Maasi Mara Kenyan Safari

So, all work and no play makes Sandi a grumpy person, LOL. I told our trip organizer, Natalie, I really didn’t want to go to Kenya without adding a safari in. That’s like coming to South Florida and not going to the beach! So our lovely host, Roberta, planned us a safari. And WHAT AN EXPERIENCE IT WAS!!! We did a 3 hour evening safari, spent the night in tents and then a 3 hour sunrise safari. Most pics are mine (taken on my iPhone 5) and a few belong to Natalie and Maya (both of whom had real cameras on them, lol) I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

CHEETAH

CHEETAH

BEAUTIFUL LION - WE SAW A MOMMA AND 3 CUBS THE EVENING BEFORE.

BEAUTIFUL LION – WE SAW A MOMMA AND 3 CUBS THE EVENING BEFORE.

ZEBRA... SEE THE BABY?

ZEBRA… SEE THE BABY?

STUNNING

STUNNING

AFRICAN BUFFALO

AFRICAN BUFFALO

YOUNG GIRAFFE

YOUNG GIRAFFE

CHEETAH

CHEETAH

GIRAFFE

GIRAFFE

LION

LION

OSTRICH

OSTRICH

I JUMPED OUT FOR A QUICK PIT STOP, MAYA CAUGHT ME... ZEBRA AND WILDEBEEST IN THE BACKGROUND... AMAZING!

I JUMPED OUT FOR A QUICK PIT STOP, MAYA CAUGHT ME… ZEBRA AND WILDEBEEST IN THE BACKGROUND… AMAZING!

I TOOK THIS WITH MY iPHONE... SUNSET

I TOOK THIS WITH MY iPHONE… SUNSET

PUMBA AKA WART HOG

PUMBA AKA WART HOG

THE WILDEBEEST WERE FUNNY. WE WOULD DRIVE UP ON THEM, THEY WOULD RUN A FEW YARDS AND THEN TURN AROUND AND LOOK AT US AS IF SAYING, "YOU WANNA PIECE OF ME??" ... TOO FUNNY

THE WILDEBEEST WERE FUNNY. WE WOULD DRIVE UP ON THEM, THEY WOULD RUN A FEW YARDS AND THEN TURN AROUND AND LOOK AT US AS IF SAYING, “YOU WANNA PIECE OF ME??” … TOO FUNNY

ZEBRA... ONE OF THE NEATEST THINGS WAS EARLIER IN THE TRIP, WE SAW ZEBRA HANGING OUT ON THE SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY GRAZING WITH THE COWS.

ZEBRA… ONE OF THE NEATEST THINGS WAS EARLIER IN THE TRIP, WE SAW ZEBRA HANGING OUT ON THE SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY GRAZING WITH THE COWS.

A mission to Kenya

I had the opportunity this month to travel to Nairobi and Sakwa, Kenya on a mission trip with Mission:Hope, an organization headed by my friend from all the way back in middle school, Natalie West Evans. Natalie is also the wife of the pastor at my church.

I invited Maya Bond-Duarte, a graduating midwife student from the school I was teaching at, to come as well. WHAT.A.TRIP!

We arrived in Nairobi very late in the evening, and were greeted at the airport by Roberta Peterson, our host for this trip. She is an incredible woman from NC that has a heart for Kenya and lives in Sakwa doing amazing work! We showered and hit the sack after 19+ hours of flying. Up early and a hearty breakfast and off on a 6 hour, bumpy ride to Sakwa. On the way we stopped at the Great Rift Valley viewpoint. What views we had!

Natalie, Roberta, Me, Maya and Petranila

Natalie, Roberta, Me, Maya and Petranila

We had two main objectives on this trip. To provide educational seminars and a clinic to the women of the community and to spend time with the children at the Hope Educational Center, where Roberta is the Matron.

Roberta

Roberta

We held our seminar at the church. Words cannot even begin to express the joy at seeing 170+ women sitting in that church listening to health education seminars. We spoke on the importance of care during pregnancy, breastfeeding, family planning and HIV.

Women's Health Seminar

Women’s Health Seminar

Maya, Evelyne and I saw about 50 women for various and assorted ailments in the church, while Michelle (part of the NC team) saw women in an outer building for HIV testing and family planning.

Maya, Evelyne and I saw about 50 women for various and assorted ailments in the church, while Michelle (part of the NC team) saw women in an outer building for HIV testing and family planning.

