All posts by Dr. Beth Harmon

After A Medical Mission, Here’s What I Do

I don’t think I was prepared for how tired I would be after a long day on a medical mission here in Africa. Even when I was working at home, I never got this exhausted. I suppose the heat and the dust don’t help. I get back home at the end of the day and I just feel utterly shattered. Still, rather than heading straight to bed, I like to take a little time for myself to do some of the things that I really enjoy.


Before I do anything, however, I like to take a lovely warm shower. There’s nothing better to get off the grime of the day and all that dust so I can feel refreshed and ready to face the rest of the evening. When I first arrived, there was only cold water, which may have been refreshing but wasn’t very luxurious, but now I’ve had the tankless water heater installed I can enjoy hot water whenever I like which is just wonderful.

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I think I’m a little bit in love with my tankless water heater. It produces water at the perfect temperature exactly when I need it, so there’s no need to switch the heater on and wait for the tank to warm up. It’s just brilliant for those quick showers when I’m on my way out somewhere.

 Rheem RTE 13

I have an electric tankless water heater – a Rheem RTE 13 which is perfect for small homes like mine. Modern, user-friendly and reliable, it’s absolutely brilliant for one shower homes and thanks to its affordable price it was an obvious choice. Small and convenient, it was easy to install under the sink and its 4 GPM flow rate is pretty impressive. The digital thermostat has a handy dial that I can use to get a perfect temperature for me, and it’s also 99.8% efficient for a super-intelligent design. It’s especially good for warm climates, making it ideal for use in Africa!

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I wasn’t sure about this heater when it was installed. My friend has a Takagi T Kjr 2 NG which is gas powered rather than electric and which is perfect for larger homes. With a high flow rate and great reliability. I would definitely recommend that model too to anyone who is running more than one shower as its 6.6 GPM flow rate is enough to accommodate several people showering simultaneously. Since there are three people living in her house, it makes sense to have a more powerful unit, but it definitely gets the job done – it produces wonderful warm water right when you need it, and with its digital controls, it’s so easy to get just the perfect temperature.


After I’ve had my shower, I have a choice of several things that I can do to unwind. Most evenings, I just sit on the porch and read a good book. It’s lovely to just rest and smell the fragrant flowers and feel the cooler night breezes as I indulge in an epic tale of adventure and mystery. I’ve also started painting recently, and sometimes in the evening, I like to go out and find something beautiful to capture on canvas. I’m not sure I’m very good, but I love the relaxation of mixing the paints and just enjoying the beautiful colors on the canvas. Sometimes I go out with my camera and take photos of the wildlife, flowers and scenery around the house.

girl painting

But sometimes, I like to go out and meet my friends. Sometimes, we all go around to one person’s house to have a casual get together. I like to take a bottle of wine and some cake and we just chill out, have a good chat and a catch-up and enjoy ourselves. We don’t often go out into town, but we don’t really need to. None of us really have the energy after a long day on the mission, and so we just prefer a more laid back approach to entertaining ourselves. Although it’s very different to the life I had at home, I find it very rewarding, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s truly an amazing experience.

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Must-See Spots in Africa

Being the second-largest continent in the world Africa has a plethora of life changing experiences. If you are looking for pyramids, ancient tombs, and temples, travel to Africa. If you are looking for all the wonders nature has to offer, like mountains, waterfalls, and canyons, you can find that too in the magnificent continent of Africa. Africa is made up of 54 countries. Each country has their own beauty and wonder to offer. When dealing with a place so vast, that offers so much it can be hard to choose what to do first. Whether you are able to visit all or just one, you would be hard pressed to be disappointed by any of the places listed here. This list of Africa’s must see spots is essential to completing your travel itinerary.

  1. Egypt – Abu Simbel


If it’s temples you seek, then look no further than the two temples at Abu Simbel, also known as, The Great and The Small. Built during the time of the Pharaoh Ramesses II, the temples were built in dedication to him and his wife, as well as the Egyptian gods. It is said that the land was sacred long before Ramesses had the temples built. Although there is some argument amongst historians as to when the temples were built, it is agreed that it took twenty years to create. Their location was so remote that they were unknown until 1813 when they were rediscovered.

  1. Namibia – Fish River Canyon

One of Africa’s many wonders lies in the country of Namibia. Engraved out of the Namibian desert, is the Fish River Canyon. This natural phenomenon isn’t a scene you will soon forget. If you are looking for a challenge you can take the four-day trek across the canyon during the cooler months between May and September. Along the way, you will see mountain zebra, wild horses, kudu, and more. Although tough, and only recommended to those in good physical health, it is said to be a rewarding experience.

  1. Egypt – The Great Pyramids at Giza


Most people have heard of The Great Pyramids at Giza. Along with the Sphinx, they are the most recognizable icons of Egypt. The Sphinx, a statue of a half-human, half-lion is considered to be one of the largest statues in the world. Unlike the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx was not made up of many pieces, but instead, it was carved from a single slab of limestone. At 66 feet tall and 240 feet long, no picture can do it justice.The Great Pyramids are the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Of the Seven Wonders, it is the only one mostly intact. Also, it is still a mystery as to how the Great Pyramid was built.

  1. Tanzania – Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro, also known as Kili, is 19,340 ft. above the African plains, making it the highest mountain on the continent. Mount Kilimanjaro is actually an inactive volcano, made up of three volcanic cones. Every year people make the climb up Kili. Once you reach the peak you are greeted by a spectacular view.

  1. Egypt – Valley of the Kings


Valley of the Kings is the resting place of Kings of Egypt and other elites. The Valley of Kings is located on the west bank of the Nile River. The tombs of the Valley were constructed over a period of almost 500 years. There are 63 royal tombs, none of which look the same. Among the 63 tombs is the burial site of Tutankhamun. Over the years, the tombs have been a big attraction site and unfortunately has been repeatedly looted. Most of the gems and other unique treasures have been stolen. It’s possible that more tombs will be discovered in the future, making it one of the most famous archaeological sites on the planet.

  1. Zimbabwe Border – Victoria Falls on the Zambia

On the borders of Zimbabwe and Zambia, you will find the Victoria Falls located on the Zambezi River. The Victoria Falls are the largest moving body of water on the planet Earth. “Mosi-oa-Tunya”, is what the locals call it, which means “smoke that thunders.” This name comes from the fact that you can hear the Falls from miles away and see pillars of spray. Of course, like in most other places around the continent many wildlife can be seen by the side of the Falls. Also, if you’re up for an adventure the Falls natural pools at the top on the Zambian side, are said to be relatively safe to swim in. It is said that during a full moon a lunar rainbow is visible when the light from the moon shines through the waterfall spray. This is definitely an experience that cannot be properly portrayed by a photograph.