I awakened early this morning to my African alarm clock (our rooster). After several days of intermittent heavy rain, and little electricity, it's a glorious, sunny, cloud-free day.
I went to our front porch to see if Mt. Kilimanjaro was visible and Her Majesty, as we call her, was "open" (showing) in all her snow-peaked glory!
In America, I always seem to get caught up in the daily rush, rush, rush. In Africa, however, no one and nothing is EVER in a hurry. Things somehow get done at a leisurely pace, and I'm sure there's little incidence of high blood pressure.
Gratefully, my arthritis is behaving itself. Realistically, because the roads and walkways are heavily rutted with rocks and tree roots appearing everywhere, I have learned that my cane is a necessity. Walking is the major source of transportation here, but I must rely on my favorite taxi drivers to go almost anywhere. I'm now starting week 3 of my Royal Jelly capsules which were suggested for me. A ginseng and later an aloe drink will also be added to my regimen. At this point, I'm unsure these things are helping, but I have noticed that my challenges haven't increased, so I will be working with a natural healer soon as well as an RN who is a Wellness Specialist during this entire time. (A bonus: my face is the softest and clearest it's been forever!)
Many of our readers are aware of my arthritis challenges. I've had eight ortho surgeries below the waist (so far). I returned to my work in Africa, after my orthopedist informed me that I now need both knees replaced! I was given weekly Synvisc injections in both knees prior to coming back for a few months. My doctor admitted that he was unsure how long the injections would last, so he also sent me to Tanzania with a FILLED prescription of pain medication (any form of effective medications are extremely hard to get in this area!). By the way, I returned to my work here with the full blessings from my surgeon who volunteers his services one month a year surgically replacing knees in Third World countries, so he fully understand my passion for my work in Tanzania!
I'd forgotten how horrible the paths and roads are here. If it has rained, even the taxis struggle because the "roads" become slick, treacherous messes (one of the reasons why everyone takes off their flip-flops/sandals outside and slips into a different pair inside!
It never ceases to amaze me, the attitude most Africans have about chokula (dinner). We NEVER know how many people will show up to eat-it's varied at my house from 2 to 10-and then if someone drops by at any time, they are always given a plate of food. We waste nothing, and the scraps go to our chickens. Of course most of our food is grown in the back "yard' including all of our vegetables, and most of our fruits. I LOVE my life here -- the people and my work. It isn't THAT hard to learn to use taxis and to "schedule" my life around our infrequent electricity. I am also learning a great deal about me -- the hardest thing I've experienced (so far) in all of my trips to Africa: I stopped by a tiny place for a rare soda the other day. I saw two guys come in with a friend, an obvious AIDS patient who was blind. The incredible gentle love as they cared for him, tried to get him to eat, took him to the toilet, and finally left. Incredible but heartbreaking. I felt like I was watching someone die. I left in tears and caught a taxi.
Life goes on in East Africa-------------
Published On: November 13, 2009