Navigation Menu+
watson and liz
Read more

watson and liz

Nov 21, 2016 by

Liz was one of my first friends in Kijabe – she is a clinical officer for pediatrics and is a calm, steadying, presence for our department and wonderful clinician. . . .when I found out she and Watson were engaged, I was thrilled,  as he is one of the kindest most brilliant residents in our orthopaedics department. They trusted us to shoot their wedding,...

Read more
whispers
Read more

whispers

Nov 6, 2016 by

There is another word, stronger and truer than the word of the world. The true word is not in the earthquake or the fire or the news feed – it is in a still small whisper.  The strongmen of earth can seek to drown it out in caucophony, but still the word whispers.  The Wall Streets, Main Streets, and Pennsylvania Avenues clang and clatter...

Read more
carnival 2016
Read more

carnival 2016

Oct 29, 2016 by

So, instead of trick or treating, Rift Valley Academy has Carnival. . .and every year the girls lay down the gauntlet for me and give me their costume ideas. This year – little Red Riding Hood and Granny for Madeline and her RVA big sister, and TinkerBelle and Queen Clarion for my youngest and her RVA big sister. For Madeline, I deconstructed my red...

Read more
A song of mourning
Read more

A song of mourning

Oct 28, 2016 by

It has been a tough week for the peds team, and doubly tough for Arianna to prepare to step away rather than step in.  Some words for these warrior-heroes. There is pain before change, during change, after change.   But believe, bars have been raised, lives saved, this is a better place – a safer place – than it was yesterday.   We pray...

Read more
furlough
Read more

furlough

Oct 27, 2016 by

For the past 2 years, I have been on call for the hospital every 3rd-4th night since  I finished my language training. I have been in the hospital nearly every day, and aside from planned vacations, our lives have revolved around the people and events in that place only 200 feet up the hill. Next week will mark the beginning of a 5 month mandatory...

Read more
on being 8 years old and traveling. . .
Read more

Without Hobby Lobby or AC Moore or Michael’s, my need to be creative in for my girl’s birthday parties is a little challenged – but a lot more fun. This year Annabelle wanted an “around the world American girl party,” which, after searching, Madeline declared un-Pinterestable. So we made it up, and had a lot of fun. We planned treasure hunts to the continents, compass...

Read more
on legacy and returning to the States for a bit. . .
Read more

2 years into the rest of our lives. . . Yesterday was our two year move-i-versary, and this week showed the changes that those 2 short (and long) years have brought. . . Wednesday, I admitted two patients referred to Kijabe by former interns I had helped train – both were complicated kids who had been identified and managed perfectly before transfer (and both would...

Read more
a witness to our journey
Read more

We have had an unusual year as people have traversed the ocean to bear witness to and take part in our journey here.   As I sit in Kijabe with 5 of my residency colleagues from UAB having just left, I marvel at the web that weaves together both sides of this crazy world – a quilting of our lives that I don’t always know...

Read more
What we need most. . .
Read more

What we need most. . .

Sep 4, 2016 by

this is the most recent update David sent out about the hospital. . . A friend visiting Kijabe for the first time recently asked me, “What do you need?”   I know what he meant – do I need a day off, or a new devotional study?  I thought for a long while and realized that what I need most is not anything for me, it is for my guest to...

Read more
Justice
Read more

Justice

Aug 23, 2016 by

As I write this post, I continue to wrestle with purpose and calling over what my role is in Kijabe, but hopefully through a new lens. In some sense my current role is an extension of what I have done for the last ten years – shooting and marketing and making blog posts and updating the website and answering emails and accounting.  The immediate context...

Read more
On beautiful reminders. . .
Read more

The past two weeks have brought back so many patients from the past 2 years, and have been an amazing reminder of the beauty in this journey we have been on. . . Last week, I walked into clinic to see a precious boy that was having trouble breathing. The mom looked at me with recognition in her eyes immediately. . . “Daktari, this...

Read more
On MacGyvering
Read more

On MacGyvering

Aug 8, 2016 by

I have been struggling a little bit lately with how we are teaching our interns and how they are able to adapt that teaching when they go to some of the more rural hospitals in Kenya. We teach them how to use a bag valve mask and then they go where none exists. . . We teach them how to titrate fluids with care...

Read more
Amboseli
Read more

Amboseli

Jul 12, 2016 by

If you’re a visitor to Kenya, the first thing you will do is go on Safari to Maasai Mara, but if you’re like us – here for the long run – you’re a little slower getting out and adventuring.  Partly because it took a year+ to get our resident passes so we could get in the parks at a local rate, and partly because...

Read more
Spain
Read more

Spain

Jul 11, 2016 by

A bit late on this post, but it was a significant part of our year, and why we are doing what we are doing in life!  A year ago, when we first told Jennifer (Arianna’s former boss at Kijabe, East Africa regional director for Serge), that we were interested in joining, she told us “great, but you have to start the process NOW so...

Read more
to my husband, on our anniversary
Read more

my beloved – you don’t often talk about yourself. . .not in a way that would make people understand exactly who you are and what you do. And I probably don’t reflect enough about how different and wonderful my life is because of you. . .but, I suppose wedding anniversaries are good days to do that. . . As I look back over this...

Read more
On being sick and community. . .
Read more

Sitting on the bed in casualty, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for what we are doing here in Kijabe. For the nurses who started my IV and got my EKG and watched my heart rate like hawks as it wandered up and down. For the lab that could process results faster here than almost anywhere in Kenya. For my doctor friends who puzzled through things with me and made sure I didn’t feel alone.

