After several hours in a large, coach bus, about 30 of us arrived at Frontier Nursing University, just after 5pm, local time (Much of our class of 60+ people were here already). What a delightful, charming place. Most of the buildings were built in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The dormitory, which I am staying in, is an old stone building. I am sharing a room, decorated with ladybugs, with a fellow midwifery student.

Dinner was served in the dining hall, two small rooms, opening onto each other. Buffet style potato and salad bars, with serve yourself juice, milk, tea, cookies and brownies. My baked potato, with fresh broccoli, shredded cheese, and sour cream was delicious. 

Between dinner and our evening get together I walked around a bit. There is a lovely little chapel on campus. I wanted to look inside but it was padlocked. Deciduous trees and bushes surround everything. I noticed how few and far between evergreens are. I saw less then a handful on our drive here. How beautiful it must be in the autumn when all of the leaves turn.

At 7pm all of class 103 and a group of staff/instructors met in the Dr. Anne classroom, which is in the lower portion of the old barn, where the horses were stabled during the Frontier Nursing Service riding days. 

Our gathering was sweet. We heard from a nurse midwife who learned/worked here in 1950’s. Kitty Ernst spoke to us, she is a powerhouse. Her words resonated in me and brought tears to my eyes. She believes in the power of women to birth and she wants us to believe it too.  I want to be Kitty when I grow up. Ending our first evening together we circled up and learned the Frontier School song. It was a pleasant experience. 

On the walk back to the dorm I saw my first fireflies. I was so touched. I wimpered, oooed, and awed as they flickered on and off around me. Their presence felt like a blessing to me, an acknowledgement of the deep, spiritual connection this journey has for me. I took a couple minutes worth of video, hoping to capture some of the fireflies’ “twinkling” to share with family. 

I went to bed feeling much more connected to this place and to these people than I expected to. I am happy to be here and looking forward to whatever else this experience may bring.