Two Plus Two Equals Four!!!

My water broke around 3:30 that Sunday afternoon. Since I’d been in ‘barely there’ labor since 9 in the morning, everything was ready and already by the door. I quickly put on the blue dress that boyfriend was ironing at the time and we rushed out...

Modern Mom Can't Cook

The food had just started boiling when I heard a knock on the door. My pocket was hurting that day; I only had 4 shillings to my name. Not one to despair, I was contented working with what I had – rice, potatoes and an onion. Without the tomatoes to at least add some color, I was prepared to have some very bland lunch. But it was ok, ...

Biggest Baby Expenses and How to Save on Them

Though the spending on the new baby is inevitable, there are steps you can take to ensure that you keep the costs at a minimum. In this post, we look at the biggest baby expenses and how to save on them ...

I am Selfish

There’s a long hoot and I’m screaming his name at the top of my lungs. In that split second, I see my life come to an end. I see myself losing my best friend barely two days after his coming home. I see him robbed of life right before my very eyes...

Are you Making these six Parenting Mistakes?

Parenting would be easier if it came with a manual. We all have different parenting styles and none can be said to be better than the other. There are however mistakes we all make as parents, sometimes coming from a very good place.In this post we discuss six major parenting mistakes.

Dealing with Unwarranted Parenting Advice

Being different is ok. We are all special in one way or another. This memo, however, did not get to the perfection bullies. When your child is a little different, they’ll make it their business to tell you what you probably did wrong to end up where you are, and come up with so many solutions to your problem your head will spin.

Melina's Messy Updo

A messy updo comes in handy when I need to do a simple hairstyle in little to no time. I have found that it works best on freshly washed hair as the curls are more defined then. You do not even have to comb it. Just shampoo, condition, moisturize, oil and style :-)

Of Housegirls and Parenting

She called early Sunday morning telling me that she was in town but when I went to get her, my calls went unanswered. Thirty missed calls later, I could not reach her. Thinking that her phone must have run out of charge, I now had the hectic task of looking for her in a crowded town via footsteps the way it used to be done like 3 presidents ago ...

Goodbye Ceskycess. Hello, Modern Mom.

When I started blogging, I had no idea what I wanted to say. I therefore wrote some really pathetic posts and prayed that no one would ever read them. A few months later, a love interest did some stalking, found my blog and read the half-baked posts. To please me (I think), he praised and gushed my writing.

Weight Gain Over Time Increases Risk of Cancer by up to 50%

A research has shown that adding weight over a number of years increases the risk of getting obesity-related cancers by 20% in women and by 50% in men. The study monitored 300,000 Americans between ages 18 and 65 trying to find the link between obesity and cancer.

Image Source
During the study, some people added a little weight while others added a great deal of it. The participants were then followed an average of 15 years while cancer rates were recorded.

The study found that being overweight increased the risk of obesity related cancers such as womb and ovarian in women, as well as bowel, breast and pancreas in both men and women. Compared to the participants who remained in the healthy weight range, men whose BMI increased from 22 to 27 had a 50% increased risk while the women whose BMI increased from 23 to 32 had a 17% increased risk of developing these cancers.

It is therefore more important to look at the weight gain over a person's lifetime when assessing the cancer risk as compared to checking their BMI at any single point, stated the lead scientist of the study, Dr Hannah Lennon, University of Manchester.

As much as it is not a guarantee against cancer, maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy lifestyle sure stacks the odds in anyone's favor, not to mention the other numerous health benefits that comes with it.

Until we see each other again, 


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Friday Finds | Sunny City

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Mpower Launch - Mom in Balance Kenya

On Saturday November 11th 2017, Mom in Balance Kenya launched their new concept Mpower in
Nairobi. With a group of 40 energetic and enthusiastic ladies, the outdoor workouts took place at
the S.S.D.S. Temple in Westlands. The founders of Mom in Balance Kenya; Pauline van
Willigenburg and Florentine Vos hosted the workouts together with the creator of the Mom in
Balance concept; Esther van Diepen who came all the way from the Netherlands for this special
event.

Pauline van Willigenburg, Esther van Diepen and Florentine Vosw


Mpower is an intensive work out for ambitious and active women who want to achieve excellent
fitness. This total body workout is a combination of strength, cardio and high intensity exercises
that you mostly perform as part of a team in order to keep pushing yourself. This way you can
encourage and challenge each other: who will go the extra mile?

