Dignity (1/11/11)
Nov01

Dignity (1/11/11)

So this post is mostly thoughts about allowing children to die with dignity.  I thought I’d make that clear upfront, so you can choose whether to wade through it with me, or not. There are 2 children whose faces won’t leave my mind this week.  They both are going home from the hospital to die.  And the more I think about it, the more I think that if these children lived in Australia or the US, we would spend the next 2...

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Happy endings (30/10/11)
Oct30

Happy endings (30/10/11)

Sometimes medicine here is very, very different from what I used to do in the US and Australia.  And then there are some kids that look the same, no matter what country you are in. Sera came to us with a puzzled and worried mother – she had been sick a week or so ago, but had been given an antibiotic at another hospital called septrim.  A commonly used medication around the world for many childhood infections. But the day before...

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Interconnectedness (26/10/11)
Oct26

Interconnectedness (26/10/11)

The last 3 weeks have been a little like Christmas for us – both at home and at the hospital. When we moved to Kenya, we brought with us only what would fit in our luggage, as well as shipping a couple of boxes of essentials (*cough* insulated coffee plunger in with the car seats because we weren’t sure if they would be ubiquitous here).  So we have really been missing the opportunity to camp, having left our tent,...

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Sunset, Sunrise… (24/10/11)
Oct24

Sunset, Sunrise… (24/10/11)

We’ve been a little quiet on the blog front in the last 10 days or so.  It has been quite a week and a half. Last weekend, we had an overnight away with 2 couples who are a joy to be with, the Letchfords and the Myhres.  A just wonderful end to a busy week – a lake view, delightful dinner, and no conversation about work.  At all, I think.  Precious time of getting to know people who are our colleagues, our friends, and...

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MacGyvering (10/10/11)
Oct10

MacGyvering (10/10/11)

One of the frustrations of working in a resource-poor setting is that you don’t always have…. well, resources.  Here are a couple of ingenious solutions that folk over here have come up with to circumvent what we lack. Insulin, an essential daily drug for diabetics, has to be kept cool.  This is tricky in hot environments without electricity.  So the principle of evaporative cooling is our friend.  Lydia, our nurse...

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Beauty for Ashes (8/10/11)
Oct08

Beauty for Ashes (8/10/11)

Some of you read my post about Emer – a diabetic girl who left the hospital before her bill was paid, without any medication, or any way to test her blood sugar.  We had the resources to cover all of her costs, but the family disappeared under cover of darkness.  I was just filled with sadness when she left. But if I hadn’t met Emer, I don’t know if I would have met Margaret. Margaret is 5 years old, the youngest of...

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Grief (6/10/11)
Oct06

Grief (6/10/11)

I’ve been recovering from a rather enthusiastic 4 days of gastro, so instead of going for a ride a few days ago, I gave my bike a good clean. I love cleaning my bike…there’s just something about it that brings me joy. The first thing I do is get the bike wet and soapy…besides the red African dust that seems to accumulate everywhere, sweat and grime builds up in the crevices and needs to be removed regularly....

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Why many good leaders struggle to deliver results: a missing trait

Written: 10/6/11 Published: 10/6/11 Bibliography: Peter Drucker, “Managing Oneself”, Harvard Business Review, 1999. I have worked with many different leaders during my time as a submarine officer, in the business world, and in the church–a fair range across the spectrum from excellent to incompetent. One thing I have observed many times is someone who is a gifted leader, but struggles to execute a plan or deliver the...

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Dadaab Part 3 – not quite Dagahaley Camp (4/10/11)
Oct04

Dadaab Part 3 – not quite Dagahaley Camp (4/10/11)

There is nothing quite like travelling over 500 kilometres and being told that you can’t do what you have come to do.  On Tuesday night, we found out that workers in the hospital at Dagahaley camp were striking and we would not be able to see children there on Wednesday morning.  There had been an altercation between some staff members which had turned violent, and the rumor was that 15 people were going to be fired, and thus...

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Dadaab Part 2 – Hagadera Camp (2/10/11)
Oct02

Dadaab Part 2 – Hagadera Camp (2/10/11)

Let me introduce you to Abdi.  He is 8 years old, and has been referred to us for lumps.  On his left arm.  And under his armpit.  And another above his right collarbone.  One of the doctors in the camp recently removed one of the lumps, but we have no idea what was inside – was it pus?  Was it a decaying ball of cream cheese signifying TB?  Was it hard like a rock, worrisome for some form of cancer? There is no paperwork to let...

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