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Riding and Having Fun with the Rodents HAMSTERS USA® by Dr. Juris Bunkis

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This past weekend saw the Hamsters USA® kick-off party in Danville, California, on the eve of the group’s departure for Sturgis, South Dakota. The route varies year to year but the general principle is that we stay off freeways and stagger across the country from one National Park to the next. I have been honored to be a Hamster for more than a quarter of a century! The Hamsters are an international motorcycle group consisting of members with custom motorcycles and big hearts – there are 400 members around the globe and all descend upon South Dakota each summer.

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4th of JULY by Dr. Juris Bunkis

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I am an immigrant to the United States of America and a naturalized citizen – I have chosen to be here and chose to be a citizen. I was born in a displaced persons’ camp in Germany in the aftermath of World War II. My parents were grateful to have escaped the clutches of Communism and to start a new life in the West. We emigrated to Canada, where I finished high school as well as my college and medical school years.

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Father’s Day

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There are a number of holidays each year, which are more special than others are, and I certainly look at Mother’s Day each May and the recently celebrated Father’s Day as two of the more meaningful holidays each year.

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Graduation Day, Our new Doctor of Public Health by Dr. John Compoginis

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Last Friday my wife, Staci, graduated from Loma Linda University with her Doctor of Public Health degree in Nutrition. Loma Linda is a very special area for health and wellness as it is considered one of the “Blue Zones” in the world. It was an honor for her to be able to study health and nutrition at this university as it’s focused especially on educating on plant-based diets and making man whole: spirit, mind and body.

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Guess who turns 70 today?

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I first met Dr. Ekstrom 38 years ago, when she was only 32 years old (in 1983 or 1984). While teaching at the University of California San Francisco, I was invited to U Mass as a visiting professor, and met Dr. Ekstrom, a resident at the time. At that time, I was led a yearly medical mission to Guatemala to operate on patients with birth defects and other medical issues.

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Amazing Azerbaijan by Drs. Ekstrom and Bunkis

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This past week found us in the most amazing country of Azerbaijan. First, we would like to thank the Honorable Nasimi Aghayev, Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles and the Dean of our Consular Corps, and his staff, for putting together this most amazing and intellectually stimulating trip for us. Azerbaijan is an oil rich country and has the architecture and infrastructure to prove it. We stayed at the amazing Fairmont Flaming Towers, pictured above, in Baku. We received a few “be careful” admonitions before leaving but found Baku safer than any Western city we have ever visited.

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