Navigation Menu+
on silence. . .
Read more

on silence. . .

Nov 20, 2017 by

The blog has been a bit quieter than normal. Every time I sit down to write, the words seem either too superficial or too raw. . . finding the balance in between is harder than I want it to be. So we post pictures of animals, and beauty, and the breaks in between. We document the girls growing and listen to their words. These...

Read more
asking why. . .
Read more

asking why. . .

Nov 5, 2017 by

It was midnight. . . I had been at my patient’s bedside for 5 hours, doing everything I could to bring up her oxygen, to give her comfort, to comfort her mother, to hope for another miracle after 8 months of miracles.  Holding the breathing tube open between my forefingers, I rested my head on the bed for a minute. The Maasai mom in...

Read more
Carnival
Read more

Carnival

Nov 4, 2017 by

In the midst of election uncertainty and the continued nursing strike, tradition becomes an anchor that brings joy, rest, and solidity in the midst of a world that seems anything but that. Carnival is RVA’s big dress up party every year, and in the past we have had wonder woman, laura ingalls, violet incredible, and little red riding hood. This year, madeline and her...

Read more
Annabelle is 9. . .
Read more

Annabelle is 9. . .

Oct 3, 2017 by

Every year, I have fun planning and plotting with the girls what their birthday parties will be and then pulling off a little magic to make it happen in Kenya. This year I had some help from our former pastor in Birmingham who brought marshmallows and candy, and Belle’s vision for “slumber party” theme came to life with some twine, some glitter, some ....

Read more
Cars
Read more

Cars

Sep 27, 2017 by

When we first arrived in Kenya, I remember walking by the hospital playground and a little boy yelling at me from the top of the slide, “Muzungu, geeev me a kaa.” That first day, I honestly had no idea what he was talking about.  It took me a while for his question to register, I was still adjusting to Kenyan English – was he...

Read more
on marshmallows. . .
Read more

on marshmallows. . .

Sep 20, 2017 by

  When we were back in the States and people asked us what we needed in Kenya, David and I would often simultaneously reply “marshmallows” with a smile. It seemed a ridiculous request from a family a half a world away, but in the three years proceeding, we had found immense comfort from the simple white puffed sugar. . . . Last week was...

Read more
Friends and Safaris
Read more

Friends and Safaris

Sep 10, 2017 by

Some of our best friends came to visit us for several weeks, saying goodbye again was not fun.  Arianna and Salli did pediatric residency together at UAB, Madeline and Rose grew up together, we had Joe and Annabelle months apart, and we’ve made many road trips between Birmingham and Thomasville in the years before (and even during) Kenya. Tim and I spent hours and...

Read more
I saw a child die today
Read more

I saw a child die today

Aug 12, 2017 by

This is not normal for me, even though I am around the hospital quite often.  I usually see the after-effects, the families huddled with chaplains outside the ICU door, the funeral-wailing at the mortuary near the hospital entrance we use.   Today I was in newborn nursery with a set of allen-wrenches to adjust donated procedure tables to the right height.  It was a...

Read more
the divine supply chain
Read more

A container arrived this week, loaded with pediatric, obstetric, and surgical equipment.  Getting containers to Kenya is massive headache, endless forms, money for shipping, money for customs. It is a long, complicated process. . .one of our colleagues worked two years for this one.  But, as Arianna says, it is miraculous. The container arrived on Sunday and was unloaded. The first item we pulled...

Read more
on provision. . .
Read more

on provision. . .

Jul 11, 2017 by

On Saturday, a mom walked into our hospital, her water broken, and 28 weeks pregnant with twins. We admitted her, gave her antibiotics and steroids to mature the lungs and waited for their now imminent and inevitable arrival. The same Saturday, a team of nurses from the US brought 6 bags full of essential medical supplies for hospitals in Kenya. They had organized them...

Read more
Safari with family. . .
Read more

32 years ago, I was a flower girl in my Uncle John and Aunt Denise’s wedding. In our life and marriage and our journey to Kenya, they have been constant prayer warriors, bearers of advice, and cherished mentors. This year, on our 15th wedding anniversary, they came to see us in Kenya. Beth (their daughter, who was one of our flower girls), spent the...

Read more
Triplets
Read more

Triplets

Jul 7, 2017 by

We recently had full-term triplets born at Kijabe. I have photographed lots of events, but this has to be one of the most special. . .while I am taking pictures, in my head I am saying “wow, wow, wow,” over and over again.  It’s impossible not to pray – “let them cry, let them breathe, let mom recover well.”  All was perfect! Here are...

Read more
from death to life. . .
Read more

On my call last weekend, I was talking to the clinical officer about a patient in Casualty (ER), and she said abruptly, “I have to go, they just brought in an unresponsive baby.” Unresponsive baby trumped the breathing child in the ER, and I diverted my path quickly to the NICU where she was. The team was working smoothly, bagging with our bag valve...

Read more
on days with David
Read more

on days with David

Jun 16, 2017 by

For those of you who have followed our journey for the past years, you know I have struggled a bit to find a role and purpose at Kijabe.  In some ways it will be a lifelong process, but I do have quite a bit more clarity right now after processing during our time in the states and jumping back in to life in Kenya....

Read more
Naivasha
Read more

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...

Read more
On Potatoes
Read more

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...

Read more
What we do. . .
Read more

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...

Read more
Titchie Restaurant
Read more

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...

Read more
random thoughts that don’t fit into a complete post. . .
Read more

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...

Read more
counting on Blessing
Read more

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...

Read more
on slaying dragons and playing whack-a-mole. . .
Read more

*lightning storm over Longonot As I look at 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...

Read more
on returning to Kijabe. . .
Read more

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...

Read more
Band-aid . . .
Read more

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....

Read more
On being everywhere. . .
Read more

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...

Read more
On multiple fronts
Read more

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...

Read more
on being loved. . .
Read more

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...

Read more
life on powerpoint. . .
Read more

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,...

Read more
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