Tag Archives: Health

and the winner is……kosher (ummm, not so much)!


I had originally wrote this post back in April of this year, when swine flu peeked its nasty head into the world.  Well, 7 months later, and I’m singing a new tune.  I guess I wrote a little hastely about the outbreak (now called H1N1), cuz here’s the thing:

I GOT IT 😦 (and its spreading through Israel, like the States too)

Yep.  I got hit by the little pig-snorting flu, and let me just say its not fun at all! Those pigs know how to take vengence on the human race.  I’m spending lots of time in bed, drinking lots of OJ and cough syrup, and feeling pretty miserable.

This isn’t over PIG!  I will survive you’re evil plan…..

(Here’s the original post:)

This is one good thing about living in Israel ……. I don’t think we will be seeing any of those Swine Flu Outbreaks over here.

(Finally, a good reason to eat kosher)


…and that baby pig is way too cute to eat….doesn’t anyone remember the movie, Babe?

Update:  Oh no!  It looks like we have a case.  Someone came back from Mexico, but luckily he’s been detained and treated….whew!  We won’t stand for any type of flu that is NOT kosher!!! 🙂

Update #2: 2nd case in Kfar Saba has been confirmed.  Another man returning from Mexico, expected to make a full-recovery.  Why r Israeli’s going to Mexico???????


Mediterranean Monday: Israeli Salad

It’s back! I haven’t done a Med. Monday in quite some time and I’ve been missing it. As a special come-back post, I made a short video of me making Israeli Salad.  Yes, you heard correctly…. I am going to actually prepare it myself!!!  Take a look….

(Don’t worry, its not actually that long…after the credits the song goes on for a bit)

Getting My Butt Kicked

Thanks to an extremely generous friend, I was given a 6 month membership at the most amazing gym in the city. (It was actually his remaining time, but he recently moved back to the states so I gladly received his leftovers.) I have gone for the past two days, and while its been great to get back into shape, its also exhausting me.  

Here’s the thing.  I’ve never been one to work out (or exercise for that matter).  All the exercise I get is usually from playing sports or doing physical activity that I don’t consider “exercise”.  When people say they exercise to relieve stress or to calm themselves down I was usually the one who would balk at it….

….BUT I am finding that it IS helping me unwind.  I have been stressed out lately for various reasons, and before my Rhodes trip I had some rough going.  I found that after each time at the gym, I have felt less stressed!  Ummm, I’m not in tip-top shape and I come home immediately dropping on my bed until the shower warms up, but overall its really helping me.  

Soooooooo, my question for everyone today is this: Do you exercise or work out and for what reasons??? (And does it help?) 

Shevet Achim

Last night  I went to a hospital here in Tel Aviv, which participates in a program to bring in non-Israeli children for heart surgery or other life-threatening medical issues.  Most children are Muslim from surrounding Middle Eastern countries, who cannot receive the medical care they need there.  My heart broke when I saw these little ones with tubes attached all over them.  

Most all of them come over with only their mothers, leaving behind the rest of the family.  The mothers only speak Arabic, which leads to soooo many communication breakdowns with the Hebrew speaking staff.  

Can you imagine taking your child for heart surgery to a place that does not speak your own language, and you have no idea what they are telling you is happening???

My friend, Gigi from Egypt, is one of the volunteers that goes there to bridge the gap.  She speaks Arabic and can help the mothers understand what is going on, pray with them, and just be there to comfort them.  I’ve been wanting to go with her for a while now, and I finally had the chance last night.

What these mothers have to go through, seeing their children like that, should never have to happen to anyone.  What the doctors and nurses are doing here in Israel is such an amazing thing!!! What Shevet Achim is doing to help these families is just as amazing!  

On the Shevet website are some pictures of the children that I went to visit last night….please just take a minute to see the faces of these precious ones.  Even with all the horrible things that is blasted on the news about Israel vs Gaza/Middle East there are still some incredible acts of love being shown here.

Mediterranean Monday: Smoking

Ok, this might sound like a strange topic for my Med. Mondays, but it’s totally appropriate.  Israel is the land of smokers. You might think this being the ‘holy land’ and all that it wouldn’t be so, but I am here to set the record straight.  

