Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Eczema for life???

My Eczema (random rash) has been with me all my life. It used to be really bad in high school and thats why some people called me Patch work...because my skin was sooo patchy. Eczema comes and goes as it pleases and I never really knew what triggered it. Sometimes I think it is the soap, sometimes the food, sometimes the perfume, or just my stress levels. And just when I think I have grown out of it, Eczema comes back to say HOWZIT. So after seeing many doctors,avoiding so many different foods and trying many different creams all my life, I decided to go to a Homeopath. The whole journey took me way back not only in the foods I ate but the emotions I felt with dealing with eczema.

The homeopath explained that before I could start seeing any positive results I needed to set 5 solid foundations. I thought I would share it with you because it applies to everyone...not just us eczema peeps.
  1. Drink 3 Litres of water a day in summer and 2 litres in winter (Kanya: Sho I barely drink 1.5 litres).
  2. Drink only filtered water (Kanya: I always drink from the tap)
  3. You need vitamins or homemade vegetable juices.
  4. Omega 3 oils are vital (Kanya: O flax seed has that… I take about 1 tsp a day), Homeopath: well that is not enough at all because you have eczema you need at least 3 tbls a day of concentrated Omega 3.
  5. You need 80% live food and 20% Dead food. Because live food balances the PH in your body. Should be ph 6.8 (Kanya: O ha I have had plenty of live food this month.)
Homeopath: “Well tell me then what did you have for breakfast:
Kanya: Oats and cranberries
Homeopath: DEAD FOOD, and for lunch.
Kanya: Chickpea curry and brown rice,
Homeopath: DEAD FOOD and for dinner,
Kanya: Beans and whole wheat pasta
Homeopath: DEAD FOOD.
Kanya: You gotta be kidding me!

So although I thought I was healthy, most of the food I was eating was dead food. When you eat a majority of dead food your body ph becomes acidic and you start getting side effects like gout, kidney problems, liver, eczema ect because your body is trying to balance it. Anyways after I had fully understood the 5 step foundation it was time to do the food tolerance and organ test.

People the whole homeopath process was soooo fascinating! I had to hold a metal object in one hand and he pressed on pressure points on my other hand. But as he pressed the pressure points a graph would appear on the computer illustrating whether each of my organs were weak, healthy or stressed. I was shocked to find out that my liver was both weak and stressed and wasn't surprised to see my skin stressed. I was told that it was most likely due to the foods that I am eating and then he proceeded to test various types of foods.

I thought the organ test blew me away, but the food test was  “Mind Blasting” (with a Russell Peter accent)!  As he selected a food, a graph would show and I would pray it was safe…. I would give a air punch of joy as he went through my favourite fruits, meats and starch (rice). After about 100 different food tests we discovered that i struggle digesting, whole wheat, sugar, CHICKEN, peanuts, all dairy, coffee and rum (lol the last one I made him check ….lol just in case). IMAGINE! I reflected on all those chocolates, cakes, yogurt breakfasts….

So since I have been eating all these foods all my life my digestive system has struggled to break them down and thus my liver has been stressed getting it out of my system! (I concluded that and I think that makes sense). I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulder. NOW I KNOW! The doctor gave me some herbal liver cleansing stuff and some fowl smelling cream…..which he warned me that my husband will hate. Even though I was told it would get worse before it got better....I thought the worst was over...I was now on the path of recovery..... I could deal with another week of eczema.....So I thought!
And 3 days later….my skin  had turned my selfesteem into a complete wreck! It all struck me while Avon and I were sitting in the car outside church. My skin had been the worst it had ever been since I was in high school. I was also irritable, anxious and not myself. A wave of my high-school skin issues just came over me…the feeling of people looking at me and asking me “what is wrong with your skin?” I thought I had gotten over all this, I thought I could deal with this....but my walls all came crashing down???

