Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Posts are Coming

I am  back from Kenya (we got back Monday at 1 pm Houston time).  While I was gone I was writing down my thought and experiences so I wouldn't forget anything to tell you all.  Expect a few new blog posts over the next week or two.

In the meantime, check out these pictures.  (For more go here)

This is the 2nd biggest slum in Africa.  It is very unsafe for anyone to go there so we couldn't walk through.

Preggo Mama Lion

Beautiful Elephant!

Lion paws in the mud

At the Masai Mara Tribe village.  See those black things in the bowl?  Those are flies and they are also climbing all over the children.  It is very dirty there (more on that in another blog post)

Shopping center

Praise, Jesus, Rejoice, and Faith.  Craft project


IDP camp child who came to shake my hand.

 IDP camp kids

Susan pretending to hold her 'baby' like the women in Kenya do.  Isn't it funny the different ways of pretend?


Hugs on the last day from Juliette and Hope.

This picture describes my journey through Kenya.

More to come!

Iroman May

Back in March I was reading another blog, HealthyTippingPoint.com and she was completing "Ironman March," which is where you do an entire Ironman, not in one day like a real Ironman, but over the course of a month.  I thought about doing the challenge in April, but with my trip I couldn't since I was going to be gone for half the month, instead I am doing it in May!!

I will have from May 1st through May 31st to swim 1.2 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles.  I will count spinning classes as bike mileage, and running on the treadmill and elliptical as running mileage.

Who's with me?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Take off

Well, I am at the airport waiting for my flight to leave. My first stop is Amsterdam, then after a 3 hour layover I will be headed to Nairobi.  There is an 8 hour time delay so when I get there at 8 pm tomorrow, Kenya time, it will be noon in Houston.  22 total hours of travel! 

I tried to go to sleep late last night so I would be really tired on the plane, but that didn't really happen, I zonked out about midnight.  I do have sleeping pills so I might use those, who knows! I have a new watch that I bought that is already set for Kenya time, so anytime I can look to see what time it is. Its 1pm right now in Houston, and 9 pm in Nairobi so I might try to sleep right when we get in the air. I will probably be too excited to sleep, bit we shall see!

I will try to keep y'all updated on my trip (and for my families sake, my safety), but I am not 100% sure what the internet access will be.

Wish me luck and please pray that God will use me for his purpose during this trip. :)

Catch ya later!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

File Folder Games

Countdown to Kenya Post #4

In addition to the other stuff that I am bringing on my trip, I also made a ton of file folder games for the kids.  I figured that they probably played a lot outside and people who volunteered probably brought balls and stuff all of the time.  I decided to bring educational toys as well as ‘fun’ stuff for them to do.  Plus, it’s colder outside now and they need indoor games as well.  Enter file folder games.

File folder games are a bunch of educational games, that teach a skill, that are housed in a file folder for easy storage.  I have loved the idea of file folder games forever!  When I worked at a childcare center in high school and college they had them for the kids, but I would always have to color them with crayons or markers which got very annoying.  I was about to go to the teacher supply store down the street when my sister told me to look on Pinterest or the internet.  I did and I found a ton of free printables that were already in color that I didn’t have to worry about coloring myself.  What a timesaver!   There were several other sites my teacher friends told me about also, but my favorite was www.FileFolderFun.com

I got a ton of free file folder games from that site and they have all been great.  You have to watch the spelling on that site though, some of the files have spelling mistakes.  I printed out the games and went to work cutting them out.  I over estimated how long they would take me to cut them all out!  My hand started cramping with all of the cutting I was doing.  I bought a bunch of glue sticks and file folders at Target to create them with.  I think the pack of 100 file folders was only $6 at Target.

I had no idea what reading and math levels the kids were on, so I printed out a variety of games for different levels and ages.  I stuck with the basics of addition, subtraction, and multiplication as far as math goes.  For the younger kids I printed out counting games, color matching, and animal matching games.  There were others on the site that had decimals, noun/verb distinction, rhyming, etc but since I didn’t know if they were learning that in school I didn’t want to confuse them, especially if I am not there to play the game with them.  Also, they are learning more of a European curriculum, so some of the American curriculum might not be the way they are learning it or spelling the words.

My nephew was over when I was cutting them out and I had a few of them put together.  He loved playing with them and didn’t realize they were actually reinforcing what he learned at school.  He thought they were fun games.  So if he likes them, then I am hoping they will like them too. 

This is a multiplication game, all the multiplication ones have an answer key on the back of the folder.  This one has a little space ship as the pieces to the game.  

This one is a color matching game.  They match the colors of cake icing together.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Toys and Games for Kenya

Countdown to Kenya Post #3

Almost time to leave for Kenya, just a few more days!!  If you remember a few weeks ago I posted a list asking for donations of goods for my trip.  Well, my friends came through big time and donated tons of items!  Some of the items pictured are what I bought; others are what my friends donated. 

Thank you’s  go out to Jeremisha, Brandi, Krista, Kennisha, and Terrie.  They all donated items and clothes that the children will be able to use!  Jeremisha (infant and toddler sizes), Brandi (boys and girls kids sizes), and Kennisha (Junior size) all donated clothes for the kids, but I ran out of space in my luggage so another team member is bringing them for me.

Items pictured (I might be missing a few items, but I tried to make a list of everything!)
Candy Land game
Chess game
Blink game (fav card game ever!)
Hair clips (I found out later that they shave their heads so they can use these on their dolls)
Black Socks
Decorative Socks
Flashcards (multiplication, division, subtraction, addition, etc)
Pencils (tons of pencils!  I order 300 myself and my friends donated a few more)
Jump ropes
Bandanas (for three legged races)
Tracing alphabet (for a craft project I am making while there)
Sewing supplies
Various card games (like old maid and go fish)
Jacks game (or is it Jax?)
Mind puzzle (like the triangle one and the intertwined metal ones)
Rubix Cube
Playing cards
Black Scratchy craft things (you know, the ones with colors?)
Infant clothes (not pictured-thanks Jeremisha!)
All sizes of boys and girls clothes (not pictured-thanks Brandi!)
Junior sizes girls clothes (not pictured-thanks Kennisha!)
Toothbrushes (not pictured-thanks Krista and Tyler, they own a dental practice)

Thank you to everyone who donated! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Medications for Kenya

Countdown to Kenya Post #2

In preparation for my mission trip to Kenya I have had to get several shots, although there are no required shots needed.  You would think that if you were going on a mission trip to a foreign country where you really can’t drink anything except bottled water, there would be some required vaccinations, but there isn’t.   Many are suggested, but none are required I had heard that most insurances do not cover travel vaccinations and medications, but I called my insurance company and they said they do cover them all.  Good thing too, because my malaria medication is $30 per pill!  Ouch.

This is what I am doing for my trip to Kenya to be vaccinated and medicated enough that hopefully I will not contract any diseases while there.  **Disclaimer:  I am by no means a doctor (That would be a scary thought if I was!)  and this should NOT be taken as advice for what you should do if you go on a trip. **

When I was younger I received several required vaccinations, however, we cannot find my vaccination records (I blame my Mom :) ) so I got a few of them again. I got three shots and two oral medications for my trip.
Typhoid (oral medication)-4 refrigerated pills taken every other day for 7 days.  Typhoid fever is a serious, sometimes fatal, illness caused by a bacteria called Salmonella typhi. These bacteria are spread through contaminated food, drink or water and can spread from person to person. They thrive in places with poor sanitation. (Source)
Malaria (oral medication)-24 pills total, 2 two days before I leave, 15 while I am gone, and 7 days after I return.  Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. Humans get malaria from the bite of a mosquito infected with the parasite. Prevent this serious disease by seeing your health-care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites.  (Source)
Hepatitis A (shot) Hepatitis is an irritation of the liver that sometimes causes permanent damage. It is most often spread by unclean food and water. Travelers can be infected from person-to-person contact or through food and water that has been contaminated with animal or human feces (Source)
Yellow Fever (shot) Yellow fever is a viral illness, carried by some species of mosquitoes in Central and South America, and in tropical regions of Africa. A mild attack may have symptoms similar to those of the flu. More severe symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, bleeding, abdominal pains and yellowing of the skin as a result of liver damage. (Source)  
Tetanus (shot) Tetanus (Lockjaw) is a rare but severe disease that causes muscle contractions which can lead to breathing problems and even death. Tetanus can occur if contaminated soil enters cuts or wounds, such as a burn.  (Source)

In addition to the medications and vaccinations I received I will be bringing :
-Mosquito repellant with DEET
-Sunscreen and Chapstick
-Pepto Bismol
-Hand Sanitizer
-Dramamine (for motion sickness)

They gave me a list of to do’s and not to do’s while I am there like drink only bottled water, don’t eat salads (you don’t know how they are cleaned), fruits with thick skins that you peel yourself, etc.

Wish me luck I don’t get sick while there!  When I return I will update this if there is any more information that you should know!

Monday, April 8, 2013

What to Eat While Traveling

Countdown to Kenya Post #1

When traveling to foreign countries, I never know what to expect food wise.  The organizers at the orphanage suggested that I bring snacks with me on my trip to Kenya in case they serve food that I do not like or that I cannot eat.  I am not really a picky eater, but going to a foreign country and not knowing what they will be serving scares me so I decided to pick up some snacks.  

Besides oatmeal, everything I am bringing with me is snacks and aren’t considered meals.  I am bringing some cereal (PB Puffins), but I like to eat those by themselves.  If for some reason I cannot eat a meal, I will just eat one of my snacks as a meal.  She also said that if they are serving something I do not like/can’t eat, there is always PB&J sandwiches.  I love PB&J!  

I am absolutely going to try local food (besides weird animal products), but this is ‘just in case’.  I want to have a ‘real’ Kenya experience, food and all, but I want a backup! :)  All the websites and information I have read say not to eat fruit (unless it’s tough skin that you peel yourself) or leafy greens (no salads) because you don’t know how sanitary those things are and how they were prepared.  You are also not supposed to drink the water anywhere (or ice) except unless it’s a sealed water bottle.

This is what I am bringing with me, note that some things will be taken on the airplane with me on my 22 hour flight!
-Kind bars
-Chocolate PB Trail Mix
-Pistacho Trail Mix
-Oatmeal (with coconut, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, and cocoa powder)
-Pretzel Rods
- Pita Crackers
-Peanut Butter Pretzels
-Starbucks Iced Coffee Mix  (drink)
-Nuun (drink)
-Pumpkin Cheddar Crackers <----I LOVE these crackers!  I found them at Whole Foods and I fell in love with them.  So yummy.  They are Doctor Kracker brand and they come in several different flavors.

Any other suggestions for me?