Public Service Announcement: “London Fog” both refers to your average brisk morning in said bustling metropolis as well as an earl gray tea mixed with steeped milk. Though I more frequently lean towards black-tea-with-ginger as an aspiring-desi, I’ve been really enjoying the British twist on black tea. You know the drill, grab a delightful beverage and a comfortable seat!
Since we last spoke, a lot of water ran under the bridge… We left Kenya with teary eyes, feeling separated from loving and impactful souls. But we learned, lived and laughed a boat-load along the way; wemakeimpact.org is still doing powerful work in coastal Kenya to help folks gain access to clean water. They’ve also expanded into COVID relief since then--I’m inspired and encouraged by those who fight for better conditions for those around them. Simit’s also volunteering as an illustrator with another made-in-kenya financial planning organization. Details to come on the next newsletter once the application is launched!
And since then, we made a serpentine crawl through the country. I’ll just have to call out some of the favorites in case you’re looking for a reason to hit the road and explore the expansive americanah horizons: the hills in Atlanta, the jazz in New Orleans, the food halls in Houston, the biking trails of Albuquerque, the climbing gyms in Salt Lake City, the train-lined streets in Durango, the galleries in Helper, the hidden hot springs of Idaho, and the whole US 101 lining the west coast. We wrapped up our americanah trip back in the delightful Northeast, spending great moments playing games with our families and throwing words into the wind.
Trigger warning: I am about to sound outrageously optimistic and hopeful despite all of the tragedies currently taking place in our world. Gratitude is one of my daily therapies. But don’t you worry, this will also come with a real and bitter backdrop. So back where we were: roadtrippin’ in the United States makes me immensely grateful for public infrastructure. Our roads enable us to cross a continent (about 3 thousand miles) in about 43 hours. An illustration of the power of collective action and shared resources: all of the big and small cities where Simu and I parked the car, tightened up our shoelaces and strutted into the local public tennis courts. Sidewalks lining riverbanks where kids run around and hide behind local artists’ art installations.
Just some icing on top: American national parks are some of the most awe-inspiring places found on earth. There are countless beauties to explore and one could make a life (and what a life!) bouncing from one to the next. But these delights are set next to the endless strip malls and suburban mosaics that make many American towns indiscernible. That backdrop is a bit disorienting. With this in mind, we’ve set off to the UK to continue celebrating 2021, which I shall from now on call the year of reencounters and love. What a year it has been to celebrate romance, smiles and laughter. To celebrate being together and falling in love with the mundane all over again. In some ways these challenging times gave us an opportunity to re-experience childhood and the simple joys of life.
And well, regarding learnings and numbers: I put a pause on grad school because busi-ness was not a good recipe for enjoyable learning. ALDASMALLTHINGS LLC is still blooming beautifully (thanks to all of you who make it possible!), but I’ve decided to focus on fewer contracts. Doing less feels like doing more while engaging in deep flow––which feels like nourishment to my brain. I’m still doing software and real world evidence research at objective health, and the focus is widening out of diabetes and liver disease to also encompass cardiovascular disease and IBS. I’ve also started doing RWE research on psychedelic interventions for mental illness at Osmind (focusing on anxiety and major depressive disorder). It’s been encouraging to see the clinical practice formally intersect with ancient medications like psilocybin (mushrooms!) and marijuana. I’m hopeful that through clinical trials and rigorous science we’ll construct robust reasoning for why psychedelic therapies should have a legalized and legitimate place in our modern medicine cabinets.
I’m also dedicating a lot of my hours to helping grow a mighty early-stage startup focused on medically integrated dispensing. In more bare bones English, this means enabling pharmacy operations from within medical practices in order to deliver better care to patients at a lower cost. It also helps smaller medical practices remain independent in a world of consolidation by injecting their business model with an additional revenue stream.
After London, we’re off to Portugal & Spain for the next few months. We’re on the lookout for a nest that we can come back to after our adventures. Porto, Lisboa and Málaga are on the top of the list. Of course, we made a spreadsheet to compare all of the contenders.
Well, that was a mouthful. How are you feeling? What are you grateful for today? What’s the last thing that surprised you?