Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bang! She Got Me

I've been shot.. sort of. Yesterday morning I timidly drove behind my mums Jeep to the Regional office where we were to be vaccinated. I knew the day was coming when I would have to allow someone to prick me over and over with needles that were suppose to protect me from all the scary little germs out there. Let me start by saying I am NOT afraid of needles. Not to say I like them but I not going to cry (hopefully) or pass out (once or twice doesn't count). No, I'm going to go in there, sit down, and take it.

I followed as my mum lead me to the traveling clinic in the building. I'm told to sit down and wait... waiting just causes me to think.. and when I think, I get nervous. I start to fidget, my tongue starts to itch and I begin to think this wasn't such a good idea. I can handle the long plane ride, the hot weather, the work that awaits me in Africa, but the needles at home - I've been dreading! I'm used to getting needles. For my wasp allergy I get little needles once a month to build up an immunity. I've tried acupuncture a few times but that tends to result in me fainting. Going into these vaccinations I had nothing but images of massive needles and pain in my head.

We hear our names being called and my eyes go wide. Oh crap, I can't run. Greeting us is a smiling, full-of-energy woman named Beatrix. "Hi! How are you all doing this morning? I see you're going to Kenya! Amazing! I'm going to get you set with everything you need to know - it's going to be wonderful." Pfft. Wonderful. Ya right, sounds like a real joy.

We sit down in her office, a pretty bland room if you ask me, but she continues to smile. How can anyone be smiling so big? Your office is plain, your job can't be that much fun... unless you like causing pain.. then I  worry :|

She clearly sees my skeptical face because she turns to me and says, "Are you afraid of needles?"

"Umm, no not really" I reply. I guess I just have a pretty serious image in my mind of how this is going to go.

"Oh don't you worry for a single second! I'm great at my job and I LOVE my job! I know it sounds funny but wouldn't you rather someone giving you these needles who loves their job? And I'm great, I truly am. Not to brag but I'm the best. Sit back and relax. This will be EASY!"

To be continued ...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Some Kind of Wonderful

I got mail! And it had the best kind of news. It was a notification from Free the Children that someone had donated to our Milestones for Education 100 School Challenge. That someone is my spirited, fellow Canadian blogger friend Angela from over In My Element. She is a primary school teacher and she has been supportive from the very beginning and today's donation I believe is courtesy of her students.

New found friends from bloggerland have donated over $400 to help raise enough for a new school in Kenya. People I have never met, but with whom I have a kinship. Generous, giving people.

I am humbled by the support we are receiving for this cause, and I am hoping to close the gap even more with the charity garage sale we are having in a few weeks. We are almost half way there - 48% of the goal. Thank you to everyone who has contributed. You know who you are and I am eternally grateful. You are all some kind of wonderful!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shot in the Arm

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.  - Lao Tzu
After years and months of anticipation, this trip is now racing towards us at breakneck speed. How is that possible? So much to do, but one more important piece is almost out of the way. Darcy and I are scheduled May 18th for our inoculations at our regional travel clinic. They charge us $65 just to walk into the clinic, and then the shots will be additional.

Travel is expensive  business, but I can honestly say that after a lifetime of committing a good portion of our discretionary spending to travel, I have never regretted a cent. Things wear out, but experiences and memories are forever - except for when I am having one of those days in which my memory goes MIA.

Guess we can look forward to a good shot in the arm!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Matriarchal Mutterings

As long as I can remember, I have had a penchant for elephants. I love the fact that they are family oriented and matriarchal. And aside from the fact that I feel like a "cow" some days or that I get my trunk tangled in my offsprings' business more than I should, I think maybe that I relate to the lives of elephants. We have alot in common.

An elephant family is led by a matriarch, the oldest and most experienced of the herd. Not that I want to flaunt my seniority, but that would be me! The matriarchal society consists of her female offspring and their young. Sounds similiar to me and my girls with the only exception that I have a gentle "bull" in our midst.  In some cases the family may include one of the matriarch's sisters and her offspring as well. My sister and her kids lived down the street for years. It is this close contact and relationship that allows the rest of the elephants to acquire the knowledge they need to thrive.  

So In Africa if I can only see one animal in its natural habitat, I hope it will be an elephant -- and even better -- a mama elephant and her babes. So Darcy and I are making like elephants this summer; staying close and learning what we need to know to survive and thrive.