Daily Archives: September 11, 2018

My First Trip to Africa: Sierra Leone, Freetown – Kono

AFRICA

I always wanted to go to Africa. Like most Afro-Americans, I grew up in an environment idolizing everything, Africa. Once I got there, I realize I Knew nothing about Africa. My maternal grandmother made it clear that everything Africa is best. Granny did not, however, spend time disparaging the accomplishments of other cultures.

Growing up in Nicaragua’s Latino and black cultures. And for me, there is no differentiating between these two ethnicities. Latinos are blacks, and black are Latinos. But this is not so for everyone who finds favor with one group.

In Africa, these distinctions will magnify. Creating a surreal world where an elite minority will treat other with indifferent. Sometimes stereotype can explain things If it was easy as black and white. However, things are seldom black or white.

STEREOTYPES

The usual stereotype can’t explain Africa’s ethnic differences; most folk’s look dark to me, but they’re differences; differences that go back for centuries. The Sierra Leoneans asked me often, “are you Nigerian,” “American” or “Hausa,” those usually came up. Chief Morsay defined Biko and me as “white.” He told us that we are foreigners just like people with white skin. His index finger was rubbing the top of his hand for emphasis. When Afro-Americans do this in a conversation, we know that it’s an obstacle akin to “Whites Only.” “You’re not Africans,” he said. In Africa, it matters where you come from, or from what side of the river; in the case of the Congo’s Bushong and the Lele ethnic group; what side of the river makes a difference socially politically and financially.

But none of that was on my mind. I was excited to go to Africa. Relating to my grandmother’s Afrocentric beliefs; I wanted to see for myself the grandeur of the continent that launched …

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Health Benefits of Taking a Vacation

Taking vacations allows time for relaxing and enjoying yourself in being free from your everyday responsibilities at home and at the office. It is your moment to travel and explore the world. Vacations also bring unforgettable memories that will last for a lifetime. Making good memories is good for the soul. You will not only enjoy it, but also become mentally, physically and spiritually healthy.

Before giving you the importance of vacation, here are some tips on how to take a vacation:

1. Make sure you have a vacation budget.
2. Let your boss and colleagues know it early.
3. Reserve your flights and hotels early.
4. Pack light.
5. Enjoy the planning and packing as part of the overall experience
6. Leave your phone and laptop home.

Specialist Corner

Studies show that taking a vacation can lessen the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and help live a healthier life.

Experts consent that people who seize their health seriously should also learn to take vacation time seriously. Researchers from the State University of New York at Oswego conducted a survey of more than 12,000 men ages 35 to 57 who had participated in a large heart disease prevention trial. The results, presented last March at a meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in Savannah, suggest that men who take vacations every year reduce their overall risk of death by about 20 percent, and their risk of death from heart disease by as much as 30 percent .

When the mind feels pressured and blocked with ideas, the effects on the body can be undesirable. One very important characteristic of mental health and well being is simply setting set the time to allow your mind to do nothing. It is in the method of not being hectic that one …

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How to Eat Healthy While on Vacation

It was my birthday recently and all my friends had been telling me that this is a significant one. For some reason, from the time we turn 25, every five years is supposed to be this big important number. Well, I'm not going to tell you which conviction of 5 I reached, but OK, it was a BIG birthday!

I love that I was born in July. My birthday always falls right around our vacation time. My husband is also a Cancer, so the whole month feels like celebration and vacation. And just like everyone else, our celebrations are often centered around food.

Over the holiday weekend, saying happy birthday to America and me, we had a small group of very close friends together for a gourmet dinner. Last night, hubby took me for a quiet celebration alone to one of our favorite Manhattan restaurants. And next week, we leave on vacation to CA where we will celebrate his birthday at the food and wine festival in Santa Barbara.

Well, that's a lot of food, fine wine, and fun! Add to it the other 6 days we'll be eating out and on the road; It could have a scary number on the scale come August 1st! However, long ago I decided that I was not going to ruin vacations or celebrations feeling guilty, worrying about gaining weight or lapsing in my exercise program.

I've come up with some strategies to continue eating healthy while away, still enjoy myself and not feel deprived. I never want to freak out when I see the scale upon return, requiring the rest of the summer to be about taking off excess weight. I hope these tips will help you eat healthy on your next vacation.

Wherever your travels take you, even if it's just …

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