As Avon tried to encourage me to go inside….he reminded of when my mom used to beg me to come somewhere and I would put up such a fuss because my skin was bad. The fact that my skin was visibly bad (head to toe red with blotches everywhere) my heart just felt defeated. And because my heart was defeated I was irritable and moody. And I felt bad that Avon had to be the one to deal with me. Apparently my mood swing wasn't so bad but I knew the frustrations that were boiling up in me and I didn't like it ...it wasn't me and it wasn't who I wanted to be. So I apologised to Avon and sucked up all the courage to walk into Church. 

As we sang I could feel my eyes swell up with tears because I knew I had failed. I knew I had let my outside appearance try to define me and it wasn’t right. I had dugg up an old wound that had healed long ago.  I was still Kanya….so what if I had a bad skin day! That wasn’t what God saw or sees in me! And right there in the church I was brought back down to earth. I was humbled in my situation and it was as if it was a new day and I was me again. Maybe this Homeopath therapy will work...and maybe it won't. Only God knows!

This was the day before the full outbreak of eczema. Those red blotches on my arm were on my neck and  face!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Work "Photo Scavenger Hunt"

So these are some of the photos that were taken during our works "Photo scavenger Hung!" As you can see I totally enjoyed it....the whole getting into character is like my middle name :). We  had to get really creative and guess what???? WE WON  Whoop whoop!

Photo with a stranger and a fire Hydrent (what idots lol) that is a hose pipe

Most Lame photo

Photo of the group next to an indigenous tree

The most wildest photo
A photo that represents SEF

Photo of the group all in one car

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Everyone needs a Little Cake, Sushi and Sun City in their Life!

Towards the end of our holiday we really missed being on the road…strange I know. So much so that we decided to spontaneously go to Sun City at 6pm. Ya I know it sounds crazy but it is such a liberating feeling when you can just go with the wind. No strings attached, no kids, no expectations just for “Just because!”

Well it all started with a desire for a slice of cake. I was craving Isabella’s delicious Turkish delight cake and it seemed like a pretty good idea to drive to Pretoria to get some at 4:15pm. Maita Reagan and Avon hadn’t tried it before so they were keen. We nearly didn’t make it in time before it closed. We begged the lady to open up for us because we had driven all the way from Johannesburg just for her cake. Next we thought we better get some dinner and sushi seemed like a good idea. Sitting at the Sushi table we thought Wow how random is this day. As if random couldn’t get any more random someone said imagine if we went to Sun City.. now that would be crazy.. We all laughed and then looked at each other. I am not sure what was going through their mind but for me I thought. “Why not? One day I won’t be able to just get up and go anywhere…what really would I have to loose.” Avon said, “Well it is only about 2 hours away…we will get there by 8pm.” Reagan just says “Come ON LETS DO IT!” Maita is like “WHY NOT!” We all shrug our shoulders in agreement and….
Maita and Reagan Excited face

Kanya and Avon...check the new GPS! What what
Chasing the sun
 The next thing you know we are chasing the sun to Sun City and 2 hours latter we were walking the streets of Sun City. We kept laughing at ourselves…thinking that our chilled day went.from a piece of cake, to sushi and then to SUN CITY. Where else will life take us. We got home at 3am and slept sound and sweet…all in a days work.
Tadaaaaaa...we were here

We abused the games section!

All in a days work :)

A Traveling Christmas

Avon excited to see the Ocean at 5:30am

Why is it that no matter how long your holiday is,….it just never feels like it was long enough. I mean I am right here back at work and I am thinking…gosh I meant to do this and that and gosh where has all the time gone…what was I doing???? Well I will tell you where all that time went

This Christmas was a Zimbabwe Christmas. It was the Christmas where Avon and Reagan get to meet all the relatives that never made it to our weddings and to see where Maita and I spent a majority of our time. I would like to tell you that we had been planning it for months…but you all know that isn’t how we work….

So the Wednesday night before our road trip we concluded that Mozambique would be our best option for road travel, with the beach and good seafood being the top of our list of reasons. We had heard terrible stories about the roads in Mozambique…but we also heard they had improved. As dad says…. “What the heck?” and as Maita would say “It would be an ADVENTURE!” I decided to take charge of the holiday agenda and budget and called and looked for places to stay…Yup only 3 nights before we were to arrive.

