Australia

Australia

“May every young scientist…not fail to keep his eyes open for the possibility that an irritating failure of his apparatus to give consistent results may once or twice in a lifetime conceal an important discovery.” Patrick Blackett 1955   My cousin Jacob met me at the airport Sydney. He greeted me with an Opal pass and we hopped on the double decker train to Museum Station. He had an air mattress in his apartment, which after 4 nights in the hostel, felt like living in a palace.  That first night we went to Quay Station and I got to see the Sydney Harbor with the iconic Opera House and Bridge as the sun set.  Being the mature person I am, I kept thinking about Finding Nemo. We took a boat under the city lights at night to Darling Harbour and walked through the city, stopping at a pub for beers and to watch Federer play in the Australian Open. Hard to believe I had spent 4 hours that morning in a jeep in the rainy cliffs of Skipper’s Canyon back in NZ.   The next morning, feeling rejuvenated and being me, I took off solo and explored the city. First, I took a bus to Bondi Beach and I spent some time walking along the water and enjoying the sun.  Then I walked the cliffs nearby which are spectacular. Next up I walked through Hyde Park, the Art Museum, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the Opera House.  Even if I had done nothing else, just to witness the works of Rodin, Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso makes it a...
Exploring Queenstown and Milford Sound

Exploring Queenstown and Milford Sound

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”   -John Muir   Queenstown, located in Otago in the south-west part of the South Island, is only the 27th largest urban area in the country but one of the most well known.  First and foremost, it is in an unbelievable beautiful geographic area.  It is also the “Adventure Capital of the World”. Its where bungy jumping was invented by AJ Hackett. Also a big site for skydiving. And skiing in the winter.  For me, it was a place to hike and see the beautiful scenery.  Also I got to see a few more Lord of the Rings filming locations.   I stayed at a backpackers hostel for my 4 nights in Queenstown. I met lots of young travelers from all over the world.  Isabel and Philips in particular were two of my roommates and we hung out a lot, cooked meals, and explored the town together. Unfortunately it was unseasonably cold and rainy every day except for one. That didn’t keep us from having a terrific time. A few things I leared about staying in a backpackers hostel: -Its best to have a camping backpack.  If you bring a rolling bag like I did, you’ll feel kind of lame. -Learn from those who are younger than you.  As we get older, we get smarter about certain things but we also forget a lot. -You will be put in your place in a good way.  A lot of folks back home thought...
Wellington and the Marlborough Sounds

Wellington and the Marlborough Sounds

“Still round the corner there may wait A new road or a secret gate And though I oft have passed them by A day will come at last when I Shall take the hidden paths that run West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”   J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King   This blog entry and that one which will follow documents a bit of saved vacation time I used to travel between working at eye clinics in Rotorua, New Zealand and Honiara, Solomon Islands.  Though it was vacation, I certainly pushed myself and learned a lot. I hope some of these things I learned might be educational or enriching to the reader in some way.   But first, something about my last post.  I referred to the Solomon Islands as a “third world country” and was kindly notified by a friend of mine that this terminology is outdated and can be offensive.  She provided an NPR Article entitled: “If You Shouldn’t Call It The Third World, What Should You Call It?”.  I was grateful for being informed of this.  I felt a little dumb at first, but really was grateful for being enlightened on this topic.  The truth is that the term is an outdated relic of the 20th century.  Even “developing country” isn’t an accurate term because some lower income countries are more developed in certain aspects than certain countries which are considered advanced.   The truth is different populations exist within single countries, and perhaps countries shouldn’t be classified as a whole in this respect.  I’ve often use the term “underserved communities” to describe gaps...
Rotorua

Rotorua

Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei. “Aim for the highest cloud so that if you miss it, you will hit a lofty mountain.” Maori Proverb From this point on, all posts were drafted either later in the trip or once I returned home. For a great portion of the trip I couldn’t really bring myself to type for fear of missing out (FOMO I believe its called).  This paragraph was written while flying from Queenstown to Sydney on January 22nd while listening to Migrations, the new album by Bonobo.  One of my favorite electronic music artists, and I marked my calendar and purchased it the day it came out. The other soundtrack to my trip thus far is the Moana soundtrack.  I saw the film before the trip and absolutely loved it.  I can relate to the struggle of finding balance between your place at home and the internal voice that calls you to sea, to discover new places. The film also features quite a bit of Polynesian/Maori mythology and culture. So picture me dressed up to see patients, walking 15 minutes to eye clinic in Rotorua listening to Moana.  I found a little shortcut that crossed over a very beautiful section of Fairy Springs. Three ophthalmologists and a rotating registrar (resident) work at the Rotorua Eye Clinic along with a wonderful staff of secretaries and nurses.  I spent the majority of time working with the registrar, TK.  Like in Kenya, students start medical school directly after high school rather than completing an undergraduate degree. However, medical school is 6 years vs 4...
On the road with Rodger

