Kilimanjaro Expedition – Part 7

Part Seven – Aftermath of a bloody long walk!

Well, the walk is over and we’re back at the resort just outside of Moshi.  I have a seven-day growth and desire a hot shower more than anything.  Remember I’m blind and in a totally different country and surroundings.  The bathroom seemed like it was the size of a car garage, darn huge! The silly thing is I tried to have a shave…

The bus was leaving in an hour and half back to Moshi to purchase souvenirs.  Now, this was an experience.  As the bus pulled up in the middle of the road, into a parking space I can only presume, we heard people banging on the windows, apparently holding things up for sale.  “Good genuine tribal clubs at a bargain price.” They are offering anything from genuine tribal clubs and tribal knives, to T-shirts, music sticks and dolls. 

We are told very clearly not to buy from the spruikers outside of the shops and we worked out why.  One bloke tried to flog off a shirt to me for $20 USD.  I told him it was the wrong colour, so he ran away and came back with the right colour.  “Sorry, wrong design” – off he went again.  With my guide, we walked into the shop where these people get their wares.  It was $7 USD for the same item.  Handcrafted paintings are offered but it seems that no matter how often you turn around and show them your back they keep following you.  Hilarious.

So, I had the T-shirt I chose to buy.  Other people who chose to buy souvenirs were now back at the bus and ready to go.  Even then, people were banging on the windows trying to sell artifacts.  On arrival back at the resort we’re advised that dinner will begin at 6pm and then presentations at 7:30 with socialising afterwards.

Each person who came on the trek was gifted a certificate for their expedition.  The Gold band around the certificate signified those who made it to the top of Uhuru Peak and a Silver band for the young South African teenager who turned around at Gillman’s Point.  ( photo of my certificate is attached.)

The morning after I was instructed by my mate that we were to leave super early to catch our plane to Nairobi to make the connecting flight to Johannesburg, then Dubai for a couple of nights rest. I left it to him to make the arrangements.  We left at 4:30 am to get the first flight to Nairobi to then make our way to Johannesburg then Dubai.  Well, what a calamity. 

He got the times wrong and we were stuck in Tanzanian airport for hours with him on the phone to Brisbane to his PA to organise flights, accommodation.  Just a massive screw up and I was powerless to assist.  In a totally foreign country with no technology I could keep myself amused with, a monster head cold was brewing and I just didn’t want to stay where I was.  To keep himself occupied my mate was reading the local paper (but not aloud) as to what was in the Tanzanian news.  I can’t see, so I have no stimulation – no radio, no Facebook, no personal technology to feel like I’m part of anything.  While waiting for our plane, the one we were hours early for, the other trekkers arrived to catch their plane to Zanzibar.  This is hours after we left the resort!  The same question several times, “What are you fella’s still doing here?”  I was too stressed to talk.

We finally got out of Tanzania to Nairobi.  Once again another stuff up.  The flight booked from there to Dubai left 20minutes after we landed.  So, we left the aircraft, ran to the baggage area, grabbed our bags and made a mad rush through hundreds of people to the other side of the airport.  RIDICULOUS.  Made it there in time to hear the doors are closing and watch the plane leaving.  Fan-f-tastic!  We’re stuck for the night with my head cold sinking my emotions and moral. 

After gaining permission to leave the airport we went to one of the local zoos and a national park with a restaurant just to show that we’d done something. TIP – if you’re approached by someone who can recommend a tour guide and taxi, they’re on the take – another experience.)  Oh, the toilet at the zoo was a hole in the floor.  Now that is something when you’re blind!

Finally made it to Dubai.  Stayed at the Hilton, checked out a souk, and went out to the island shaped like a palm tree.  The aquarium out there has glass that’s 700mm thick and, according to the fellow who was with me, the glass wall was about 13m long and 6m tall.  They had scuba divers to clean up the fish poo!  It is definitely worth a look. as is going on a Sand Safari.  The day had it all – Four wheel driving, quad bikes and a camp dinner with a belly dancer.  “Twas a very nice show.” so I was told.

All in all – what did I learn from this experience?

  • I learned to appreciate what I have here at home in Australia.
  • Other lands and countries are worth exploring. 
  • No matter how crappy you feel you have to keep going or you won’t reach the summit of whatever you’re trying to achieve! 

I think this final one is the main lesson for me.  Physically I can achieve what I set out to do, it may take me a little longer but I’m going to have a crack anyway.  Just because I’m blind doesn’t mean I should live under a mushroom.

When relating my story – I’ve had many people say to me, “I wish I could do that.”  My response is, “The only person stopping you is you.”  If you want to achieve something, do it – take your thumb out of your dark spot and get off your arse!!

Exposure to chemicals in the womb linked to reduced lung function in children

We are surrounded by chemicals and toxins including pesticides in the garden, flame retardants, lead, mercury and some cleaning products.

Most chemicals you come across in daily life won’t harm your foetus. But if you are exposed to large quantities of chemicals for a long time, it’s possible that your child is being exposed to an increased risk of health disorders.

