Saturday, April 4, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Everyone was also amazed at my photos. The AILC Organization wants to redo their brochures, their video, and their visual aids for public speaking, using my photos. WOW! I am a little shocked, somewhat honored, yet a bit protective about my photos. The founders, Shosho and Sana, just keep saying, "Oh my what an eye you have for photography!" Sana, also laughed and commented, I remember you lugging all that camera equipment everyday, but now I am so glad you did.
It was nice to see everyone last night. Shosho hugged me and commented, "You clean up pretty nice." I took that as a compliment, and thought to myself, boy I must have looked a sight in Africa! I guess we were all pretty "plain" in Africa and seeing each other all day and most of the night just "plain" it is quite a shock to see each other when we get back to America all dressed up, hair neatly done, make-up on and smelling so nice!
One team member from our expedition said to me at our Picture Party; "I hardly could tell that is you Lauri, without your ball cap and your camera fanny pack!" That's pretty bad that we feel we have to do so much with our hair and faces here at home. Yet, while in Africa we had so much love and appreciation for one another and yet, we were just plain ole plain.
It's kind of sad that we judge others worth and status in society by their outward appearance, their make-up, expensive clothes and a stylish hair do. When what we should judge is the genuine person on the inside, along with the passion, and compassion they exhibit each and everyday!
Monday, March 9, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
The young boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…”I made a difference for that one.”
I can't tell you how good it was to see you in my inbox! I must admit it was a bit difficult dropping you off at the Kenyatta airport and watching you all getting all you luggage checked in.
You are an amazing woman Lauri! Over and over again I marveled at the beautiful, adventurous, strong woman that you are and how blessed we are as an organization to have a part of you with us. This LIFE CHANGING experience will never end and neither will the lasting friendship that we have kindled over the past few weeks.
Sana and I re-entered the world of abundance with excitement on our wings to round up our little flock and get all our pictures together but especially to get all our hearts connected back together again.
Thank you Lauri for being a part of us and for all you did while you were in Africa. I remember walking down the hall of the hotel in Nakuru with my arm around you and feeling of your strong character and emotional stability. I felt so thankful to know you and for the privilege to walk beside you for a moment in Africa serving those beautiful people.
Hope all is well with your family. I loved meeting all of them. Can't wait to see you.
Call me if you get a free minute. I miss you!!
Living the work;
Africa Is Life Changing
What a woman of courage and adventure. I don’t think I know of another person that could pack more into three weeks than you did. I can only imagine as you lay your head down on your soft pillow here in America the memories that flood your heart.
Thanks for your email and your Welcome Home it meant the world to me. We know the hard transition it is to return and fit back into the routines that call us each day. I find that family helps in this re-entry. I went with my daughter on Friday to a Kid’s Fest at the Sandy Expo Center and my mind was spinning as I walked past all the safety and awareness programs that they were teaching the children. Even the practical demonstration on buckling up when they are in a car caused me to stop and think of the children I had just left behind in Africa that walk everywhere they go. My daughter looked over at me and said this must be hard, and I said it gives me a deep appreciation for what my granddaughter has and a commitment deeply within my heart for the lost child in Africa.
Thank you for your steadiness in your service each and every day. It was your skills in medical that helps us through the trying experience of the young child. Mike talked often with me about how you went into such a discipline life saving mode that day. Your years of training no doubt came together when you carried that baby through the field to the clinic.
Love your heart so,
Monday, February 23, 2009
Coming in to Salt Lake, I remember seeing the Wasatch Mountains and thinking, "I am home." I was so excited to see my family, that I, wearing my T-shirt that says " I Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro" ran to the waiting area waving my flag. They were a blessed sight. Buck and TJ had grins from ear to ear, Mom was crying with joy. Brykn, came running and jumped in my arms, saying "you home from Asrica!" Tiff, was so glad to see me and whispered in my ear, I Love You Mom!" What a welcome home.....it doesn't get any better than that!!!
Yesterday, was my first shift back at MV-ER, it was so nice to be back with those co-workers who I care so much about. Everyone wanted to hear all about my adventure. It was funny as everyone had been following my blog daily. Kathy Sparrow, called me on the phone just to say, you're truly a woman. I and so many admire for your bravery to follow your dreams, your willingness to learn phone technology just to keep us all in the loop, and to do it all with some very unordinary health issues. I love that I have so many friends in many different areas of MVH, and to hear Kathy's compliments was very touching. Dr. Egbert gave me a high five and said, " Great Job, but what will we do now for daily entertainment?" It was so fun to pull up the blog and see what you were doing each day! Though I have yet seen all my friends in the ER I will this week, I can't wait to share my life changing journey with each of them.