After many calls and inquiries we found a location to stay – The Blue Moon Lodge which was close to Inhambane, which according to my calculations was about half way between Swaziland and Mutare. The drive there was an adventure in itself …from crazy drivers in Maputo to unpredictable tar roads. I say unpredictable because you would drive and all of a sudden the tar would end and only be on the left side of the road…then on the right (under construction). If you were to drive at night you would have been driving into wet or untarred road because there was hardly any warning. On top of that the heavy trucks would drive like they owned the roads. To make my story telling easier I decided to break this blog into days.

Day 1 Swaziland – Inhambane (Moz):

This was probably the most adventurous day because none of us had any idea where we were going to stay …other than it was called The Blue Moon Lodge!. We arrived there when it was dark and we were all sooo hungry and somewhat irritated because we had really had a long day of driving. We had to park our cars 500m away from the lodge because that stretch required 4x4 cars. I really wish I had taken a picture of all of our faces when we were all packed in the back of this 4x4, driving in the dark and leaving our cars at some random house with no fence or gate or anything. My Gauteng crime fear really kicked in at that moment thinking, “We would never do this in Jozi.” All I could see out my dark window was sand and palm trees. I remember saying. “Lord please may this place be decent…..”

But when we got to the resort we were blown away by the romantic blue lit pool and a lovely dinner for 6 all set and ready. It was like an oasis in a dessert found by 6 wise men and women. After we enjoyed a nights swim and a delicious plate of fish and prawns under the stars we just stayed up laughing about how crazy the ride was in – “How about that ride in?!!!!” was our line of the night. Dad even admitted that when we were packed in the 4x4 he was thinking “What was my daughter thinking when she chose this place?!” Thank goodness the place was absolutely beautiful and the food delicious. It was also peaceful as we were the only guests there that night. I think it took that crazy ride in for us to really enjoy the spot.

Us trying to be seriouse

Avon's God moment :)
Writing in the sand is so theraputic.
Avon walking back from the beach

Day 2: Inhambane to Vilanculos.
Avon and I woke up with the light of the sun and decided to take a walk down on the beach. With no concept of time we got dressed and headed down, only to find out later that we had woken up at 5:00am lol. The walk was peaceful and breezy. After breakfast we took an easy drive to Vilanculos with no idea where we would be staying but after popping into 5 different resorts we were absolutely boggled at the price of most to the places and how fully booked it was. I am talking $180US per a person at some places. Just as we were about to give up hope we found a wonderful spot with air conditioned rooms, huge beds and a cosy lounge with DSTV. It was like a guest house and once again we owned the place. We had prawns and linefish (after my crab experience on our honeymoon…I was a bit weary about eating prawns). But GOSH it was so delicious. The joke of the night was: We asked our shy, reserved waiter if he could move all the tables because we wanted to dance after dinner.  We also requested that he switched the lights on and off while we danced. Lol. We were joking. But he actually went to ask the manager. They were cool with it. Lol. …No we didn’t dance.

Day 3 Vilanculos to Vumba (Zimbabwe)

Along our drive to Zimbabwe we met 3 French girls driving in the same direction. I must admit I thought they were pretty brave driving from Botswana –Jozi- Mozambique-Zim. My dad ended up being a heaven sent angel because they were running out of petrol and there was no petrol in the stations. Dad managed to put his negotiating skills and fluent Shona to the test and bought some petrol on the street, stored in huts. I was worried about the Mutare border because I had never been through it. But I was shocked to find that the whole process was quite a breeze. Other than the Canadian VISA which costs an arm and a leg and the unexpected French VISA, the whole experience was good. Lucky the French girls were with us because they didn’t know they had to pay for a visa for 2 days in Zimbabwe. It was a bit emotional for them coz they were going to drive back…but we reassured them that this was probably why you girls met us! Gods plan is always for the good.
Our destination that day was Genaina Vumba which is situated up in the mountains about 25 km from Mutare. My aunt Lorraine the little guest house there hidden in the trees up a meandering road. That night we enjoyed a wonderful dinner by the fire place with the company of the 3 French girls. It was funny to hear their different travel stories and how they deal with the Mozambique police - they end up acting like they don’t speak English whenever they are in trouble with the cops. Lol. Pretty good move I thought because half the time the Mozambique cops are nagging about something small like – “where is your triangle, or your reflector vest!” This is something that South Africans don’t normally carry around.

