Monday, January 29, 2007

Birthday girl...

Today was a good day; busy but good. I saw 56 patients and many conditions including malaria, anemia, chest infections, giardia, schistosomiasis, prematurity, malnutrition etc.

The most memorable moment happened at the end of the day.

I had spent some time diagnosing and treating a little girl who had a number of different illnesses. Anyway, I found out from her father that today is her birthday. So, just before she left the clinic I told her that she could pick out a gift for her birthday. She was pretty excited and after a good look at the various stuffed animals, she proudly chose a little African doll. She was very happy with her gift. It may very well have been her first doll ever!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Me & Esmee...

Not only were the "Zoey moments" special, but my time at home was also special because I met my new niece- Esmee. She was born November 12th, a few weeks early! It was great to be able to spend a little time with her. Poor girl though, the last couple of days of my stay in Holland she was sick and she ended up being admitted in the hospital the day after I flew out. These pictures were taken Jan 4th and 7th. It was fun being there as she was starting to smile and I was also there when she held something in her hand for the first time. Fun moments!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Special times with Zoey...

One of my favorite times in Holland was when we took Zoey to the beach. She’s just so cute. She sat in her stroller for the first part of the trip- going over the dunes- which was fine. But when we got to the sand she still wanted to sit in her stroller. Well, my dad and I weren’t quite up to pushing the stroller through the sand, so we decided to go back onto the dunes, also because it was very windy on the beach. As soon as we got back onto the dunes Zoey wanted to walk! She was so energetic, it was fun to watch her. It was special to be able to spend some time with my 2 year old niece. It’s a fun memory to have. I'm a little sad that I can't make those memories with her more frequently, but I guess that is a part of the sacrifice of overseas missions. I hope to see Zoey again this summer and I'm sure we'll have some good times together.

Friday, January 19, 2007


This picture was taken from my bedroom window last night. Isn’t it amazing? I was excited about the beauty of this world and that God made it for us. However, as I stood there I started wondering where God is in the midst of everything here in Freetown; the poverty, disease, death, filth, hunger, suffering, abuse. Where is the beauty in all of that? In the past three weeks I have seen 4 children in the clinic that can’t be treated in Sierra Leone, at least not the way they would be helped in Europe or the USA. That just breaks me up.

A 10 year old with Burkitts Lymphoma.
A 6 month old with hydrocephalus.
A 2 week old with a cleft lip & palate (I can send this child to the ship).
A 1 day old with an imperforate anus (no anus=life threatening).

Each one of these cases has been difficult; some more than others and I guess that through it all I just need to remember that each of these children are a gift from God. And He has a perfect plan. It’s just hard for me to imagine anything good coming out of this right now.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Road trip...

3357 miles = 5402 km later...

Besides 6 different flights during my vacation, I also went on a road trip with Stefan, Genae & Eric. I arrived at JFK airport on December 18th at about 2pm. Stefan & Eric picked me up and we drove on to DC to meet up with Genae. We stayed at her place and even managed to see the monuments around midnight. The next day we were off again: Van, Texas…here we come!

We left DC and drove for about 10 hours until we reached Kentucky, where we stayed overnight with some of Steef’s friends. Early the next morning we made the 14 hour drive to TX. It was a long but good trip. Some way to get over jetlag!!!

On our 7th day in TX we started making our way up north again; final destination = New Haven, CT. This time we decided to drive non-stop (with bathroom, food and coffee breaks of course)!

In the end we drove 3357 miles, had a lot of fun, drove through 15 states, saw snow in Virginia, ate many Little Debbie cakes, tried out different coffees with varying tastes, listened to a lot of Death Cab for Cutie and The Decemberists and ate at a few to many fast food places. The best thing was that we had lots of time together!

(to see more pics:

Friday, January 12, 2007

Christmas time...

I spent Christmas in Texas with my brother and his girlfriend Genae and her family. It was a great time, especially because her family made me feel so at home; I loved it. It was a really short stay though; we arrived Wednesday the 20th in the evening and left the following Wednesday. But the trip was well worth it. It was a little bit of a challenge fitting in shopping trips, visits to friends, Christmas eve/day events and family time but it was lovely anyway. It was fun catching up with some long-time friends! I even managed to crash some of my friends’ makeover party which ended up being absolutely wonderful- I felt extremely pampered and it ended up being a memorable time! (Thanks) It was also lovely to stay in a nice house, with great people, without much noise, with horses in the backyard, a big fluffy cat and a sweet dog, bagels for breakfast, yummy flavored coffee and a fire in the fireplace. Needless to say I had a wonderful Christmas.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Made it to Freetown...

I left Holland Sunday afternoon, flew to London and met up with Harriet and Justin at the airport. Our flight was the only flight out of Gatwick after 930pm so the place was pretty deserted and the stores closed early. Oh well, my bag was full enough anyway. Fortunately there were only 37 people on the flight so I had three seats to myself! I can’t complain.

We arrived in Freetown early Monday morning and spent most of the morning and early afternoon sleeping and unpacking. Tuesday it was back to work. It was a good start…busy but not too hectic. I ended up seeing 48 patients…one of which needed some suturing done as shown above. At the end of the day I walked across the street to greet some of my friends there. It was fun to hang out with some of the kids and take their pictures. They loved it.

The staff at the clinic was very excited to see me again as were some of the patients and their parents who had been to the clinic before. Made it feel good to be back.

Anyway, I’m back in Freetown. Back to work. I’ll be posting on my blog more regularly again and I’ll be sure to write a bit about my vacation too!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year...

Happy New Year from New Haven, Connecticut
Wishing you a happy, exciting, fulfilling 2007!!!

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~