The Elephant Cloud


The Elephant Cloud header image 4

Author Darlene Nastansky

Darlene Nastansky
Combining my love for the outdoors and medicine, I have practiced Orthopedics as a Physician Assistant for 11 years. In 2009, I left to pursue my dream of travel and adventure. I packed up everything and left for a 12 month jaunt around the world, with time to volunteer in third world medicine, publish articles, climb peaks and rent motor-scooters. My experience continues to open more avenues, I find myself speaking at fundraisers, packing for a return voyage to Ethiopia for a specific medical cause, freelancing .... The flood gates of my dreams have opened! No one would have guessed 23 years ago, as a teen parent, I would have pulled myself from the throes of poverty into the dreams of a lifetime. As a young girl nurtured beneath the Arizona sunshine, I found my way to the Northwest where climbing, mountain biking, back country skiing and trail running were never far away. My newest quests include sultry twilight passages, unfamiliar utterances, chaos, foreign soils and trading medical knowledge with the third world. Please feel free to contact me at

Ethiopia’s Daughters: Chapter III

February 5th, 2011 by Darlene Nastansky · 7 Comments · Africa, Ethiopia

… continued from Chapter Two of Ethiopia’s Daughters Chapter Three A small unlocked Nokia cell phone with an Ethiopian SIM card floats between the white pockets of Dr. Philippa and myself. The number is scribbled on paper taped in the maternity ward. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for […]

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Ethiopia’s Daughters: Chapter II

January 25th, 2011 by Darlene Nastansky · 4 Comments · Africa, Ethiopia

… continued from Chapter One of Ethiopia’s Daughters Chapter Two Without running water, sterility is difficult and conservation is everything, even during surgery. Faded green gowns and drapes, homesewn lap sponges, recycled tubing, everything in the operating room is used again and again. We enter building 24, the operating theater. A clear plastic apron, battered […]

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Ethiopia’s Daughters: Chapter I

January 19th, 2011 by Darlene Nastansky · 4 Comments · Africa, Ethiopia

Chapter One ‘You want a picture?’ he asked as we drove to the edge of the desolate canyon. ‘How about now? You don’t have camera?’ ‘Later,’ I told him, ‘When we come back, when we return home.’ ‘You sure? You sure you return home?’ he laughed. That was a good question since I was wondering […]

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Returning to African soil- Addis Ababa, old friends and roosters

January 15th, 2011 by Darlene Nastansky · 9 Comments · Africa, Ethiopia

Windows down, hot air plastering dust over smiles, the traffic is chaos with horns blaring as we pull into the city of Addis Ababa. We have returned to Ethiopia. Danny, our taxi driver, shouts over the mix of local hip-hop and Michael Jackson, inviting us to a bunna bet or coffee ceremony at his sisters […]

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Footsteps To Healing

November 28th, 2010 by Darlene Nastansky · 2 Comments · Africa, Ethiopia

“And they all knew just the cure for what ailed them: an injection … [It] was cheap, and it’s effect was instantaneous, with patients grinning and skipping down the hill.” Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone

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