Sonja Kill Hospital & Travel Back to Phnom Penh

Sarah Hintz

Study Abroad in Cambodia
by Sarah Hintz, Nursing Student


Today (Tue 5/19) was our second and last day at Sonja Kill Hospital. Many of us woke up to the sun’s rays peering through the “mountains of Kampot”; however, less than 12 hours before the break of dawn, we stood under the covering of the star-filled sky.  Certainly, the most star-lit sky I have seen in my entire 21 years of existences.  During our time here we have experienced, that from the moment when we wake up to the moment when we fall asleep, we are surrounded by Beauty.  It is a beauty that goes beyond the word itself because it carries much more meaning than that.  It carries comfort, peace, and humility.  Surrounded by such beauty we are humbled to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.  Just by simply being on the hospital grounds we are in awe of the Creator of the Universe and feel a part of His continued work with humanity.  We have the opportunity to partner with God’s heart, what He is doing, and what He has planned for Hope International (the organization that supports Sonja Kill Hospital). Continue reading

Sonja Kill Hospital

Rachel Finn

Study Abroad in Cambodia
by Rachel Finn, Nursing Student


Today (Mon 5/18) marks the end of the vacation part of our trip, and the beginning of the true work we set out for!  Today is our first day at Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital, which is located in Kampot, Cambodia!

Sonja Kill Entrance

They are a charity hospital whose goal is to give affordable healthcare to patients in need.  Payment of services is strictly based upon the patient’s ability to pay; the poor get treated for free while the ones who can afford it pay a fee.  It is staffed mostly by Cambodians; however, many doctors and nurses come from abroad to work and help train the staff.  Our, us Belmont people’s, main mission for this stop is to help further educate the doctors and nurses here, treat some patients, and help in anyway the hospital needs. Continue reading

Travel to Cambodia & Arrival

Aly Webb
Study Abroad in Cambodia
by Aly Webb, Nursing Student


I plopped down, out of breath and sweaty, in the front seat of a friend’s car. It was 5:45 am on the dot. I’m late. I look at my buddy Evan, my right hand man for this kind of stuff, as he turns on the car. It’s clear he knows me too well when he immediately recognizes my visible stress,  “Come on Aly Webb, I got this. I can get you to the airport in ten minutes. Tops. I give him a disbelieving raised eyebrow.

As he makes a right turn onto the interstate I freak out, “Dude! The airport’s that way!” He tries to not laugh at my obvious lack of confidence in his sense of direction. “Aly Webb I got this.

I, of course, am still not convinced and attempt to slyly look up directions to the airport. Continue reading

Dr. Cathy Taylor Named 2015 Nashville Medical News Woman to Watch


(L to R): Dr. Lorry Liotta-Kleinfeld (Occupational Therapy), Dr. Leslie J. Higgins (Nursing), Dr. Beth Hallmark (Nursing), Dr. Cathy Taylor (Nursing), Dr. Erin Shankel (Nursing), Dr. Renee Brown (Physical Therapy)

Dr. Cathy Taylor, Dean of the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing, was recently honored as one of Nashville Medical News’s 2015 Women to Watch. For the 10th year, Nashville Medical News has profiled a group of women in Middle Tennessee who are making a difference in the health care landscape of Nashville, Tennessee or beyond through their work as clinicians, public health officials, advocates, administrators, association executives or professionals.

Taylor has served as Dean of the College of Health Sciences since 2012.  She came to Belmont from the Tennessee Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Service Administration where she was assistant commissioner.  Before that, she was an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University Nursing School of Nursing and the director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance Disease Management Program. Continue reading

Church and Traveling to Kampot

picture 3_edited

Study Abroad in Cambodia
by Kate Withrow, Physical Therapy Student


This morning we attended church at the Phnom Penh Church of Christ. What an experience! As soon as we walked in the door we were greeted with open arms and friendly faces. We found our seats next to the English translator, which was key, and service shortly started thereafter. Let me just tell you, these people are on fire for the Lord. The music was full of energy and life and it truly felt like the God we were praising was in our midst.

kate church

The passion in that room brought me to tears. A phrase that stuck out to me from the sermon seemed so appropriate for the occasion; He said following Jesus allows us to fellowship as one body, regardless of nationality. How great is it that we are all gathered together, different cultures and nationalities, under one roof praising the same God:

Continue reading

Killing Fields & Market


Study Abroad in Cambodia
by Sarah Hodge, Nursing Student


Our days are starting to run together although we have been here just a couple of days. Today, however, will be stuck in our minds for weeks and years to come. We had the opportunity to visit the Killing Fields.

The Killing Fields represent the massive genocide that happened between the years 1975 to 1979. Millions of innocent Cambodians were brutally murdered during this regime. The Killing Fields pay respect to the many that died. Graves and bones are on display, many which are in the monument that was constructed to house skulls and bones of the victims. Continue reading

Market, Restaurant, & Birthday Celebration

Dani Cichon
Study Abroad in Cambodia
by Dani Cichon, Nursing Student


Our first experience with the “Russian Market” can only be described as… overwhelming. Overwhelming in the way of smells (some delicious, some too bad to even put into words), colors, shouts of “Miss, you want something? You want something?”, feelings of anxiety when struggling to bargain…just overwhelming. But the good, this-is-so-different-but-awesome kind of overwhelming! Plus, Dr. Taplin knew the places to go, and hooked us up with “the silk lady,” “the silver lady,” and “the gold lady.” It’s safe say that most of us had a lot less money and space in our carry-on bags afterwards. But who can resist a silk scarf being sold for $2? After a few hours there, we headed back to the hotel to prepare medical supplies that would be taken to Sonja Kill hospital in Kampot. AppleMark Later, we went to a Khmer restaurant and feasted on dishes such as fish amok, striped snakehead, and fried ice cream. With the sounds of Chapey music playing in the background (traditional Khmer dance/ceremony music) and the help of a makeshift crown and corsage made out of balloons, we also celebrated Sarah Hintz’s twenty-first birthday there.

The night finished with many group members receiving well-earned massages, and the rest getting what was probably our first full night of sleep since before the trip began.

Walking Tour & Tuol Sleng

Cassie Scott
Study Abroad in Cambodia
by Cassie Scott, Nursing Student


To begin this adventure, we started our day having Dr. Taplin and Mrs. Morse show us around Phnomh Penh which is where we will be living out of the majority of our trip. It also gave us our first dose of what the Cambodian heat would do to us. We got to see such sights such as the Royal Palace, the Tonle Sap river, and many of the surrounding stores. This was also our first dose of the Cambodian culture and interactions with the Khmer people. We happened to arrive during a national holiday, the King’s birthday which meant that most of the city was in celebration mode. We passed by the Prime Minister’s motor escort twice during our city tour. We took our first tuk tuk ride back from this walking tour which was an adventure. That was nerve wracking since Cambodian traffic has no rules and you feel as if everything is going to hit you, but overall a great experience. It’s a good way to watch the people interact in the city while getting a nice breeze to cool you off for a few minutes. Continue reading

Spectacular Day in Chamonix and the French Alps

Alps1-2015Study Abroad in Geneva, Switzerland
from Dr. Ruby Dunlap, School of Nursing

We had a spectacular day in Chamonix and the French Alps today. After spending a couple of hours at the local farmer’s market, we took a cable car up to Aiguille de Midi, the highest ride in Chamonix. The weather was mostly brilliantly sunny with peaks sharply outlined against a blue sky as you can see from these pics but big clouds would move across and make everything foggy for awhile. Aiguille is 3842 meters high, roughly 11,526 feet.

More photos on our Facebook Page. Continue reading