Edit Blog Post
Published: September 27th 2005
My three wonderful monsters!!!!
Leaving my kids is the hardest part of this trip but they all understand that Mommy needs to do this! Someday I hope they live their dreams too!!!!!
Here it is just about a week from my trip and there is still so much to be done. I wanted to start this Blog off by thanking so many that have made this trip possible! But first let me tell you about the trip, so that you all know why and where I will be and why it is so important and life changing for me to take this journey.
Most of you know that this year has been a struggle for me in regards to my health. I have explained to my close family and friends that one of the driving factors for me to go on this journey is that I know I have a condition that might keep me for doing this in the future. Saying, I’ll wait 3 years when my kids are bigger, might not work for me. So, I don’t want to say, I should have or I wish I done it then, so I’m doing to now. My doctors say go for it! They have all given their blessings along with a lot meds to take along reminding me, that where I am going there is no “Coreg”.
The Lance Armstrong Foundation came through with goods but getting them to Africa, well lets just say be careful what you wish for! I needed alot of HELP!
I am going to Africa for the month of June to work with and study HIV/ VCT (Voluntary Counseling and Testing) clinics particularity in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. I am going to be traveling in cities and rural communities looking at services and facilities in regards to HIV care and prevention. I am taking a short “vacation” when I travel to Victoria Falls in Zambia, but I have also set up to visit a local program there too. I end my journey in South Africa where I will be visiting a HIV Prevention program run by the Peace Corp in Pretoria and hope to visit some friends there as well. Then lastly, I will go to the University of Capetown to teach undergrads about HIV Prevention and evaluate a HIV Project at the university. The majority of my trip will be in Ethiopia, one if the hardest hit countries in regards to HIV. Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries on the planet. I have a full schedule there but I am most excited about that leg of the trip.
I leave St. Louis,(June 8th) and head to Addis Ababa, from there to Harare, Zimbabwe to Livingstone, Zambia (Victoria Falls) and then onto Johannesburg, South Africa and lastly Capetown, South Africa.
There are so many people and organizations to thank that I will probably be adding to the list as my journey goes along. First I want to thank, my family who has supported me in going and are willing to cover all my bases while I am gone. I have traveled a lot this year for both work and pleasure from San Juan/Islands with Tricia and the “collide girls” to Miami, Chicago, etc. but never for very long, so this trip is so different.
Leaving my kids has been the hardest thing for me. I still wake up panicked at night at the thought that I will be apart from them so long. Toren, Tiffany and my parents have made all of this possible. Without them I would have never even consider going… For their support I can never thank all of them enough. A special Thank You to Toren, my husband, for understanding why this is so important to me, especially now! I want to thank my children for understanding why it is important for Mommy to go away and not making me feel worse then I already do about leaving them. They are my stars and sunshine. They love me unconditionally and that I will take with me where ever I go.
Next are my friends(to many too list), who listened to this hair brained idea and supported the dream. Cathy, what would have I had done about these 6000 LIVESTRONG wristbands without your help… not to mention the "O Club" that helped me package the bracelets to get them to Africa. To Karen M. who also encouraged me to go for my dreams and not feel guilty. To all my friends who donated items for me to take to the people of Africa, my heart is full, we are so blessed to live in this country. I am so glad you all were willing to share your blessings with others.
There are many formal thanks. The Lance Armstrong Foundation for donating my gift of sunshine to the children of Africa, Until There’s A Cure Foundation for their donation, Global AIDS for their help with the research part of my trip and Senator Barack Obama and his staff for a little muscle to get some thing’s done on the embassies level in Africa. Barbara Morley at the United Nation’s World Affairs Council for countless things and starting this whole process, by involving me in her project here in the states. UNICEF Zimbabwe, University of Capetown, Peace Corp. South Africa, DATA and Family Health International and Centers for Disease Control for all the background information, donations, and access to your resources both here and in Africa. Dr. Ermias Ayele in Ethiopia who has planned every detail of my stay. He has emailed me so much support, even before I have set foot in his country. Inter-Tel for the assistance in shipping these supplies to Africa and to John Burroughs School for the Hayes grant to help cover some of my expenses for this trip.
On a personal note I want to thank all of the people that I have worked with in HIV for the last 13 years. This has given me my base to make this journey. Without their foundation of knowledge and compassion and love, I would not have ever dreamed this dream.
Tot: 0.039s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 7; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0094s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb