Blog Archive

Monday, August 03, 2009

A Hot Time in Arizona


Yesterday I attended and spoke at the Hemophilia Association's annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, at the posh Arizona Grand Resort. My congratulations to executive director Alexis Christiansen (photo 1) and her team for a great meeting. At lunch we had fun and thought-provoking exercises that helped get our brains warmed up and fostered teamwork. It was amazing how intensely we all got into solving puzzles, when given a challenge, a deadline and a team. I gave a presentation last night on my work in developing countries, and was proud to mention Arizonian Phil Hardt, who has been helping those with hemophilia in Columbia for years. (photo 2)

The meeting was well attended, with about 200 in the audience. A special session was held for those who speak Spanish, and with a water park just next door, there was something for everyone. (photo 3)

I have loved visiting Arizona this past week. My daughter Mary, and her 16 year old friend Josh, and I have toured the state this past week. We've flown in a hot air balloon over Sedona, went horse back riding at, hiked down and flown a helicopter over at the Grand Canyon, stood on the rim of the biggest meteor crater, hiked up Sunset Crater (a volcano), walked through Antelope Canyon and drifted through Glen Canyon while on a boat in Lake Powell. Despite the severe heat, and much mileage, Josh and Mary never complained: it was one of the best road trips ever. Arizona is truly one of my favorite places!

I finished off my week by a visit tonight with a special lady: Susan Phillips, mother of a son with hemophilia. Susan's other son, Mark, raised about $3,000 for Save One Life last year with a luau dinner party, enough to sponsor five children for three years! It was an honor to meet her, and a great way to end a fantastic week.

Good Book I Just Read
The Life of Pi by Yann

I rarely read fiction, only because real life is already so interesting, but this book came highly recommended. It was a bit hard for me to get into, but eventually, I became intrigued and loved it. I love animals and survival stories, and this was a perfect blend of both. An Indian boy, Pi Patel, is raised in a zoo; his father is the zookeeper for the Pondicherry zoo in India. Pi explains in wonderful detail the lives of hte animals, while he himself searches for meaning by exploring different religions. Eventually his father sells the zoo and relocates his family to Canada. But while en route, their steamship sinks, and Pi finds himself on a lifeboat with a zebra, hyena, orangutan and a 500 pound Bengal tiger, and so his real adventure begins. Well written with striking imagery and a gripping story. Three stars.

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