For those of you that don’t know, my job takes me everywhere. I’ve gone all over the world to do work with film. Sometimes those places are luxurious countries, and sometimes they’re a little more dangerous. I don’t back down from a challenge, so when I was given the opportunity back in 2012 to go to Mali, I took it.
Back in those days, Mali was struggling with an armed combat. I remember it well. Getting into the country to our shoot was interesting. I never remember feeling that worried because we were far enough south to be out of the way of the conflict, but you could still feel the conflict in the air everywhere you went.
Besides the fighting, though, the country was fantastic. There were so many people doing so much. Their cultures were brilliant and very different from everything that I had come to expect after living in America for so long. I really tried my best to see everything and get a real taste of the culture and the people.
Unfortunately, that also meant getting a taste of the tragedies that people were coping with. I was there with a company that was trying to get a new kind of stethoscope off the ground. The product was incredibly cool, but why it was needed broke my heart. The Ebola virus, which travels so quickly, means that equipment that touches the patients is tainted with the virus (more info about this topic can be found here).
For something like the stethoscope, this already poses problems because it’s hard to use over the gear that they had to use in the areas with patients. So this company was trying to develop something that didn’t put the doctor in harm’s way …