Winner of Enda running shoes


At the end of the workout, there was a running contest and participants had a chance to win a pair
of exceptional running shoes. The fastest runner was Naomi Wakhu who won the race easily
leaving all her opponents far behind. Her victory was rewarded by Enda running shoes with the
Enda Iten. The Iten is a perfect light weight trainer built for fast-shorter runs!

The morning ended with refreshments and a goodie bag for all the participants.



For more information about our classes, check out our workout schedule below:

MOM IN BALANCE NAIROBI WORKOUT SCHEDULE 2017

MONDAY

S.S.D.S Temple, off Lower Kabete Road
09.00 AM – 10.00 AM MPOWER
10.00 AM – 11.00 AM PREGNANT / BACK IN SHAPE

WEDNESDAY

Karura Forest, Sigiria Entrance
(Ksh 200 entrance fee applicable)
10.00 AM – 11.00 AM MPOWER
10.00 AM – 11.00 AM PREGNANT / BACK IN SHAPE

THURSDAY

Purdy Arms, Karen
10.00 AM – 11.00 AM PREGNANT / BACK IN SHAPE / MPOWER

SATURDAY
Arboretum, Kileleshwa
(Ksh 50 entrance fee applicable)
09.00 AM – 10.00 AM MPOWER

mominbalance.com/Kenya
facebook.com/MominBalanceKenya

A diaper at  time.,
Until we see each other again, 



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2017 Mom Picks

Here is a list of some of the mom products that we reviewed this year.

16 Piece Vegetable & Fruit Dicer, Chopper & Slicer



Mom's are great at multitasking, but when you have a small baby limiting the use of both hands, even the most seasoned of moms needs a little help. This product is very convenient making cutting, dicig and chopping as easy as pressing the pusher down.
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Friday Finds | Black Friday

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DIY: How to Make a Bandana Bib in 20 Minutes

I posted this DIY for the first time last year when my baby was 2 months. She is now 15 months and has outgrown bibs, but I know that this craft lesson can come in handy for a new mom.

If you are good with your hands, have a small baby and 30 minutes to spare, this post is for you. Enjoy. :-)


My 10 weeks daughter been drooling like a Komodo Dragon lately, I just can't keep up with the number of bibs she uses in a day. Let her stay wet around her neck for a few minutes and you'll have a nasty rash to deal with. No one wants that? So, what is a mom to do? She can go out and buy hundreds of bibs, but if she is as crafty and innovative like I am, she will recycle her old tees or dresses into the cutest bandana bibs.

Here's how I went about it...

What you need:

  1. A recycled fabric. It needs to be absorbent. The more vibrant the colors, the better.
  2. Needle and thread
  3. A number of buttons
  4. Basic stitching skills. 
  5. Scissors
  6. A few minutes

Instructions:


  1. Cut your fabric into 10"-12" squares.  It does not have to be perfect.
  2. Fold one square diagonally with the wrong side of the fabric facing out
  3. Make back or running stitches leaving a small section at one corner as shown below. Back stitches are stronger, but tiny running stitches will also do
  4. Using the hole at the corner with no stitches, turn the fabric inside out. Now the right side will be facing out
  5. Close the hole at the corner with a hemming stitch
  6. Fold the ends as shown below, making a button hole on one end and sewing on a button on the other.
  7. Done
This project had me so excited I made 10 of these. I'm glad I got to reuse what was once a dress. It's kept me busy and happy, the baby is happy and the environment is definitely happy. Everyone wins.:-) :-)

Until we see each other again, 


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Merck Foundation conducts 3rd UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit – MARS 2017 in partnership with the Office of the President of Mauritius and their Ministry of Health

  • Merck Foundation partners with the Government of Mauritius, UNESCO, African Union and African Governments for their annual UNESCO-MARS to contribute to empowering Women and Youth in STEM.
  • Third edition UNESCO-MARS 2017 continues to build Research Capacity in Africa with special focus on Cancer and Vaccines Development. 
  • Winners of the 2017 MARS “Best Young African Researchers Award” and “Best African Women Researchers Award” to be announced.