Evelyne Osano is an amazing woman. She lives and works in Kisii, Kenya. She is a registered nurse and her husband is a pastor. They have a beautiful little girl named Blessing. Evelyne works full time at a local hospital and then comes home and runs a clinic, financed with her own money. She loves her community THAT much! It was an honor to meet such an amazing woman. She inspires me to do more!

Evelyne and Me... Love this amazing woman!

Evelyne and Me… Love this amazing woman!

Me, Evelyne and Maya

Me, Evelyne and Maya

Showing Evelyne the medical supplies that I collected and brought with me. Donations provided by many of my midwife friends and the birth centers they work at.

Showing Evelyne the medical supplies that I collected and brought with me. Donations provided by many of my midwife friends and the birth centers they work at.

The next day we got to spend time with the kids!!! Oh my, what wonderful kids! We read to them, sang with them, were welcomed by them, made rainbow faith bead bracelets with them and danced with them!

This is Natalie with the kids :)

This is Natalie with the kids :)

Me teaching the kids the Hokey Pokey!

Me teaching the kids the Hokey Pokey!

I love this photo of Maya!

I love this photo of Maya!

Me reading Bugs, Bugs, Bugs to the kids.

Me reading Bugs, Bugs, Bugs to the kids.

Reading to the kids.

Reading to the kids.

Natalie and I on Field Day with the kids.

Natalie and I on Field Day with the kids.

Maya tying the bracelets on the kids. Natalie read the story of how Jesus is our friend.

Maya tying the bracelets on the kids. Natalie read the story of how Jesus is our friend.

I even kicked a GOAL in a soccer game!!!

Goal!

Goal!

We had AMAZING food at our host home in Sakwa!!

This lunch was provided by the local ladies on our Women's Health Seminar day... YUM!!! Goat, greens and ugali... Mmmm, Mmmmm!

This lunch was provided by the local ladies on our Women’s Health Seminar day… YUM!!! Goat, greens and ugali… Mmmm, Mmmmm!

This little man stole my heart. On the day we were doing the Women’s Health Seminar he approached shyly and asked if I had a pen he could use for school. In 4th grade they stop using pencils and use pens instead. I gave him the pen I had brought from the States. He goes to the public school in town. As the days went by, he showed me each day that he still had my pen and let me know he was using it in his studies. On the last day we were there, he and other public school children were standing outside the Hope Educational Center watching the children put on a presentation just for us. As I left, he gave me a hug and said, “Thank you my friend, for the pen”. My heart melted! On our journey back to Nairobi I asked Roberta what it takes to sponsor a child to go to school at the Hope Educational Center. $60 pays for a years tuition, uniform, satchel bag and some supplies. YES, THAT IS SIXTY U.S. DOLLARS, A YEAR! A hundred dollars will help sponsor a kid and supply the school. I will sponsor this young man for many years. He will forever hold a place in my heart <3 If you are interested in more information, you can contact me privately at sandiblankenshiprm@gmail.com.

I left part of my heart in Sakwa, with this little guy!

Here are more pics of the kids… lots more.

Maya reading with one of the wonderful teachers watching.

Maya reading with one of the wonderful teachers watching.

My naughty boy

Saying goodbye

The walk home

Walking home

Tomorrow… the Safari. :D

Ciao!

A Response to ‘Women Against Feminism.’

flamidwyfe:

Thought provoking!

Originally posted on iwantedwings:

Imagine this:

The year is 2014. You are a white Western woman. You wake up in the morning in a comfortably sized house or flat. You have a full or part-time job that enables you to pay your rent or mortgage. You have been to school and maybe even college or university as well. You can read and write and count. You own a car or have a driver’s licence. You have enough money in your own bank account to feed and clothe yourself. You have access to the Internet. You can vote. You have a boyfriend or girlfriend of your choosing, who you can also marry if you want to, and raise a family with. You walk down the street wearing whatever you feel like wearing. You can go to bars and clubs and sleep with whomever you want.

Your world is full of freedom and possibility.

Then you…

View original 1,400 more words

On My Way, Home Sweet Home

I’m sitting in the airport hotel, dressed, packed, phones charged, coffee in hand excited to be going home.

