CAROLYN0107's SparkPeople Blog CAROLYN0107's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My Knee Bend! Many of you followed my blog when I broke my knee back in 2012. My left knee was broken in March 2012, repaired and then needed a replacement in June 2012. I had what was considered a "catastrophic" injury since my artery in my knee also tore and I needed to have a cardiovascular surgeon take a vein, clean it out, turn it upside down and sew it in to replace the torn artery. <BR> <BR> In December of that year I returned to Africa where I had worked since 1977. Three weeks ago I returned to ... Sun, 21 Dec 2014 05:21:42 EST I Found it AGAIN! On December 6th I wrote that I had found an apartment. This week I learned that the apartment was no longer available. Long story. Anyway, yesterday I went out looking at apartments and I found one again. This time I paid down a deposit and decided not to pick up the key until December 29th, after Christmas. No one can help me move before Christmas anyway. I'm so glad that decision is made. <BR> <BR> Today there is a small amount of snow on the ground. I think not more than an inch. I will b... Thu, 18 Dec 2014 04:36:26 EST I Lost It! It's a long story but I lost the apartment that I was trying to get into so now I'm again out looking for an apartment. Not fun. <BR> <BR> I don't like the snow and ice when I am a "fall risk". I have osteoporosis and with my bad leg, an orthopedic surgeon told me to "never fall". It's dry out today but perhaps some snow will come tonight. I need to go out tomorrow morning. <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. I have a home to stay in until I find my apartment. <BR> 2. My new car is fun to... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 08:28:12 EST I Got It! Yep, I picked up my new to me car on Saturday! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Saturday evening I went to a Christmas drama put on at a church by my cousin who travels around doing one man drama. It was very good. I had never seen him act before. He grew up in MN but lives in IA now. I am in NE. <BR> <BR> Today I plan to stay home, write some Christmas cards, clean my room, etc. I am actually not yet IN my own home but still in the h... Mon, 15 Dec 2014 05:36:48 EST I bought it! The TOPS members were glad to see me after a two year absence. I was pleased that my weight at TOPS was the same as it had been weeks ago at my home in Africa. I had not weighed in and had not paid much attention to what I was eating but now I know that I did not gain weight! I've been attending this same TOPS club every time I'm in the States since 2001. After the TOPS meeting some of us went out to eat. <BR> <BR> After TOPS I went to Nebraska Furniture Mart, the largest Funiture store in ... Thu, 11 Dec 2014 21:06:58 EST Complications! I found out the apartment that I want will take much more time to get the financial paperwork done so I won't be able to move right in. <BR> I called the Dr. nurse to have a prescription sent to one of the pharmacies for me and she sent it to the wrong one. <BR> Otherwise....... <BR> <BR> My computer which was at the Geeks, is back and repaired. It needed a new fan. <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. Omaha is warm this week, in the 40s during the day. It is to get to the 50s this weekend.... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 22:56:52 EST I Found It! I started an online search months ago but I found it this week! Yes, I found a two bedroom apartment to rent. I moved back to the States on Saturday. This time it is a permanent move as I will be officially retiring next summer. I will not be returning to work in Africa. Yesterday I started all the paperwork for living in an apartment complex which is for those who are ages 55+. I do not know when the paperwork process will end and the day I will receive the key but I imagine that it will be ... Sat, 6 Dec 2014 02:53:54 EST I made it! Yes, I made it to Omaha on Saturday. BUT Friday before I flew I checked on my tickets online but they were not there. It took a couple of hours and phone calls before Air France reissued my three tickets from Africa through Paris, to Atlanta and then on to Omaha. My flights went well. <BR> <BR> Since arriving in Omaha I have been busy with our family Thanksgiving meal on Sunday, a church luncheon on Tuesday, looking for an apartment, a car and a phone. I finally did buy a phone yesterday and... Thu, 4 Dec 2014 17:47:47 EST My First Flying Experience! Tuesday I left the hospital where I have worked for over 37 years to return to Omaha, Nebraska for eventual retirement. Friends came to the plane to see me off. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here is a selfie of me sitting in the Co-Pilot's seat. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So why is this my "first flying experience"? We have had a Mission plane for a number of years but I ... Thu, 27 Nov 2014 02:35:14 EST Flying! The Mission plane arrived yesterday afternoon (see yesterday's blog) and so I'm flying at 7am this morning, or rather we're leaving for the airport at 7am. That gives me about an hour. <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. Many friends have helped me get out of my house and packed over the past weeks. I am grateful. <BR> 2. I have had so many farewells with lots of kind words said. Now for the hellos on the other end. <BR> 3. I am ready for this transition to America step. The step to actual retire... