Hippocrisy (26/9/12)

“ I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant: …I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism. I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug. I will not be ashamed to say...

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Rift Valley Odyssey (17/9/12)
Sep17

Rift Valley Odyssey (17/9/12)

I don’t often write glowingly about events which involve severe exhaustion or crashing 3 times in 10 hours.  But this is an exception.  This weekend, I was fortunate enough to participate in the 2012 Rift Valley Odyssey with good friend Rich (a surgeon here at the Hospital). The RVO is a three day endurance mountain biking event, covering 240 kilometres (150 miles), with a total ascent of 4900 metres (16,000 feet). Mountain...

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Happiness is… (9/9/12)
Sep09

Happiness is… (9/9/12)

Happiness is…. – having a roaring fire with the rain pouring outside on a Sunday afternoon. – waking up at 7am Friday morning after falling asleep at 10pm, to realise that my pager had not. gone. off. all. night. – real Cadbury chocolate from Australia. – going for a walk on a sunny afternoon all by myself, with the baboons totally leaving me unmolested. – Jennifer arriving back in Kijabe and...

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10 crazy hours (31/8/12)
Aug30

10 crazy hours (31/8/12)

Tuesday night I went to bed looking forward to dropping Riley at school, having a morning playing cars with Liam and starting work at noon. Instead at 6:30 Wednesday I woke up to a call from Sarah, who was to be covering pediatrics for the morning.  Poor Sarah had been up all night with her son Getu, while Dad was away doing pediatric surgical care on refugees in Kenya’s northwest – Getu had fevers and chills and was...

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Martin (29/8/12)
Aug29

Martin (29/8/12)

One of the best parts of any day I have in Kijabe happens on those days where I meet with one of my students at Moffat Bible College. They are hungry to learn, dedicated, and in most cases, have made a decision to pursue a vocation of service to others which is not popular within their families. Being a pastor, chaplain, counselor, or community worker is not a high-paying job, if you get paid at all. So rather than reacting with pride...

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Groundhog Day (27/8/12)
Aug27

Groundhog Day (27/8/12)

Several years ago, Mardi and I travelled to Pittsburgh to attend the wedding of some good friends.  Reading the Lonely Planet travel guide on the plane en route, Mardi discovered that the home of Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog who emerges in the spring to check his shadow) lived only a short drive away.  Score! So we got up early the morning after the wedding, bleary eyed after a night of celebration and dancing, and drove to this...

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Funny accents (23/8/12)
Aug23

Funny accents (23/8/12)

One of the most incredible things about working in Kijabe is that I get to work with paediatricians from all over the world.  What is (and probably shouldn’t be) surprising is that all over the world, doctors who love babies and children are helping in almost exactly the same ways. Take a second to consider that.  Medicine has evolved to the point that you don’t need to worry that if you visit Hong Kong, or Germany, or the...

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Emptying your cup (17/8/12)
Aug17

Emptying your cup (17/8/12)

Sam (name changed) is a young and switched-on Kenyan with whom I work closely at the Hospital. Mostly due to empathetic care of his employees (most of whom the Hospital can afford to pay only $0.50 an hour) and his track record of delivering what he says he’s going to do, he has quickly risen to being one of the Hospital’s key managers. At Sam’s request, one year ago he and I started having weekly one hour...

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Diplomacy (14/8/12)
Aug14

Diplomacy (14/8/12)

On Friday afternoons, I run a private pediatric clinic.  People who wish to pay a little extra, have an actual appointment time, and see an experienced pediatrician rather than running the guantlet of students and interns, make appointments and come for their children to be checked out.  This helps the hospital recoup some of the costs of caring for a needy population, and broadens the scope of who we are able to help. That’s...

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Blue skies (11/8/12)
Aug11

Blue skies (11/8/12)

Today, there were blue skies. The last 3 weeks I’ve been a little down in the dumps – I had a flu like illness, which after 2 weeks of bravery and a week of antibiotics has finally cleared, and work has just been busy.  At work I’d see patients all day, on call nights I’d routinely need to go in at ridiculous hours, and then on “off” days I’ve felt like I’d get 10 things done on my admin...

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