Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day, y'all

Two Denisonians (Ryan and Matt).

My hometown of Denison, TX is a town of 23 thousand folks, at least last time I checked.

We call ourselves ‘Denisonians.’ Until yesterday, I was under the impression that the only Denisonisans that were destined to visit Swaziland were my mother, father, sister, brother and I.

I was wrong.

I realized I was wrong when I came face to face with Matt Dobson in the Baylor clinic’s staircase yesterday.

Matt Dobson is a Denisonian. His family and mine go back decades, and his older brother (Dan Dobson) and I accounted for approximately 99% of the mischief that took place in the Denison High School “gifted and talented” program. (How we were allowed in a program so titled…and allowed to stay in that program…I will never know.)

Looking back, I am not terribly proud of [most of] my behavior, but Dan and I kept things, er, interesting, though our ‘gifts and talents’ in those days, at least those we most often showcased, were not necessarily academic or, shall I say, entirely upstanding.

It was all, of course, legal.

These days, the Dobson brothers, like myself, seem to have mainstreamed to some degree.

We have also earned degrees.

Dan is now an expert on legality and works as a patent lawyer in Washington, DC and Matt is starting a job at the US Department of Justice after recently finishing his MBA at the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.

Matt was traveling with a group from Kellogg who are hoping to, among other things, develop point of care (i.e. on-site) HIV diagnostic testing, including viral load and DNA PCR.

I hope they succeed, for such tests would revolutionize our work here.

Speaking of revolution, happy 4th of July.

There are several reasons to celebrate this day. Though there are few Denisonians in these parts, I meet people like Matt all the time here in Swaziland. Every single person that I have met traveled here because she or he wants to help.

That, in my opinion, is a compliment to their homeland, a tribute to that vast acreage beneath the star-spangled banner.


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