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Naivasha
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Naivasha

May 28, 2017 by

Pictures from a quick getaway to Naivasha this weekend.  Thanks so much Jennifer and Scott for an epic hike and the opportunity to get stuck in the mud:)  Yes, we can do the...

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On Potatoes
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On Potatoes

May 23, 2017 by

This morning was crystal clear and I didn’t have plans, so I put the camera and 400mm lens in my backpack and went for a ride.  The end goal was to find the farming ladies in the hills above Kijabe.  But I ran into sharp-dressed Eliod on the road, and had to ask him for a picture.  I’m supposed to track him down and...

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What we do. . .
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What we do. . .

May 10, 2017 by

What do we actually do with our lives?   Arianna is usually off saving the world, and honestly I don’t witness it as often as I would like.  Every Tuesday, though, she and the team are running through mock-codes to practice emergency scenarios with the nurses and trainees in the pediatric department. It’s hectic, chaotic, and oh so valuable,  And it offers a picture...

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Titchie Restaurant
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Titchie Restaurant

May 7, 2017 by

Every year, the sophomore class at Rift Valley Academy puts on a fancy dinner to raise money for banquet (prom), and we all dress up and go up to support them. This year, however, it sold out unexpectedly fast, and we found ourselves without a seat at the table.  As we discussed how sad we were we wouldn’t get to go (traditions are valuable...

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random thoughts that don’t fit into a complete post. . .
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David went on to the homes of patients this week to see how they were doing after discharge. As a thank you for the care they had received at Kijabe, the family of triplets gave us a chicken – Bibi (which means girlfriend or wife – named after it’s home town of Ndabibi). It is humbling to receive a gift  from a family who...

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counting on Blessing
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counting on Blessing

Apr 29, 2017 by

I stared at the monitor in the ICU in Kijabe with my head tilted. . .an unconscious habit that follows me from taking photos to moments of perplexedness. The tiny patient’s oxygen had been okay moments before, and now, it was plummeting. 94 – 82 – 71 – 63.  . . It was 7 pm and I had walked into the ICU on my...

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on slaying dragons and playing whack-a-mole. . .
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*lightning storm over Longonot As I look to starting back in the hospital on Tuesday, I feel like I did on my first day of my sophomore year of college. I now know the place, what can happen, the way to get food and find my mail, but I’m not a rookie anymore. I can’t claim amnesty because I don’t know what I am...

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on returning to Kijabe. . .
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We arrived back in Kijabe last week with all of our bags after 26 hours of uneventful traveling. We thought back to 3 years earlier, the anticipation, excitement, trepidation – and marveled a bit at how different this all felt. In New York and Amsterdam, the girls checked out gate numbers and directed us to the next airport destination. They picked their snacks for the...

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Band-aid . . .
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Band-aid . . .

Mar 20, 2017 by

It’s leaving day. The only way to describe is like ripping off a band-aid – you know its going to be painful, and the only thing to do is grab the little tab and pull. We know where we are going this time and what awaits us, and the journey is completely worth it – but it will never be easy leaving family and dear friends behind....

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On being everywhere. . .
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The last four months have been an absolute whirlwind. . .we feel like we have been just about everywhere, doing everything imaginable.  Great example, we went to Houston to speak at a missions conference and ended up doing the jumping spider and warped wall at an American Ninja Warrior gym.   Yes, we’ve been everywhere. We are exactly 10 days from Kijabe, and while...

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On multiple fronts
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On multiple fronts

Jan 25, 2017 by

A huge misconception that I had about home assignment was that it would be a time of rest and recovery.  On previous flights back to America, I had the feeling as if a weight was lifting off my shoulders.  A certain stress is ever-present as part of life in new culture.  So 4 1/2 months in the land of fast food and smooth highways...

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on being loved. . .
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on being loved. . .

Dec 25, 2016 by

loved It is the word on the necklace given to me by my best friend, and the all-consuming feeling that envelops us as we walk this part of our journey in the United States. We move, wandering nomads from house to house, bed to bed. We pack our tiny car, expertly, to the brim, and drive, miles upon miles upon miles to the places where...

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life on powerpoint. . .
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We are finding one of the most difficult things about being in America is trying to describe our life in Kenya well. Since we got off the plane a month ago, we have done seven different official presentations.  Each of them has been completely different, each has take a different aspect of our life here and tried to paint the picture. My first presentation,...

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watson and liz
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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,...

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whispers
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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...

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carnival 2016
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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...

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A song of mourning
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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...

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furlough
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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...

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

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

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a witness to our journey
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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...

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What we need most. . .
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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...

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Justice
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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...

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On beautiful reminders. . .
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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...

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On MacGyvering
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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...

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Amboseli
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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...

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Spain
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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...

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to my husband, on our anniversary
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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...

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On being sick and community. . .
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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.

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On being unbusy. . .
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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.

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10 questions for Madeline.
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(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...

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