Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Our Little Corner of the World...

I'm taking a short break from our fabulous 
Viking Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest...
to bring you a glimpse of what TheChief and I participated in
on July 12...

Mending Kids International 3rd Annual Hometown Mission.

What is Mending Kids International you ask???

I'm sure you've heard of Doctors Without Borders?

Think of them, but specifically for kids!!!

Our dear friend, Marchelle Sellers, is the Executive Director of MKI 
and when we went to her office in Burbank, CA to offer our services for volunteering...
...yeah...need I say more?

I became the designated photographer for the day!
(although, with all the cell phones and selfies going on...I'm not sure why!!!)

It was a fabulous day....

Bear with me...after over 1000 pics, I've narrowed them down to a mere 30+!!!

Sooo...Saturday morning we were up at the crack of dawn and made it over to
the Specialty Surgical Center of Beverly Hills.
Right off the bat we were in the pre-op area visiting with the kids and parents
waiting patiently for their surgeries...

Hometown Missions are primarily for kids here in the US who for one reason or another
have been turned down for surgery by their insurance company or the government insurance.
Generally, the reason they're not eligible for surgery is that the surgery is deemed 
unnecessary...possibly because the surgery needed is considered to be cosmetic or just elective
rather than "medically necessary".
An example is this beautiful little girl.  
She was born with a "Hairy Nevis", basically, it's a mole with hair growing out of it.
This little girl is getting ready to go to school...and as we all know...kids can be pretty brutal.
She was turned down as it was considered to be cosmetic.
This is exactly the kind of case that Mending Kids is here for!!!
A relatively easy surgery, and this little girl will have a much easier time
adjusting to school and all those other kids. 

All these beautiful kids absolutely stole our hearts, and the hearts of
everyone participating!!!

TheChief gave out badge pins...

And look who was in pre-op handing out toys and good wishes????
Gene Simmons of KISS!!!

T-shirts, toys and lot's of happy moments to assuage any anxiety the kids had, waiting for surgery.

Then it's off to O.R....

...and the waiting begins...

Wait!!!  You mean I get to go into the O. R. too???

Check out the next installment  (just scroll down...) for what happens behind the
"Personnel Only"  doors!!!

Click on the image below to visit more little corners of the world...


Monday, July 20, 2015

Our Little Corner of the World...Part 2!!!

First, it's time to put on those fashionable scrubs...

So Gene and his son Nick are scrubbed up...but the surgeon had to show off his KISS t-shirt!!!

 Once inside it's all business...
...teamwork is the name of the game...

The surgeons get to work...

...but take time out for a photo!!!

I have to be honest here...it was never this dark in the O.R.!!!
Quite the opposite...it was as light as a bright sunny day...
but when I zoomed in on the surgeons hands in the spotlight...
something magical happened in my camera's sensor!!!
Why mess with a good thing???

Oh...and did I mention?  The surgeons like to have fun!!!

Don't drop Executive Director Marchelle!!!

Doctors Dean Anselmo, David Kulber, (Gene Simmons),
Andre Panossian, McCoy Moretz, Cathy Shin!!!

And if you're wondering...I didn't hear any KISS in the O.R.'s!!!

And in that hallway just between Pre-op and the O.R.'s...
 It's picture time!!!!

That tall, dark, and handsome young man in the back???
Gene Simmons son Nick!!!

Ever feel like knocking some heads together?!


 One little girl brought her stuffed turtle into O.R. with her...

One of the kids was born with basically no ear...
...and it just so happens that one of the surgeons who works with 
MKI is world renowned for crafting an ear form that he then surgically implants...

It was a fascinating process.  A much longer surgery as compared to many of the others...

Looking good!!!

This young man came from Ethiopia about a year ago and has already undergone
about 8 surgeries on both of his hands since he's been here.
Initially, when he first came to the states, he had a ten pound tumor on each hand...
can you imagine that?
The subsequent surgeries have been to normalize the hands and clean out any
calcifications that could turn into a tumor again.

 During the surgery they worked on both hands at the same time.

Talk about fascinating!

 #I Am Mending Kids!!!
BTW...that's Dorothy Lucey on the left...
(past co-anchor of KTTV's morning show Good Day LA)

Will Gibson, President of the Board of Directors for MKI with two surgeons!!!

...and of course...TheChief!!!

And this is what it's all about...
surgery is done...time to go home...
with a huge smile on your face!!!

Mending Kids International

...a more than worthwhile cause...

and a fun volunteer opportunity!!!

Click here if you're interested in finding out more about Mending Kids,

their Hometown Missions,

their overseas missions...

volunteer opportunities....

and gifting opportunities!!!

And remember....this is an international organization....
so there are volunteer opportunities internationally as well!!!

Click on the image below to visit more corners of the world...


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sailing Down the River...Visiting Other Corners of the World!!!

And the first stop is Kinderdijk!!!
Yes...we're still in the Netherlands...
Kinderdijk is a small village in South Holland...
and is the site of at least 19 windmills that were built around 1740...

Kinderdijk is Dutch for Children dike...
According to Wikipedia...
"In 1421, during the Saint Elizabeth flood...the Grote Hollandse Waard flooded..."
and as the flood waters receded, a cat was seen in a cradle floating down the river.
he cat was balancing the cradle by jumping back and forth, keeping the sides above the water
so no water could get in it.  When the cradle came close enough to shore for a bystander to 
pull it out of the water, he found a baby quietly sleeping in the cradle.  
This became a folktale legend and has been published as the 
"The Cat and the Cradle" in Englishl

Here in California we think of windmills in connection to the supply of electricity.
In Holland, these old windmills were originally built as a system for getting rid of excess water
in the polders (...a low lying tract of land enclosed by embankments known as dikes...)
 In today's high tech world, most of the windmills are now primarily tourist attractions, 
with the water level moderation tasks taken up by current technology.
This area in Kinderdijk is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

These windmills are so much cooler than the ugly ones outside of Mojave in California!!!

Of course...these old windmills required that someone live in and work them...
some with families!

It's kind of a romantic notion to think of someone living in one of these
charming old relics...

It's quite peaceful along the dike...I can imagine enjoying a quiet life,
raising a family...in a windmill!!!
Well...not really...those windmill accommodations were pretty tiny!!!

But how pretty!!!

...and in case you missed the part about the windmills being a tourist attraction...
these giant wooden shoes were there for anybody to step in, shoes and all...
and click!!!

Click on the image below for more visits to scenic parts of the world...