Day 4 Vumba to Watershed to Harare

Along the drive to Harare I would keep having moments where I would think “Wow Avon you are here with me…in my country!” We even got to visit our High school Watershed College and that even felt crazier we gave our Husbands the tour of our old stomping ground. It was funny seeing the school through their eyes. They were shocked and realised that they were spoilt at their boarding school. I mean they had tiles we had floor. They had painted walls and we had White Wash..which would come off on you if you rubbed yourself against the wall.

Watershed was a place which always seemed lively when we were there but now it seemed forgotten. Looking at the buildings and trees gave me a familiar and yet a not so familiar feeling. It was as if I was walking in the scene of a movie that I had watched the night before. A movie that was good and yet sad at the same time. A lady who was walking by with kids asked us if we used to come here. I jumped back to reality. “Yes!” She told us that next year is a huge reunion year for the school and that we should come.

When we arrived in Harare everything looked the same to me. The Masasa intersection was still busy with people where everywhere. The Harare Drive road was still the same. I really wondered what had changed much.

Day 5: Harare Tour

Checking out the view of Harare

This is the traveling Crew :)

Day 6: Kumusha

One of the main reasons why we were coming to Zimbabwe was so that Avon and Reagan could meet the relatives in Kumusha. In the Shona culture, Kumusha represents a person’s home village, where they are rooted. Our Kumusha is called Mondoro and it is about 1.5 hours outside of Harare.
It was a wonderful experience seeing our men just embracing the Shona culture. Greeting everyone and showing their respect- they were both so patient. Our relatives embraced them as if they were always family (Avon and Reagan). It made me think of the time when my Mom (a white woman) first came to the village to meet everyone. She always said she felt welcome and here I could witness that welcoming moment she felt.

It amazes me how the people of the village remember every visit. I say the people of the village because neighbours will know you came to visit. The visit would be like a fairytale told around the fire. One Auntie told us of the time when we came to visit and Hama just started dancing around the fire. Apparently he could barely walk at the time and everyone was saying that it was the ancestors that got him to dance. I can barely remember that moment…it was like 22 years ago. Sitting around the cooking fire talking in Shona got me daydreaming because I couldn’t understand most of what was being said. I daydreamed about a conversation of two gogos talking about our visit because I am sure our visit would be the talk of the village for months. The daydream began with one gogo visiting her neighbour after ploughing the fields. She would be so proud of the story she would be sharing with her friends. It would all be Shona…but my dream I could understand it.

Gogo 1: “Remember the white lady brother Ranga married.”

Gogo 2: “Yes …. Amai Kanyadzo (mother of Kanyadzo)!”

Gogo 1: “Eish they both came with their two daughters, Kanyadzo and Maita!”

Gogo 2: “Maiwe (Gosh)”

Gogo 1: “Sho they brought their two husbands to come and meet us! They are Icoloureds….very handsome ones! My friend you should have seen them greeting us…ha ha ha…. (while clapping her hands) one couldn’t clap his hands properly. It sounded like he was clapping and not greeting. But hawu, shame they were trying hard. We killed a Roadrunner (wild chicken) for them and cooked sadza ne mariwo (veggies). I was even worried that they would not eat our food, you know city people. But shamwari (My friend)….. they ate the food like they had never tasted roadrunner before! It was just a wonderful time. We prayed for them and asked for blessings. I even got a Christmas Box with oil, soap food and lots more!

Gogo 2: Yo yoy oyo …Christmas Box My dear. You are so fortunate!

Gogo 1: “Eish but it was too short!”

Gogo 2: “At least they came to show their respects. Your ancestors must be turning in their graves.”

