- Women’s Health
- Healthy Living
- Health Conditions
- Nurse Barb
Six Safari Secrets: What You Need to Know Before Planning Your Trip
I just returned from an extended stay in Tanzania, where I was working in remote hospital in Karatu, within minutes of the Ngorogoro Crater. While there, I had the chance to go on a few safaris. Prior to my trip, I envisioned a safari as a long camping trip, something similar to what Meryl Streep and Robert Redford experienced in the film Out of Africa. I learned a lot that I can share with you here.
#1 A safari can be a few hours or a few months, or anything in between.
Turns out the word safari means an expedition or journey to observe animals and can encompass anything from a few hours to multiple days to several months of travel. Well, ok, then. Now, I know that the lovely morning in Ngorogoro crater was a real, bona fide safari. Here’s one of the lions we saw that day. (more…)
I’m back at FAME after a lovely safari weekend at Tarangire National Park, known as the park of elephants and Baobab trees. There has been more rain than usual for this time of year; maybe it is an El Niño effect, who can say, and in any case the grass is lush and green and there’s water.
On the road to Safari, what I saw was herds of cows and goats being led to whatever water had collected into impromptu mini-lakes and ponds along ditches on the side of the road, and then after the animals were cared for, the women and older children were washing clothes, giving the babies their baths and finally filling large buckets for their cooking and drinking water. It’s all the same water. No filters that I could see, and hopefully a fire to boil it at home.
There is so much here that is different, and yet so much is the same. Most of the people who come to the hospital, and many of the staff do not have running water. A daily hot shower that I take for granted is as rare as the likelihood of me seeing the white giraffe. (more…)
On my 2nd day, here at FAME, I saw something, extraordinary. I was privileged to be at the right place at the right time and witnessed a jaw dropping display of talent and knowledge in a most unexpected place. Pauline Diaz, the volunteer coordinator was giving me a tour and suggested that we bring the new donated baby hats from the US and the brand new Tanita baby scale to the maternity ward. Sure! Why not?
Here in Africa, many people come to see the Big 5 animals on safari. Yes, I know there are birders out there and plenty of people who love the cheetahs, warthogs, jackals, hyenas, antelopes, giraffes and zebras. Thousands of dollars are spent, and thousands of miles traveled to catch a glimpse, or perhaps get close enough to see the elephant, cape buffalo, lion, rhino, leopard, all of whom belong to the exclusive group of the Big 5.
However on that 2nd day at FAME, within seconds of arriving in the maternity ward and setting up the new baby scale, what I saw was Mama Evelyn, a 62 year-old experienced midwife, who delivered a baby, kept traction on the cord, and then resuscitated the new infant.
Disclosure: Guest Post by Rachael Gerkensmeyer
By taking the time to pre-plan and stock your fridge with healthy items for the ahead, you will likely find it’s much easier to adhere to a healthy lifestyle without feeling hungry and deprived throughout any given day. Modernize recommends stocking your fridge with the following 10 items to help ensure a full belly and a healthy body:
Consuming nuts on a regular basis provides protection from Alzheimer’s disease and helps to improve cognitive function. Nuts such as macadamias, pecans, and pistachios may even reduce the risk of developing heart disease and some cancers. Add them to salads or eat them by the handful! (Unless of course, if you’re allergic, then you know to stay away.)
Whole grains, like rolled oats, offer a myriad of health benefits to take advantage of such as optimal weight control, blood sugar regulation, and a big dose of essential minerals. Toasted oats will help regulate your blood pressure levels and help you feel full throughout the day too.
Fresh Herbs (more…)
I’m sitting on Dr Joyce Cuff’s porch on the grounds of FAME Africa’s hospital and clinic, looking out over a verdant green valley planted with beans and coffee. Across the valley, the dense bush marks the southeastern slope of the Ngorogoro conservation area, with a coffee plantation and Gibbs Farm to the right.
Dr. Joyce, my housemate here, is a long term volunteer who oversees a laboratory amazing capabilities given the remote location. She casually mentioned a close encounter with a few cape buffalo a few weeks back while hiking in the conservation area.
This story and the hyena calls I’ve heard every night, remind me of Peter Allison’s book, Whatever You Do, Don’t Run and that I’m unlikely to outrun anything here in Africa, except maybe any hiking partner crazy enough to venture out with me.
