When Life Hands You…Flat Tires

On Thursday we took a patient and his father home to their village. We calculated that our excursion would take 3 hours, but TIA – This is Africa. And when on said continent, you must remember her rules. Starting with:

Rule #1: take the estimated length of of your journey in hours, triple it, add 5, and assume you will need the spare tire on your Land Rover.

Photo Credit: Michelle Murrey

Failure to comply with Rule #1 means that you may find yourself with plenty of time for taking long-exposure shots on the side of the ‘road’ in the jungle. My photographer-friend Michelle Murrey made this photo happen. (I was in charge of using our only flashlight to write something, which was going quite well until the Y.) 

This is Africa. Never a dull moment.


Hi. This is really cute.

Are you prepared to handle the fantastic cuteness that is a little girl with a pink balloon?

I thought so.

Photo Credit: Catherine Clarke Murphy

Photo Credit: Catherine Clarke Murphy;

Photo Credit: Catherine Clarke Murphy;

Photo Credit: Catherine Clarke Murphy;

Photo Credit: Catherine Clarke Murphy

but what goes up…

Photo Credit: Catherine Clarke Murphy

…must come down.

(and speaking of balloons: If you haven’t seen it, there is a short French film called Le Ballon Rouge that will enrich your life immensely. It came to mind as I was editing these photos and I really think the world will be a better place if you put it on your Netflix queue. Just sayin.)

The One With All of the Photography

When I started this site, I knew that photographs would be an important part of sharing stories with you guys. What I didn’t expect was that I would enjoy photography just as much as I enjoy writing.

Below are some photographs from my life here (assuming my painfully slow internet connection gets a move on). They are in no particular order and require little to no brainpower – it is still Monday, after all. So get a cup of coffee, put on some quality tunes and take a gander. Oh, and you are welcome to comment (I love it when you comment.) Bonus points if you get the faint reference in the title of this post.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for your constant love and encouragement. Dropping everything and moving to Africa could have been quite the hurdle – but not with friends and family as great as you fine folks. In fact…I think I’ll be staying here a bit longer than planned. But more on that later.

One way or another, I will never really leave this place. Africa will always keep a little part of me.

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Happiness is a Cute Baby Tied to Your Derrière

For months I have enviously stared down the women of Conakry as they strutted about the streets with adorable children tied to their backs. You may remember the above photo from my trip to a nearby market in September. 

Finally, yesterday, I got my turn!

and it was SO FABULOUS.

A special thanks to Alseny, who, at 10 months old, was unable to object to the crazy white girl who insisted on carrying him around this way. 

Lastly, Alseny does happen to have a twin brother, Alissane…
but we all agreed that I’m NOT ready for that kind of balancing act. #threesacrowd

Happy Monday to you!

Not Just a Fair-Weather Fan

Do my eyes deceive me? 

I was sitting in traffic yesterday when I glanced over and saw this wonderfully familiar team logo. 

Now if someone could just bring me chips and queso, this place would start feeling quite home-y.

Go ‘Stros!


Don’t Go Chasin’ Waterfalls…

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

Hold on a second there, Mark.

It was this quote, or rather – mentality, with which I hopped into this beautiful lagoon at the base of an enormous waterfall in my clothes. I wasn’t alone – my friends Mar, Ryan and Becca jumped in right behind me. We swam, splashed and had a great time until we realized, hmm, the only one in our group who hadn’t hopped in was our friend, Dr. Peter. 

“Doc, what’s the deal?”

As we made the hike back to the rover, dripping wet, Peter enlightened us on the nasty things that live in waterfalls here. He claims he tried to warn us but that we ignored him, pshhhhh! As if.

Ok, ya. Maybe we did. 

But fear not, we escaped unscathed and we are all 100% a-okay. Fewf.

The moral of this story is that you really should never take quotes from literary greats too seriously. Because even though you think yourself a superfun adventurous person that catches trade winds in your sails, you still look like dinner to a leech.

 But if you absolutely must

Catherine Clarke Murphy

at least get a good photo out of the  deal.



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