Gettin’ Schooled

5th grade studentsSchool in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) isn’t free. Schools can cost anywhere from $5US to $50US/per month. The more expensive the school, the better the education. Imagine being the sixth or eight child in a family of ten children and hoping your parents will be able to afford for you to attend school.The South Katanga District in Southern DRC has seen this need and has a vision to build schools, giving quality education to families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to … [Read more...]

Rain and mangos

For the past 2+ months, the Highlands of PNG has gotten very little rain.  Gardens have been deserted, drinking water sources have all but dried up and many folks have suffered the ill effects of diarrheal illnesses from contaminated water sources. Thankfully, the heavens have opened up and rains have poured down on the Highlands of PNG once again.  Our water tanks are full, but the river is still pretty low, and there are many areas in PNG where the rains have not yet return to, so … [Read more...]

A fight we can't win

2-3 months ago, before I went to the US, I found out that Ambane, a little kid with leukemia (ALL), was no longer in remission and his cancer was back.  I explained, as best I could to his loving family that his cancer was back and that we didn't have any other medicines to offer him.  It seemed like his mom understand what I was saying, even if he didn't. After being gone for 2 months, Ambane and his mom came to my door a few days ago.  Ambane had changed so much in a short … [Read more...]

Bucket Living

I find myself pretty emotional these days. Well, actually, I’m emotional most other times as well, but this is a different type of emotion. Currently, we are in the middle of the desert, figuratively speaking. Seven weeks without water in our house has left us relying on “bucket” living, meaning a constant stream of filling up buckets from a back faucet and carrying them inside our house. We “bucket” flush, we take “bucket” baths and the dishes get a “bucket” rinse. I’d like to think we are pros … [Read more...]

Happy kids

Each morning this week I was greeted by these smiling faces on the pediatric ward.  Many kids are scared of doctors and so they cry and scream when I get close to them, but thankfully, not this week. The most common reasons for admission are diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.  Skin, muscle and bone infections are also quite common.  This week, I had a kid with an infection in his brain that our surgeons drained and he is now moving the left side of his body.  Another boy … [Read more...]