Just so you know where I stand on the subject: I HATE smoking!  Yes, that is pretty harsh, but it physically makes me sick.  I have friends who smoke (shame, shame!), and it’s not the person I dislike, but the act of what they’re doing…just to clear that up.

dscf1258This is a no-smoking sign posted in the hallway of my apartment building, yet when I walk out my door, its like walking into a room full of smokers.  No one obeys any of the signs, and everyone smokes everywhere.  

There isn’t any ‘no smoking’ education in schools and even teenagers smoking is not a big deal here.  It really is a bit disturbing, and I feel my life span diminishing just from inhaling all the second-hand smoke already.  

The other day I was getting a ride with someone who was helping at the shelter and he asked me if I minded if he smoked on the way home.  I said, “yes, I mind” and it blew him away.  He said he had never heard anyone say that before, because everyone he knows smokes.  I asked him if it offends him that I DO mind, and he said, “No.  I just didn’t know anyone who doesn’t do it.”  

How’s that for you?!?  I’m the only non-smoker in Tel Aviv! hehehehe

September: My Month-long Challenge

A new month is approaching and with it comes many new beginnings.  School starts back up, football season begins, TV shows rear up new seasons, and Fall will soon show its face.  In honor of all the new beginnings, and me actually being in the states during this time, I am taking the month of September and making it into my “getting back in shape” month.  

Not that I’m completely out of shape…as Micheal says, “Why do you have to exercise and try to get in shape when you’re already skinny?”   For me, it has nothing to do with weight, per say.. but more with being healthy and strong.  I want to build up some stamena, so I’m not totally dying when I actually do exercise. (Plus I NEED to make it to the expert level in Dance Dance)

Soooo, that being said, I am taking the entire month of September and putting health back into my lifestyle. Daily exercise and healthy eating (no more American junk food) will be on the schedule.  I will be tracking my progress on the sidebar of the blog (note the football counter in honor of the season).  Make sure you keep me accountable and that my little football is progressing down the field.

And for those of you who are up to the challenge, I ask you to join me.  I’ve already recruited my sister and nephew….the more the merrier!

Under the Weather

I haven’t posted in a while, but I just haven’t had the words.  I was in Minnesota visiting with family, sharing about Africa, and catching up on old times.  It was an emotional trip for many reasons, and I think it took a lot out of me.  Monday, the morning we were leaving, I woke up with a horrible, burning throat. We had 11 hours of driving ahead of us, and I was supposed to do most of it.  I could barely keep my eyes open, so needless to say I did none of the driving.  Yesterday I wanted to cut my head off, and today I’ll settle for any meds I can get my hands on.  My head feels like its about to explode; I guess thats why words are escaping me at the moment.  More to come when my head doesn’t feel like a balloon about to pop.

Drugs, Alcohol, Dagga, and Cigarettes

If that doesn’t grab you attention, I don’t know what will.  For the past 2 weeks, these topics have been my focal point.  You might be wondering, why… and I don’t judge you if you do.  While I am here at Thrive Africa, I’ve been helping out with Leadership Summit, a program their mission uses to reach thousands of kids in South Africa.  (please go to their website if you would like more information)

I am helping to write a new curriculum, which will bring awareness to the many issues these kids are facing on a daily basis.  My topic?  Drugs, Alcohol, Dagga (marijuana) and cigarettes.  We wanted to get insight into what they actually know about these topics, so I went to the schools and sat down to talk with them.  It was an eye-opening experience.  Many of these teens (ages 14-17) are taught absolutely nothing about drugs or the effects they can have.  These teens were literally begging us to give them more information. They are hungry to know, as their knowledge is limited to what they learn from other kids.  

As we sat down with them, they shared stories about themselves, their families, their friends, and other teens they know.  They opened up about the struggles they are facing, and not knowing how to overcome them.  They talked about teen pregnancy, rape, AIDS, and drugs.  Stories that would bring you to tears… 

After my day at the schools, I have finished writing the curriculum book, and now we will be working toward the editing process. It’s been awesome being able to contribute to the progress Leadership Summit is making in these teenagers lives’ (even in a small way).

