Thursday, 26 March 2015

HS around the world

Finally this blog to center the home school movement within the greater discourse on world education, is finally blogging about....drum roll...home school.

Our home school experience  has gone through many great changes in the past six months, which partly caused my silence.

First, we moved to SC, another great historical state. During our time here, we will be studying African American history, visit Guallah Island, Charleston, Catawba Reservation and the Brattonsville living history center.

SC/NC are an extension of the West African coast. They are a continuation of El Mina, Cape Coast and part of the slave dungeon history. They answer the questions what happened to those Africans? What did they become? Did they thrive? The coasts tell one part of the story and SC/NC tell the other half.

While here, we learned what became of some of our ancestors. We recently learned about a 100 year old former share cropper woman with a second grade education. She is still living and grew up with knowledge of an African language.

Carolinians showcase their West African roots by their warmth and mannerisms. But most importantly, they are part of the African world. There is much to see and learn on this side. I would love to be able to move to Haiti next.

Imagine living history; instead of just reading it. It would be like a living book and each country a chapter. The table of content would read like this:

1. Ghana: study the beginning
2. SC/NC: Africans as slaves, free and citizens
3. Haiti: Need I say more?
4. A Caribbean island where Africans and Native Americans intermarried and developed new group.

And from there, we would return to the Continent, maybe Madagascar to study fauna. I hope my hubby reads this blog. I love you babe!

The more you know

I've recently learned that even a benign tumor  could threaten your life. Because of this it becomes important that you remove or properly treat benign tumors, wherever they are. Do not keep them in your body because they can potentially grow and react in life threatening ways in your body.

Remember we all have a normal level of cancer cells in our bodies. But some benign or good tumors can grow very fast and on organs and bones, preventing them from properly functioning. Another thing is that, even a tiny lump can cause havoc while one the size of a watermelon can be safe. So it's not about the size.

Lastly, while I promote natural path healing, it alone cannot do the job for all cases. Of course neither can Western medicine. What is needed is an integral system balancing the two forms; especially when dealing with tumors. Because tumors can act in ways most researchers haven't seen, it's best not to assume all "tumors" can be treated the same way.

For example, I've learned that some lumps can grow to the size of a cantaloupe and burst open dripping blood.  It can leak for months causing anemia and a wound that needs to be properly cleaned daily with tons of materials to avoid infection.  Many of such tumors can develop on one breast.

In such a case you will need transfusion to battle the anemia. You will need a complex and holistic way to battle such a condition. Drinking organic teas cannot do it alone. And while it could, it would take much longer to do so. Time that your body may not have.

I wish I could live on plants alone. Yes, my ancestors had such knowledge. But we no longer live the same way or in the same world. We don't eat the same food, drink same water, breathe same air nor wear same fabric.

Final word, (different from lastly), it's safer to see a herbalist with an actual office who can examine you. Speaking on phone with someone who is "guessing" your needs based on what you think as wrong is not enough to save your life. While there are risks to all forms of medical treatment, please find ways to decrease the odds.

A child's view

I was discussing life and death with my children. My eldest further explained, "it's like writing a paper. If there's an introduction, there must be a conclusion." And we have all completed our introduction.

She called me

On her death bed
needing to conserve energy, she said
but sounded beautifully strong

We spoke about it
but laughed about it more
we loved each other

What was that love?
so much to ponder
why did she call me?

Who is worthy of such a call?
and what honor, grace, blessings this bestole
it's being crowned by angels

How do we proceed with our new relationship?
how do we communicate?
surely I must not forget

The call told me so
and so much more
she was communicating a greater message

She called me beautiful lady, always
she was so much more
so pure, so real, so positive

And her boys?
I'm more mom than aunty now
have to be there, to be her presence

She called on Ghana's Independence Day
giving me freedom to be more, do more, love more
she liberated me

Did she give her life for mine?
why would she call lowly me?
not worthy

Alice is my angel's name
part of my soul forever

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

My dearest Alice

When it rains, it pours! My dearest sistar-friend has joined the ancestors. I continue to love her very much and know she is one of my many guardian angels.

I first met this wonderful soul in NYC 18 years ago. We hit it off immediately. She was warm and welcoming with a smile that melted your heart. We eventually both returned to Ghana to live. She was a great aunt to my children. I know I will never forget my beautiful sistar. I know her face is ingrained in my spirit forever. I know she has taught me so much and now her transition has forced me to grow.

1. Pain and suffering should make us better human beings. We shouldn't run from it but embrace the opportunity to grow and learn and become more compassionate.
2. Be kind always. It just never pays not to be.
3. Love and let others feel your love.
4. Be a blessing always.
5. Let your smile be someone's umbrella.
6. Live life like a boss.
7. Let your life be fuel for others to shine.
8. Help! Help! Help!
9. Spread your sunshine.
10. Smile like Alice. A smile that lights her eyes and allows you to feel her spirit.A smile that is pure beauty and comfort.

