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My World

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The goofiest, blurriest photograph possible, but to me, this selfie is just as perfect as the staged pictures of my kids from Mother's Day last year. These children are my world, and I am proud to be their mama. They are probably be responsible for more than their fair share of my greying hair and wrinkles, but I love them in all their crazy, and unique ways.

How many moms....

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.... get what they want for Mother's Day, without asking for it? Not sure, but this Mama did! Sometimes you just need something to keep your hands busy, even while doing other tasks. Or something that will help you relax when you have a little stress. I had been eyeing moldable sand for quite a while, but every time I would think about buying it, I'd think about what a frivolous purchase it would be, and I'd change my mind. But obviously, my child(ren) has(have) been paying attention, because this is what I received this year: Yes, my own personal sandbox! Complete with rocks and a couple of gardening tools! Zakir stained the box for her, and Safa added the embellishments, to make it just perfect for me. And it is full of no-mess sand! I will have so much fun with this, and picture myself enjoying it for a long time. Mother's Day is always bittersweet, without my mom here with us. But I am still so blessed to have my mother-in-law and Choti Ammi, and to myse

Medical Mission: The Camps

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While volunteering with MedGlobal in Bangladesh, I had the opportunity to visit one of the Rohingya refugee camps near the clinic where I was working. It was truly an eye opening experience; the magnitude of the displacement was instantly obvious. This image was the first glimpse of the camps, as we approached the HOPE Foundation's medical clinic: After several days working in the clinic, I took a walk with other members of my group, into another camp. There were huts with orange tarps as far as the eye could see. In this image, you can see the mountains of Burma in the distance. A looming concern is how huts built on the slopes of these little hills could lead to disaster in the case of a landslide, with the prospect of monsoon rains upon them. Preparation is under way presently. What was interesting, was how many residents had made every effort to create normalcy inside their little cities that were the camps. One of the first things the residents do when

Medical Mission: The Clinic

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In my previous post I shared some thoughts and emotions from my medical mission trip to Bangladesh, to volunteer at the Rohingya refugee camps. In this one, I will share a little about how this trip came to be, as well as more about the clinic itself. Note that this post is directed towards an audience that would most likely not have a medical background. Since August 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled from Burma due to violence and persecution, and have found temporary refuge in camps in Bangladesh. The number of displaced Rohingya varies based on different sources, but according to UNICEF , the number is about 655,000. Other estimates are closer to 800,000, and some close to 1 million. Nonetheless, these numbers give an idea of the immense magnitude of the displaced, of which about half are children. This map gives a perspective: I learned about MedGlobal's Rohingya mission during some fundraising efforts in a group I am a member of. Donating mo

Reflections

It’s after one am in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, while I have been lying here, trying to get some sleep for the past 3 hours or so. Sleep is being elusive tonight. I just completed my second day, working at the HOPE Foundation’s clinic, at the Rohingya refugee camp. I am wide awake, although tired, with thoughts of the day spinning through my head. It was a busy day.... filled with the faces of many refugees, and a few locals, who are in need of medical care for a variety of problems, both acute, and chronic. I saw the faces of those who have been through more adversity in the last year or so, than anyone should go through in a lifetime. From the widow who witnessed the murder of her husband and is struggling to care for her four children alone in a country that is not her own, to the elderly man, whose asthma is so severe that he struggles to take a pause from his coughing..... made all the worse with the dust that is blown up with every step one takes, and the smoke that swirls, since

This lovely young lady...

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...is graduating with her Bachelor's degree at the end of the summer. She is graduating a semester early, but for the purpose of graduate school, it puts her a whole year ahead. She has made the decision to stay in Auburn, since she has been accepted as a grad student in the Communications Disorders department. That works great for all of us, and she will be able to continue to live with her brother, just off campus. We are so proud of her, and have faith that she is going to accomplish great things in her life!

The couple that builds together.....

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.... stays together. Zakir and I spent our twenty-third wedding anniversary converting one of our kitchen drawers into a knife holder. It was an idea that evolved after searching for knife storage options on Pinterest and Google. We were tired of our old beaten up wooden knife block, and various other storage options just did not appeal to us, particularly since it would mean trying to match our kitchen decor, with another item on our counters. So, we were able to clear a drawer that was only being used for overflow silverware, laid a 1/8 inch thick sheet of cork as a liner, cut up several additional pieces of cork, and stacked them side by side as an insert. $7 in supplies, and just under 2 hours later, we were very satisfied with the end result. And a positive side effect, it freed up some extra counter space for the next gadget Zakir decides to buy for our kitchen!