End of An Era

Today marks the end of an era. After nearly six year, I’ve completed my work with International Medical Corps. It’s been really a tremendous experience. I’ve been very fortunate to have enjoyed a career where I both truly enjoy what I do while helping to make a difference in people’s lives.


During my time with IMC I’ve grown a great deal and look back at many incredible times. I’ve worked with incredible people from more countries than I could possibly list out. Thanks go out to all of my outstanding colleagues.

I’ve also traveled to DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Somalia, Somaliland, Ethiopia, Turkey, and the Philippines. As people who know me well already know, some of my times in DRC were my fondest with IMC.

Below is a pic from two years ago while I was on a business trip to Turkey. I was sent it recently reminding me of a new era presenting itself. I’m looking forward to this next phase as much as I have enjoyed the last.

miel turkey 2012Be well,



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Welcome back to Oregon

Oregon is a lovely state that has folks thinking of the Goonies, or elicits legends about young folks retiring to Portland. I’ve been back now for 10 days after nearly 11 years living away. I’ve been in DC for most of that time, always based out of DC, but traveling for about a third of…

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Footbridge project in Murehwa, Zimbabwe

We are building a bridge! One of the many cool aspects about being a Rotarian is working on cool projects throughout the world. They say it is like having your own foundation, and it truly is. Better yet, you also get to work with interesting people and help others. My club, the Rotary Club of…

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I hit a new threshold yesterday. I was in a meeting discussing new business opportunities in Asia. The conversation brought up the need for someone to go out to Myanmar to work on a couple of proposals for a month. I sat there, contemplating. I first did the math, knowing that my twin sis will be here for a visit in 22 days. Nope, couldn’t do a month. Then the anti went down, perhaps they could manage with someone just for two weeks. Hmmm, could almost fit within that window of time.

Then I snapped out of it. I considered what else I would miss during that time, birthing classes, getting the nursery together, working on our blogs, selling one of our investment places, spring time. No, I should definitely not open my mouth.

The conversation continued. No one raised the specific possibility of my going, but it was clear that everyone in the room considered at some point. Only to remember that I’m pregnant, having finally popped in the last couple of weeks as I move into month 7.

Technically I had put my travel cut off as a vague sometime in March. Deep down I know that my not saying something was more a matter of my sister coming to visit than any concern for my pregnancy, but it serves as a convenient excuse. I would never say that I couldn’t go because of something personal like a family visit, but being pregnant gives me the free pass. The only other time I’ve had a free pass was when I was dealing with melanoma several years ago. I knew it was a sad reality when I realized the only reason I wasn’t traveling the the famine in the Horn of Africa was because I had cancer, no other reason would have kept me stateside.

Despite the fact that Myanmar would be a place I would love to visit, I feel nothing but happy for staying here. I’ll be in Washington for a full six months at one stint, nearly the longest I can say that has happened. I think I made it 9 months here, back when I first moved to Washington a decade ago, but sticking in one place hasn’t been my forte. Looking forward to the next four months to settle and enjoy being grounded!



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Introducing the incredible Jeepney! These awesome small buses were one of the first things I noticed on my ride from the airport. With the hustle and bustle of Manila, they are one of parts of the city I’ve enjoyed the most. Sorry the picture sizing isn’t what I’d like it to be, trying to work…

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Finnish Sauna Tribute

Today marks one of those landmark days that will always be special to me, wherever I am in the world.  It is my father Wally’s Birthday, born on Pearl Harbor Day.  He would have been 67 today. It feels like a bit of a time warp that it has only been two and a half…

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Philippines – Country #60

Welcome to the Philippines!  Country #60 It’s taken some time for me to make progress on my country count, as I continue to return again and again to the same places I frequently travel to.  It’s also been five years since I was last in Southeast Asia, which both feels like a long time ago…

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Thanksgiving Abroad

It seems that racking up holidays abroad is part of the nomadic lifestyle of an aid worker.  This is my sixth Thanksgiving abroad.  They have varied tremendously in where in the world I was, including Finland, Ghana, Macedonia, Afghanistan, and now the Philippines.  I realize as well that my husband and I have now spent…

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Summer Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossom time feels like a whole season in and of itself to me. This year has been marked by the late coming blooms. I was glad to see the bloom arrive twenty days later than last year, as we were able to make it to Hawaii and back to still find the blossoms on…

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Pirates, Bird of Paradise & Meerkats, oh my!

Last weekend we enjoyed the incredible weather by exploring Roosevelt Island with a couple of friends.  Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Island, a small pedestrian island in the Potomac, has been on my to see list since I moved to Washington over nine years ago.  So close and yet so far away. As we walked along, my…

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