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 23:51:14 EST Still waiting for the plane! The small plane that was supposed to come Saturday and then Sunday is still not here and it is early Monday afternoon. It is coming from another country. It is supposed to arrive today so I can fly tomorrow. I have had no confirmation that it had canceled today's flight so I imagine it's on the way. So.... I await confirmation as to if I will fly to the capital city tomorrow, or if I will be riding up with someone. It is a long distance that I had hoped to avoid. <BR> <BR> Today's Positives:... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:49:30 EST ONE MORE DAY! Our mission pilot has a cold so did not return to the Hospital on Saturday. He is supposed to arrive tomorrow, the day I was supposed to have flown out. SO, the plan now is for me to fly to the capital city on Tuesday. That is fine since I am still working on projects. I'm considerably further along than in this photo though... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I moved to a guest house for sleeping and eating about three days ago. My ho... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 16:52:57 EST Jeopardy at Farewell Party (part 2)!! To continue to tell about the Farewell Party give to me by my colleagues, they had a game of Jeopardy where all the categories and information was about me. Categories included: Newbie, Omaha, Graduation, Armed Forces, Uh-Oh, Roads, Churches, etc. I had been asked a lot of questions recently but also someone contacted a former Missionary to ask for more information. She went to my personal blog to get other info. She may have also gone to the internet for all I know. The group was divided int... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 23:54:08 EST SURPRISE Farewell Party (part 1)!!! A colleague told me that the team would have a dinner for me either on November 21 or 22. She told me that she wanted me to come for dinner at her house though on November 15th. I went to dinner on Saturday night and was totally SURPRISED when the whole team greeted me with singing a made up song about me, to to tune of "America the Beautiful". They had hidden their cars, shoes (we take our shoes off at the door), etc so when I went in the front entrance, I had no idea that everyone was in th... Mon, 17 Nov 2014 04:04:56 EST Farewell Tour to Kanda! Last Sunday I went to Kanda Church for the last time. This is the church where I have attended these past two years. At the end of the service they gave me a few presents, one being a lovely woven basket. This type of basket is worn by women when they go to the fields to get food from their gardens. Yes, it is the women who do the farming! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After church a meal was waiting for with the Lay-Pastor, Decon ... Sat, 15 Nov 2014 02:24:50 EST Nearing the end! The Nursing School where I teach has only one class at a time and then admits the next one. The present class will not graduate until March 1st so I will not be present for that. This coming Monday will be my last day teaching (an exam) them but then on Thursday we will have a meal out together at a local African restaurant. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. My house is getting more an more cleared. I'll be mo... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 02:58:38 EST My Retirement Ceremony and Service Award (with photos)! Sunday afternoon November 9th, at 2pm, the Hospital held a retirement celebration in my honor. It was held in the Bongolo Church. At the same time there was an official government service medal ceremony where about 30 of us were honored for 10, 20 or 30 years of service. <BR> <BR> Here was the program (in French of course). <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The Hospital staff and students sang a special song. <BR> <BR> <img src="http:... Mon, 10 Nov 2014 04:35:27 EST Retirement Party Postponed! Today was supposed to be a retirement party for me from the hospital, along with an official medal ceremony from the Government. But.... yesterday at noon the Director heard from the Work Inspector who was going to present the medals that he had had a death in his family and that he could not come until Sunday. SOOOO my party will be tomorrow at 2pm, followed by a medal ceremony. Medals are given to employees who have worked for 10, 20 and 30 years. I never did get my 30 year medal (I've work... Sat, 8 Nov 2014 11:30:06 EST Back from my Elephant Hunt!! DAY 1 <BR> The family "T" (Keir, Joanna, Luke and Sara) and I left our hospital compound around 9am and drove through the mountains to get to Panga. The day was beautiful but the roads were quite muddy and there were roadmen working on the road which will eventually be paved. In Tchibanga we stopped to order and buy some take out pizzas and “coupe coupe” chicken. Our actual driving time between the hospital and Panga was about 5 hours. <BR> <BR> Panga Is a very small village about two kilom... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 08:25:53 EST Traveling for five days! Thursday through sometime on Monday I will be traveling to a cabin on the beach (Atlantic ocean). I'm going with a Dr., his wife and their two children, ages 10 and 12. We'll have a fun time on the beach, playing games, reading, etc. I'll be back home sometime on Monday. MY aim for this trip is to see an elephant!!!! I've lived in Africa for over 37 years and never seen an elephant here. <BR> <BR> While I am away on the trip, I will not have internet. I'll likely be having Internet "withdraw... Tue, 28 Oct 2014 04:47:24 EST Gaining/ Retreat/ Trunk/ Elephants! Yep, I'm gaining weight, and I'm at my highest weight ever today. <BR> I will try to do more exercise this next week as I've not been doing much of any. <BR> <BR> Since Wednesday we've had a Bible Retreat here on the station, with a visiting Bible teaching Pastor and a visiting music Pastor. It was very good. Here I am this morning, in the front, singing. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The two Pastors are taking one of my trunks of... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 15:38:30 EST Packing! We are having a good Prayer Retreat this weekend with good Bible teaching. The retreat will end on Sunday noon. The two Pastors who came to lead the retreat will leave on Monday, taking along one of my suitcases to the States. Then will then UPS it to Omaha for me. <BR> <BR> Just 31 days before I start my trek from Africa... back to the States............... and NO, I do NOT live in a country that has Ebola!!! <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. I almost got the suitcase packed now, includ... Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:13:02 EST The Last Visitor Meal!! This evening I am having visitors over for the last time. Then I will turn my dining room into a permanent garage sale table until I get rid of everything in my house! I have chicken, potatoes and onions in the crock pot. I made a lemon loaf yesterday that will also be for this evening. <BR> <BR> <em>4</em> <BR> <BR> Tomorrow evening starts a Prayer Retreat for us Americans. Two pastors from the States will be here (coming for dinner tonight). Our retreat meetings will be Wed evening, ... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:45:45 EST Who's Counting? Another week has gone by and only yesterday did I changed from counting the number of weeks before I my move from my African Home to me counting the number of DAYS! Yesterday it was 38 days until I move so today it is /was 37 days.. (it's already almost time for bed here)............. but who's counting?? <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. I went to the tailor and picked up two blouses done with African material, and also six over the shoulder bags done with the same material. I also order... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 15:07:32 EST Farewell Tour to Makongonio! Yesterday I said farewell at the Makongonio Church. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. I was able to make some important contacts today to establish dates for continuing my farewell tour. <BR> 2. I took a short walk outside this afternoon. <BR> 3. I'm making progress at getting rid of my STUFF. <BR> <BR> Thanks to everyone for remain... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 14:46:42 EST Update on my Scorpion Sting! Thanks for praying yesterday after I got stung by a scorpion that was lurking in my clothes closet. My finger stung off and on for maybe 4-6 hours and still was sensitive to touch for more hours. This morning though I have no stinging in my finger. Also, my finger never swelled which it could have done. Thanks again. <BR> <BR> <em>304</em> <BR> <BR> Another blog, another day. <BR> Thu, 9 Oct 2014 08:01:29 EST Just STUNG by a SCORPION!!! About 45 minutes ago I got stung by a scorpion that was on an article of clothing in my closet. He stung my left middle finger and yes it stings! I called Dr. Renee who did a house call! Nice to have that possibility here. My blood pressure is good. My pulse too. Redness around the site but no swelling. I have ice on it and took some Tylenol. Please pray that I have no other problems (swelling, pain) from the sting. Thanks. <BR> Below see the dead scorpion, slightly squished!! <BR> <BR> <i... Wed, 8 Oct 2014 07:15:00 EST Funeral + Farewell Trip to Mouyamba! In July twins were born to one of the Surgical Residents, Dr. A and his wife C. Baby Tracy was normal but baby Mercy had a major birth defect. On Friday 2 month, 3 week, 3 day old Mercy passed into the presence of Jesus. Since Mercy's parents are from an Eastern Africa country with no family around here, we who work with them ARE their family. Many from the hospital attended the graveside funeral service and then many spent the night at their home having a WAKE. Today there was a meal at thei... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 15:10:24 EST So how is my "Weightloss" coming? I just wrote a short blog, but it got lost when I tried to post it. <BR> <BR> Essentially, I am not losing weight now. I'm working on other projects. <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. I had the day OFF and did what I wanted, which was essentially nothing. <BR> 2. I did fill on several required online forms today! <BR> 3. I'm making progress at clutter busting my home! <BR> <BR> Now I'll try to send this and hopefully it will work this time. <BR> Sat, 4 Oct 2014 13:37:05 EST Farewell Tour Continues.... with photos! Each Sunday I visit another Church/Chapel to say farewell. I am moving from Africa to America next month, at the end of November. I have lived and worked in Africa since 1977. <BR> <BR> On September 21st I said "Goodbye" to the Yisinga Chapel. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> On September 28th I visited the Bilengui Church. I had never been there before b... Fri, 3 Oct 2014 14:27:07 EST Chicken in the Crock Pot! This morning I worked at updating our hospital website. I am trying to get it updated so I can turn over that responsibility to someone else. I do need to take a few more photos though so I can add them to some pages that had old photos on them. <BR> <BR> My hospital: <link> </link> <BR> <BR> After working on the site I went to town to get diesel in my car and to buy a few groceries. <BR> <BR> While eating lunch I watched a dvd of the movie "God's NOT Dead". It ... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 11:38:58 EST Another Garage Sale! School has kept me very busy, plus now I'm getting ready for another smaller garage sale which will be tomorrow. I had company over for dinner on Wednesday and will have more on Saturday. I keep sorting, throwing, burning, giving and getting rid of my stuff in the house. Some visitors coming in October said that they will take a suitcase of my Stuff back to the US and then mail it to my Mom's home in Omaha, NE. I don't leave Africa until Thanksgiving Weekend the end of November. <BR> <BR> So... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:45:37 EST Farewell Tour! During my more than 37 years in Africa I have worked with many churches and village chapels. I have now started a tour on Sundays moving from village to village saying farewell to those in the churches/chapels. So far I have been to two villages and I have two more "booked". I have others trips yet to arrange. <BR> <BR> Here is Yisinga, where I was last week. I have ministered in this chapel many times over the years. Money from my friends in the States helped pay for the building of the cha... Sat, 20 Sep 2014 07:51:07 EST Update.... Time is FLYING! Teaching Nursing School is going well. I've completed two weeks of the 11 week trimester. I leave the hospital right after exam week so that means I only have 9 weeks left!!! <BR> <BR> I'm slowly sorting, throwing, giving, selling and burning my things, papers, etc. It will get done~!!~ On Friday September 26th I'll have another little garage sale only for the other Missionary personnel this time. I'll also have a pile of freebees for them to take if they want. I already have a list of thin... Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:35:28 EST Falling COWS!!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The title and the photo was just to get you to my blog!! <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. Work went well this morning. I got my course material ready to hand out in my Pediatrics class which starts tomorrow. <BR> 2. I'm getting items packed up to send to the States with a visitor who is leaving at the end of the month, a couple of months before me. <BR> 3. Our cool weather is ... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 12:54:42 EST Weekend Retreat Photos! Friday noon through noon today we had a Spiritual Retreat for the 14 Nursing students and us four professors. A Christian Pediatrician from another city came to be the speaker. It was a great retreat and God Spoke. Here are some photos. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 14:27:02 EST Retreating!! Nope, I'm not retreating from SparkPeople. I'm not giving up! I'm not quitting! <BR> <BR> I'm on a Spiritual Retreat with the Nursing School. All fourteen nursing school students and we four profs are having special meetings this weekend. I'm sleeping in my own home but otherwise I go to where most everyone else is even spending the nights. It's a real retreat. A Christian medical doctor from another city is here to give the messages. I'll post more photos in my next blog but here's one for ... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 02:59:23 EST Eating Way too Much! Well, I must admit. I'm eating way too much and gaining weight. I like to eat. I'm at my heaviest ever. Way too heavy. <BR> <BR> I have a lot of food in my house and always have. Now I'm "trying" to eat it up before I move from Africa back to the States. That's my underlying logic but it is not logical!! <BR> <BR> I am also doing a lot of dinner entertaining for others. Tomorrow I have 19 people coming for lunch!!!! <BR> <BR> Nuf said. <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. Even though th... Thu, 4 Sep 2014 09:00:55 EST Ebola! West Africa is in the midst of the biggest Ebola Epidemic ever. It keeps spreading. It is now in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and yesterday I heard that there was a case in Senegal. A different strain has started up in DRC but that one does not seem to be connected to the same epidemic. Here is a CDC link for more information on Ebola. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I live and work in Gabon, a country on the West coast of Africa but on the equator. I... Sat, 30 Aug 2014 04:17:48 EST Working as a TEAM! I work on a TEAM here in Africa. I'm not on my own. There are doctors, nurses, a pilot, Pastor, maintenance couple and of course the kids. <BR> <BR> Every year at our conference we take a team photo but also take a Funny Photo!! Here we are this year. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. It's been a busy week but today is FRIDAY!! <BR... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:15:35 EST Dr. Albert Schweitzer's Hospital ! While at conference some of us took a tour of the Schweitzer Hospital. It continues to function today but the old buildings are now a museum. I remember studying Albert Schweitzer in grade school but I kept getting him mixed up with David Livingston. Well, since 1977 when I moved to Africa and first got to tour the Schweitzer Hospital, I will not get them mixed up again! <BR> Here are a few photos: <BR> <BR> Dr. Schweitzer's home plus nurses' dining hall(now a museum), piano (no I was not t... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:44:08 EST Blowout! On my way to the conference I just attended my car had a blowout! I was able to control the car ok. I can no longer bend my knee enough to change a tire. Friends started to help to change the tire but those tires are SO heavy so everyone was glad when a man in a passing car stopped and did the actual tire change. We drove about a half hour to a town where I could buy a new tire before we headed on our way. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 00:12:45 EST Passing a MILESTONE! Nope, I did not pass a milestone of losing a certain number of pounds. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I had my 65th Birthday. I finished up at a conference that was held at a hotel about 4-5 hours from where I live. I am home now but the conference was great! I have enough material from my trip to write a few more blogs. For today though I will just say "hi". I'm back off my SparkBreak. <BR> <BR> Here's my Birthday Photo. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> ... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 02:17:44 EST Carolyn's Capers! I send out a periodic prayer letter to my prayer partners. Here is an edited edition of what I sent out today but without photos.... so you can catch up with what is happening with me during my SparkBreak. I'll try to post photos when I get back off break. <BR> <BR> Dear Family and Friends, <BR> Thanks for praying for me these past weeks. All is going well and I know it is because people are praying. <BR> <BR> My big garage sale last Saturday, Aug. 2nd, went well. I wanted to be sure I had ... Fri, 8 Aug 2014 17:04:10 EST I'll be BACK!! I've had visitors for dinner three times this past week. I'm also orienting a new nurse who started working at the hospital and who will be here for two and a half months. <BR> With my major garage sale next weekend and with other projects I'm behind on, I'm taking a SparkBreak for awhile. I'll be back!! <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. My garage sale will be OVER in a week from today!! <BR> 2. We have lots of visitors on the Station who have come to Africa to help us in various ways. <... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 02:13:15 EST A New Surgeon! Our African hospital has had a Surgical Residency program since 1997 but only this month have we had our FIRST National surgeon to graduate from the program. All the others were from other countries who came here for training. Dr. Simplice is from this country and he will stay to help us at the hospital. He will now train other surgeons!! Praise the Lord that we now have a local surgeon instead of only Expats!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 03:02:26 EST Making Progress! Am I making progress on weight loss? Well, no. I did lose a pound this week but it's one of those that just keeps coming back and going away. I do plan for losing more weight this week though. <BR> <BR> So where is my progress being made? In getting ready for my August 2nd garage sale. It will actually not be held in the garage but in my house, in two rooms. I had a teenager here today to help me. He brought down two heavy objects from the attic and helped me arrange one of the rooms. I also... Thu, 17 Jul 2014 14:09:25 EST Making Cucumber Pickles! Cucumbers grow here this time of year and I bought a lot of them the other day. Today I'm making cucumber pickles. They stay for weeks in the fridge. I love to eat them on my plate as a salad or else in a sandwich for something crunchy. <BR> <BR> Here is a link to my recipe. I see that SparkRecipes added a photo to it: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=354917 </link> <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. Cucumbers are in season. <BR> 2. I am enjoying ... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 09:26:50 EST BBQ and Graduation! Here is another July 4th BBQ photo. I'm in the back in the red top. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Two of our Surgical Resident Doctors became Surgeons yesterday. At 11am, after the morning church service, we went right into a formal Graduation service. Then there was a large meal for those who were "invited" including Government officials, Pastors in all the churches in town, all of us Americans and all of the Hospital staff. <BR> ... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 10:01:44 EST July 4th and BEYOND! Yesterday we celebrated American Independence Day at 4pm with a BBQ on the Tiki Porch. Here are a few photos. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm having a hard time uploading photos... so I'll send more another day. <BR> <BR> Right now I weigh more than I have ever weighed before. I'm not making progress. I MUST! <BR> <BR> Today's Positives: <BR> 1. We had a good July 4th BBQ yesterday with 23 present. <BR> 2. I walked outside today.... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 10:14:46 EST