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I hope your life is everything I want it to be.  I hope the academic experience was everything you wanted it to be, that you learned as much as you could and saw as much as you could and did as much as you could.  And I hope that you’re really going places in the future, that your life has finally taken off and you’re looking at top-notch residency programs.  Extra points if you’re still in Global Health, mostly because its something that I’m really passionate about and I hope you’re the same way.

I hope you meet a girl.  Or many, who knows.  But find someone who makes you happy, someone you can trust, someone who will call you out when you mess up and carry you when you can’t walk.  I hope you have the common sense and financial resources to show her everyday that you love her, and that she does the same for you.  And that you’ve thought about, and maybe even discussed, a future with her.

I hope your parents have finally realized that you’ve grown up.  Growing up has been hard for me in that they still don’t trust me to take care of my own business without constant, overbearing oversight.  And that sense of anti-trust has definitely strained my relationship with them.  So I hope that in become completely financially independent from them (or at least coming close), that transition to adulthood becomes a lot easier.  

I hope the last 6 years have given you the opportunity to see the world and do work that changes and empowers people.  I hope you’ve become more outgoing and leap headfirst into the culture of the people around you, and that this new mentality helps you to make all sorts of friends, both short- and long-term.  I hope you have a great group of people around you to go on adventures with or play board games with or just chat with.  I hope they push you to be everything that you can be, and that you do the same for them.  

I hope you’re in better shape health-wise than I am.  I’ve been plagued the past couple of years with hip and knee injuries, so here’s to hoping that you’re over the injury bug and can move on.  And I hope your’e actually able to compete in a triathlon.  Obviously the marathon dream got shot down with the leg injuries, but hopefully the cross-training involved in doing a triathlon is a little more accommodating of that.  

I hope that you’ve got all your ducks in a row.  But more than that, I hope you’re at a place in life that you’re truly happy with, and that you’re proud of.  See you in 2020.

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Love doesn’t make sense. You can’t logic your way into or out of it. Love is totally nonsensical.

But we have to keep doing it or else we’re lost, and love is dead, and humanity should just pack it in. Because love is the best thing we do.

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- Ted Evelyn Mosby
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So its been a long while since I’ve posted anything.  I just got back from working on a project on rural Kenya, helping the Ministry of Health to evaluate their new community health worker program and provide recommendations on how to improve it.  I’ve doing public health in the field before, but never with this kind of academic rigor.

1. As much as I don’t want to do community-level research as a career, it is really rewarding to be able to present your info the the public and see their reaction.

2. I need to be more like Nick Hu when I’m abroad.  Engage myself more in the culture, be charismatic, try new things, etc etc.  I did that a lot on this trip, but I could do more.

3. Its really important to have natives on your side when you’re doing research in a foreign country.  They ALWAYS know the language and landscape better than you, and they can get you out of sticky situations where your well-being is in danger.  

4. Non-Americans are so much more compassionate in general and less xenophobic.  At least, that was my experience.

5.  Living and working with the same people gets really rough.  People start getting really snarky and that can be a tough situation to deal with.  Guess that why everyone says don’t shit where you eat.  

6.  Sometimes life is a stubborn little bitch.  You just have to deal with it the best you can, even if you’re thousands of miles away.  Life was never meant to be fair, get over it and keep going.

7. Life is all about experiences: professionally, personally, emotionally, socially, etc.  So be cognizant of that as you go through.  Look to take on more responsibility and adventure.

8.  I’m actually really excited to (hopefully) find a job in global health.  Being able to do this work and actually have fun with it has been a really awesome experience over the past few years, looking forward to more of it in the “real world”.

9. Anyone who tells you not to get caught up in small things is full of it.  You should definitely get caught up in details, that’s what separates people at the top.  But don’t let the small issues mess up your own mentality or personal life.

10.  People are rarely who they seem to be.  Not that I’m going to spend every minute of my life trying to get to know everyone.  But its always interesting to have preconceived notions and watch them shatter.

11.  Make sure you stay friends with people who are generally invested in watching you succeed.  When you feel like you are falling with nothing to cling onto, they’ll be there for you.  When you are trying to make life decisions, they’ll be there for you.  When you need to celebrate, they’ll be there for you.  Get rid of people who don’t care to actually know you, keep around the ones who make an effort.

12. “No matter how long the night is, the day is sure to come.” —African proverb

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Betches luv dark chocolate filled pastriezzz

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Been going bat-shit crazy this week, between the inconsistent eating patterns, nightly 4 hours of sleep, and just the sheer number of balls I’m juggling right now.  Finally hitting me that I’m going to Kenya this summer.  Holy shit, what is this life?

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1. Creating a budget and a list of funding recommendations for an NGO i’m working for in Ghana

2. Finish my thesis on improving cancer care in low-resource settings

3. Finish my policy memo on how to sustainably improve human resources for cancer care in Malawi

4. Create an evaluation plan and get funding for a summer trip to Malawi to study patient adherence to chemotherapy

5. Re-learn pancreatic metabolism so I can teach it tomorrow

6. Petition to the chair of my department so I can graduate in September

7. Edit an evaluation plan for a community health worker program in Peru

8. Get into med school…..????

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kavtrack:

Looks like losing weight is pretty much 75-80% diet. I’m paying more attention to how much I eat (and to an extent what I eat) and I’m gradually seeing results after making some slight changes. Now it’s just a matter of keeping up the slight reduction in food intake. 

True story.  But I guess it could be worse…

Source: kavtrack
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Moving the chains towards graduation.  First thesis has been edited and ready for submission, second one is nearing completion, Malawi practicum is in the works.  Shit’s getting real.

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Was only supposed to run 1 mile today, but ran 2 because I was feeling pretty good about it #yolo

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There’s always someone crazy in the gym.  Its the guy who’s literally dripping gallons of sweat on the treadmill.  Or the girl who yelps a little for each hamstring curl.  Or the guy who’s music is so loud that you can hear it over your own.

Hint: If you can’t find this person, theres a good chance its you.