Friday, July 21, 2006

EIS Week 3

My friends Sonal and Raj (from medical school) were in Atlanta with their gorgeous little girl Kiran visiting Raj's family, so I got to meet them for lunch.

On Tuesday, July 18, Sapna and Vidhya joined forces to cook a huge Indian feast for our class - it was absolutely amazing - I think our classmates will talk about it for years!

We had quite a turn out - at least 30 classmates - I love how everyone just grabs a spot on the carpet, and all the mingling and chatting with everyone never seems to get old - this dinner party lasted from 7:30 - 11!
Sapna and I in our kitchen during the Indian food extravaganza
On July 19, a group of us went to see Paul Simon at the Chastain Park Amphitheatre, which was just amazing - you can just barely see the rest of the amphitheatre behind us, before the concert started.

July 15-16

July 15 was the 40th reunion of the EIS class of 1966 - that put together the first big small pox eradication campaign in West Africa, demonstrating against huge barriers that it was possible. Our class was invited to the morning of talks - all the "old greats" were there - people have made absolutely enormous contributions to public health, and positively impacted the health of millions, like Rafe Henderson, who led the EPI (Expanded Program on Immunizations) from 20% of world children immunized in 1978 to 80% in 1990. It was amazing and humbling. Here is one slide from the small pox eradication talk.
That evening I had dinner with my "ashram" and we watched a movie called Earth, about the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, that was deeply compelling, and it was fascinating to watch with them - 4 people from very different parts of India, and how they responded. Sapna's grandfather came back to Lahore (now in Pakistan) after being a prisoner of war of the Germans in WWII to face the events of the partition, so it was especially poignant.

On July 16, more than half of us went white water rafting on the Ocoee, back up in Tennessee. This is Doug Hamilton, director of the EIS, aka, "Oh Captain, My Captain", and he who is responsible for putting me in my dream job.

I had just bought a waterproof camera, and this was its maiden voyage - I think it performed very well!

A raft of classmates heading toward us
In the water - I have no idea what Shua is trying to do!
A couple of dragonflies on the edge of the raft - not only is my new camera waterproof, but it takes fabulous close ups!

The group of EIS officers after the rafting trip - I'm in the upper left corner.

EIS Week 2

July 10-14: EIS week 2 of classes. We got into epi and outbreak investigation for real, with classes all morning and case studies in the afternoons. All day in class turned out to be tough for us 30 somethings, so breaks between classes were a huge relief! (Derek, Samir, Patricia, Nandini)

Out for Korean BBQ with a group of EIS classmates - We end up doing something social pretty much every night - trying all kinds of fun ethnic cuisine .... Bangladeshi, Korean, Thai, Ethiopian... It has been so much fun to get to know people - I am continually astounded by what incredible backgrounds people have. It has been a lot of fun to get to know and appreciate the skill mix of my classmates - epidemiology PhDs, veterinarians, MDs. We have so much to learn from each other, and it has been fun to work on teams together.

Several times a week, different folks invite everyone over. This is at Danielle's party - Cindy, Italia, me, Vidhya, and Heather.

Adam, Ingrid, me, and Christine

Melissa, her sister, and Danielle (serving jello shots)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

House warming party

The Saturday night after classes started, Sapna and I hosted a house warming party - Caribbean theme. We had a wonderful turn out of EIS classmates, and our apartment actually does work great for entertaining - especially our kitchen! It's so nice to be all settled in!

Phil, Nick, Sapna, Kate, Danielle, and Michael

Christine (from Belgium - we had a great time speaking French), April, Italia, Cindy, and Adam in the kitchen

Nick, me, and Jim

me sitting on the "make out couch" with Vidhya

overhead party shot into the kitchen

Settling in Atlanta

My new apartment in Atlanta is very spacious and has a very open lay out with a great kitchen - here is Rocky exploring the kitchen.

Samir and his wife Vidhya, Nandini (and when he arrives from India, her husband), Sapna, and I all decided to live in the same complex. We have been jokingly calling it our ashram. The first few days, we used Samir's GPS to explore dinner and dessert options. This was after particularly yummy ice cream (Samir, me, and Sapna). Samir is in diarrheal diseases and just finished a med-peds residency, and Sapna is in refugee health and just finished an infectious disease fellowship. Nandini (not pictured here) has an epidemiology PhD and is in STDs.

One of our classmates got in and settled early, so had a party the Saturday night before classes started. He's got a gorgeous place! Below are my roommate Sapna, Italia, me, and Samir.

The first week of EIS has been pretty much all administrative stuff - basically, working for the government 101. The director of the CDC spoke to us on Thursday, which was interesting. Friday, we did a team building day, which was an incredible opportunity to get to know each other (and ourselves) better.One aspect was the climbing wall - I have always assumed I couldn't climb, but this wall had some ropes and some of the holds had a slight lip - I got all the way to the top, which absolutely astounded me, so I did it two more times! In the picture above, I'm the one in red.

Out to dinner with several EIS classmates - these are Phil and Nick.

Leaving Nashville

My move was a government move - ie, paid for by tax dollars - and my movers were absolutely terrific. They had my place packed up in less than 4 hours!

All my stuff on the moving van, and on its way to Atlanta - I had a total of 116 items - yikes, I have accumulated in the past four years!

The last thing I did on my way out of Nashville was go to the zoo - I had to see the new Masai giraffes.
I fed the lorikeets one more time

And the three new Masai giraffes


Sherstin, Beth, and I went out to eat for our "un-goodbye" - hot wings and cold beer. These two women have been the hugest blessing, and have kept me sane, encouraged, challenged, and loved these four years. So grateful for your friendship! I am truly blessed!

Hung Do: physical therapist extraordinaire, work out king, and connaisseur of fine food....

Ms. Frith - the first patient I saw in my clinic, and almost the last - have gotten to see her every other month, and have just fallen for her - she is the spunkiest, most delightful almost nonagenarian (is that a word?) I have ever met and I'll miss her!

Me with Sandi Moutsios, my clinic attending, med/peds program director, and personal idol. I stayed at Vanderbilt in part because I wanted to be like Sandi, and have concluded that that would be impossible as she is super-human. It has been such a treat to learn from her!

Robert in his "thinking" chair - has done a terrific job being a big brother to all the estrogen that has congregated in his house, and manged to sleep through a lot of it!