More Pictures from Kenya

A few readers have asked me to post some more pictures from our trip to Kenya. I would be more than happy to! Enjoy!


Med School Update…And a Trip to Kenya!

As I write this, I am sitting on a paving stone step, listening to the wind blow through the slender pointed leaves of majestic eucalyptus trees towering over me, forming a blanket of protection against the omnipresent African sunshine. My family and I are thrilled to be spending the Christmas holidays in my home land…Kenya, where I was born and raised.

It has been 7 years since my husband and I were last back. And this is the kids’ first trip to Africa. They have loved every moment of it, from the perfect weather, to the friendly people, to the delicious food, to getting to meet cousins, aunts and uncles for the very first time. Words cannot express the joy in seeing my own children embrace the culture of the country where I grew up and of which I have so many beautiful childhood memories. It feels like I have come full circle!

During our 2 weeks here, we have been staying at my mum’s house in Nairobi and the kids have already reignited the bond with their Gran who they hadn’t seen since 2014. We have been having a wonderful time and I am not sure the kids will ever want to leave at this rate!

And what about med school? The last block (Neurology) was fantastic. Without a doubt, one of my favourite blocks! The last month of school was quite intense with block and anatomy exams, presentations and standardized clinical exams. It is bittersweet to have come to the end of my “classroom” learning (already!) but also very exciting to be starting TCP (Transition to Clinical Practice) in January. My rotations will be in 3 main blocks:

  1. Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Neurology
  2. Internal Medicine
  3. Surgery, Anesthesia, Radiology, Ophthalmology

TCP will run from January to June and then, after a one month summer break, I will begin my 3rd year clerkship rotations at the end of July.

The next few months will be quite an adjustment for our family due to the long hospital hours. I will have to be strong being away from the kids so much but I know they are in good hands and we will work through this as a family!

In the meantime, we will enjoy our last week of vacation here in warm, sunshiny Nairobi before heading back to snowy Canada in the New Year. Merry Christmas to all my readers and thank you for reading! I hope to continue to hear from you in 2018! Whatever dreams you may have, continue working towards them and never give up! All the best!

Climbing Up A Misty Mountain

When I was growing up in Kenya, I had the opportunity to climb Mount Longonot, a shapely, dormant volcano sitting quietly on the bottom of the breathtaking Rift Valley escarpment. The mountain was not all that difficult to climb and no special equipment was required. It was more like a hike if you compare it to an intimidating mountain like Mount Everest. But what I remember most about it was the mist that swirled around us as the guides stealthily led us up the mountain.

Every so often, we would hear the crack of pebbles rolling down the steeper areas of the mountain which had been eroded over time. It was hard to get our bearings. The guides instructed us to stay close together and if we ever lost sight of the person in front of us due to the mist, we were to speak loudly enough to regain contact with the group and ensure we had not become lost.

After what seemed like an eternity, we finally emerged at the top, the mist evaporating. I will never forget the view of the interior of the volcano. What had seemed to be a very dry, drab mountain from the exterior had a lush, thriving interior filled with trees. It was like a hidden paradise waiting to be discovered by those willing to push through the mist. As I turned around to take in the view surrounding the mountain, it was simply spectacular. The Rift Valley rolled away from us on every side. The ground under our feet flashed in the sparkling sun due to the rich, glassy obsidian rocks scattered all about. As  we rested and ate, I was in no hurry to climb back down the mountain. I simply wanted to take it all in and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Mount Longonot in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. Image courtesy of
Mount Longonot in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. Image courtesy of

Interesting facts about Mount Longonot:

  • Its name is derived from the Maasai word oloonong’ot, meaning “mountains of many spurs” or “steep ridges”.
  • It is thought to have last erupted in the 1860s.
  • The mountain is home to various species of wildlife, notably zebra, giraffe, buffaloes, and hartebeest.