Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Mother's Blessing

Needless to say Mom, is not really thrilled about me going to Africa. From the day I was chosen as a team member for the upcoming January-February expedition she has tried to be enthusiastic, but she is extremely nervous about me traveling to a foreign country. Mom is also not happy about my decision to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or to go on a photography safari. I'm not really sure if she is worried about me, or herself and not having me close by for a month. I have tried to ease her fears, by getting myself in good shape, learn the culture and a little of the language, but she is a nervous wreck about the whole idea. However, I know I will go with her blessings for a rewarding, safe trip.

Little does she know Mom, has been an amazing teacher and I admire her so much. Mom has been the rock of our family for so many years and has taught all of us right from wrong, kindness, compassionate, and to give to those less fortunate than ourselves. So without a doubt when I go to serve the women and children of Kenya, a big part of Mom will go with me. All I can say it thanks Mom for all you have done for me and your unconditional love. As a Mother, myself I have some pretty big shoes to fill. I love you, Mom!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Life is like a grinding stone. Whether it grinds you down or
polishes you up, simply depends on what you're made of...
The curves life throws can sometimes be disheartening not once, but twice. It seems the 2002 pulmonary problems I had are weighing heavy on my decision as whether to climb or attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I recently chose to get Dr. Alward, my pulmonaligist's opinion on climbing THE mountain. After reviewing my medical records his initial opinion was he wondered is it was a good idea, stating it could be the life or death decision. However, I will undergo a CT scan, chest x-ray, and pulmonary function tests to confirm or disclaim his opinion. After nine months of mental and physical training, the big question is; will my quest to try reach the Roof of Africa all come down to the dark days of February 2002, and the damage done? I have also chosen not to let my Heptaligist know I am going to Africa, as he too I am sure will not think it is a good idea. In other words, I have to go with my gut feeling about whether this trip is good for me.
I have my trip almost half paid for and I am reaching my personal goal of collecting 100 each of crochet hooks, reading glasses, packages of colored pencils, crayons, notebooks, pens, pencils, yarn and rag dolls. My excitement continues to grow for the lives I will touch, and the lives that will not doubt touch mine.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Africa here I come! I recently received a letter of information concerning my upcoming expedition, a letter to give me a heads up of my role. Many folks know I am a "planner" and I like all my ducks in a role, as one of my biggest pet-peeves is being unorganized. The letter gave me a list of items and supplies I could work on now, of which I am grateful for. Though the timing will probably be better the last of January through the first of February, is also right after Christmas.
So all in one I am trying to take care of Mom, work as much as I can to pay for my trip, pay for supplies to take and buy and make Christmas gifts. So days all I can think is what would I do if I had nothing to do. Maybe have a nap would a dandy idea, but I have little time to waste.
On my list is school supplies, yarn, fabric, glasses, kids books, rag dolls, and several other things. It also ask if I had something specific I would like to take or teach. Though I haven't come up with to many ideas, I would like to possibly put together some "Compassion Kits" for those women who have AIDS. These woman have been shunned from society and have very little if not nothing. I have thought about how we women all like to smell nice, look nice, and feel nice. I thought a kit with nail polish, lotion, perfume, face cream, etc would be nice. So with that in mind along with several other things I will donate, I will try to donate kits to make so woman I don't know feel better about herself, if only for a little while.
I continue to train to climb the mountain, also I see the Pulmonaligist on September 8th, to get his advice about this crazy idea at my age, and with my past medical history. I've tried to think about what I will do if he says it could be a life threatening idea, possibly climb as high as I can and applaud my efforts, for at least I tried. I have always told Tiff & TJ, finish what you start, and just do the best you can. After all that is all you or anyone else can ask of you or you can ask of yourself.