Tag Archives: Maternal Health

The Doctor and Me part 2

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Wards Island Toronto

Last Tuesday May 11, I had a pretty awesome opportunity to have dinner with Dr. Gretchen Roedde. When I arrived at her island retreat she already had dinner ready! (Tasty Thai shrimp with roasted vegetables, fried rice, and curried cauliflower – tasty!)  At this point if you have no idea what I’m talking about you may want to refer to “The Doctor and Me part 1” which is below.

A little bit about Dr. Gretchen Roedde:

picture from my phone

Me and Dr. Gretchen Roedde on the Toronto Island Ferry

She grew up on the island, then decided to pursue an anthropology degree, had a vision that she would help people through medicine and decided just like that to go to medical school.

After completing med school at McMaster University she and her family moved to a small remote community in northern Ontario so she could help train Aboriginal health care workers. She has two lovely children a son and daughter  – both of whom she adores.  (Her son plays in a punk band too! The band is called “Crank Radio“)

Gretchen is so totally cool, and has stories that are pretty rad.  My favourite line  from our conversations  was “Those who wonder are not lost.”  She even came by my Mom’s workplace just to say hello! So my family is totally taken by her warmth!

She graciously let me read her manuscript for her upcoming book titlted “A Strange Calling”.   When I went over for dinner I decided to take my little handy-cam with me.  You will find links to her articles on the blog sidebar (on the right hand side of the page!)

We recorded a bit of our conversations that night and I wanted to share them with you – super inspiring:

*Note – you may want to listen to the video through headphones.

The Doctor and Me part 1

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If you saw the recent Vlog (previous post) – this is an extension of my first meeting with the awesome Doctor:

May 4th 2010

I just met the most incredible woman last night on the late night ferry back to the island.

She’s a doctor who has committed her life to Mother and Child health.  She’s lived the last 30 years in 25 countries, through conflict, through fear, through inaction by government and ngo’s alike (not surprising, but still so sad). She’s helped to create programming that has been implemented and bravely tells the stories of women and children,  families and communities who  so desperately need a voice in Canada and around the world.

She has been using her knowledge to physically reach out and meet the people who require her KNOWLEDGE EYE TO EYE.

More importantly she wants urgently for her knowledge to be transferred to as many people as possible.  Not in a top down, Western feminist ‘I know what’s best for the world’ kind of way – No, she wants her knowledge to help bridge the gaps between traditional and institutional medicine.

Her devotion to her work, and her understanding of the need, the responsibility for great thinkers to also be great leaders of actions was so INCREDIBLY INSPIRING.

She has graciously allowed me to read the manuscript of her upcoming publication (prior to going to print).

I’ll be having dinner with the Doctor on Tuesday evening to discuss the manuscript and life in general!  I would love to introduce you to her.  I’ll keep you posted – this is going to be something amazing.

The Fear of Learning

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One of the aspects of being an artist is being open to time where nothing structured is going on.  Artists need time and space to think (and not think),  and to explore their surroundings and to be inspired.

So I’ve taken the month of May to live on the Toronto Islands – specifically at the Artscape Gibraltor Point Artist Retreat. It’s an amazing space – it’s a 100 year old school house!  There are several long term tenants, and then spaces for short term rental.  There’s also a cat whom I’ve yet to meet.

I’ve been taking a business planning for the arts course through the CCCO (Cultural Careers Council Ontario) and yesterday we had an awesome session about marketing.  Jyotika Malhotra (Social Media Week Toronto + exshoesme.com ) and Catherine Hernandez (Sulong Theatre Collective) gave us some awesome ideas for putting ourselves ‘out there.’

So in that vain – I decided to do a vlog – you can see the space I’m working in:

It’s soooooo hard to spend good chunks of your time without visible or seemingly tangible goals everyday (going to work, cooking, running to meetings).

BUT the GLORY of unstructured time and living is you run into opportunities you wouldn’t even have been able to imagine.  My meeting this amazing doctor, and THE STORIES SHE CARRIES WITH HER would not have happened unless I was taking that ferry back to the island. (More on that story later!)

Let me know what you’ve been up to this month! And more importantly – go out and try to give yourself even just 15 minutes of nothingness time.  It’s so important.