It is early morning in Cape Town, and I awakened to the sun rising over the harbor. Table Mountain looms nearby, and the whole beautiful city sparkles.
I wish that I knew how to post pictures on this blog and promise both to learn and to share a few from the trip--even though they will be rather out of context and likely paired with my more usual entries. I left the curtains open last night (since I am on the 12th floor, that seems fine) so I could fall asleep to the busy city lights and awaken to this view.
This morning, a friend is taking me to the airport, and I fly the two hours to Johannesburg where (I hope!) I will meet my husband. As you may recall, he has spent this week in ZImbabwe, meeting people and making site visits to the two little mission hospitals we are trying to help. He is both encouraged and discouraged by his visit. He has felt welcomed and supported in the intent, but the resources are just not there. The government is overwhelmed in many ways, and trying to focus on larger, more central hospitals. This leaves so many people in rural parts of the country, literally walking a day or two to reach the nearest clinic where the doctor comes one day a week. The title in my head continues to be "Health Care (when available) for Peanuts" as many people are peanut farmers and have only sacks of their harvest to offer as payment. I don't mean to sound less committed. We are even more determined to continue with our efforts and to try hard to make a small difference.
Since I have now met several women from Zimbabwe at this conference, I am wondering if there is a way to expand our dreams to include some kind of help for women with breast cancer. What they need--money and doctors and equipment--is well beyond what I/we can do, but, please,think with me and let's consider some kind of response to our sisters. One simple thought is collecting used prostheses and sending along cartons when we have enough. Another is wondering if it might be possible to "adopt" (think about Save the Children) a woman and her family and try to gather and send along whatever would be useful. I am not so good at out of the box thinking, so I am asking for your help.
This morning, I begin the very long trip home with a full heart and enormous gratitude for the chance to be here. I also have a puzzle: For the last two plus weeks, I have eaten very well and very alot. There was zero exercise for the ten days in Botswana and minimal exercise, just the usual walking around, for five days in Cape Town.I have savored South African wines, and rarely declined a goodie. At home, I go to the gym virtually every morning and am very aware of watching what I eat. Here is the puzzle: I have lost weight here. Maybe this means I should move to Africa?