Volume 123, Number
JC nursing students to practice in Kenya
BY JACKIE HYRA The Jamestown Sun
Six Jamestown College (JC) senior nursing students will complete one of their two required clinical rotations in Chogoria, Kenya. Sara Suek, Ashley Patnode, Rhonda Enger, Joan Potts, Bethany Borchert and Heidi Backstrom leave January 31 with two faculty members to spend almost three weeks at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa-Chogoria Hospital.
Heidi Backstrom is the daughter of Paul and Donna Backstrom of Maddock.
"It will be an adventure," said Enger.
The students will begin their rotation in a pediatrics malaria ward, working directly with the hospital nurses treating patients. Next they will work on the obstetrics ward, helping deliver babies.
"That’ll be fun. I’m so excited," Patnode said. During their last week in Kenya, the students will travel to a remote village to teach AIDS education and dispense medication.
The student nurses are not entirely sure what to expect when they get to the hospital in Chogoria. "We’re the first to go," said Backstrom.
They’ve been told there will be electricity — sometimes — and running water — sometimes. They’ll be sleeping somewhere in the hospital and toilets will be holes in the ground.
"I don’t know what to expect," Enger said. "Obviously it’s not going to be the niceties I have here in the United States." Still, she and the other students eagerly signed up. For Patnode, a chance to study abroad was only one reason to travel to Kenya. "One of my dreams or goals in life is to practice in a Third World country," she said.
Backstrom traveled to Africa four years ago on a mission trip and can’t wait to return. "I fell in love with the continent and the people, and I’ve been wanting to go ever since." She found the African people to be warm, happy and generous, even thought they were very poor. She hopes to practice nursing in Africa some day. "You can meet a practical need," she said.
Enger said she doesn’t think her husband would want to move to Africa so she could practice nursing there, but she is interested in doing missionary work. She hopes this trip will set the stage for future missions for the church.
The student nurses’ trip to Kenya is the first step in what is hoped to become a new, cooperative relationship between JC and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa-Chogoria Hospital.
Jackie Mangnall, chairwoman of the nursing department at Jamestown College, is working with the hospital and its affiliated nursing school to not only send JC students to Chogoria, but to bring Kenyan students to JC. "Our vision is to have one or two Kenyan young men or women come here for a full four-year nursing degree," she said.
The students chosen to study at JC will be academically strong individuals who are fluent in English, and who were orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. After they earn their nursing degrees, they will return to practice nursing in Kenya. "Clearly, the intent is for them to go back to Kenya," Mangnall said. "We don’t want to drain their best and brightest."
Mangnall will soon begin working on grants to pay all expenses for the African students, who have nothing, and to find host families to act as adoptive parents. While arranging the student exchange will take a great deal of work and money, Mangnall is undaunted by the task. "I am moving ahead with blind faith," she said. "It is my vision to start this fall."
Meanwhile, the seven JC nursing students are moving ahead with their own plans to study in Kenya. Each one is working to raise about $3,000 for the trip, although they are being underwritten by their churches and their parents.
So far, the student nurses have raised only $800 per student, but Enger said they were excited to earn that much.
They are planning a final fund raiser on January 14 at the Knights of Columbus hall, where they will cook and serve breakfast after the 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Mass. A freewill offering will be taken.
This story was originally published in the Jamestown Sun on Saturday, December 16, 2006.
Jamestown College nursing students who will go to Kenya to study are, left to right, Sara Suek of Havre, Mont., Ashley Patnode of Grand Rapids, Minn., Rhonda Enger of Northwood, Joan Potts of Port Orchard, Wash., Bethany Borchert of Valley City and Heidi Backstrom of Maddock. She is the daughter of Paul and Donna Backstrom of Maddock. (Photo by Sandy Bates)
Floyd Dressen of Minnewaukan, second from right, retired after 27 years as a technician with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Benson County. At a retirement open house he was presented a plaque for his tree planting efforts over the years by the North Central Soil Conservation District. Left to right are supervisor Rolf Berg of Maddock, district manager Ken Lunde of Harlow, Dressen and supervisor John Rasmussen of Maddock.
Library gets funds
The Devils Lake Area Foundation recently awarded more than $30,000 in grants to several area non-profit organizations. The Minnewaukan Public Library was a recipient of one of those grants. The funds will be used to purchase books for the library. Pictured are Devils Lake Area Foundation Committee member LuAnn Stromme, right, with librarian Cathy Burkhardsmeier, center, and library board member Lisa Wold, left.
Thirteen members of the Maddock A. S. Gibbens FFA Chapter attended the annual State FFA Winter Leadership Conferences held in Bismarck January 6 and 7. Left to right, front row, are Kimberly Randle, Jordan Backstrom, Paul Rice, Beau Buehler and Jason Smith. Back row: Alexis Buckmier, Erin Leier, Kaidi Kenner, Jillian Maddock, John Sears, Tyler Sears, Levi Slater and Andrew Backstrom. Participating in the State Greenhand Conference were Erin Leier, John Sears and Jason Smith. Erin was seventh high individual of more than 300 Greenhand participants in the Greenhand Quiz Contest. Participating in the Made for Excellence Conference were Andrew Backstrom, Alexis Buckmier, Beau Buehler, Kaidi Kenner, Jillian Maddock, Kimberly Randle, Tyler Sears and Levi Slater. Jordan Backstrom and Paul Rice participated in the Advanced Leadership conference.