Wednesday, November 07, 2007


ok- so its my birthday today- It started at 2:00 am with a wake up call and then about 2 minutes later I answered the phone and it was a lovely voice singing happy birthday to me- it was my good friend Joan. she is the study coordinator, research nurse in Cape Town- I first met her in 2002. I have now worked with her for 5 years and we have taught together in cape town south Africa twice, Washington DC, Durban South Africa, and earlier this week in Uganda- we are currently en route to Zambia where we will teach together again. We have developed a relationship over time as we do roughly the same job on different continents- only she does so much more than I ever could as far as studies go. She has 400 patients on the TB study we first started working on back in 2002, whereas I get a bit stressed if I have 8 patients on a meningitis vaccine trial! She also has 4 kids and works full time. She is an amazing woman and freind. So...back to my birthday- in order to get to Zambia from Kampala, Uganda- you have to wake at 2:00 AM, drive 45 minutes to Entebbe, Uganda, wait in a very slow line to check into the plane. they had no computer so the attendant had a scratch piece of paper where she had hand written all the seats- you ask for a seat (an aisle) and she looks at her scratch paper and crosses off your seat (taken). you then fly to Nairobi kenya- you must wait in several lines prior to getting on the plane ( at this point since 2 am I have waited in 6 lines) then you are on the flight to Lusaka...however- there is one stop before you get to Lusaka...Lilongwe, Malawi. So any of you who know me well know I have wanted to go to Malawi for a long time. Mark’s father was born there and he has family still there-here is one project they created:

So here we are on the runway in Lilongwe Malawi - its my birthday and I cant get out of the plane (will post picture from window!) So, the irony in this trip is that there are two places in Africa I would very much like to visit- Malawi and Ethiopia- I will spend time in each country but only from the plane or the airport. So, Joan just walked across the acr and gave me some Amarula for my birthday. She remembers that I always bought this while in South Africa so she got me some on the plane (Duty free!)

So..I wanted to blog about this- me being in Malawi- while I was actually in Malawi from the plane...because at least i can say I have been to Malawi- on my 39th birthday. On to Lusaka. To sleep maybe?


the ewings said...

Happy, Happy Birthday from all of us to you. We wish it was our birthday so we could party too! Hay!
Love ya, Chris

There is no such thing as a bad color. said...

Oh Em, a wonderful Happy Birthday to you. I thought of you first thing this morning. I look forward to your return and (post-recovery) a time to get together and talk about all the news as of late. I will give Cal and Michael a big fat hug when I see them in 34 minutes. :)
Love to you,

shell said...


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!


Heidi Mehltretter said...

Next time we are in Africa at the same time, we need to be TOGETHER! I know it will happen.

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