Now that I am back I have chosen to transfer all my journal notes and many photos into my blog. However, I will be putting them in chronological order, so if you choose to read all about "My Life Changing Journey," you can do so by starting on January 27, 2009 with the Party, Party entry.
Thank you to all who prayed for me, text & e-mailed me and those who followed my journey through my blog. I love ya all. A special thanks to my best friend, my daughter, Tiffany who made sure my blog was updated daily and put all the photos on the blog. Love ya Tiff. I am so thankful for such a great family and the best friends and co-workers ever.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Before going to Africa, I had met two of the fifteen team members. Emily and Ashley were part of the group who climbed Kings Peak last summer.
The other twelve I had never met until we got together to pack our humanitarian supplies. It was at that time that I met a stranger by the name of Marilyn Stewart. She was a nurse mid-wife and a case manager for the LDS Church.
There were so many differences between us. She has two masters degrees, I most definitely don't. She is LDS, I am not. She is sixty-five years old, I am fifty-five. She has six children, I have two. She is divorced, I am married. She had been to Africa before; I had not even really been out of the country. However, the first night in Kenya at the gross hotel, Shosho paired team members up. Marilyn and I became roommates from then on. As we sat on our beds we talked and giggled like a couple of young school girls. Marilyn told me all about her family, her job and why she wanted to return to Africa. I in return did the same. We both seemed to have so many differences, but yet so many similarities.
It was in the hotel in Nakuru, that we really became close, as there was one room for two people not a big deal, but there was also only one FULL sized bed for two people. It was a good thing we were both so tired that we were both glad to sleep closely on that full sized bed.
I will always have so many fond memories of the days and nights I spent with Marilyn in Africa. I got such a kick out of the faces she would pull at the thought of eating another PB&J sandwich. I cringed at the sound of her gasping when she was taking a cold and I mean cold shower. After being a mid-wife for forty years, she ran around naked a lot. She said she had seen enough women's parts, that it didn't bother her. ( I suppose she didn't think it bothered me either, after all if you have seen on butt, you've seen them all!) I will never forget her trying to ban-aid the window in the hotel shut so the mosquitoes didn't come in. There she stood on the bed in her garments with twenty ban-aids on the window. Needless to say it didn't work. So together we "Jimmy Rigged" it shut with my camera electrical cord.
Though Marilyn and I started out as strangers, ended up being roommates, and it two weeks, in a third world country we became really good friends.
From Mom: This afternoon we went back to St. Catherine's School to finish up some of the projects that we started a week ago. We also did age appropriate HIV teaching, which is so prevalent in Africa. After the teaching, I was able to show all the children under 12 Brykn's picture and tell them how much I love him. I then gave the kids the books that he helped me pick out, of course, they had horses on them. I got to explain how Brykn has his own horse and wears his boots, and cowboy hat. They giggled and loved his picture and the books. I miss you all and yes, I am excited to get home. Love ya!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Every woman, and I suppose and a few men, in America hate doing the laundry. However, we Americans have it made with our multi setting Maytag, washers and dryers. In Africa a Maytag washer consists of a tub of cold water and foot power, your own foot power. As far as those multiple setting you can choose from, well it just depends on your own leg power and how tired you are. Then there is the rinse and spin cycle, it also depends just how many times you want to rinse and wring and rinse and wring out your laundry. As for that matching Maytag dryer with several settings, there is none. You have to hang it on a makeshift clothes line out in the dust or "Jimmy Rig" a line from bed post to bed post in your room. Then one hopes it will dry within two days. I shared a room with six others from the team, and we always had underwear, socks, bras and "TG's" (temple garments as they call them) hanging everywhere.
I wondered how Africans would drive here, and what they would think of our system. Obviously they'd be confused as the steering is on the right side of the car and they drive on the wrong side of the road. One thing is for sure they couldn't drive or act they way they do in Africa or they'd be sitting in the slammer!
