Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Perhaps you heard a story over the weekend about an American woman who was kidnapped in Afghanistan. It was reported by several international news sources. This woman, Cyd Mizell, is someone I worked with about 5 years ago when I was in Turkey. She is a precious person and went to Afghanistan because she was so compelled to help women in such a desolate place. Please pray for her release. No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of her and her driver in a Kandahar neighborhood. The more time that goes by, the more desperate the situation is. Here are the links to two stories (and a photo of Cyd) posted on The second story is particularly interesting because it reports that over 500 burqa-clad women marched in support of Cyd yesterday in Kandahar. Such a display of protest from women in Afghanistan is rare, and would not have been possible even 5 years ago. Their march makes quite a statement that the work Cyd was doing and her reputation there was phenomenal. Please read the articles and pray for her safe release...
American Woman Kidnapped in Afghanistan (
Hundreds of Burqa-Clad Woman March in Protest of Kidnapping (

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Next Stop: Hawaii (for work, of course)
Next Monday Jason and I will have a real chance to thaw Hawaii. Now, before you start questioning how we could possibly need a vacation after just returning from Bora Bora, please be advised that this is a work trip. Seriously.

I'm actually really excited about this trip because it seems like a really great opportunity for me to see first hand some of the work Jason did while he was in Cambodia. Jason and one of his Cambodian collegues will be presenting their work at a Critical Care conference in Hawaii next weekend. Of course, Jason and I will go a few days early to hang around Maui. After all, we wouldn't want to miss out on the opportunity for another mini-vacation, would we?

If you'll allow me for a second, I'd like to explain a bit about some of the work Jason did at a pediatric hospital in Siem Reap, Cambodia. He and a group of Cambodian doctors were part of implementing some life-saving changes in the way the hospital treated patients who needed a certain type of critical care. The work is significant because the old therapy that was being used required expensive equipment (not readily available in Cambodia - often imported from West) and frequently landed patients in worse shape - many times even leading to death. Jason and his Cambodian collegues were able to use a much more cost-effective and simple therapy to treat these patients and the results were staggering. It turns out that the new treatment was less complex, easier to use, more cost-effective, and much more realistic for a place like Cambodia to reproduce and use effectively. (Side Note: this is not a new therapy all together, it is actually an old therapy that was replaced in the US by expensive equipment several years ago. Well-meaning doctors brought the expensive and complex equipment to Cambodia intending for Cambodian doctors to use it.) Most importantly, though, the new therapy has increased the outcomes of the pediatric patients. In lay man's terms, this means that many more patients lived instead of died. That's significant.

The conference will be a great opportunity for Jason's Cambodian collegue, Pagnarith, to tell about the hospital in Siem Reap and raise awareness about the impact this type of simple critical care therapy could have in countries without a lot of resources. It could be very significant for Western doctors to see that sometimes over-complicating procedures and importing Western equipment is not always beneficial in these places, particularly IF there is a simple, reproducible, cost-effective solution available. Hopefully Pagnarith and Jason's presentation will be well-received and perhaps provoke some good conversations about what's really best in international medicine. We'll see.

Jason and I are looking forward to hanging out in Hawaii with Pagnarith. Personally I am looking forward to the chance to see this sliver of Jason's life that is still somewhat foreign to me. We have planned to take a trip to Cambodia together someday, so I can see the hospital in person. I am so proud of his work there and the impact he has made. I honestly can't wait to see him in action at the conference and I'm thankful I get to tag along on all his work trips now (oh, the perks of being a wife!)

You can learn more about the hospital in Cambodia and see pictures by clicking here:
Baby's First Picture.
The journey to Des Moines.

Crossing the state line from Missouri. Iowa seems like a friendly place already.

A BIG shout out to the movers. Maybe you have wondered if hiring movers is really worth it. Take my word... worth every penny. Granted, Jason's company paid for it, but we have already decided that it is a worthy investment. They packed all of our things in 3 hours, loaded them, delivered them to Des Moines, and carried them up three flights of stairs. Priceless. We have already started saving for the next move, just in case someone else doesn't pick up the tab for that one.

This is our view of downtown Des Moines. And a lovely view of the snow.

I'll post more pics of the house as it develops.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Des Moines & Baby Reynolds

We are here and getting all settled. I will post some pictures as soon as I can figure out how to get our internet to move faster. =) I have some especially great pictures of the 7 or so inches of snow on the ground. It looks really beautiful from our third floor window and I keep thinking about how grateful I am that we don't have to shovel it. We can simply enjoy its beauty from afar. Our house is fabulous. We are enjoying unpacking and making it home. Again, I promise photos as soon as possible.

Another big announcement to make. We are expecting a Baby Reynolds! We are truly grateful for this gift. Our little boy or girl will arrive somewhere around July 31. Yesterday was my first doctor's appointment and we were so thrilled to see Baby moving around on the sonogram screen. What a miracle! Truly God has blessed us with this tiny gift. Pray for us as we wait in excitement and watch Baby grow in the coming months.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A New Year, A New City

A short apology for being an absent blogger. I truly did not intend to be that person that annoys me in the blogging world...the one who NEVER posts. You know who you are. You wait weeks and sometimes months to post something. Just about the time I have given up on you, you post a back log of the last six months complete with pictures. Sometimes you have a radically new hairstyle, or got married, or moved. A vast amount of life has changed in those absent months...Now, I AM that person. Sorry. I will try to do better. I haven't changed my hairstyle, but I'll include some of the newest updates.

First, there was so much to celebrate in 2007. Namely, marrying the love of my life.

Life with Jason is incredibly sweet. We enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with family and were spoiled a bit with Jason's 18 or more days off in December. We spent Christmas in West Texas, going back and forth between my family and his. All in all, it was a great time to catch up with family and enjoy the Christmas season together.

There is also much to celebrate in 2008, starting with a new city! We are moving to Des Moines, Iowa this month. Jason has been doing work in hospitals for over a year now as an independant contractor. It's a super fun life for a single guy, but the travel and schedule is not so conducive to a stable home life. So, he interviewed in Iowa in September and we took a trip together to scope it out. We accepted the position in October (again, a late announcement on my part). For months now we have been looking forward to this new chapter. Des Moines is a real answer to prayer for us - a great job, friends nearby in Iowa, and a home. We are excited to be on the journey and look forward to all that's in store for us in the Midwest. Seems like a cool place.

This week went to visit Des Moines and walk through the condo we are buying. We found a great place directly across the street from the hospital, so Jason can walk to work and we can walk all over downtown. True urban living in Des Moines. The condo is in a 100 year old building that has been completely redone with all new stuff. The great thing is that they kept the cool old hardwood floors and woodwork, so it feels "old" even though it's new. Perfect. I'll post a few pics when I can...

I'll leave you with an article published in the NY Times recently about the "coolness" of Des Moines.