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June 07, 2015
Mark, my husband, has a different perspective regarding our stay in Ethiopia. He was interviewed by his company a few months ago – see his...
May 24, 2015
Post-operative day # 13 and I am pleased to report that our patient has recovered quite nicely. Sonja went back to school last week, continues to...
May 13, 2015
Too much. Too much. Just too much.
A few days ago I thought I would be documenting the progress and continued challenges to expand cervical cancer...
May 11, 2015
It has been an emotional week. Quite likely the most difficult emotional week since our arrival. On Thursday we received an email from my Dad. The email heading was, “Kulshan 1999-2015.” My heart became a ball of aluminum foil. Oh no. Our beloved family golden retriever dog of 15 1/2 years. The kids were in their room, playing, laughing, giggling. Mark was on a Skype call with the U.S., I was catching up on emails. I saw the headline and said, “Oh no…. Josh. Sonja. Please come.” I did not say another word. Together we read Dad’s artful recount of Kulshan’s last few days. And the tears started to flow.
April 12, 2015
Today is Ethiopian Easter. It is the culmination after 55 days of penance. 55 days of fasting, no animal products. Mark, the kids and I have not been fasting, we have found ways around this cultural practice. We could have immersed ourselves in the culture and participated, but we didn’t. Instead we discovered what it is like to live as a minority and our slightly different cultural beliefs within another dominant culture. Interesting. During those 55 days I just wanted to figure out how to get around my surroundings. Today I wonder what it would have been like to just immerse myself in it.
March 30, 2015
It rained today, yesterday too. I understand better Toto’s “I bless the rains down in Africa” lyrics. Yesterday Sonja’s American friends and she were playing in her room. The rains started, then pelted down. I heard an interruption in the play, and then three faces peered around the corner, “is that rain?!?!?” The next moment Sonja had dressed her two friends in rain jackets and all three rushed outside to just stand in the rain.
March 16, 2015
We are now in Zanzibar, Tanzania. This is our first week-long family vacation since venturing to Ethiopia. It is a tropical paradise.
January 25, 2015
January 25, 2015
I am a bit behind in my blog. Life has all of a sudden become rather busy. In the span of a couple weeks we experienced Ethiopian Christmas, a funeral for a beloved surgery professor and the three day festival of Timkat or Epiphany. This alone would have kept us busy, but the hospital has had a flurry of events as well. The fourth year medical students have started their clinical rotations in obstetrics/gynecology, the chief of the department took a one month personal leave, the most senior obstetrician started his six month sabbatical (they are given six month sabbaticals every 7 years), and the third attending went to Kenya for a week-long colposcopy course. That would have left me as the only attending obstetrician gynecologist physician in the hospital. Fortunately, a new attending started this week. This tidbit of information was shared with me the day before he started. This new Dr Yeshiwas is a very kind person. He is one year ou...
November 16, 2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
It is 05:30 in the morning. I have been awake since 02:30am when Josh walked into our room, febrile and not feeling well. He was ready for his next dose of Tylenol. Yesterday he had his second febrile episode in as many weeks. I freaked out (a little) and decided to bring him in to be tested for malaria. For our $8.00 we were seen by the doctor in the urgent care clinic of the small hospital up the street, had labs drawn (CBC, malaria blood smear, typhus serum test), and were prescribed antibiotics for bacterial pharyngitis, probably strep throat.
But I digress. ...
October 29, 2014
Tuesday October 22, 2014
We went hiking in the Simien Mountains this weekend. Janis, the British anesthesiologist, arranged the all-inclusive trip and invited us along. I was concerned that Josh and Sonja may not be able to keep up with the 5 adult hikers, but the trekking company “Explore Abyssinia” suggested that we hire 2 mules and the kids could ride when they wanted to, and hike when they felt like hiking. This turned out to be a wonderful option.