Ebola, Africa & America

Work Heart

On Work. On Heart.

Made it past the birthday blues!

Now, I’ve been thinking constantly about the global Ebola crisis.  I’ve been very out of sorts about it since it directly affects Africa and West Africa, in particular.  I spend a lot of time in Ghana on various work projects and have made a lot of good friends there. It’s close to my heart.

So since I’d been reading everything I could find on the various impacts and implications of Ebola, I decided to somehow link it to my work at Debtwire where I write on municipal healthcare issues (sounds rather dull to a normal person).

Anyway, here’s the article I wrote, basically commenting on the Ebola issues here in the U.S. and the potential financial implications for our hospitals. Oddly, the article did really well, generating the most hits of the week which was a surprise to me.  Sure, I find this topic fascinating, but who would have thought other people reading Debtwire also would?

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Making the most of a birthday


On Heart. On Home. On Friends.

So I’ve been feeling a little off these past few weeks, post Ghana, etc.

I’m no longer sad or heavy emotionally, but I feel very pensive.  My birthday is this week and I remember a time when that was such an exciting thing – presents, special attention, calls from people who love me, etc.  This year though, I’m more reflective than anything else.

My main realization is that I no longer want to invest in relationships, whether they be friendships or romantic relationships, that don’t come somewhat naturally to me.  I’ve worked so hard in past relationships that I’m just over it.  I’ve learned enough lessons to last lifetimes (thank you, universe!).  I have this urge to be more cautious in life.

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Need to get out of the doldrums

SSpieOn Heart. On Home. On Health.

Back in the U.S. and having a really tough time getting into a rhythm.  Much of this comes from having such a great and rewarding time in Ghana and then coming back to NJ.  I love my parents, but it was definitely a come down on energy.  Now I’m back in Santa Fe, and though I adore Santa Fe, it is a slow-pace, chill locale.  I can hear a bee buzzing on a rosebush outside my window.  Me and a bee.  That’s what my life has come down to.

This past week was brutal.

I had a huge falling out with someone I thought would be a good friend in mommiethe area – a very ‘Mommie Dearest” realization on my part and actually glad to have my distance now rather than later.

Objectively, things are moving along here on various work fronts which should also get me better connected to the community.  I need this sense of community.  I know that.  I just wish it was happening faster than it is so I can get thoughts of Ghana out of my head… Continue reading

Should age matter in relationships?


On Heart

I’ve been thinking about age lately especially when it comes to relationships.

Men date younger women all the time and it’s no big deal, right?  Is that because these women are fertile, can still have kids and generally look better the younger they are whereas men “age better” (though most of the guys I seem to know are all bald or balding, but let’s assume this is generally true)?

Is it true that if we’re the same age we then have a shared past or experiences? What if  I grew up in New Jersey and he grew up in Afghanistan?  Even if we’re the same age, I can’t imagine he grew up salivating after Michael Jackson and Madonna or watching Beverly HIlls 90210.  Shouldn’t it be more important to have a shared present and future?  Does it really matter if the person I’m with digs 80’s music or is it more telling that we both read The Economist today or want to travel to the Maldives in the future?  What are the things that really define the core of a relationship with someone?  Is age just an anchor we wear around our necks? Continue reading

Living one of the best months of my life in Accra, Ghana

Home and Heart

On Home. On Heart.

My month in Ghana is coming to an end.  I’m actually pretty sad about this.  More than I ever expected to be.  I suppose spending a month here, having a routine that included regular yoga visits, a busy social life with new, fun friends, days crammed with meetings, a great place to stay and just an overall feeling of belonging, can do that.

Every time I think to myself, “You’ll be going back to the real world soon, Jody”, I catch myself.  This is my real world.  I’m not here on vacation, but actually living and working here.

And it takes me by surprise.  There’s a rhythm to being a global citizen that I haven’t mastered and am only just getting hold of.  I’m not sure if it’s the right thing for me in the long run, but for now, it’s my life.

So what will I miss the most? Continue reading

Finding balance and fun in Accra, Ghana

Heart Health Friends

On Health. On Heart. On Friends.

