Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Althea Says:
Hi People. We're about to leave, and my dad says we should write about what we feel. My sister can't because she has a "raging fever". I hope she gets better before we get to Quito, because there is an altitude of 9,000 ft there, and that might make her more sick. I'm really excited, but scared at the same time, because I don't know much about Ecuador or the place we'll be living. As soon as we get settled, we'll post pictures. I'm excited to see the warm weather and i heard the people are really nice there, and I can't wait to meet friends. I'm interested in the school we'll be going to, and I don't know how much like the middle school here it will be. I'll tell you about my first day of school once I start. Stay Tuned. :-)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

1 week to go

Well, we became front page news yesterday in the the local paper. The girls and grownups each got a lot of quotes included in Kirby's story; thanks Kirby!

Check out most of the story at

We're hoping for a bit of thaw before New Year's so we can fly out; 3 feet in the backyard and snowing hard.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kristen's last day!

I completed my last day in clinic yesterday. It was more of a whimper than a bang, what with the snow storm and all. The staff sent me off with an autographed shoulder bag full of goodies: including calendar, water bottle, and just the book I'd been trying to get hold of, "Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. I'd asked Book Stop to order it in for me, and when Erin showed up there looking for a book for "Dr. Dillon who's going on sabbatical" the owner sent her off with just the one she knew I wanted! Small towns are great. Here's the soundbite that's going out to local medical folks:

Dear colleagues,

I’m writing to fill you in on my plans for the next 6 months. I very much appreciate the support of Steve Becker, Tony Gay, Beth Foster, and our practice administrator, Francie Karr, in helping me arrange to take a sabbatical leave from January through June, 2009. During my absence, Angie Reynolds, MD, a family physician who also has Obstetrics fellowship training, has agreed to work with us at CGFM and at the hospital. I know you will welcome her warmly, and I hope she enjoys her work here as much as I do!

My family and I are going to live in Ecuador for 6 months. Our children will attend school there, likely in the community of Otavalo about 100 miles north of Quito, and Paul will be working in a community development project. Once we get settled, I anticipate working with local projects to provide health care in the surrounding villages. I'll also get the opportunity to walk my daughters to school each day, cook dinner (if I still remember how) and do some reading that doesn't have CME credits attached!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A couple weeks away...

More details in place. Friend Geoff has offered his large car to take us to the airport in the early morning of New Year's Day. The Hood River News is running a little story about the trip; I'm hoping that will steer a lot of folks towards this blog (let us know if you found this through that).

Here's the snapshot of what's happening here: we're taking 6 months away from Hood River to live on sabbatical in northern Ecuador, probably in the small city of Otavalo. There's a school there we think will be a good match for the girls, some volunteer service work that Paul has found, and by all accounts it's a safe, pleasant place to be. We're looking forward to everyone getting to buff up their Spanish and get a good taste of how most of the planet lives. We will return in June.

Questions welcome, as are good thoughts and well wishes.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Shots and airplane tickets

Another big day of preparations. Online banking, medicine, bandaids (for trading and gifting), guitar strings (for gifting), plus more vaccinations (tetanus, Hep A and B) and BOUGHT TICKETS! We've been playing airfare roulette but have now purchased tix for 6 am on New Year's Day - a cheap time to fly, it turns out. So we're booked to fly to Quito and have our first few nights of lodging reserved downtown. We have a contact in Quito to look up, see the city, and then make our way north to Otavalo.

Exciting. Paul

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Vaccination day at the hospital yesterday. We got an hour's briefing from a wonderful nurse on the particulars of rabies and hepatitis and malaria drugs. We walked out with prescriptions for malaria and antibiotics, plus yellow fever live (!) virus in our arms and oral typhoid vaccine. A great day for the girls - all of us, I guess - to start to experience this as a real trip that is actually happening. Soon.

Plane fares keep going down, almost ready to commit to Jan. 1.

Thanks for reading. Paul

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