sunny day

May 19, 2012 - Leave a Response

sunny day

I’m going strawberry picking!
But first I’ll change out of this white shirt…


fun brother sister times

May 12, 2012 - One Response

some april/may fun around here:

in the kitchen


hmm…where did my children go?

jack? emi bea?

say “turkey!” (“turkey” is jack’s smiling word. not cheese.
although this time, emi bea responded with her own “tuh-tee!”)

cheerios girl


and yesterday, we had a play date at a hotel pool!
some friends are in town for a wedding
and it was our first swim of the season,
i think emi bea’s first swim ever.

certainly her first opportunity to wear her cute new suit

yes, “say ‘turkey'”

then daddy arrived from the office, and things got
even splashier

expo line adventure

May 12, 2012 - Leave a Response

it was a gray friday,
but we were excited to try out LA’s new expo line!

jack is a big fan of trains.

free parking (!) structure at the la cienega station
which for now is the end of the line,
so we had some time to explore the train
before it started moving.

“here we go, mommy! train is moving!”
(at the top of his excited lungs)

we took it to the expo/vermont stop

right by USC, the coliseum, rose garden, expo park
and turned around and rode back.

then emi bea threw up. sad girl.

my little brother

May 5, 2012 - Leave a Response

is married!

so happy, proud and excited for him — he’s a husband!
so happy and grateful to have sheela as my new sister!

the wedding was last weekend, but we’re just now recovering
from the wonderful-ness
and the post-wedding crash of exhaustion.

just in time to look forward to their return from sunny(?) Canada.

the new mr. and mrs. k — hooray!

happy ____ birthday! and guten morgen returns

March 18, 2012 - 2 Responses

(the blank is for a number, not a word)

my husband had a birthday recently,
and said
“all I want from you for my birthday
is for you to start blogging again.”
apparently so.
(i also made him meatballs and spaghetti)

and so, I will attempt
to write here often regularly at least semi-regularly

although I must warn you
my life these days is not what it was when this blog began…
scroll down to see my life in sierra leone
faraway and exciting

now I am married, to a pastor
and we have two babies
so if you’ve been dying to know what rankin eats for dinner (tonight, soup)
or who jack chose to win march madness (belmont)
or how many steps emi bea can take without falling (five)
or what else is going on in my head or in our home

then perhaps, just perhaps, you will enjoy this
more domestic, yet hopefully still exciting, chapter of
guten morgen
the what what from afar here.

other blog, briefly

May 10, 2009 - Leave a Response

it’s been a year and a half since i last wrote here
i’m no longer in sierra leone.

i’m married now
we live in los angeles
and it’s time to start a new blog
see you there!

was blind, but now…

December 13, 2007 - 4 Responses


i’d like you to meet granny jane.
she arrived at the fistula centre
almost two months ago
after spending 44 years
incontinent, because of an obstetric fistula
(see post gladi gladi day for more on fistula).
in recent years,
jane had also developed cataracts
in both eyes
such that she could no longer see.

she walked into our compound
holding her grown daughter’s hand,
wet and blind. hoping to become dry.

which she did!
a successful fistula surgery
was followed by cataracts surgeries,
one eye at a time,
at an outpatient eye hospital in freetown.
jane stayed at our fistula centre in the meantime,
first healing from her fistula surgery,
then from eye surgery #1,
and then from eye surgery #2.

granny jane likes to dance.
once she regained sight in her first eye,
she started dancing a little bit every day,
much to the delight of all the other patients on the ward.
you’d hear a chorus of ooh, granny! and eeeeh, jane! and know, it must be dancing time.

the highlight of my day today was jane
marching over to me
all by herself
biggest smile on her face
because today the eye patch from her second cataract surgery was removed,
and today, jane is dry
and can see!

after hugging me,
she went on to demonstrate her new abilities
with a rendition of
head, shoulders, knees and toes.

jane-head.jpg jane-shoulders.jpg jane-knees.jpg
head, shoulders, knees…
the staff were laughing at this one, though: those aren’t your knees, jane!

a few more jane pictures:

jane, after fistula surgery but still blind, with the visiting Rotarian ladies from the UK who sponsored her eye surgeries

the day jane’s first eye patch came off, she hurried outside to join the other patients in school time. she sat down, grabbed a crayon, and started practicing her ABCs.

jane on her gladi gladi day–dance, dance, dance


December 12, 2007 - One Response

headache.  so no writing.  just a picture or two tonight.

how cool is her hair?

i just like this one, taken in town.

we found this caterpillar in the sea.  don’t know if he’s a swimmer or not.  we brought him to shore.    

last laundry night

December 11, 2007 - One Response

it’s sentimental-last-week.
everything i do is a “last”

my last sunday in sierra leone
my last monday night dinner
my last time to take a shower, on a tuesday, in sierra leone…
i know, i get a little ridiculous
but it’s part of how i say goodbye to a place.

tonight was my last laundry night.
with some ceremony
almost a tear or two
i erased Morgen DNE
from the 6:30-7:30pm Tuesday slot
on our dry-erase laundry schedule.
(whoops, DNE stands for do not erase)

one last time,
put all my laundry
(no sorting colors here, i only do one load per week)
in washer #1
one last time, snaked the hose over to the machine and hooked it onto the soap drawer,
one last time, waited while the machine filled up so i could turn off the hose
and go eat dinner
keeping an eye on my watch
so i remember to return and hose-fill again for the rinse cycle.

one last time, shouted
“it’s just me, don’t be scared”
to warn sandra (same time slot, washer #2)
as i approached the laundry room.
the room is right next to the generator, so noisy-insulated
and easy to be startled
when someone suddenly appears in the doorway.

last time to stand in the doorway of the laundry room
and watch dusk fall on the neighborhood
kids carrying water home, on their heads, for the night
moms fanning cooking fires
the soccer game winding down as it gets too dark to see the ball.
bats waking up
and swooping out of the trees.

one last deep breath of:
wood smoke
trash smoke
evening-scented flowers
diesel fuel
laundry soap 


December 11, 2007 - Leave a Response

as in grr…internet.
inexplicably didn’t work last night, hence, no yesterday post.

so i’ll post a few pictures now, and write something tonight.


one of my little jobs is taking a discharge picture for each fistula patient before they go home. this morning, these two grannies simply would NOT pose by themselves until first i had snapped them together. one is from liberia, one from sierra leone. they did not know eachother until they came to the centre, now they are inseperable.


and these guys never cease to amaze me: the amputee football team. they practice on the beach we drive by each day. to play on the field, one must be missing a leg. to be a goalie, one must be missing an arm. they are phenomenal.


i should have asked the car to stop, and taken some better pictures. but you get the idea.