Read more
On being unbusy. . .
Read more

On being unbusy. . .

Jun 22, 2016 by

We live in a world where we wear “busy” and “exhausted” as badges of our importance. . .as a way to tell the world that our time was necessary for something – that we are needed.

Read more
10 questions for Madeline.
Read more

(asked at 18mo mark on March 19, 2016) What do you like about school? Well we have lots of friends and it is fun being at school. It is really fun the we get to hang out at lunch time. What is your favorite thing to do here? The adventures we have like going on hikes and even just building things. What is different...

Read more
on being a bit academic
Read more

One of the big reasons I came to Kenya is to teach. . .I love the fact that we are training  new Kenyan and East African doctors with passion and dedication and excellence.  With teaching and training comes lots of other things – more academic than passionate – like learning research and quality improvement. . . This week was one of those weeks where...

Read more
return from Safari
Read more

return from Safari

Apr 23, 2016 by

So Wednesday, David, the girls and I returned from a short elephant safari near Kilimanjaro where we sat in the outdoor cabana and played cards during the rainstorm, slept under the stars in the shadow of a breathtaking mountain, and found literally hundreds of elephants on our drive across Amboseli National Park. We returned to Kijabe by way of the most beautiful road I’ve...

Read more
On Sustainability
Read more

On Sustainability

Apr 23, 2016 by

I have a few thoughts that have emerged from recent conversations that I would love to share, not as an expert, but as one who is learning. . .these matter a lot to me right now, stepping into a new role of leading our non-profit to support the hospital. The essence is deciding what does success look like? A question for mission projects and...

Read more
on the Saturday in between. . .
Read more

I’ve spent a lot of the last 3 months in tears. Quiet tears, angry tears, confused tears, tears of sorrow, and some tears of joy. . .for a woman who likes to think she can generally hold things together, it has been disconcerting. On the outside, nothing has changed. The Facebook pictures still show big smiles. The sunsets are still spectacular. The girls are still...

Read more
on training the next generation. . .
Read more

For the next 4 months at least, I am the interim medical education director in Kijabe. . .when I first agreed to do it, I thought I would have 12 medical officer interns and help them finish well, then welcome 12 more when they left. Instead, the Kenyan Ministry of Health “posted” the new class a month early – and I found myself with...

Read more
On Africa
Read more

On Africa

Feb 28, 2016 by

The stereotype I had of Africa (and I think that many people share) is largely based on the Lion King.  I truly was disappointed on our first trip that Kenya was not filled 24-7 with epic music and dancing. . .yes I secretly hoped the animals would sing too, but I did know that was a little farfetched.  Real life is cities and people and...

Read more
to lay it down. . .
Read more

to lay it down. . .

Feb 21, 2016 by

Life holds this dilemma, this paradox, of laying down our lives for others, but doing it in such a way that it can be repeated day after day. . .and that difficult balance has been my journey of the last few months. Laying down my life. Taking it back up again. Collapsing. Sometimes with joy, with satisfaction, with peace – often just with exhaustion....

Read more
labor of love
Read more

labor of love

Jan 16, 2016 by

Next weekend, the new children’s wing opens, and I am giddy. It is full of light, full of promise, a place to teach, to inspire, to walk forward and take care of children better than I ever could have imagined. . . and it’s opening is years in the making. It goes back to a long term doctor here who loved children with hydrocephalus...

Read more
Joyrneys
Read more

Joyrneys

Jan 5, 2016 by

We’ve been from mountains to sea as the girls had a month off of school and Arianna had two weeks to recover from the long year.  These are some pictures from our joyrneys (a joyrney is a joyous journey) and of Christmas in Kijabe. Above is the volcano outside our window with a Christmas present (2x converter) from my brother that makes it much...

Read more
Two Hearts
Read more

Two Hearts

Jan 1, 2016 by

Christmas week is always an emotionally charged week to be in the hospital for me. The  peace that weaves through things, the poignancy that ordinary events have, the comfort deepened, the grief magnified. Last week was no different. Sometimes Christmas week is quiet. Not this year. We ran from place to place with overflowing census and critically sick kids. . .some we could help, some we could...

Read more
tidings of comfort and joy
Read more

Often, in the day to day life, we get caught up in the sadness of the battles we feel have been left unwon. . . but my last month on the ward was one of small and big celebrations. . . of joy in the midst of impossibility. Of laughter, teaching, and children going home better for their time with us. . . S* was...

Read more
Kenyan Wedding
Read more

Kenyan Wedding

Dec 7, 2015 by

A big part of our lives in the past decade has been shooting weddings.  It was definitely unclear what would happen to photography, particularly wedding photography, after we moved to Kenya.  I had made peace with giving it up, but then ended up with 4 weddings back in the states this year.  Pictures and video for weddings are a very big deal in Kenya...

Read more
Birthday Girl
Read more

Birthday Girl

Nov 20, 2015 by

Madeline turned 10 last weekend and wanted a fall party.  With no seasons in Kijabe, it took a little bit of planning ahead.  Arianna brought back fake leaves from the states on our last trip, which turned out awesome for decorations.  And our friend Stephanie made the most insane and yummy cake ever seen in Kijabe.  The exciting game was pumpkin bowling, rolling pumpkins...

Read more