I’m listening to a symphony of bird songs, calls and the buzzing of bees, with the occasional lowing of cows, far in the distance. I can’t hear the butterflies, but they are in abundance.
There are no sounds of man, none! No nearby freeway or whirring from a fan or air conditioner, nothing but warbles, tweets and chirps. It’s funny, hmmm, how “tweet” has such a different meaning halfway across the world.
Did you read our 1st blog, Real, Sustained Weight Loss After the Holidays?
If you’ve found your motivation and you’re ready for more weight loss tips, here they are:
Are you like millions of Americans who are finding that their clothes are a little tighter, harder to zip up and that you’re avoiding getting on the scale? Truth is, I’m in the same boat and was cringing when a friend posted some photos on social media. OMG, where did that added roll come from?!
Look, I can resist a lot of things, but not the homemade cookies, which is why I’m hitting the gym and getting back into my healthier routines. I’m all about being optimistic and using motivation, so instead of beating myself up, I’m starting by repeating some positive affirmations that I have adapted after repeating many that I read from Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life.
At first, repeating affirmations may seem a little odd, but after a while as you practice saying them, your brain catches on and helps reinforce your healthy behaviors. Here’s 2 to get you started.
“I like making healthy, nutritious choices when it comes to my meals.”
“I enjoy working out; It gets my heart pumping and boosts my energy for the whole day.”
Next, Find your own motivation.
Ask yourself what motivates you to be healthier or lose weight. Better yet, write it down. Don’t edit yourself and do be honest, because it works better that way, even if it’s something superficial and vain, like: I want to look better for my class reunion
Why is this important?
What is a Pap Smear?
When a woman has a Pap smear, a very small amount of cells are collected from her cervix. This is usually painless and takes less than a minute. The cells are then evaluated for any changes that could indicate a pre-cancerous or cancerous condition. The cells can also be checked to see if they’ve been infected with HPV, Human Papilloma Virus, which can lead to cervical cancer.
How often should a women have a Pap Smear?
These are the Guidelines from the American Cancer Society
Are you trying to find a sterile compound pharmacy for all your medical needs? Then click on the following to know more here.
Disclosure: I am working with Hologic, the providers of Thin Prep Pap smears and the Aptima HPV assay.
HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus, which has over 100 different subtypes. HPV is spread from skin to skin contact. Some types of HPV can cause warts on the skin, others can infect other parts of the body.
While the vast majority of HPV does not cause serious risks, there are a few high-risk subtypes that can infect a woman’s cervix from intimate contact with a partner. Though most of these high-risk HPV infections are cleared by the body within a few years and don’t become cancerous, about 10% of these can lead to pre-cancerous cellular changes in the cervix and if left untreated or unrecognized could progress to cervical cancer.
How common is HPV?
This is the question my friend Therese McKenna asked me a few months ago when we were talking about sustainable health care in developing countries. That is the opportunity to support medical and nursing colleagues around the globe by exchanging expertise.
Thus began a journey of learning about an amazing hospital and clinic, FAME, in Karatu, Tanzania, where local Tanzanian doctors, nurses and health care workers are saving lives, delivering babies and caring for people who often walk for days to obtain care.
Started by Dr. Frank Artress and his wife Susan Gustafson in 2002, FAME provides care to people living in area where previously there had only been 3 doctors for over 240,000 people.
This video by Hannah Bowman explains their mission far better than I can:
Click on the image to view the video:
I’ve been invited to volunteer and learn from the staff at the FAME clinic and hospital in January. I like their philosophy, they’re a non-demonational hospital and clinic where the emphasis is respecting the expertise of the local Tanzanian physicians, nurses and health care workers and helping when asked.
It’s an incredible honor, and right now, I’m busy studying up on various tropical infections, treating HIV in pregnancy, prevention of transmission to newborns, while also trying to learn some Swahili Habari = Hello!
I’ll be posting photos and videos whenever the internet in Karatu is willing and able. I hope you’ll follow me on this journey and if you’re as inspired as I am, I hope you’ll consider making a tax deductible donation to FAMEAfrica.org
I’ll also be collecting donations here in Silicon Valley, so that I can purchase needed medical supplies, such as IV tubing, Oxygen tubing, waterproof pads, syringes, glucose test strips and many other items. Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to make a direct donation.
Thank you very much