Shanti Namaste

One thing is for sure:  I am preparing both physically and mentally for a trip to Africa!  This includes Yoga, which has been around for thousands of years, but I’m just now discovering it! The word, “yoga”, means “to unite”, as in, uniting all aspects of our being (body, mind, emotion, and spirit).  My doctor prescribed it many years ago, but I didn’t heed his advice. 

If you know me well you will often hear me say, “just breathe!” Well, I am taking my own advice and I’m taking it seriously. I recently read “how we breathe is how we live our lives”.  If that’s true, my stress-filled, fight-or-flight adrenaline non-stop day is compounded by poor breathing, robbing my energy, and negatively impacting my mood and mental alertness!

Oh well.  I am making great efforts to breathe properly, improve my posture and flexibility, grow stronger, and … I am learning to relax. So here’s to Downward Facing Dog, Cat and Cow, Plank, Boat Pose, Sun Salutations, Bridge Pose, Corpse Pose, and all the rest!

Shanti Namaste (and thank you, Teresa!)

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Elk and Zambia? Go figure!

I first met Dan and Beckie while in graduate school at OLE MISS back in the 19??. We have worked together and continued our friendship throughout all these years.  Some time ago Beckie shared the marvelous story of how speech-language services through Harding University began in Zambia. She is a wonderful a storyteller -- much like our colleague Sue Hale and mentor, Gloria Kellum, all of whom I hold in high esteem. Beckie always encouraged me, saying  "come join us" and my response was always, "yeah, right!". Well here's how it really happened:

Through our active involvement with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), we met Stan and Jacqueline Burger, owners of Stan Burger Safaris in South Africa.  About a year ago they visited our mutual friends, Cheryl and Bert Haralson, in Augusta, AR. My husband and I were invited to join them and share memories of Cheryl and Bert's  recent African hunt (at the Burger's Safari).  On the way to Augusta I jokingly told my husband that I looked on a map and discovered that Zambia is "just this far" (holding up index finger and thumb indicating about an inch) and, "wouldn't that be funny if I went with Beckie and Dan to Zambia, then went on to South Africa to hunt?" (mind you, I have never killed a big animal...only a turtle and a snake).  Coy turned to me and said, "you wanna go?....think about it....seriously."

So a few weeks later, we were highest bidder at the annual RMEF convention ("Elk Camp") for Stan's hunt and I volunteered to supervise graduate students as they provide language stimulation/enrichment and feeding to the children in Namwianga, Kalomo ZAMBIA!

"Lord Have Mercy" (something my Daddy frequently said, with a long southern drawl...."Loooord Haaaaaave Mercy!")

This was NEVER on "my bucket list"!  I NEVER wanted to travel outside the country again! ... "there are too many things in the United States I want to see!" ....  And here I am....can't wait to go to AFRICA (even though the most challenging thing for me is being away from Coy for 5 weeks while I am supervising students).

Coy has delighted in teaching me all about fire arms and hitting the target! 

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The Beginning

"Amogelesega mo Afrika!" ("Welcome to Africa").  Jacqueline Burger and I review details of our trip to Iwamanzi, which is in the North-West Province of South Africa. She and her husband, Stan, will guide my husband and me on a hunt. Stan has already given me confidence with his encouragement.  My plan is to share in the "first blood" tradition in which I will honor both the zebra and its Creator.

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I am a school-based Speech-Language Pathologist with 36 years of experience and I am about to embark on the experience of a lifetime!

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