Ghana has been amazing.

I’m so glad I did Airbnb and found this cool roommate of mine.  It’s nice to have company and someone to chat with at the end of the day!  I never feel alone in Ghana as a result.  Plus, he’s fun and has lots of friends here so it’s great going out with him on the weekends.  I had a weird, very girl-anxiety dream this morning and we chatted about it over coffee before he left for work.

And Accra’s nightlife?  It’s pretty fun!  Some things are not for me, like the club scene – Hollywood Boulevard, Levels, Twist … But I adore Republic.  It’s just a chill place where people just hang around on the street outside.  I’m not even sure there is an inside and if there is, maybe it’s just bathrooms.  But great ambience and right in the heart of Osu.  Firefly would be up my alley too, but it was closed when we tried to go last Friday…

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Car service in Accra, Ghana

GE Money

On Money

Ghana has been amazing beyond all my expectations.  But I’m not going to write about most of those things here.  Partly because I don’t want to jinx anything, and partly, because something else is giving me ennui this morning.  Of all the things to write about while I’m in Ghana, I can’t believe I’m going to make this post about money.  I think that’s because this morning when I woke up, I didn’t feel like getting up and felt cranky.  When I realized what it was…

I’m loving my time in Accra.  I love the place where I’m staying and feel so lucky to have found it  Who knew Airbnb reached all the way to west Africa?  Anyway, my roommate is great, a guy from France who is somewhat fussy and also quite funny.  I’m always happy to see him around at the end of the day.  It’s nice to have company here.  The place is a two-floor, brand-new duplex with a beautiful kitchen, terrace, rooftop infinity pool, insane views of Accra, etc.  My room has its own lovely bathroom (no bathtub for my bath-taking friends), but with a waterfall shower nonetheless.  Really, I love popping in here during the middle of the day. It’s like stepping into an oasis.  And I’m right across from the Accra Mall which is so convenient.   Continue reading

Make me a vampire, please?

Home and Heart

On Heart. On Home.

Lately, I’ve become obsessed with wanting to become a vampire.  I know it sounds crazy, but bear with me.  It’s not like I want to be any old vampire.  True Blood?  Or Barnabas Collins?  Ah, no thanks.


But I would love to be a vampire of the Vampire Diaries caliber.  In addition to being healthy, being strong and not aging, they get to wear special jewelry that lets them walk around in daylight!  So they don’t miss out on anything as far as I’m concerned.

vampire diaries

Sure, a wooden stake through the heart will kill them, but I’m pretty sure that would kill me as a human, too, right? Continue reading

Building a new life

Home and Heart

On Home. On Heart.

The funniest thing happened to me today.  I realized I’m really building a life in Santa Fe.

I’ve been playing tennis once a week as part of a clinic at the Shellaberger Center in Santa Fe, just to keep a hand in, and one of the girls invited me to play in a foursome this Sunday.  How fun!

Then, I was supposed to spend the entire month of September in D.C., and out of nowhere, the Airbnb reservation was cancelled.  My first instinct was to rebook another place with the additional money they gave me for the inconvenience, but then I wondered if it was a sign ….

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Value your time

Home Work Health FriendsOn Home

I am so disappointed in myself.  I waited an hour this afternoon for a manicure before finally walking out.  The place is called Nail Time on Airport Road in Santa Fe.  It was just that busy for some reason with people getting full-on treatments.  The client turnover was pathetic.  I’m not sure why more people don’t give up and walk out.  No self-respecting NYer would ever  wait that long for a manicure.  But this isn’t NYC, so I was willing to sit around for a bit, as if I had nothing better to do with my time on a Friday afternoon.  Is that really true for everyone else still sitting there?  They just have nothing better to do with their time or are just that desperate for good nails for the weekend?

As for me, I put up with it for as long as I did because I’m going to the opening night party for the New Mexico Folk Art Festival and my nails are super ratty.  I wanted the manicure to get into the spirit of the event.  Instead, I’m super cranky.  And I have bad nails. Continue reading