Here are some pics of us talking with the teens: 

Survey results…

The final results are in for my first survey, and it was a nail-biter!  I must admit I was a pleasantly surprised to see how many people joined me, using warm water.  It’s nice to know you’re not alone….Here goes:

Warm Water: 13

Cold Water: 10

Warm/Hot Water wins!!!!! Thanks everyone for playing along….more surveys to come 🙂


My First Official Survey

This is ridiculously random, but here goes…..I was brushing my teeth this morning and realized that I was using hot water while I was brushing.  It hit me that I have been doing that for a while now.  I used to ONLY use cold water, but just this past year I began using hot water.  I don’t know why,  but I thought of how wierd it was that I just started changing water temperature since I moved to Africa.  I know….its a crazy thing to even be thinking about, but the mind is a tricky thing.  

Here’s my poll: the first one on my blog……

Do you brush you teeth using hot or cold water????  (Brain surgery type thinking, I know)

Send in your comments now!!!!


I have blogged about a few issues and people have been inquiring about them… so I thought I would give a few updates.

 1.  I am feeling much better.  I finished my week of medication and it seemed to do the trick!

2.  My permit is still up in the air.  They needed more paperwork, so we are working on getting all they need and re-applying.  In the meantime, I have until the 30th of March to apply.

3.  This weekend is our Easter Conference up in Popa Falls, Namibia.  We are taking 50 youth with us and camping up there.  We leave early Friday morning (6am) and return Monday evening.  Please be praying for travel safety and our conference.  This is the first “mission trip” for most of our youth, so they are excited and nervous all at the same time.

4. Lastly, my sister and nephew are coming to visit the beginning of April!  I am extremely excited to see them and have them here with me.  Remember them in your prayers as well 🙂


The continuing virus saga…

If you have been keeping up with my stories, you will know that a common thread has been my physical state of well-being.  I have been sick on and off now with some stomach virus for some time.  Just when I am starting to feel like its completely gone, it peeps up again.  Two weekends ago I was knocked out for the entire weekend, but then Monday came and I was feeling better. Then once again, this past Friday I started feeling it.  I was speaking at our youth meeting that night, so I knew that I had to at least make it for those couple of hours.

I went home early from work to rest that day, in preparation for the evening.  I was feeling weak and tired, and my stomach was killing me.  It was all I could do to get through the night.   I can say it was only by the grace of God that I was able to get up there in front of those kids and preach for an hour!  I even had strength to walk around give some witty examples. 🙂 But wouldn’t you know, that immediately after I was finished, I about passed out.  I went home, got sick, and went to bed!   Saturday and Sunday were days of rest for me, and even though I didn’t quite re-cooperate,  I used the time to read some amazing books my Grandma had sent me by Brother Andrew from Open Door Ministries. 

So here is Monday… I decided I must go to the doctor and take care of this once and for all.  I got up early, went to my Doctor, only to find out that he was sick!  (TIA)  I was referred to the Private Hospital, which needless to say, I was NOT very thrilled about.  They don’t have a great track record, and it seems the Doc’s there aren’t always “in the know” about what to do.  But, knowing that I must get help, I went…. After a brief visit with a Doctor there, and pretty much me telling him what I need and want, he prescribed 5 different medications…thats right 5!  He said I probably have a stomach virus, which is going around here because of all the rains, but if I don’t get better then I can come back and we would try something else.  When Doctors use the word, probably, its not so reassuring.  But as I am a bit desperate, I took the meds and now I am on the road to recovery….(this is my statement of faith).  I did go back and look each one up on the internet to see exactly what they were and used for.  The main drug that I am taking is used for Dysentery and Typhoid, which was what I thought I had a month ago, but they didn’t treat me for.   

I am telling you…it’s a good thing that God watches over His people, because the Doctors here in Botswana sure aren’t helping Him out much!!! 

Virus Attack

Unfortunatley, I’ve been hit with the African attack. I went to the doctor this morning and found out what I pretty much figured…I have my first African virus. (And, no that’s not a good thing) I have been feeling horrible for the past week, but figured that it would pass. I am not one who gets sick often, honesty…I hardly ever do. But I knew that it was time to go see my doc. So, I got up the nerve and went in this morning. I would love to tell you what it is that I have, but I cannot even pronouce it…let alone spell it. But basically, I have a virus and something else that has to do with my stomach lining. It’s nothing life-threatening, but I am now on 3 different medications that I must take 3 times a day.
😦 YUCK!!! Hopefully, I’ll be back to normal in a couple of days.

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