It’s been a fantastic work trip that included some play time. Two adorable baby boys born 2 weeks apart in China, time spent getting to know 2 more families who I will love and cherish… So blessed to have been welcomed into their homes and be with them while experiencing the beauty of birth. It never gets old for me, no matter how many times I’m present at a birth.

I also traveled to Jinan, China (near Bejing) to teach staff at the hospital there about the importance of water birth and breastfeeding. Beautiful city, lovely people!

I also was part of a month long virtual race in June. Held by fellow blogger Tatjana, the Midsummer Sun Kilomathon was a great way to get in that much needed exercise. It was HOT here in China and Hong Kong, but I did it. In fact I completed 107 kilometers which is 66.5 miles!

I finished off the trip to Asia with a 5 day trip with my friend Lillian “Alice” Sanpere to Ubud, Bali. We stayed with Robin Lim who runs Bumi Sehat, a non-profit birth center where care for the locals is free. What a giving, loving, honorable woman. Doing so much to ensure that babies enter this world gently. Alice and I were invited to be part of a birth there and it was magical.

So, I’ll let the photos do the talking. I’ve got to call for the bell cart to get my stuff over to the airport.

Ciao!

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Dukan Diet – Update

I can’t believe it’s been 13 days since I posted. Caught another cute baby and did tons of clean eating and exercise while in Shanghai.
Still on track, down 11 pounds!!!
Just spent two days in Hong Kong with my friend Alice…

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And found a lovely running path this morning in Shenzhen…

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Pleased with my progress!
How are your summer plans going!?
Ciao!

Dukan Diet – Days 9 & 10 – A baby and an update on Tiff

Eating strict Dukan, feeling groovy! Feeling very good about the diet and the exercise. I set a goal to do 25 miles by July 1st, I surpassed that this afternoon! It’s the 11th! Woot!!!

The support I’ve had for Tiffany from family and friends, local and afar, has been amazing. I feel so blessed. Tiffany is feeling overwhelmed by the generosity. A reply yesterday from her had me in tears… My love, Tiffany, you DO deserve the love and support of all these people. TIFF had her heel set and she’s now in a cast up to her knee, no weight bearing for 6 weeks. Hard with four kids, but she’ll be able to do it with continued support. She had pain relief initially we the cast, but now that her swelling is going down, she’s actually having pain again. The doc will put on a smaller cast Monday, to support it more.

And…. A baby. A lovely wee boy slipped into my hands yesterday afternoon. This is my 2nd of the two babies I came to China to assist earthside. I’ve said it a few thousand times and will continue saying, I am so blessed to be present and in service to families at their births. I came home, had dinner and did 5K, faster than I had in a long time (which is slow for most, but fast for me… At least I’m out there, lol). A birth high… Feels so good!

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During this run I also restarted C25K because Jenni and Sadie are doing it (my oldest daughter and my granddaughter). They started yesterday, too. So when I get home, we’ll be up to speed with each other and can run together. We’re doing the virtual kilomathon together this month and a 5K near home together in September. Three generations running together… How cool is that?!?!

Dukan Diet Days 7 & 8 – PP&PV – and a mom’s worse nightmare

Sticking to the diet, I have a scale that’s accessible and I’m down 7 pounds from when I left the States! I’d like to see a bit more, but I’ll take it!

Also getting walking in every single day and lots of water!

Just before walking out the door for church yesterday morning, my iPhone rings with a FaceTime call. It’s Tiffany!! My youngest (she’s 28, but still my baby!!). Horror registers on my face as I realize she is in a neck immobilizer on a back board!!! And we have a crappy signal and I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT SHE IS SAYING!!! Fear gripped my heart, we lost the connection! I called right back and Joey (her hubby) takes the phone outside of the ER to tell me my child had fallen 10 feet from the attic to the living room, tiled floor. They’ve just arrived at the ER by ambulance and they know nothing. I go to church. Praying upon all that is mighty that my baby is OK. Please don’t let her have a head injury, please let her be whole.

Lots of X-rays later, she has a shattered heel, no head injury (PTL!!) and is bruised on much of her body. She’s in a great deal of pain. In fact she just called me crying :(

I set up a take them a meal page and my family and friends are doing what they can to be there for her… I am so grateful for the amazing people in my life. Please keep Tiffany in your thoughts and prayers. Here’s a couple pics, one is her foot and one is her back.

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One more speed bump for us to get over…

Ciao!