Sunday, February 17, 2008

I couldn't resist...

... sharing this picture.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Santana to the Mets?

I hate the Mets!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More pictures of Evey...

Well, last Monday, we removed Evey's splint, and to be completely honest, I was very disappointed. The leg was extremely weak and did not bend much at all. I took her to an Orthopedic surgeon who took several X-Rays and determined that 2 different ligaments in the hock were torn. We decided to wait a few days and she how she progressed. Well, she is doing much better. The leg has strengthened considerably and bends much better now. For the moment, we have decided not to do surgery. Here are a few pictures. The damaged leg is the right rear. It's still a little weaker than the other leg, but I am hopeful that it will strengthen with time and not need surgery.
I think she has a more classically shaped face than Mlenje. Her muzzle is shorter and not nearly as dark. They really do get along well. Mlenje is still a bit of a puppy, so he likes to run and jump around her but generally tires before she does. Evey is much more outgoing than he was at the same age. She frequently climbs over the back seat to join me in the front seat (something Mlenje never did).

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Meet Evey.

Evey is my new Rhodesian Ridgeback. She was born on the 5th of November (Guy Fawkes Day) and will be 9 weeks old tomorrow. I picked her up yesterday in Harare. Her registered name is "Imbahuru Tawanda," but I am going to call her Evey for Natalie Portman's character in V for Vendetta, a film reference to the 5th of November. "Imbahuru Tawanda" is Shona, the primary language spoken in Zimbabwe. Imbahuru, the name for the kennel where she was whelped, means "Big House," and Tawanda means "We were plentiful, we multiplied."

This trip to Harare was much less troublesome than my trip to South Africa to pick Mlenje. Wanting to spend as little time in Zimbabwe as possible, we traveled to Harare and back (1,000 km) in 1 day. We left Lusaka at 5 AM and made the Chirundu border by 7 AM. This time I had all the proper paperwork, so the crossing only took an hour and a half with no run-ins with police (it certainly helped that Kevin and his wife have Canadian Diplomatic plates and passports -- makes crossing borders much easier). We hit Harare at 11:45. After completing all the paperwork for the 5 puppies we bought for various people, we left Harare at 1:30, hit the border at 5, and were back in Lusaka at 8.
Mlenje was surprisingly gentle with the new puppies. He was very calm and attentive when he met them for the first time. Most importantly, he and Evey are getting along very well so far.
You may notice a bandage on Evey's back leg. She dislocated a bone in her ankle about a week and a half ago and is wearing a splint for a couple of weeks. It does not seem to affect her very much -- she is by far the most active puppy of the litter even with the splint.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Diving with Sharks!

Ben, Harmony and I decided to spend New Year's Eve in South Africa. We left on Friday morning and spent the last four days in Umkomaas, just south of Durban. Why Umkomaas? It's one of 2 places in the world where you can SCUBA dive with Tiger Sharks -- Ben and I spent the last 3 days diving on Aliwal Shoal. The first 2 days, we did shark dives where we baited for sharks. Unfortunately, we did not see any Tiger Sharks, but we saw more than 100 Black Tip sharks and some Dusky's (I even have the DVD to prove it). The visibility was not that great, but seeing sharks feeding really gets the adrenaline pumping. We also saw a Whale shark (on the boat ride back). This morning, we did 2 reef dives. The first dive was a deep water dive to a place called "Cathedral." It was cold and not that impressive because of the visibility. In between the 2 dives, we saw 6 dolphins swimming directly toward the boat. The second dive started at North Sands and was a very nice dive. Almost immediately, we saw a Sand shark. We saw dozens of Stingray, both bluespotted and bull (the type that killed the Crocodile hunter). Near the end of the dive, we saw a ragged tooth shark. It was small, about 4-5 feet long (I love the way they look) and a couple of dolphins in the distance. I'll try to post some pictures when I get a chance. This afternoon, we drove to Durban where we will spend New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Have a Happy New Year!

Ben took the following photos:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Well, it's Thursday, December 20th and I finally picked-up a tree. It's a sad tree, I know, but the lights play Christmas songs -- Mlenje seems to like it. I miss everyone very much and wish I could be home for the Holiday season.
We're in the middle of the rainy season over here. Just a couple of days ago, I snapped this picture while leaving work. You see some beautiful rainbows over here.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Addition to the Family

Well, I love Mlenje so much that I decided to get another Ridgeback, a bitch from a litter in Zimbabwe whelped on November 5th. Two friends in Lusaka are also getting bitches from this litter. We were lucky enough to have Margaret Wallace, the long time Secretary of The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club in Harare (The Parent Club) and breeder since 1968, pick out the puppies for us. We won't be able to pick them up for a few weeks, but here are the first pictures we have received -- they are 4+ weeks.
Both of the parents are Champions in Zimbabwe.
Sarula Kumalo of Imbahuru...
Gyppslander Savannah...
I am looking forward to another adventure to Zimbabwe to pick these puppies. I am hopeful this trip will be better than the last one.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Two Years in Zambia