While in Molo, we seen no tragic things. However, just two days before we came there had been a tractor-trailer carrying gasoline rollover, spilling gasoline all over. Hundreds of Africans ran trying to get free gas, when one of them lite a cigarette causing a massive explosion. The explosion killed several hundred, and burned countless others. The fire was so hot they had a mass grave for over two hundred fifty people, who were essentially cremated. We wondered if we would see any mild burns, or those who might have inhaled fumes, but we did not.
The day in Molo was very pleasant and we were finished by about three in the afternoon. We then had time to place a few games with the village children. These kids had never played Tag, London Bridges, Baseball, or jumped rope. Some of the kids got the hang of the games and some preferred to sit on the side lines and watch.
Friday, February 13, 2009
From Mom: On our way to Molo, Kenya today we went through the downtown area. When the locals see a bus, they come running to sell the tourists anything they can, hats, blankets, jewelery, and such. They sell it right through the windows and they are persistent. They start prices high and then everyone jews them down. One of the sellers, commented to me "I am falling like a monkey from a tree!" He didn't know he had just met the one of the Queens of Bargain Shopping, a family trait we are proud of. It really is bargain hunting at its best!
THE LONG DROP
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
From Mom: Wow what a day. When it was all said and done, we saw 500+ people in the medical clinic and another 60 in the dental clinic. The people were lined up as we pulled in. Lots of coughs, malaria, typhoid, and goiters. The village we went to today was in the mountains of Nakuru. We will be going back there again tomorrow. We are staying in a dive hotel in Nakuru, we have to bunk with a partner in a full bed! Yes, today was hectic, but no more crazy than a bad day at Mountain View ER since we are so limited on what we can do. It is hard, as I think of possible diagnosis and what really needs to be done. For all of you at Mountain View, Jill, Val Richards ex has joined us on this trip. I am getting very tired of African food and as soon as I get to the States, I am getting a huge cheeseburger and fries with a 44 oz. Diet Pepsi. Miss you all, but having a great time.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
2/10/09 From Mom: I spent the day with women quilting and painting toenails and fingernails. They loved it! The are just a group of women laughing, gossiping and bragging about their kids. I took a photo of Brykn and showed them all. They smiled and said, "Oh, so cute!" Also did half day of medical screening. Its so hard for us as I wonder if we are just putting a band-aid on a big problem. But, I also think if we make them feel better for a day or so, I suppose we have made a difference. We are going to Molo, a city 2 hours away. We are expecting to see 600-700 people each day for the next three days. I miss you all and I miss my bath tub. Love ya.
From Tiffany: I bet today was a lot of fun. Had they ever seen fingernail polish?
From Mom: All is great. We are on our way to Molo. No, they had not seen fingernail polish before. It was fun to see their faces, their reaction was that it was smart and beautiful. It brought smiles to their faces. Funny how all women like pampering and how we all like to look pretty. It was a wonderful day.
Monday, February 9, 2009
From Mom: It's day 14, and I am doing good. A bit tired, but good. The food here has got my stomach upset a bit and I think I have lost a pound or two. YES!
This is my sewing, crocheting group for the day.
This is Ester, the woman who is so determined to make sure her children get an education. She is in the AILC video. Love you.
From Mom: Well, today was a great day. I got to work with the women of several villages. We crocheted bags from plastic bags. Don't worry, they are new bags we brought. It's a pretty cool idea. The women then sell the bags so they can pay for their children's education. Elizabeth has been coming to St. Catherine's school for the past four years. She speaks very good English and has fifteen children, six of them attend St Catherine's. All the women had many questions about America and Obama, and hey were also interested about my family and my grandson. Okay, I had to boast about my Lil' Buddy. I will take photos of him tomorrow.
From Kristina: Sounds like there is so much to be done there. What a great woman you are to go and help these people! Stay safe, can't wait to hear all your stories. Love, Kris.
From Tiffany: Way to go, Mom! Look at what a wonderful impact you are having on the world!
From Mom: Well, it's Saturday and I've gone about 10 days. Today we all got our first look at St. Catherine's School, the school AILC built and supports. Each child must pay to attend, wear a uniform, and go 6 days a week. I have decided that American children have everything and value nothing. However, the children here in Africa have nothing and value everything! Today I and 2 others helped a mason finish a wall in a new classroom. Oh boy, it was almost like going back 50-75 years--they are so far behind the USA. The kids are so cute and not as poor. I will try to call tomorrow. Love you.