Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Barclay Back from Kenya

I'm a little pressed for time this morning...heck, this week, actually.

BAGMAN: There you go whining again -- before you even start!

And you're one of the reasons, I get pressed for time...jumping in and changing the subject before I get started.

BAGMAN: You hadn't even started a subject yet...just whining about being pressed for time.

Because you keep interrupting!

BAGMAN: See! My point, exactly. Whine whine whine.

Where's Butler when I need him?!

Okay, concentrate! I don't have lots of time because today is the second day of Hurricane Season in Charleston. So we are having our first big disaster drill and I have to go to the Emergency Operations Center and take on a different role. And I have to be there early and Karen is about to wake up and ...

BAGMAN : Okay, whinemeister! Barclay, remember?

Barclay cutting a Christmas lamb two years ago

Yes...yes...Barclay. Barclay is the oldest son of my wife's best friend since kindergarten. And I'm sure I'll have lots more to tell you about him because he will be living with us for the months of July and August, while he fits in one semester of study in one school before going off to another. And maybe I should start from the beginning...

Barclay stopped by my office at work yesterday afternoon. He couldn't call first because he doesn't have a cellphone because he just got back from Kenya after a year of studying AIDS and malaria and treating folks in tiny village clinics that often don't have running water or walls or...

BAGMAN: You call that the beginning?!!!

Barclay is, frankly, one of my heroes. When I first met him, he was just a little boy, and sometime I'll find some old pictures...

BAGMAN: At least that is closer to the beginning!

Okay, perhaps I should just give a synopsis since the hurricane drill is looming and the clock is ticking and I had trouble waking up this morning and ...

BAGMAN: You're back to whining again, you know.

I know! I know! Synopsis, then. Barclay is a fourth year medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC. His specialty is emergency room trauma surgery. But he is not going to be your average doctor. Instead of rushing through medical school as fast as he can on his way to a BMW and the golf course, he keeps running off to third world countries. He now speaks Swahili in addition to Doctor talk. He also made a decision in Kenya and in the Sudan that if he is really going to be effective, he needs a masters in public health, and got accepted at London University where he will go in the Fall for a year or so before coming back to finally finish up his fourth year at medical school.

A posed shot I took of Barclay before he left for Africa
so I could make a Christmas present for his mother

He is also the nicest most humble guy I've ever known. And he would not say this, but my assessment is that he has decided that instead of saving the world one person at a time, he will work on saving the world one country at a time.

He says that he just has an insatiable curiousity for learning new thing, particularly learning them by immersing himself completely in a different culture.

He lives large. When he came by my office so I could give him a house key, he had just returned from a side trip to St. Louis where he presented a paper on HIV and malaria in Africa to an auditorium full of physicians.

I've got to wrap this up...damn the clock...I also can't wait to see his photographs although he did say, sadly, that after the first 7 months in Kenya, his Nikon finally got too dusty and humidified to work any more.

He'll be with us for July and August so more stories are coming, I hope.

A rough proof of the final portrait Karen and I
gave his mother last Christmas.


  1. A special guy heh BB....

    I want you to read my post today and I am stamping my foot!


  2. We are lucky when we have such interesting and younger friends I think. They keep us on our toes and test our theories. Looks like a really neat guy.

  3. WOW! What an impressive young man! I also am humbled by such kind and generous spirits - people who see the world in panavision, and make the decision to contribute to necessary change! I would love to hear more about this young man, and to read one day that he has joined the World Health Organization, fighting to eradicate AIDS! Thanks for the post B&B!

    Now....get to your Hurricane Preparedness Class - I think they started without you!

  4. Small world. My youngest son, Ted, is in Togo, West Africa–a 2 year stint in the Peace Corps—doing similar work.

  5. Nice looking guy! Too bad he's about 50 years younger than me. LOL

    Hope you have a great time in class! LOL

  6. People like Barclay restore my sometimes shaky faith in humanity you know Mark?
    What a wonderful gift you and Karen gave his Mom.

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  7. what a wonderful person Barclay is and such a blessing. I hope he takes the time to know this.

  8. I think Barclay is well on his way to becoming my hero too!

    Bring on those pictures and I can't wait to hear more of his story.

  9. Wow! I am very impressed that Barclay is working to help the world!

  10. Thanks for sharing the life of such a genuine guy. So young to be so wise and quite the inspiration for so many of us. God bless him as he reaches for his goal. That's a wonderful gift you shared with his mom.

  11. how wonderful, I love to hear about the good young people. the news is always so full of the bad.... I look forward to hearing about this young man for the next two months (and more)

  12. Maybe Barclay should come meet Tahni......xxx

  13. The sister of my B.F.F. has her doctorate in nursing and has traveled to the Middle East, India and Indonesia, nursing and teaching nursing. Her name is Anita. People like Dan's son Ted, Barclay and Anita are an inspiration to everyone! The world is small. Caring for the world makes more sense than ripping it apart. Karen's friend needs too write a book on how to raise children like Barclay. Enjoy his visit. I love the portrait.

  14. What a terrific young man! The world could use a lot more like him. Great post! Look forward to reading more about him and seeing pictures! Love the portrait! You done good, my friend!

  15. Maybe you can get him to start blogging while he is at your house and write about his adventures. IF he has time....

  16. Oh, Barclay is back! I so enjoyed sitting around the fire with him.

    Make sure he comes to Crisfield before he leaves. You can't keep him all to yourself!

    Barclay, our crabs are are better than SC crabs!

    Tell him I am brushing off my cameras, ready to stowaway when he leaves again.

    Welcome home, Barclay. And thanks for what you do!

  17. Barclay sounds awesome -- a devalued word, but I like to remember that it starts with the word "awe."

  18. I wish there were more Barclays in the world. He sounds a treasure!


  19. https://www.behance.net/gallery/46463613/_