Exactly two years ago today, I arrived in Lusaka. What started out as a four month trip has turned into 2 years, so I thought today I would get a little nostalgic. In the past 2 years, I have proposed a Dissertation topic, published four articles (including two in JAMA and one in The Lancet), given an oral presentation at an International AIDS conference, traveled to England, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and South Africa, seen Lions, Rhino, Elephants, a Leopard, Cape Buffalo, Cheetahs, Eagles, Koala Bears, Kangaroo, Whales, Sharks, and countless other animals, and went SCUBA diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Indian Ocean in Zanzibar. I really didn't know what I was getting into back in 2005. CIDRZ is a great place to work, and the expatriate community in Lusaka is loaded with amazing people from all over the world. I have made friends from Zambia, England, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Scotland, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia, even Canada, and many more countries. I saw two close friends get married this past week in a beautiful Buddhist ceremony in the South African bush. I even acquired a Rhodesian Ridgeback that I love. Don't get me wrong, I do miss my family and the States. I know I am missing many important things in my nieces' lives, like graduations and birthdays, and that does make me sad, but the point of this post is that I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 2 years in Zambia. Since I know this will not last forever, I encourage everyone to visit while I am still here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ben and Harmony's Wedding

Ben and Harmony tied the knot this week at a private game reserve (Phinda) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. More than 50 friends and family were on hand for the event. Some arrived as early as Saturday, but most, including myself, arrived on Sunday. The wedding took place Monday afternoon in a quaint spot out in the bush. It was a beautiful Buddhist ceremony that featured Harmony's father playing the guitar.

Jeff took these pictures.
During the 4 day event, we went on several game drives. I saw many animals I have never seen before including cheetah, black and white rhino, wildebeest, nyala, bush baby, bateleur eagle, and others.

Here are some pictures taken by Ben's cousin, Simone.

Mom in Switzerland!

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Institute of Social & Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern in Switzerland to attend a short course on "Causal Inference from Observational Data" taught by Miguel Hernan from Harvard and Jonathan Sterne from the University of Bristol. The course took place during the week of Thanksgiving, and to my surprise and delight, Mom accepted my invitation to come visit me in Switzerland over the holiday. Of course, Jimmy couldn't let her go without him, so he came as well. It was both Jimmy and Mom's first time to Europe. They both had to get passports within the span of 3 weeks, and much to their chagrin, Switzerland did not even stamp their passports. We had a wonderful time. It was great to see them for the first time since January. Mom and Jimmy spent the first day recovering from the 16+ hours of travel time and the 7 hour time difference. On day two, they toured Bern with a lovely Filipino lady who lived there and happened to have the day free to show tourists her city. On day three, they took a train ride into the Alps to visit Europe's highest-altitude railway station, Jungfraujoch, which is more than 11,000 feet (2+ miles) above sea level. On day four, they went shopping in Bern. On day five (Thanksgiving in the US), we all traveled to Zurich and had a nice late lunch/early dinner. Then Mom and I spent the afternoon shopping. Zurich is a beautiful city with lots of shopping. It was a quick trip, as on day six, they flew home. I think they had a really great time and am hopeful this experience will start a trend of more traveling, possibly even to Africa and Zambia.

I don't have any pictures to post at this time, but will try to post some in the future.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Published in The Lancet

Two weeks ago, we were in JAMA. This week, we are in The Lancet. Nice couple of weeks!

Chi BH, Sinkala M, Mbewe F, Cantrell RA, Kruse G, Chintu N, Aldrovandi GM, Stringer EM, Kankasa C, Safrit JT, Stringer JS. Single-dose tenofovir and emtricitabine for reduction of viral resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor drugs in women given intrapartum nevirapine for perinatal HIV prevention: an open-label randomised trial. Lancet. 2007; 370(9601): 1698-1705.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Last weekend was the annual Halloween/Birthday party for Nancy. It was a blast as always. Here are some pictures from Katy's camera.
My best impersonation of a Zambian general worker.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Published in JAMA!

Today, 234 journals throughout the world will simultaneously publish papers on Poverty and Human Development. The Council of Science Editors organized this 2007 Global Theme Issue, and our group will have an article appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Bolton-Moore C, Mubiana-Mbewe M, Cantrell RA, Chintu N, Stringer EM, Chi BH, Sinkala M, Kankasa C, Wilson CM, Wilfert CM, Mwango A, Levy J, Abrams EJ, Bulterys M, Stringer JS. Clinical outcomes and CD4 cell response in children receiving antiretroviral therapy at primary health care facilities in Zambia. JAMA. 2007; 298(16): 1888-1899.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mlenje turns 1 year old today...

Here are a few pictures.

Early morning stretches.
Greeting Charles, the gardener.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More Whale Pictures

One of the Divemasters on the Poseidon boat took these pictures on my last day of diving. He just emailed them to me.