Back to Africa: An Attitude of Gratitude Despite Osteoarthritis Challenges
In about one week, I will again be returning to my adopted home in Tanzania where I’ve been doing volunteer teaching for several years. I returned from there many months ago with a broken leg (suffered when I slipped on a wet floor that had just been scrubbed), as well as horrendous pain from my osteoarthritis in my lower back. I honestly went through a rough time emotionally because I felt I’d never be able to return to the country, the people, and the work I deeply love.
With God’s help, and the support of many friends in the medical community, I’ve been able to discover a clinic at one of our local hospitals which deals in non-traditional medicine, and has made an incredibly positive difference in my life. Many of my friends who know me well can’t believe the difference this has made in just a few short months, Yes, I still have OA (and of course nine artificial joints). Oh, and I STILL have rheumatoid arthritis. But I’m now able to pick up my life again and keep going. The exercises, joint manipulation, nerve stimulation and much more have lowered my pain level and helped me rejoin the world. For my close friends who have been with me through this struggle - they truly are amazed (and I honestly had just about given up)! I felt I was no longer able to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
I am totally thrilled and very humbled with the outpouring of donations from my friends and readers, who not only believe in me, but also believe in what I do! I will be returning to Tanzania to teach English to the women from the Bush who have had no education due to poverty. They need the help in order to communicate on a basic level with tourists so that they can sell their crafts, and not be taken advantage of. I will also be teaching my “Mamas” the arthritis exercises that have helped me so much. Yes, they have those problems, but, due to poverty, can’t afford the medications, and the doctors simply aren’t available.
So YES, I DO have an ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE! I’m incredibly grateful for the readers and friends who believe in me, have given me donations, and more importantly their love and emotional support. This has become, more than ever a WATCH ME!
I have these challenges, but they won’t have me!
Mama P (my Swahili name). They also call me Mama Tumaini, which means Mama Hope - and yes, I’m so grateful.