When The Exciting Life Feels Normal

When The Exciting Life Feels Normal

  When we first moved to Sweden (five years ago, ahh!), the newness of everything was overwhelming. Every day we jumped into the unknown with glee. It was thrilling to have a clean slate. We could be whoever we wanted to be in this new place. I spent the first few weeks converting everything into measurements that I could understand and then again into USD to get a sense of the cost. Everything felt expensive (it was). But it was okay because this was all new and exciting. Snow on April 1? Not depressing. Let's play! Get incredibly lost while trying to find a particular restaurant only to discover that they are closed on Sundays? It's alright. We'll get pizza from around the corner. Spend hours in line to get a national ID card, fill out forms, and hope that you've done everything correctly in a language you don't understand? Kind of scary, yes, but we're hanging in there. Everything we did felt like a strange but wonderful adventure....
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There Are Good People Everywhere

There Are Good People Everywhere

A few weeks ago, I packed my suitcase and headed out of town for a week in Amsterdam to facilitate a data analysis and management workshop—switching my crisp and clean editor/publisher hat for my worn-in public health hat. It was refreshing to step back into comfortable shoes and play a role that was familiar and speak a language that was native. I met public health professionals from all over the world—Georgia (the country, not the state), Russia, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Thailand, and Croatia. In 2013, I was five months pregnant and flew to Cote d'Ivoire to facilitate another global public health consultation of this nature. Luck would have it that I was paired with the only female participant in the room—a laboratorian from Sierra Leone. We sat together and analyzed her influenza surveillance data, and I noted that she didn't have any cases—I mean zero cases, which would be extremely rare—for males aged 30-45...
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I Know Who I Am As A Parent Regardless Of Politics

I Know Who I Am As A Parent Regardless Of Politics

For the past few days, I've been discussing, reading, processing all that has happened and what it might mean and I have left every conversation muttering, "I don't know..." And that's just it. I don't know a lot of things. I don't know what will happen to children of immigrants. I don't know what people of color will face regarding continued racism in their communities. I don't know what economic impact this change in power will have on our country and on the world. I don't know if a wall will be built or if people will be removed from the country. I don't know if the small incremental changes in healthcare policies will be undone. I don't know if any campaign promises were made in earnest or were made to gain power. I don't know. But I do know a few things: I know that I will raise my children to be tolerant, kind, and generous with their love and understanding of others different from us. I know that...
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