My ridiculously heavy white coat (4/12/11)
Dec04

My ridiculously heavy white coat (4/12/11)

Every day before I go to work, I don a white coat – all doctors, clinical officers and medical students wear one as our identifying uniform.  The absolute best thing about a white coat is the number of pockets – I don’t carry a bag because in my coat pockets I have hospital protocols, an otoscope/ophthalmoscope, pulse oximeter, reflex tendon hammer, patient note cards, tape measure, keep-the-TB-out face mask, thumb...

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Seasons (1/12/11)
Dec01

Seasons (1/12/11)

One of my joys in Kijabe is the time I spend running a few times per week…like with mountain biking, most of the trails people use to walk from town to town are also decent running trails. Running is a Kenyan national pastime, and Kenya regularly produces the world’s best runners.  So people ‘get’ runners here (and will cheer you on as run by them)…although the high altitude and not-very-gentlemanly...

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Thanksgiving (26/11/11)
Nov26

Thanksgiving (26/11/11)

Being an Australian in Kenya with a whole bunch of Americans means that we get the best of all the holidays.  And so this week, we celebrated Thanksgiving. Actually, this whole month has been a month of Thankgiving for me.  When I sent out an email at the start of the month tentatively asking some friends if they’d like to join us for a Thanksgiving meal, there was an overwhelming “Yes!” response, and so for the last...

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Miracle babies (25/11/11)
Nov25

Miracle babies (25/11/11)

There are some things as a pediatrician you learn in a textbook, but see maybe once in your career.  I vividly remember as a resident in Florida hearing of 2 twin babies coming into our pediatric ICU, severely dehydrated, with sodium levels over 170.  Normal sodium levels are 135-145 – over 170 is getting pretty dangerous.  And the 2 twin babies, severely dehydrated because the new parents just didn’t realise that mum...

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The food that perishes (23/11/11)

In the last few months, our work on the Kijabe Water Project has continued its steady progress, with major areas of activity including finalising the design, putting in place procurement strategies, and applying for grants. We are in the process of applying for around $600,000 USD in outside funding. So when at 5pm Friday last week I received an email from an official at USAID asking if Kijabe Hospital was interesting in submitting a...

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Mission-focussed? (17/11/11)
Nov17

Mission-focussed? (17/11/11)

Whew!  What a month it’s been.  Moving house, Moffat’s semester ending and final exams to administer and grade, my graduate school semester ending and papers on Augustine and grace to be written, the usual cycle of sorrow and joy at the Hospital, children who are growing and just being all-around simultaneously delightful and maddening, and normal life all mixed in with the signs of spring that are unfolding around us:...

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The language of humility (16/11/11)
Nov16

The language of humility (16/11/11)

There’s something about learning a new language that I just do not enjoy. It’s more than the hard work, spread amongst an already busy schedule.  It’s more than the unfortunate graduate-school-timing coincidence that I’m learning koine Greek (the Greek that much of the Bible was first written in) at the same time.  It’s deeper…I have noticed that something about learning a new language cuts across...

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Caleb (11/11/11)
Nov11

Caleb (11/11/11)

Caleb is nearly 4 years old. The Ear Nose and Throat Clinic has sent him to see me because, in addition to his snoring and trouble sleeping because of huge adenoids, he may also be having seizures, and is really hyperactive, and doesn’t really talk. He and his mother have been waiting 2 hours to see me, because the clinic here sees people as they arrive, and I have been busy admitting children from the surgical clinic, seeing a...

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Feast or famine (6/11/11)
Nov06

Feast or famine (6/11/11)

It’s interesting working in a place staffed by volunteers.  In the last few months, we have been blessed to have some short term pediatricians helping us – Raymond helping on the ward and in nursery for a few weeks, and Wayne helping in ICU for 4 months.  Jennifer and I have had breathing space to do some admin, to upskill in anaesthesia, to go home a little early if we have been up all night on call.  It has been a feast...

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Choc chip cookies! (3/11/11)
Nov03

Choc chip cookies! (3/11/11)

The sun is out, the rain is gone, the birds are singing, the escarpment is alive with a feeling of spring.  Not that we really have spring here, it just feels that way to me. When I am not at work, I get to hang out with my kids who are, let me just say, pretty great.  At least some of the time they’re pretty great.  So today was threading beads, playing outside in the sun, and baking choc chip cookies. Today is one of those...

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