ones…”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The Exam
I got to the test fifty minutes early (I almost missed my LPN exam the year before because I couldn't find the building and I didn't really want to deal with the adrenaline rush this time). People slowly trickled into the building (there were four other BYU nursing students) and at 7:30 they opened the testing center. They called me up to be scanned and fingerprinted and after six failed attempts my palm vein scan went through...but it didn't match up with the scan from my LPN scan (although I doubt my veins did any serious moving in only eight months :) ).

One hour after everyone else started, I was allowed to begin (they had to do some weird back-up procedure). I was expecting lots of 'select all that apply' questions, but I'd say they only made up about 1/6th of my test. I did get massive amounts of priority questions (you know, if patient A is in dire condition, patient B is seeing lights at the end of the tunnel, and patient c is trying to jump out of the window, who will you see first?) and a good deal of medication
questions. The test questions really weren't that bad (as in I recognized the material, but I was still pretty iffy on the right answer). I had one math question and none of the audio or diagram type questions. I answered 75 before getting kicked out.

The Wait
I left feeling pretty good about life because a) we were told that BYU students never get kicked out at 75 questions and fail and b) our instructor was pretty sure that all BYU nursing students who pass the LPN exam also pass the RN exam. The next day Calvin, a student from my testing group, posted on facebook that he passed. I rushed to the dopl website, but my name wasn't there.

I looked up the other four BYU nursing students. They were all listed there, but not me. At that point I started to panic. In the next two hours I went through 4 of the 5 stages of grieving and then went to bed planning to spend the next day eating lots of tator-tots (they're my comfort food) and mapping out a rigorous study schedule.

The one sure way to know if you failed or passed the exam is to wait for the results to come through the mail or to shell out $7.95 two days after the exam and find out early. I needed closure, so I paid the money and found out I passed. Dopl now has my name up (I'm still not sure why it took them so long to post my results) and you can see it here :)
Lakin Hays, R.N.

Now What?
I'm still working at my nursing home, but now as a registered nurse (woot for a $2 pay raise) and I'm applying for a second job at my capstone facility. The position is night shift on the medical/surgical floor. I'm not thrilled about the prospect of messing with my eight-hour, 9-5 sleeping schedule, but it will be wonderful to be working in a hospital again. Now I just have to find a hobby to fill up all of my spare time :)


First dates are typically awkward. There are so many unknown variables: sense of humor, interests, background, values, friends, goals, etc. you have to sort through to find if this relationship might have the beginnings of amazingness or crickets.

We had fireworks (of the literal and figurative variety) on our first date.

I waited for three solid weeks for Robb to ask me out. We walked together to choir practice several weeks in a row, we talked every time we met in the fishbowl, and there was even flirting (at least on my part)... which probably didn't come across as flirting, but I tried anyway.

He finally got around to calling me up and we made a date for the 4th of July. It was perfect. To begin with, he smelled really good. It was like having my own mobile and manly scented air freshener. We went to Red Robin (home of the most amazing hamburgers my taste buds have ever come in contact with), sat down, and started talking. Our poor waitress came by three times to get an order, but we were so wrapped up in conversation we hadn't had time to glance at the menu.

We left the heavenly hamburger joint, walked through the Freedom Festival, and joined a group of friends to watch the Stadium of Fire from the MTC playing field. They were playing card games, but we decided to sit a little ways off and continue talking. It was the easiest thing to be with him. And the fireworks were pretty amazing too :)

Traffic going home was terrible. We loaded up in his car and waited a good half hour just to leave the parking lot, before deciding to the ditch the car and walk home.

And from that point on I was smitten with Robb Hays.

Every year we celebrate the anniversary of the world's most amazing first date by reenacting that day.


Thanks, Robb, for the three most amazing 4th of Julys of my life.