From left to right: Mr. Getachew Engida, Deputy Director General of UNESCO; Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG; President of the Republic of Mauritius, Her Excellency Mrs Ameenah Grurib-Fakim (centre) and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation follow proceedings at the inauguration of the UNESCO Merck Africa Research Summit on November 28, 2017.

As part of Merck STEM program For Women and Youth, Merck Foundation, a non-profit organization and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany conducts the 3rd edition of their annual “UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit” on the 28th and 29th of November 2017 under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Her Excellency Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and in partnership with Government of Mauritius, UNESCO, African Union and African Governments.

The President of the Republic of Mauritius, Her Excellency Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim emphasized during the inauguration; “We are very happy to partner with the Merck Foundation and UNESCO to empower women and youth in STEM. The UNESCO – Merck Africa Research Summit is a valuable opportunity for all those engaged and interested in health research in Africa to learn about the full spectrum of ground-breaking scientific research currently underway, and prepare the road ahead in Africa’s development as an international hub for research and scientific innovation.”

Speaking on Merck Foundation’s support for Research Capacity building in Africa, “We are keen to support young gifted researchers by passing on the knowledge and experience we have gathered over the 350 years of Merck history. Through our ‘Merck STEM Program’ we aim to promote women and youth in scientific research through providing them with training opportunities to advance their capacity with special focus on Cancer care,” Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E.Merck KG & Chairman of Board of Trustees of Merck Foundation emphasized.

“For the third year, Merck Foundation continues their long- term commitment towards building Research Capacity in Africa. Supporting the African research community, with special focus on Women and Youth is one of our most important objectives, this year in partnership with The Head of State of Mauritius together with African Governments, we focus on The Role of Scientific Research in responding to Cancer and Vaccines Development – two critical challenges in Africa”, said Dr. Rasha Kelej, Merck Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer.

Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG, President of the Republic of Mauritius, Her Excellency Mrs. Ameenah Grurib-Fakim (centre) and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation follow proceedings at the inauguration of the UNESCO Merck Africa Research Summit on November 28, 2017
  
UNESCO-MARS 2017 was officially inaugurated by; Her Excellency Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius and Dr. the Hon. Mohammad Anwar Husnoo, Mauritius’ Minister of Health and Quality of Life.

Merck Africa Research Summit – MARS Awards 2017


During the Summit Award ceremony, five winners from Cameroon, NigeriaRwanda and Mauritiuswere recognized and awarded respectively for their excellence in research under the category of ‘Best African Women Researchers Award’. Furthermore, three winners from South Africa,Senegaland Botswana were presented with the ‘Best Young African Researchers Award’ during the 3rd UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit held in Mauritius.

For the first time, an additional three female researchers from Mauritius, were presented with special “MARS Best Mauritian Women Researchers Award”. “This is to contribute to the Mauritian government’s efforts to promote women in STEM with special focus on scientific research in cancer,” Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation added.

After previous successful editions of the Summit, UNESCO and Merck Foundation join hands for the third time to respond to Africa’s STISA (Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa) 2024, reinforcing the axiom that only through building local capacities can Africa rise again to becoming an equal partner in advancing STEM research and education.

To this, UNESCO–MARS 2017 brings together African researchers to discuss the generation, sharing and dissemination of research data and to prepare for the road ahead in developing Africa as an international hub for research excellence and scientific innovation. These include researchers from Francophone countries such as Benin, Senegal, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Congo, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burkina Faso, and Anglophone countries such as Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Egypt, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG, and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation pose for a group photo with President of the Republic of Mauritius, Her Excellency Mrs. Ameenah Grurib-Fakim (centre) at the inauguration of the UNESCO Merck Africa Research Summit on November 28, 2017. Also with them are Mr. Getachew Engida, Deputy Director General of UNESCO (extreme left) and Dr. the Hon. Mohammad Anwar Husnoo, Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Republic, Mauritius (extreme right)
  
More than 60% of young African Researchers attending this year, are women, emphasizing Merck Foundation’s long-term commitment towards empowering women in STEM with special focus on Scientific Research in Cancer and Vaccines Development.

Key African ministers attending the Summit to participate in the Ministerial Panels


This year’s Summit has attracted many African ministers of Health; Education; Science and Technology; Gender and Social Development to participate in the ministerial high-level panels which will focus on ‘Empowering Women & Youth in STEM - with special focus on Scientific Research - Challenges & Solutions to be considered in the national strategy in developing countries.’

