Monday night, Chris and I hosted a book club meeting. The book we were discussing, Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains, is an excellent book about Dr. Paul Farmer, the founder of Partners in Health. If you’re at all interested in working in the health care field, I’d highly recommend it! It’s one of those books you find yourself racing through and unable to put down.

The meeting was sort of an informal dinner party, so we made some appetizers—roasted garlic and veggies and a cheese-pear-and-cracker plate (unpictured). The true star of the evening was Chris-made Soup Joumou. He worked from two recipes to create a delicious (and vegetarian) take on this Haitian soup, traditionally eaten on January first to celebrate Haitian Independence Day. There are so many beautiful vegetables in this (leeks, chayote, sweet potato…), cooked for hours and hours. Since fresh pumpkin is hard to find this time of year in New York City, a kabocha filled in quite nicely. The test batch was served with homemade dumplings, but for the group, it was mixed with whole wheat pasta.

Of course, I had to make dessert (not knowing others were bringing cookies and cheesecake!). I made another batch of the Vegan Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

I love hearing other people’s thoughts and feelings about health care and medicine and ways in which we can improve people’s quality of life, so it was a great way to spend my last evening before the start of the spring semester.

One of the courses I’m taking is Nutrition Counseling, and I can already tell I’m going to love it. Working one-on-one with patients is probably my favorite part of nutrition, so I can’t wait to get into the readings, class discussions, and even the assignments, which involve actually working with an assigned client.Tomorrow is the first day of my Nutrition and Aging course, so we’ll see how that is.

I’m also starting a new volunteer position soon, which I’m also excited about. For the past year I’ve been at a long-term care facility for HIV patients, and next week I’ll begin a weekly shift at an outpatient clinic. Since I don’t have any outpatient experience, I’m really curious to see in what ways it’s different and whether I prefer working in that kind of setting. I guess I’ll find out soon!

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