Thursday, February 07, 2013
Some of you know my sister is in Kenya with a group who is working to build a medical clinic in Kaugi Village outside of and up a mountain or two from Meru, just about on the equator.
The group stays at Meru County Hotel where they also get breakfast and dinner. Meals take 3 hours to get their food. I think it's because they go out and harvest the fruits and vegetables when they see the bus coming. ; ) They have a lot of spinach and fresh fruit. They are given bread and most have a supply of peanut butter to make a sandwich for their lunch. My sister wised up and took a banana from breakfast to put on her sandwich yesterday.
The medical team is there, working to see as many as they can while the building team builds.
I haven't known how lucky I was. Read on.
This photo shows how villagers power a single LED light in their living room at night.
I couldn't figure out how someone could live in such a rickety structure up in the air like this. I learned it's not a house. They are water towers.
In the process of trying to convert power from the generator to a power saw brought from the US, they burned up the saw and had to resort to using hand power to cut plywood to size to create the frame for the concrete footing .
When the rebar arrived, it had been folded in half. If you don't have a tool you need, you make one. So they used a stump that came out of the foundation hole to bend the rebar straight to be cut and welded into the framework.
Bucket Brigades have moved rock into the base of the foundation trench. And then moved it again when they needed more height but had no more rock so they had to refill underneath with that red clay. Then the Portland Cement arrived and they started mixing and bucketing the equivalent of 3 of our truckloads of concrete.
My sister got concrete in her eye as she set her bucket down. She tried to wash it out with her water bottle, and remembered she had added Propel to it. After a trip to the medical center where they rinsed it out with saline, she reports she's okay.
The group is far away from home, well, anywhere, really.
They are working to build a medical clinic in honor of Benjamin's mother.
She raised 7 educated children, and worked to helped other children in the village. When a mother was expecting, she would give a banana tree to her so the child would at least have bananas during hard times.
Benjamin has been to school here in the states, and his first job was working for the St. Pete Times--now the Tampa Bay Times.
This is Benjamin with his daughter.
The whole village met the bus the first day and everyone walked the rest of the way together.
If you would like to know more about this project, you can access their "Blog" at
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
I'm going to have to make up my mind soon about whether to continue with this program now. If it had been available last July when I came back to Spark People, I would have definitely used it and found it VERY helpful.
At this point, I think I'm doing pretty well. Perhaps I'm in the wrong part of the program.
I am very impressed with the organization of each day's plan.
Does anyone have experiences which might help me make up my mind?
I'll take your response in spark mail if you wish.
The other thing I'm looking at is buying one of those fit bit arm bands.
I might be calling it by the wrong name. I'm thinking since so much of my workouts are in the pool, that I wouldn't get enough benefit. Also, since I don't have a smart phone--just a MacBook. Will that be compatible.
If you have info or a link, I'd appreciate any help with this.
I have watched several Youtube videos, been to the website,, etc.
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
It's 84 degrees. Yorkie and I walked a mile early this morning. Then I walked four miles on the bike trail. And since it's so nice, I'm going to the pool. I'll feel like I'm taking a bath because they heat it to 84 and the air will be 84.
I started the Spark Coach Program and chose rewarding myself for meeting goals as a goal. Thing is, it is a daily reward for meeting the goals daily. And I stopped rewarding with food a long time ago. It's been interesting coming up with rewards that don't const money.
So going to the pool seems like a nice reward for all the walking. I'll spend a little time relaxing but the rest treading water and swimming. I might really treat myself and use the sauna.
On the eating front, I roasted 12 Roma tomatoes last night with italian seasoning on them. They have been delicious on pita bread or an xtreme Wellness Spinach tortilla (with some black olives). You can't beat the aroma or taste of roasted tomatoes, unless it's fire roasted tomatoes!!
Monday, February 04, 2013
As long as I can remember, i have believed that if one door closed, another door would open. And I could share when that seemed to be true in my life, over and over. In fact it was so true that I usually had no thought to put my energies to creating a new door. Even when I kept opening that door to low calorie diets and quick weight loss, which always came back just as quickly, without building in those forever habits of healthy eating and activity.
When I saw this graphic and Milton Berle's quote this morning, I thought "That's what I have been doing the last 6 months here at SP, actually building the framework for a new door which would open on a forever lifestyle of health."
And right now, I'm carving the design in that door. I don't know what the finished design might look like, but I've no need to rush it. Fine craftsmanship takes time.
Are you building the framework for a door that will open on a forever lifestyle?
What does the design on your door look like?
Sunday, February 03, 2013
This journey to health is at best a balancing act, keeping all the plates spinning and in place on the sticks: planning menus, produce shopping, cooking, managing cravings, work, family in sickness and health, time for fitness, the weather, fun, housework, family celebrations, friends, spiritual work, and on and on.
At other times, it feels more like a juggling act, making hospital visits, attending memorials, getting bills paid, pulling together tax information, finding something that still fits to wear to church or the Valentines dance or the pool. Sometimes a plate crashes to the floor, even for the best, seasoned, performer. Like when the bathing suit just hangs on you and you know if you wore it to the pool, you might as well be wearing your birthday suit, and where can you find a new suit the first week in February, except maybe on a cruise ship?
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