Thursday, July 14, 2011


Preview to Masai Mara

Masai Mara: Hilarious photo of zebras staring at a sleeping lion either too scared to move or wondering if he's going to come hunting after them. In my personal opinion, this particular group of zebras may not have been the sharpest in the migration.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Moi University Medical Student Hostel

Finally some photos of the hostel! I have to take pictures of the bathroom tho. No comment on these, you can feel free to form your own opinions. Honestly though, I love living there bed bugs and communal bathrooms and all. Hanging out with the Kenyan medical students has been a great experience and it feels like there is always something going on. It's like being a freshman in the dorms again!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Street Children's Parade

This past weekend, instead of going white water rafting in Uganda like many others in the group, I decided to spend the weekend hanging out in Eldoret to get to know the city a bit better. Friday some of us went out for Indian food at a restaurant in town that was excellent. I have to say that Indian food in Kenya is definitely better than places in the US (except my mom's house of course!).

After, I headed back to the hostel, and met some more Kenyan medical students. My roommate Soshana wanted to go into town to pick up some food but somehow they talked us into going out to a club with them. The club is called Spree and I have to say that it is a really fun place. They play mixture of hip-hop, dance, pop, and popular Kenyan dance music. The Kenyan medical students definitely know how to have fun around here, and I would say that they go out more than us in the US.

One of the coolest things that I have done in Eldoret so far is the Street Children's Parade that I went to on Saturday. We met up with a group of people that was a combination of many street children, people who work with them, and other local groups that walked from the town hall of Eldoret to a children rescue center that was approximately a 45-minute walk away. The entire way I talked to a girl named Faith who lives at a boarding school that takes in children who have nowhere else to go and provides them with a safe place to live and an education. She was very sweet and was one of the students presenting at the program they had at the rescue center.

I thought it was a great experience overall, but they were many many street children who came which is not a happy sight. There are various social programs set up in Eldoret, but they don't provide them with as stable of a home that children need to grow up unfortunately.

That night, I had dinner at IU house that a bunch of us put together, but to be honest I mostly played with Dr. Stone's baby Gavin who is ridiculously adorable :)

Hope everyone is well! Love from Kenya

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

On Monday, we moved from the amazing IU House to the MUSOM Student Hostel. I was actually excited about getting to know some of the medical students on my team better and living there would give me the opportunity to go into the hospital during the evening to help admit patients and to check up on some of the ones that I follow.

That night actually was an interesting experience. Getting acclimated to a room that is about 5 feet by 7 feet that two people have to live in is something very different from what we experience in the US. Also, the communal bathrooms.... they are something else I guess. The one on the second floor is the one I went to first and I became very worried about the rest of my time there, but I soon found out from some of the other students that the the bathroom on the fourth floor is much better. And trust me, after seeing the standing brown water and smelling the 2nd floor bathroom three doors away, I don't mind the 3 flights of stairs multiple times a day. I truly am excited about living there though. I've already gotten to know some of the medical students and I hung out with one of the 4th year students (= MS2) for an hour in her room.

Well, right before falling asleep, Sashana (2nd year Slemenda Scholar and my roommate) told me that she saw two little bugs in her bed that are "longer than they are wide." At this point, I had been studying on my bed for the past hour so I decided that it was late and I was going to sleep in that bed regardless. Needless to say, I woke up with bites on my legs from presumed bed bugs. So they moved us back to IU House while they fumigate our room with something that is illegal in the US. Luckily, I didn't unpack anything so I don't have to boil/throw away all my clothes.

I am definitely having culture shock on the wards. More so than outside of the hospital. Things just work very different here and I'm still getting used to some (no pretty much all) of the intricacies of maneuvering the medical system at Moi. I have also seen some interesting cases that I never thought I would see outside of my pathology book. This includes multiple cases of miliary TB, rheumatic heart disease, TB meningitis, aortic insufficiency with infective endocarditis, and possible neuroleptic malignant syndrome (and so much more that I can't even think of right now). I will try to post some interesting cases/physical findings as I come across them but i will have to wait until I find a way to black out eyes in videos/pictures.

Dr. Mackenzie Lupov using a mercury blood pressure cuff :) (Her blog that is much more informative than mine:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Eldoret, Kenya

So I’ve been meaning to post in my blog ever since I got to Kenya, but unfortunately, the internet hasn’t been working so I’ve been saving up a lot of stuff to post.

I’ve currently in Eldoret, Kenya doing a medical student exchange program through the IU-Kenya program. (Link: ) Essentially, I’m here for 2 months working on the inpatient wards at Moi University School of Medicine (MUSOM) and working with the Kenyan medical students. I’m going to be living at the MUSOM student hostel (I moved in and then moved out because of something unfortunate that I will go into shortly).

So much has happened; honestly I don’t know where to begin. This is what I get for procrastinating as usual.

The first week, I pretty much spent traveling around with my parents, which was a lot of fun. Amazingly, we didn't fight to much, but I would say that after 5 days of safaris I felt very exhausted. I might try to do some catch-up posts on that, but mostly, I will just post some pictures.

I got to Eldoret and found out that I would be staying at the IU house until all of the medical students got here so that we could all move over together. Now that I've been to the hostel, I will make sure to give you some great photos of the way that the students in Kenya live... definitely very different from us.

Today was a bad day for me, but rather than starting my blog with a depressing story, I think I'm going to think about it overnight and get back to it.

So instead, I'll leave you with a cute picture of baby lions:

Monday, January 31, 2011

La Brigada

Today was our first day of medical brigades, and according to Dr. Sevilla, it was the healthiest community that we will encounter during this week. This is mostly d/t the fact that they are only a 45 minute drive to the closest “city.” Many of the communities that we will be visiting are much more secluded with an even decreased access to health care in comparison.

Driving up the mountain, one of the most poignant pictures is of the garbage dump covered in scavengers, both human and vulture picking through the discards of the larger towns below in hopes of finding valuables. The smell of course assaults you, but I feel that the continual presence of this is a much more memorable image. Although, many have tried to move the “basurero” away from the small town, much of the efforts have been met with pure apathy.

In the town, fortunately, many of the other public health efforts have been successful. The majority of the residents of the town have chimneys instead of stoves so that the smoke of their cooking fires billows outside rather than into their homes and their lungs. The improvement in the health of these families has been substantial as they have seen a dramatic decrease in morbidities such as asthma and COPD. Additionally, there has been a significant decrease in the carbon monoxide poisoning seen.

One patient I had sticks to my mind tonight. She was an 80-year-old woman who came in due to a cough that she had had for years and pain in her bones (“dolor de los huesos.”) With her simply attempting to walk in, it was obvious that something was very wrong. Her protuberant belly preceded her as she was guided toward our small little station in the loud classroom. The cough she had had for years, but what bothered her most was the pain in her bones. As much as I attempted to redirect her toward her cough she had for years or her history of ovarian cancer, my attempts were futile as she continually insisted that the other brigade had checked her out and she was “fine.” Soon enough, as much as I attempted to speak to her and offer some sort of treatment for her bone pain in hopes of delving deeper into the root of her problems (recurrent ovarian cancer? Carcinomatous TB?), she left. Even now, I am left with the question of what could I have done differently and how has the discontinuity of care between the multiple brigade groups entering this community has affected the long-term outcome of her health. It is completely unclear to me why they decided that she was "fine," and what sort of tools they used. Did they ultrasound her belly? Did they perform a PPD? Sometimes, you feel like there is only so much you can do.... and it makes you feel a little small.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Going to Honduras for my Family Medicine Rotation through the ENLACE program! 1 week brigade and 3 weeks in Tegucigalpa! Can't wait :)