Friday, March 27, 2009


In the wee hours of the morning (so wee, in fact, that I was much too exhausted to roll over and check the time) all of Campus Manning and the community of Carmen Pampa was awakened to the sound of BOOMS! ...followed by a redundant and blaring ditty played by a brass band that, in my humble opinion, could use a bit more practice.*

The flag of the Carrera de Enfermería (Nursing Major) hangs in the courtyard of Campus Manning this morning.

I knew immediately what it was and, for that reason, I also knew it was going to go on for a good long while.  As I tossed and turned, trying to block out the noise in my semi-conscious state, I thought of our newly arrived volunteer, Jim Hanson, who, trying to recover from his 35+ hour journey from the Twin Cities, was probably wondering what he had gotten himself into by coming to the UAC-CP.

The commotion, as hopefully someone has by now explained to Jim, is actually not a common madrugada occurrence; it was students from the College's Nursing Department.  

Every year each department of study at the College celebrates its anniversary--the number of years it has offered classes at the UAC-CP.  While the aniversario of the Nursing Department is technically in April, so many students will be off campus doing their clinical work that the students decided to celebrate themselves now.

Mini red and white plastic flags fly high above the Campus Manning courtyard that faces the volunteer house.

As part of its anniversary celebration, the Nursing Department has planned a three-day conference about the ethics and morals of health care.  Invited speakers will be coming to talk on relative topics (Hugh, for example, will be talking about HIV/AIDS on Saturday morning). Radio announcements in the Yungas are encouraging members of local communities to attend. In addition to this three-day seminar, the Nursing Department will also celebrate its anniversary with a mass, a special meal, and an all-school dance on Saturday night.

The good news for those of us who like a full night's sleep is that the firecrackers and music and early morning celebration only happens the first day.  Now, it's just a matter of time before the Veterinary Department celebrates its anniversary!

*It was the local Carmen Pampa high school band.

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