Monday, August 4, 2014

July 2014

It already feels like we have been away from our friends and family for a very long time. I left Knoxville on July 7th to begin this year in Uganda.  After 10 days in DC for Global Health orientation Noel joined me and we flew to Kampala, Uganda.
Kampala Uganda is everything you would imagine a very large city in a developing country to be.  The streets are crowded, the market is flourishing, the space feels strange and unknown to us as travelers. It would be hard to differentiate it from a large city in Malawi.
We are tired and a little unsettled as we repack for several days in the home of our future, Mbarara.  The homestay family is kind and open their home to us without reservation. We have been warned and try to protect our electronics from the overwhelming power surges.  Noel had his “volt” protector totally burn up.  We will learn how to plan and protect our electronics as well as we can.
I flew to Hong Kong on the 24th to present at the 25th international nursing research conference.  Another time change and an attempt to reset my circadian rhythm.  Moving and resorting of personal luggage again and attempting to look professional.  It was an amazing conference as nurses from throughout the world came and presented their work.  It is humbling to see the amazing work that many colleagues are producing to answer some of the health care issues throughout the world.  Again I am reminded of what a small speck I am in the world. 

It is fascinating to watch and observe the behavior and routines of people. I feel like a fly on the wall observing the world.  I realize I am not invisible but feel that way as I am unable to communicate with those I sit and stand beside.  Hong Kong-big, very busy, many tall buildings, people rushing everywhere. The masses flow and move with minimal personal space around them.  I, as a westerner, am often overwhelmed by the close proximity of the people around me.  Standing in a line to go to the peak that overlooks Hong Kong was a continual reminder of just how large I prefer my personal space to be. Will this change for me?  Will  I lose some of my need for my western habits?

So today I fly back to Uganda after a 9 hour layover in Dubai.  Another culture that is so far from my known space.  An absolutely beautiful and modern airport with buzzing activity and all stores open even at 4 AM.  If feels like its own city at the airport. I am surrounded by voices that share every language of the world.  We are all so similar and yet we are so different in how we approach the day to day life and routine.  My comfort is greater in Dubai than in Hong Kong.  My internal rhythm seems out of timing with life in Hong Kong. 

So now I wonder how will I acclimate to Uganda?  Will I fall into a natural rhythm with the life, the students, and the faculty?  It already feels like I have been gone a very long time yet in reality it is only three weeks.  For today I celebrate and marvel at:
·       The wonder of people of the world
·       The absolute beauty of people that share our world
·       The sense that we are all so very similar in what we need and value in life
·       How fortunate I am to have this experience and a renewed look at life.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Here we go again!

After being home from Malawi for 3 years, Noel finishing a project in India with Doctors Without Borders and working at Apple, and Kaye teaching at Lincoln Memorial and Georgetown universities, we have accepted another joint assignment to travel to Uganda for a year begining in July 2014. Our project will be in support of nursing programs at a university in Mbarara; Kaye will be teaching Masters level nursing programs and Noel Informatics and computer systems for nursing.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

End of India Mission

What was intended to be a 9-month assignment in Bhadrachalam, Andhra Pradesh, India came to an early end at Christmas time. It was determined that there was not enough to support two of us logisticians, I went home for my Christmas break and did not return. I will await another mission, apply elsewhere, and look for work on the homefront, whatever turns up first will get my attention. In the meantime, I am settling back in to the condo we purchased just two weeks before I departed for India, so now I have some time to enjoy it!

Kaye continues to teach for Georgetown, and has accepted a position with Lincoln Memorial University here in Tennessee. Christmas was special this year, as our oldest son, Ryan, presented us with twin boys as grandchildren. So we are now officially grandparents! So nice to meet them and to spend a week or so with them before reaching home.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Back "home"?

Some decisions are difficult to make, but it looks like we are heading back to East Tennessee, home to many of our friends.

Kaye has accepted a position teaching at Lincoln Memorial, and Noel is headed to India for 9 months as a logistician with Doctors Without Borders. Full circle. Just as we were getting familiar with, and enjoying our neighborhood in DC, it is time to accept the callings and depart. We are in the process of buying a condo on the river in Knoxville, and moving in around the first of July.

Kaye will continue to teach for Georgetown as an online faculty professor, and where she can virtually do anywhere with an internet connection, and Noel will be departing for India around the middle of July. New adventures.

Hoping to see many of our friends when we return.

Be well, and keep us in your thoughts, as you are always in ours.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Life in DC

After spending the first few months after of return to the US in Philadelphia, with our daughter, we are now trying to settle into the DC area. Kaye has secured a position as a professor at Georgetown University, hence the move. We have taken a sub-let on an apartment until we can determine where the ideal place would be for us to buy a house. Getting to know the various areas is taking some time, as we don't enjoy driving around in the traffic, but the access to the metro system is a better option anyway. Have looked at a few houses up north, around Tacoma Park and Silver Spring. No decision yet.

Our current address is:
4022 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20011

Drop us a line, or come and visit if you are in the neighborhood.
Merry Christmas to all and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Home (for now) in Philadelphia!

Leaving Malawi was emotional and somewhat heartbreaking. We packed up our little home, and our dear friend Bernie has moved into the space. Very hard for us to believe that the two years have ended and now it is time to readjust to life in the us. The actual cutting of the cord seemed very surreal and fast, almost too fast; it is over!

The trip back was fairly smooth and allowed both of us to begin the readjustment. We arrived in Philly on July 2nd; staying in our daughter Rachel's house for the time being until we figure where we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to be doing. She recently bought a home in South Philly and only lived in it a month before we landed. She is staying at Temple U this month for the institute of Teach for America so we are living here alone and keeping the animals happy.

Our contact information for now is:
Noel 215-680-7325
Kaye 504-940-8952

1822 Montrose St.
Philadelphia 19146

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Final Days!

In Lilongwe at the Peace Corps office to finish the paperwork, then back to Blantyre for two days before we depart on July 1. Have managed to sell/give away most of our katunga (stuff), with only our clothes that we plan to take back with us to pack up. Can't wait to hit the US ground and reunite with family and friends...and get a job, eat nice foods, get a phone, etc. See ya!