Alice is such a spirit that her physical departure has only taken our relationship to another level. I look forward to this new stage. I'm very sad and have many questions. But life and death cannot be controlled by me. Instead of living in my grief, I can look forward to developing a relationship with her spirit. I know she has made the spirit world all the more worth joining.

Kwana biyu!

Kwana biyu! This is a Hausa expression loosely translated into "it's been a long time since we've met." Since I'm not much of a blogger I have to muster much energy to chat. Some of my reluctance lately has had to do with my path towards an inner deeper reflection. Instead of clogging my mind with useless thoughts and "other's words," I decided to focus more on connecting with the spiritual.

One of the thoughts that I have been reflecting on lately is on Ghana's health care system. Granted health care in Ghana was never great, but things have been getting worse. Hospitals run out of electricity, drugs, water, doctors, beds and blood. This is why I believe that all foreigners and expatriates who are hospitalized in Ghana should return to their home countries for treatment. This is not because I believe their systems superior, I don't know that. And nor is it because I am anti-foreigner, since as a Haitian, I am one myself.

My reason is simple. If you love Ghana and understand the stress that the country is going through, it is your moral duty to help. Ghana's health resources are very strained. A non-Ghanaian has another health care system to fall back on. The average Ghanaian does not. Thus it becomes a humanitarian issue to free up the limited resources in Ghana for Ghanaians; especially those who have no other option. And by using medical supplies and intelligence in Ghana, they are taking those limited spaces away. Regardless of one's ability to "pay," heath care systems in many such countries should be exclusive for the average person.

Think about patients who need chemo or dialysis. Some are often denied medication because supplies do run out. I'm not saying a life is better than others. But Ghana's health care system has to begin making those choices. And until they do, all those who love Ghana and its wonderful people will find seeking health care elsewhere as their humanitarian duty.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Tati Kymie

Every child deserves a wonderful aunt. An aunt whose love is unconditional, spoils with more love and trains in even more. I am blessed to have more than one such aunt. Ate, Clemene, Odette are some of the world’s greatest aunts and I’m privileged to call them MINE! These are women who would swim high and low for me; people whose love knows no bounds, and never ends. Their shoulders continue to carry me higher and higher.
Aunts are very important in cultures all over the world. They are second mothers. Children who are privileged to have a great one have at least two mothers who fuss over them with love, compassion and tenderness. Such aunts provide special gifts, treats, hugs, kisses and affection reserved only for you. That love cannot be duplicated. It is a special bond that you both share; and will continue to do so forever. Not even death will do you part.
Growing up in Haiti I would spend summer vacations with my aunt Ate and in the same compound lived Clemene and other aunts. I had more than one place to call home. More than one person seeing to my happiness; making sure my wish was met. As a result, I had more than one person creating memories that would guide me forever.
And this is why I am blissfully over the moon that my children have wonderful aunts. Tati Kymie is my children’s aunt. She is the kind of aunt who guides with love; whose rod is a hug and who disciplines without you realizing it as punishment. Tati Kymie is my children’s favorite aunt, of course. Yes, as many of such wonderful aunts, she spoils with the material. She took the children on a shopping spree that will single handedly solve the American economic crisis.
But the material is not even the most lavish of Tati Kymie’s gifts. Her presence reassures that the children are loved unconditionally and they know it! They know this is an aunt who will accept them for who and what they wish to become. They know she sees the stars in their eyes. They know she sees nothing greater than what they can become. There is no greater gift than a child recognizing love in the eyes of aunts. My son described her as a "great force." He senses that spirit of love that binds them. He knows it!
Amazing aunts tend to be outliers, bold, and audacious. They provide the children with gifts that they recognize as pure treasures to be cherished. I cannot begin to describe Kym. Adjectives fail my attempt to pay homage to her. But suffice it to say Kym is one of my favorite people in the universe. She does not judge. She does not jump to conclusion. She is analytical, critical and fair (even when I wish she was more hot headed like me). She walks to the beat of her own drum, which she carved out of the rare tree she planted using tools she designed. And she helps you do the same.
Kym has always been comfortable in her skin and knowing who she was and what she wanted to become; even when society kept telling her otherwise. A person like that knows how to cultivate greatness in others; especially her nieces and nephews. A person like that will be their voice when the world is trying to tear them down. I can prove that children listen to wonderful aunts more than they do their parents. Their voice is a guiding spirit.
What adjective describes someone who stopped their life to help you better live yours? What’s the word for someone whose love never ends and seems new all the time?
Tati Kymie is not the only one. The roster includes Gue and Lin who put their lives on hold to make sure that mine is fine. There are no names for those types of aunts. And Sabrina, Mel, Sa, Pat, Yves, K, and Linda are more aunts whose love and prayers are felt by my children. I make sure they know their names and see their pictures.

The children are not without amazing uncles, either. I have my share of them too. But that is another blog to pay homage to Tonton Koudou, Drapo and Ralph to name a few.