The ministers participating in the panel include: Hon. Sarah Opendi Minister of State of Health, Uganda; Hon. Leela Devi Dookun- Luchoomun Minister of Education and Scientific Research, Mauritius; Hon. Dr. George Kronnisanyon Werner Minister of Science and Higher Education, Liberia; Hon. Dr Anwar Husnoo Minister of Health, Mauritius; Hon. Susan Shabangu Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, South Africa; Hon. Julia Duncan Cassell, Minister of Gender and Social Development, Liberia; Hon. Chitalu Chilufya, Minister of Health, Zambia; Hon. Malam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Science and Higher Education, Nigeria; Hon. Awut Deng Acuil, Minister of Gender Child and Social Welfare, South Sudan; Hon. Fidelis Macdonald Molao and Deputy Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology,Botswana. The panel also includes, Hon. Samuel Mvondo Ayolo, Ambassador of Cameroon to France, and Hon. Christine Nina NIYONSAVYE and Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Burundi to UNESCO.

Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG, President of the Republic of Mauritius, Her Excellency Mrs Ameenah Grurib-Fakim (centre), and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation pose for a group photo with ministers and dignitaries at the inauguration of the UNESCO Merck Africa Research Summit on November 28, 2017

About Last year MARS Awards Winners:


In 2016, five winners from Kenya, Burkina FasoGabonUganda and Ethiopia were recognized and awarded for their excellence in research under the category of ‘Best African Women Researchers Award’ and four winners from BotswanaCameroon, Gambia and Zimbabwe for ‘Best Young African Researchers Award’ during the 2nd UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This was the first time the ‘Best African Women Researchers Award’ was launched.

Find out more information about UNESCO MARS 2017:
UNESCO MARS Scientific Book 2017 – goo.gl/FYZHyy
UNESCO MARS White Paper (in English) 2017 – goo.gl/NnrSoX
UNESCO MARS White Paper (in French) 2017 - goo.gl/DnzaUz

About Merck Foundation
The Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com), established in 2017, is a philanthropic organization that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please go to Merck-Foundation.com  to read more and/or register online to interact and exchange experience with our registered members.
Merck Foundation is a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany.

About Merck
Merck (Merck.com) is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of € 15.0 billion in 66 countries.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.


  Until we see each other again, 


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3rd UNESCO-MeRck Africa Research Summit – MARS 2017 in partnership with the Office of the President of Mauritius and their Ministry of Health

Dignitaries at UNESCO MARS 2016

  • UNESCO MARS brings together researchers from across Africa to discuss the generation, sharing and dissemination of research data and to prepare for the road ahead in Africa’s development as an international hub for excellence in scientific innovation.
  • During the Summit, the winners of 2017 MARS Best African Researchers Awards, and MARS Best African Women Awards will be announced as part of Merck Foundation long term commitment towards empowering women and youth in STEM with special focus on Scientific Research in Cancer and Vaccines Development.

As part of Merck Foundation STEM Program for Women and Youth, Merck Foundation plans to conduct the 3rd edition of their annual “UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit” on the 28th and 29th of November 2017 in partnership with Government of Mauritius under the patronage of the Head of State of The Republic of Mauritius, H.E. Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, UNESCO, African Union and African Governments

H.E. President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

Speaking on Merck’s support for the UNESCO-MARS Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E.Merck KG emphasizes: “We are keen to support young gifted researchers by passing on the knowledge and experience we have gathered over the 340 years of Merck history. Through our “Merck STEM Program” we aim to advance capacity in young researchers and promote young gifted scientists, to teach them the cutting edge of research in our R&D hubs and laboratories.”

 UNESCO-MARS 2016 ‘Best African Woman Researcher Award’ 4th place winner Maria Nabaggala, from Infectious Diseases Institute, Uganda
“The annual Summit aims to contribute to building research capacity in the African research community, with special focus on “The Role of Scientific Research in responding to Cancer and Vaccines Development – two emerging challenges in Africa”. The Summit will also showcase innovative research taking place in projects, programs and initiatives across African universities and the wider African research community,” said Dr. Rasha Kelej, Merck Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, Merck Foundation Chief Executive Officer at UNESCO-MARS 2016 in Ethiopia

The organizing committee will present the “Best Young African Researcher Award” and the “Best African Woman Researcher Award” to recognize the outstanding contribution of African female scientists with aim to promote women in research and advance their contribution to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

All abstracts will be peer reviewed and 100 winners will be eligible for sponsorship. First three winners will be eligible for further number of Research Awards and further Research Awards will be dedicated for the Best Five African Women Researchers.

