It has been 4 years since my feet last touched African soil and I could not be happier to be back! [Insert perma-smile]. Coming to the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children’s Hospital
site feels like coming full circle. During the research year I spent in Houston at Texas Children’s, I would sit in on the monthly executive meetings for the BIPAI network of Centers of Excellence. In addition, before settling on my Boston Children’s/Partner’s in Health fellowship, I had seriously considered CHOP’s global health fellowship
which would have placed me here in Gaborone operating out of the same hospital, Princess Marina, as part of the Botswana UPenn Partnership
. So I come with some knowledge of the ex-pats working at the hospital through these partnerships.
BIPAI is incredibly supportive of individualizing the visiting scholars experience. In addition to seeing routine pediatric HIV/AIDS patients in the clinic, I will be participating in outreach missions around the country by prop plane. This outreach is supported by the government of Botswana in helping to support the care of challenging pediatric HIV/AIDS patients in rural areas of the nation, as there are currently only 5 Botswonian pediatricians in the nation. In addition, the outreach team consults on challenging cases on the wards while they are visiting, as each outreach site is visited by the BIPAI team once a month. Additionally, I will be
working with Texas Children’s Cancer Center’s
oncologist, Dr. Jeremy Solone, and learning about the care and challenges of pediatric oncologic care in Botswana.
My trip started with a 24 hour stop in Johannesburg. Thanks to Dr. Collins, I have an extensive “must do” list for Jo’burg and I was able to chip away at a few items before I borded the evangelical bus to Gaborone! Lots of weekend adventures in the works and already in my first couple of days, many stories from the wards to come…
The TED talk (every great idea has a TED talk these days, right?)
Watch it, it is guaranteed to warm your soul!
A few of my favorite Thich Nhat Hanh quotes to start out the new year:
Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now.
It is possible to live happily in the here and now. So many conditions of happiness are available—more than enough for you to be happy right now. You don’t have to run into the future in order to get more.
Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.
Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice… No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out.
12 Truths of 2012 (in no particular order):
Downton Abbey & Man Shops Globe have renewed my belief in good television
In moments of stress I often retreat to memories of summer bliss at Tanglewood & Hole in the Wall
Sibella Court & Terrain epitomize my sense of style & pretty
So grateful to have three grandparents in their 90’s to continue to love and learn from
I am beyond excited for my next step
The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series has me pumped for my April rotation in Botswana
Adding a daily meditation practice to my life has been one of the best things I’ve ever done
Brene Brown & Danielle LaPorte continue to help me further examine my soul & listen to its truth
My dad has proven he is a fighter. Cancer is only apart of his story & he will continue to Livestrong!
Refinery 29 & Pintrest keep me hip & continuing to discover the style & pretty I crave
WHY, my weekly medicine
My family & friends remain the glue that keeps me together
“The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them…whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years, but on your will”
Michel de Montaigne
I have been so busy the last weeks I haven’t had time to post about my exciting news…I will start the job of my dreams in July, a Global Pediatric Fellowship in Health Service Delivery through Boston Children’s and Partners in Health! My time will be split between Boston and Rwanda. More to come in the coming months…
“Long day at the office today. Not one dry eye. Not one family unaffected. All I can say to the residents at this time is to remember why you chose pediatrics. Love and care for your patients like they are you own family. Listen to their needs. Admit when you don’t have the answer. Learn from them. Listen to your gut. Listen to The kids. Kids believe. Kids just know. Let today be the day we renew our childlike faith in the power of goodness. As Gov Malloy said: Let Love ,Compassion and Courage guide your actions…”
Written by a former Connecticut Children’s Chief Resident practicing Pediatrics in Sandy Hook