On the road with Rodger

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – J.R.R. Tolkien   January 6th 2017 Currently January 15th, and I’m sipping coffee lovely café in Rotorua waiting while a warm gentle rain falls outside.  I’m behind because I’ve been going nonstop…and since my flight to Wellington doesn’t leave for 6 hours, I finally have some time to type. We last left off after Ruth and Raoul showed me the city of Auckland in one day.  I woke up in their apartment reflecting on how our perception of life changes when with aging.  At their retirement village, nearly everyone volunteers on a committee, from managing the newsletter to resolving tech issues, both of which are a few of the tasks Raoul has undertaken.  He laughs as he says he looks forward to retiring from retirement.  Work gives a sense of purpose, and when you’re helping others – a sense of fulfillment.  He is also a very good artist, especially with portraits.  The eyes of his paintings tell a profound story, something I imagine he is keen at after a life of work in social services. Would you believe that morning I was handed off to another family? My third in just as many days – I had officially become a rugby ball.  But there are no complaints from me.  Next up is Rodger.  He is perhaps among the most enjoyable people I’ve met.  He has a sharp and witty sense of humor, and is very smart and...
02. Kia Ora

02. Kia Ora

January 4th, 2017 I’m not sure what happened to January 3rd 2017. That date will never exist for me as I somehow traveled across time zones. I’m about 30 minutes from landing in Auckland. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal.” -Paulo Coelho I listened The Alchemist audiobook last year, and it is a terrific story.  Searching for something without knowing why, only knowing that its important.  And then what you find isn’t what it seems, what you’ve gained is a new understanding, a new perspective on what you really value in life. There are a lot of reasons for me to make this trip that I know of, but I think I’ll discover more as I go on. One thing that I do know is we are all guilty of being on autopilot for far too much of our lives.  How often do you stop and just think about the fact that you are here.  Think about what you are and what you are doing, knowing that your thinking about it is affecting you.  I think those moments, good or bad, are when we are most alive. It’s what sets us apart on this planet.  Whether or not we have control of our fate is a different conversation, but the truth is we do have the ability to understand the profound impact our decisions have on each other and the future.  Just something on my mind. Shout out to the lady at the United counter in San Diego who put me first on standby for an earlier flight as my connection through San Francisco...
01. A New Journey Begins

01. A New Journey Begins

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust This is a lot of things. Its my first update to my website in over 2 years since I released Sceyence.  In this way, its an attempt to retain a connection to my music life which has always kept my heart beating inside, but has slowly dissolved on the internet since I started medical school in 2012.  This is also my first blog post on a new trip I am taking.  This trip is work and vacation.  Thus my words here will hopefully be enlightening and fun.  I also suspect that I will do a lot of introspection, and show my feelings and beliefs, exposing myself.  I am going on this trip alone.  Unlike El Salvador and Kenya, there are no classmates joining me.  There is no orientation.  This is both terrifying and liberating. To start, if you’d like to, please see my blog posts from the month I spent working at a children’s hospital at Moi University in Eldoret Kenya with the AMPATH Consortium. My experiences in Kenya certainly have shaped the mindset I have now. I drafted out 2 very rough blog posts last month, and I’ll just lump them in here with this introduction.  I do apologize in advance that much of my writing will be stream-of-consciousness-esque often lacking refinement – a byproduct of my impatience with sitting in front of a computer screen. —— November 13th, 2016 “Trying not to think about my board exam” I have a board exam scheduled for 9 hours tomorrow, which makes this not the...
Donating All Profit from “Sceyence” Album Sales to Charity

Donating All Profit from “Sceyence” Album Sales to Charity

I will be donating all profit from “Sceyence” album sales to charity.  I made this decision a long time ago, but had difficulty selecting a charity.  And then the answer struck me.  When I volunteered on a medical trip in El Salvador last summer, I saw incredible suffering.  It was staggering to observe how many people didn’t have access to clean water, medicine, or basic health services.  What I also saw, was a group making a difference.  The IU ENLACE Program in partnership with CoCoDa is making a difference through water projects, supplying medicine, helping build new clinics, and many other services.  With your help, I am looking forward to helping a lot of people in need and discovering the limitless ways in which music can...
Album Art

Album Art

Album art.  To entrust another person to illustrate my music was a scary prospect.  But oh wow, am I glad I met Jessica Holly while volunteering in El Salvador last summer.  I instantly was drawn to her artwork, and over many months, many conversations, and many drafts, Jess created an unbelievable visual of my music.  I love the imagery: eye of “Sceyence”, the ship representing adventure, the sparrows representing freedom.  There are maps of El Salvador and Indiana.  And the mixed media and color scheme to me makes the album feel like an unearthed archaeological discovery. Please visit her site and enjoy more of her...
Releasing My 3rd Album, “Sceyence”

Releasing My 3rd Album, “Sceyence”

I’m looking forward to releasing my 3rd album, “Sceyence”, on Saturday August 16th! I recorded the album in a single day way back in December, at Sweet Owen Sound Recording Studio in the small town of Spencer, IN.  The engineer and producer, Tom Yeiser (pictured above), was amazing to work with.  His two dogs joined us in the studio as well…making the environment very comfortable.  The canine touch might be heard if you listen closely.  It was great to record just outside Bloomington, the town where I spent my undergrad years at Indiana...