Watch the video below to meet last year winners of Merck Africa Research Summit Awards




Watch the video below the highlights of the UNESCO MARS 2016 in Ethiopia

https://youtu.be/jGDgdYi17Rk
https://youtu.be/jGDgdYi17Rk


Find out more information:

UNESCO MARS Abstract Book 2016 - https://goo.gl/MsiVpt
UNESCO MARS Scientific Book 2017 – https ://goo.gl/FYZHyy
UNESCO MARS White Paper (in English) 2017 – https://goo.gl/NnrSoX
UNESCO MARS White Paper (in French) 2017 - https://goo.gl/DnzaUz

Stay tuned…

 YouTube Channel Merck Africa Research Summit
 Twitter handle: @Merck_MARS  
 Facebook page Merck Africa Research Summit 

  Until we see each other again, 


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Merck Foundation announces their “Merck Diabetes Award” 2017 Winners to Mark “World Diabetes Day“ #MerckWDD2017

Merck Foundation marks today the “World Diabetes Day” themed ‘Diabetes & Women- Our right to a healthy future’ with the announcement of the winners of 2017 “Merck Diabetes Award” “Every Day is a Diabetes Day”.

Meet the Merck Diabetes Award Winners; The Future Diabetes Experts in Africa – https://youtu.be/Q7gj32Oo7XE

The award was launched in April 2016 in partnership with African and Asian universities with the aim of building a platform of diabetes experts across the globe.
 
After the official launch of the Merck Foundation in Cairo, Egypt on 24th October 2017, Merck Foundation has embarked on a strong campaign to raise awareness on key health problems by taking part in the World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2017.

As part of the awareness initiatives, Merck Foundation has announced the Merck diabetes Award 2017 winners to mark the WDD2017.

Winners of the “Merck Diabetes Award- Every Day is a Diabetes Day” were announced during the Merck Africa Asia Luminary in Cairo, Egypt. The winners are drawn from African and Asian universities.

The award is covering more than 30 African and Asian universities with the aim of building a platform of diabetes experts across the globe.

The award attracted over 500 concept submission applications from universities in Africa and Asia. The winners from each university have been provided with an opportunity to study for a one-year postgraduate Diabetes Diploma at South Wales University, United Kingdom.

Merck Foundation invited medical students to apply for the “Merck Diabetes Award” 2017 with the theme “Every Day is a Diabetes Day.” Students across African and Asian medical universities were asked to submit a concept paper on how to improve diabetes early detection and prevention in their countries and how to encourage their society, scientific community, local authorities, media and relevant stakeholders to think and act on diabetes every day.

“Merck Diabetes Award” marks another milestone of our commitment to working with governments, academia and relevant stakeholders in building healthcare capacity with a focus on non-communicable diseases in Developing countries,” said Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.

Meet the winners of Merck Diabetes Awards and the Future Diabetes Experts:


Elisha Kipkemoi Ngetich
College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Ralph Obure
College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Antara Bagchi
Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur, India

Samuel Mucheru
Aga Khan University, Kenya

Tinka George
Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Uganda

Gloria Ani-asamoah
Accra, Ghana

Nujood Al Shirawi
Intern, Dubai Health Authority, United Arab Emirates

Najmah Kuddah
General Practitioner, University of Indonesia, Indonesia

Dominic Oduro-Donkor
Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Ghana

Ken Munene Nkonge
University of Nairobi, Kenya

Winners of Merck Diabetes Award 2017:  

Misago Nadine
University of Burundi, Burundi

Goufon Kuete Herve
University of Buea, Cameroon

Hansa Teeluckdharry
Bhavnagar University, Mauritius



Hassane Adamou Nasser
Alexandria University, Niger

Ashleigh Sent
University of Pretoria, South Africa

Meng San Chea
University of Health and Sciences, Cambodia

Peva F. Gbagornah
A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, University of Liberia, Liberia

Fu Mei Sian
University Malaya, Malaysia

Ralph Ombati Obure
University of Nairobi, Kenya

Samuel Mucheru
Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi, Kenya
 
Until we see each other again, 



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