Monday, May 22, 2006


So I have obviously been a way for a while. Sorry for that. I am currently traveling in Morocco with friend and Fogarty fellow Craig Connard. We met up in Marrakech and have been making our way north little by little.
Marrakech was an ancient city with a large and lively square. Here you can find street performers, story tellers, snake charmers, dancing monkeys, and traveling bands. The square, called Djenna El-Fna, is an overwhelming maze of interesting colorful people that seems to copme alive with sound and energy each day around dusk. There are also endless souqs or shops where you can buy everything from fresh safron to a fine Arabian carpet. Despite having asked several times, most vendors did not know of any magic carpets. I have yet to ask about genies, but have secretly rubbed several lamps in the hope of coming across one with three wishes to spare.
If you can think of any other Arabian myths and sterotypes that I can make into bad jokes, please let me know. I have already used the °rock the Kasbah° joke far too many times. I really need some new material here.
Next was Essouria (pronounced ess-way-uh), on the Atlantic coast. This was a very relaxed beach and fishing town with a wide stretch of coastline that was ideal for frisbee, soccer, and getting sunburned. We spent 3 days here dining on fresh grilled fish and cheap beers. Because of a lucky bet with our hotel owner on the outcome of the Barcelona Arsenal soccer game, we essentially stayed in our nice apartment for free.
We then met some of Craig's friends in the capital, Rabat. I wasnt expecting much, but this city was really amazing. We stayed at a friends house right on the ocean. The whole neighborhood was painted white and bright blue. It had a very mediteranean feel to it. We wandered through ancient Roman ruins, shopped for gifts, smoked the hooka with our new friends, (which, mom and dad, is very harmless tobacco...) and saw a great musician from Mali play in a 700 year old garden.
We have now made it to Fes, one of the oldest and largest imperial cities in Morocco. Inside the ancient city walls are over 9,000 twisting alleys, paths, and streets. We just arrived today, and havent yet been able to get completely lost yet. But if you dont get an email from me for a while, this may be why.
We will next head to Tangier where will then cross the straight of Gibralter into Spain. We plan on a few nights in Seville and a few more in Lisbon before heading home. This should put me in Texas around May 31st.
Am doing lots and lots of gift shopping and trying to gather presents for as many as possible. Please send me any special requests and I'll try to accomodate. Sending an email or leaving a comment on the blog (which are all forwarded to me via email) has been shown to increase your chances of getting something cool by 85 percent.
Regardless, I hope you all are well and safe and happy. While I am having a blast here, I am really looking forward to getting home and catching up with old friends and family. Stay well and I hope to see you all soon.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My mom met Bono

I presented all my final data this Friday to the CAPRISA staff. Its been stressful week with managing 4th year of medical school plans, trying to squeeze in important weddings and conferences in between away rotations, and gettting ready to go home for good. Lots and lots to think about.

The presentation went for about 2 hours and went well, I thought. Though I was mentally exhausted by the end of it. Kylie and I decided to have an easy Friday night and rented a movie, ate some bunnies (bean curry in a carved out piece of bread, an Indian/Durnan classic), and took it easy. I started feeling sick just before bed, and had chills and a fever all night. Was not a lot of fun. I never get sick, and here I am.

I woke this morning with a nasty headache and body ache. I wanted to check my email, and it hurt to look at the screen. But I found this great email from my mom, and it made me feel a lot better:

I got to meet Bono last night thanks to Karen and Phil! (my Aunt and Uncle) I went to a reception before he spoke to the World Affairs Council in Dallas.

I shook his hand and told him my son was doing aids research in s africa. he asked me your name and he said "I'll be thinking about cully wiseman, thank you for him." I said "thank you for all you are doing and for being here tonight." he said, "he is experiencing some hard things so thank you for cully."
He then gave a really fantastic presentation. I wish you could have been there.

How cool is that? Bono knows who I am. Sure, I imagine he forgot 2 minutes later as I'm sure people say stuff like that to him all the time. Regardless, it hit me at a time when I needed a little something to make me feel better.

My head still hurts and I still feel pretty crappy, but not as bad as I did.