Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Going natural

The mom behind www.sciencewithme.com has recently compiled a list of reasons why she respects/likes homeschooling parents. One such reason is because homeschooling parents are not just interested in producing book smart children, but also spend as much time making sure their children eat quality healthy foods; wholistic approach to education.
I am such a mom! Not only do I stress the need for “greens” and fruits at every meal; I now started making sure that my children only use natural/Green products. Luckily, I met another mom who produces natural products. You can learn more about her stuff at www.esheabutter.com.
I am also fortunate to receive my organic greens from Brother Dahveed. He has been farming for over 20 years and interested in teaching children the value of farming and eating their greens. If you are lucky to be in Accra, call him at 0244 214680. Tell him I sent you; maybe you can receive a discount!
So if you are in Accra and do not know where to buy your greens and Green products, contact the above.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Green up!

I just recently came across an article from an old edition of the Ode magazine (Ode, January/February 2007). The article is entitled, “Raging hormones,” and explored how our children are exposed to estrogen mimicking chemicals causing “precocious puberty.” These chemicals are present in “food, water, personal care products, some plastics and many consumer goods.” These are potential threats to children, causing the majority to reach puberty much earlier than past generations. What’s a parent to do? My answer is GREEN UP!
It’s about time that I started to pay attention to the range of Green products on the market. I cannot afford not to anymore. As a parent, I need to protect my children from the dangers out there. So in response, I threw out all of our bad plastic cups, plates, etc. I am particularly afraid of plastic products purchased on the Ghanaian market. Due to weak borders and a Food and Health Board that is understaffed and not as effective as they could be, I cannot take risks buying such products in Ghana. Inferior Chinese made products are dumped in Ghana quite frequently. From fake drugs to counterfeit cigarettes, the Chinese market finds a way to bypass the authorities. Our children pay for those mistakes with their lives, as the case of Nigerian children given fake drugs led to the death of at least 80. I define “third world” as market for inferior products.
If you are anxious to raise healthy children for a better future, then you have no other choice than to Green up! Here are some suggestions as to what you can do by virtue of being in Ghana or Africa.
• Befriend an organic farmer.
• Eat organic vegetables. Better yet, grow your own. It’s a science project in itself.
• Use the Black soap also as hand washing soap.
• Stop buying plastic toys, cups, etc. In fact, the calabash bowl/cup is looking even more attractive right about now. You can get plates made as well.
• Buy green household products, or make your own….lemon cleans everything.

The article adds:
• To stop eating meat, milk and dairy products containing growth hormones.
• Reduce soy, which mimics estrogen.
• Avoid products that contain PVC, including vinyl shower curtains and toys with packaging that reads “3” also known as PVC.
There are lots that can be done to make our homes even safer for our children. The first step is thinking about what you can do…and then the revolution begins.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

What I did on maternity leave

This may come as no revelation to many working moms, but I was surprised to find that maternity leave no longer exists. Maybe it is too extreme to say the policy is no longer available, for it is, however, the fact of the matter is many moms are working during their maternity leave. In fact, maternity leave is much better labeled “flex time;” flexible time to work from home. There is no actual leave; unless you don’t want to keep the competitive edge. And here is the list of 10 work-outside-the-home things I did for my career in academia during my maternity leave which ends in 2 weeks.
1. I interviewed for a new position.
2. I was hired for a new position.
3. I held countless meetings via Skype for this new position.
4. I attended “face-to-face” meetings on logistics of new position.
5. I sent emails about news related topics to let my colleagues and boss know that I “still mattered” to the university.
6. I was often the first to respond to emails sent out to faculty.
7. I agreed to be part of an international group co-teaching a new course.

8. I attended a 3-day conference via Skype and Movi with other universities and institutions on international/global collaborative learning.
9. I, along with three other faculty members, meet weekly to discuss, plan and design syllabus for new course.
10. I am supervising one student’s final project.
11. Oh yeah, and in the meantime, I am raising and home schooling three children.