Well that’s just a Kanya daydream.
Everyone was so proud to have us come into their homes…as we went from hut to hut. I struggled a lot with the smoke and my bum was sore from sitting on the floor. For Avon and Reagan I think it was hard for them to see Mom sitting on the floor and them sitting on chairs. Especially when they were told that they had to respect Mom the most. Their sign of respect would be to ask Mom to have a chair. Avon even asked Dad but Dad was like “No, no no…sonny that is not done here!”
What fascinates me about this part of the world is how they cherish everything. You could give them a towel 10 years ago and it will still be there. Everything is utilised and efficiently too, there is very little waste. It just makes you wish you could have brought more because you know they would appreciate it.

Avon and I posing like we live here.

This is the Kitchen hut, all plates are on display.
Dad sharing his wisdom!
Even in the rural of places...Mugabe is present
The womens feet sitting on the floor. It was sooo hot
Avon and Reagan as Mango gatherers
Th Chicken was a present for Avon and Reagan. Lol Reagan thought he had to kill it lol.

Us posing by the Pump

You must wash your hands before you eat
Food: Road runner, Rape, Pumpkin leaves, Sadza, Lentles and Rice, Peanut butter Chicken.
The Men enjoying the food.
Me in my Daydream

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Day 7: Chicken Inn or Chicken Out.
Maita and I took our men to see Borrowdale Village. We walked around and watched people doing their last minute shopping. This “mall” used to be the place to be and you were bound to see someone you knew. But as we walked every face was a stranger. The guys had planned that they had to try something from Chicken Inn and Creamy Inn. So with the little dollars we had we went and bought 4 pieces of Chicken Inn and 2 caramel dip ice-cream tubs. We stuffed ourselves while driving home for dinner. But I think something didn’t sit well because we all had runny tummies for days after that episode. So word of advice…maybe stay away from some of the fast food places in Harare … especially Chicken Inn.

Day 8: Christmas Day

We had a wonderful Christmas day starting with church in the morning and a Christmas party at Auntie Connie’s afterwards. The Christmas party was quite momentous because so many relatives were there and half of them I was meeting for the first time. We danced, prayed and ate.

Dad and his Christmas Presnts His Face says it all :)

Cousins Having a good time at the Christmas Party
A party would be a party with out the MC
Day 9: Drive to Lion and Elephant.

We left Harare at Noon and headed home (Johannesburg). It was actually quite depressing to leave because it was quite short. I guess all good things have to come to an end. The plan was to go to Zimbabwe Ruins but we got there too late and it didn’t seem like it was worth spending 40US for all 4 of us to see the place for 5 minutes. So we took pictures by the sign and headed to our final destination – Lion and Elephant hotel by Bubi River. The road was pretty dangerous because of the cows and it was pretty dark, but Avon did a good job getting us to the hotel safe. This Hotel has a lot of memorable moments because we usually stay here when we drive to or from Zimbabwe. We were the only guests at the dinner table when we ate but it seemed like by this time we were used to it. After some very good laughs and 2 glasses of super cheap wine we were off to bed.
Day 10: Zimbabwe to Johannesburg

I woke up with a terrible head ache and feeling very dizzy which made me regret having those two glasses of wine the night before. But that didn’t stop us from hitting the road with our final destination being Johannesburg. The border was super easy with no difficulties which made me feel like angels were with us the whole journey. Once we got to the South African side we were relieved to be on smooth tarred roads. We stopped and had a wonderful breakfast and were able to be home by 4pm. It is strange arriving so early because we are used to arriving when it is dark.
If feels so strange being back at home. The holiday really felt like it went by so quickly. I guess it means that we had a lot of fun – coz time was flying . Well I hope you all had a great holiday too.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What I know For Sure

That God made us in his perfection,
That He is my creator and I should respect him.

That forgiveness is not an easy choice,
That you should trust God and listen to His voice.

That I am uniquely designed when I look at my reflection,
That God will always be my protection.

That when I choose to dance, draw and write I express my passion,
That having a smile on my face never goes out of fashion.

That each day that comes could be my last,
That when trials & confusion come we should pray and fast.

That a moment spent with loved ones is never a mistake.
That you can never have too many friends that are great.

That I should never stop being me or give up dreaming
We all have a light to shine, we should do our best to keep it beaming.