Author Archives: martinbrandt223

December 08

What I can look forward to and what I have been grateful for

“Per Angusta Ad Augusta” And so, with this final entry, ends my days of blogging from Kisumu. Me a writer, me writing blogs – who would have ever thunk it. But this was an incredible way to bring you into my world during this time in my life and within my life experiences. And as […]

December 07

What I have and have not missed most during my PULSE assignment

Interestingly, I started this blog series with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, and I add this 3rd part today, posted on the date best remembered as a ‘day that will go down in infamy’ as noted by her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (it also happens to be my niece’s birthday: HBJRS) I will admit, I […]

December 06

“What I will miss the most from my PULSE experience”

Actually, believe it or not, I will miss Kisumu. I have spent 6 months of my life here, how could it not make an impression upon me, how can I not miss it for all of its bumps and blemishes, and yes, great opportunities. For all of its warts, it is really quite a fascinating […]

December 05

“What will I not miss from my PULSE experience”

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Eleanor Roosevelt <a This four part blog series concludes my PULSE assignment and is a reminder of the many facets of each day, each week, each story that I […]

December 03

Five of the Most Impactful People I Have Met in Kisumu Kenya: Beldina

This is Part 2 of my 2 part story about Beldina Opiyo. What I love about Beldina’s passion is that she is where she lived, she is on ground with her people, she listens to her community, she is not afraid to get hands dirty and help fight their battles that have to be won […]

December 03

“Why do you treat your children like free range chickens!”

Five of the Most Impactful People I Have Met in Kisumu Kenya: Part V-A One character flaw that frustrates Beldina Opiyo, a resident of Kisumu, is a parent’s lack of personal accountability. We were discussing a local pastor’s concerns with his child day care center in his Kiboswa community church center. Many of the local […]

December 01

The most impactful people I have met in Kisumu Part IV: Prisca Ondeche

JoJo, Christine (my wife), myself, and our good friend Beldina had an opportunity in mid-July to tour the New Life Home Trust Orphanage facility just down the road from our apartment in Kisumu. We were so moved by what we saw, so moved by the wonderful care and support each and every child is provided, […]

November 20

“We take care of our women…..Tell everyone you know”

“Five of the Most Influential People I Have Met in Kisumu Kenya: Part III“. Not all that surprisingly, the 3rd person on my list of 5 of “the most impactful people I have met in Kisumu” is a woman. However, she is not from Kisumu, nor is she from Kenya, or from Africa. “We take […]

November 07

“You must remember where you came from.” Most Impactful People I Have Met Part II

“You must remember where you came from” Fredah Ajowi tells me over lunch one afternoon. Then she asked me why I chose her to write about. That was simple, it was her passion, her drive not to settle for living in poverty, not feeling sorry for herself, but rather taking charge of who she was […]

October 25

“Teach your children well” Most Impactful People I Have Met: Part I

The original premise for this 5-part blog series was to highlight impactful women of Kisumu that I had met in this western region of Kenya during my PULSE assignment, and describe their contributions to improving health and well being within the local and outlying communities. But as this series evolved, I quickly realized that would […]

October 03

Nineteen, 19, XIX

Here I go, like “Seinfeld”, another blog about nothing, but “if you hear the song I sing, you will understand” (Jesse Colin Young and the Youngbloods, 1967). “Hey Nineteen” was a song released by Steely Dan on their 1980 album “Gaucho”. I am not a Steely Dan fan, but I needed something to kick start […]

September 16

88 Days

88 Days: that is just about the time remaining on my pulse assignment. How am I changing? What am I changing? what am I impacting? I am asking myself these questions every day I am here. “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. […]

September 09

“It’s like trying to find gold in a silver mine”

I dedicate this piece to Ben and Larry and all others who read this. Bottoms up! “It’s like trying to find gold in a silver mine, it’s like trying to drink whiskey, from a bottle of wine” (Elton John’s (1972) Honky Cat). Perhaps almost as good as finding an oasis in the middle of a […]

September 05

KEMRI/CDC Supports GSK’s Malaria Vaccine Phase III Clinical Study

Text by Martin Brandt; Photos by Victoria Denies The Kisumu PULSE team (Victoria Denies, Rami Fouad, Joerg Mayer and me) along with OGRA staff members George Ariya, David Amonje, and Meshack Jobita visited the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI/CDC) on the afternoon of Monday, 01 September. This organization has supported the Phase III clinical studies […]

September 04

Kisumu PULSE Team Visits Kit Mikayi: Because It Is There.

Kit Mikayi is a fascinating rock formation that is situated about 30 km west of Kisumu. It is a large rock with 3 smaller rocks on top. It looks like someone intentionally placed these stones here in the middle of nowhere. So, we take the major rutted and potholed road out of town, past the […]