Several pesticides and other industrial products now banned in most parts of the world are still persistent in the environment and in foods because they degrade slowly.

Research studies have suggested a link between exposure to these chemicals in the womb and parents reporting reduced lung function in children. The study was presented by Dr. Maribel Casas ( assistant research professor at the Barcelona Institute of Global Health).

The primary source of exposure was via foods eaten by the mother with the child in utero. Babies can be exposed via the placenta and also through breastfeeding. There are other chemicals present in the environment such as phenols and phthalates which have the potential to interfere with children’s developing lungs.

Dr. Casa and her colleagues studied the babies born in several regions of Spain between 2004 and 2008. They measured the levels of several organochlorine compounds in the blood of pregnant mother. The children were asked to take part in tests to measure their lung function at the age of four years and again at seven years. This was done by trained nurses and a pediatric pulmonologist.  The researchers found that the exposure of chemicals was linked to poor lung function of these children.

To reduce excessive exposure to these chemicals, women of reproductive age or pregnant women can try to moderate consumption of foods with high organochlorine compounds such as fatty meats and oily fish.

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Foods to Keep your Immune System Strong

Foods to keep your immune system strong

Who doesn’t need a healthy immune system? A strong immune system is necessary to keep a person healthy.

One of the most important steps to maintain good health is to eat a healthy diet loaded with nutrients that will fortify your immune system. The following foods may help to boost your immune system:

Yogurt

Yogurt is probably the best known source of probiotics that can give your immune system a boost. You will also get a bit of Vitamin A and zinc from the natural yogurt.·       

Garlic

Consumption of garlic can boost the immune system cell function. It contains anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti viral properties. The Sulphur compounds in garlic enhance zinc absorption which is a great immunity booster.·         

Vitamin C rich foods

You probably know about the Vitamin C’s connection to the immune system but do you know that you can also get it from other sources than citrus fruits like oranges? Green Vegetables like spinach, Kale and broccoli are another sources of vitamin C.·         

Zinc rich foods

Zinc helps to slow down immune response and control inflammation in your body. You can find zinc in oysters, lean meats, baked beans and yogurt.·         

Bone broth

It is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals that support boosting immunity. Bone broth is easy for our body to absorb. It  can help heal and seal the gut. It also has anti inflammatory properties..·         

Water

Water can do wonders for your body, especially when it works as an immune system booster. Water facilitates the transport of oxygen to your body cells which results In properly functioning systems. It also works in removing toxins from the body, so drinking water could help prevent toxins from building up.

Strengthening your immune system will have a great impact in your daily life. A strong immune is essential to look and feel your best.​

About Groceries For Health

Groceries for Health are a proud Inner Origin Advocate.  Inner Origin products have been selected with care and follow strict guidelines to adhere to our philosophy.

This is a secure Australian site allowing you, the customer, to purchase the products and have them delivered direct to your door.

You shop, we pack and deliver.

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Difference between Food Allergy, Sensitivity and Intolerance

food intolerance

If you find that you get sick after eating a particular food, you may wonder if you have a food allergy, sensitivity or intolerance. Understanding the problem can help you to see its causes. Food intolerance is far more common than food allergy.

Although allergies, intolerances and sensitivities can present with similar symptoms, there are a few key differences to sort them from each other.

What is a Food Allergy ?

Food allergies are diagnosed when a person’s immune system responds after they eat a certain food. This response involves IgE antibodies that stimulate the release of chemicals including histamines that then cause physical symptoms. In addition to the symptoms of allergic response like dyspnea and skin hives, food allergies can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal cramping, diarrhea and vomiting.

What is food intolerance?

A food intolerance differs from an allergy in that there is no immune system response to the offending food. Food intolerance occurs at the level of the gastrointestinal system, it is the gastrointestinal system’s inability to digest the food. Examples are intolerance to fructose, lactose etc.

What is food sensitivity?

 Sometimes a particular food may bother a person without any medical reason. Common symptoms of food sensitivity are fatigue, headache, digestive issues and skin rashes. A  list of common food sensitivities are:

  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Gluten
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Coffee

What should you do if you suspect any of these problems?

If you are concerned that you have a food allergy or intolerance, discuss this with your doctor. Food allergy and sensitivity testing can be done with a blood or skin test. Do not begin arbitrarily by restricting your diet which can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

About Groceries For Health

Groceries for Health are a proud Inner Origin Advocate.  Inner Origin products have been selected with care and follow strict guidelines to adhere to our philosophy.

This is a secure Australian site allowing you, the customer, to purchase the products and have them delivered direct to your door.

You shop, we pack and deliver.

organic australian groceries and products

Kilimanjaro Expedition – Part 6

Kilimanjaro part 6

Part six and Day five of a bloody long walk

At the summit – now that all the yahooing, crying, tears, handshakes and hugs are all over we can hear the head guide telling us not to go to sleep and to start to make our way back down.  I’m physically and emotionally shattered by this point.  All I really want to do is have a feed and lay down for a sleep.  Closing my eyes seems soothing and a blessing.

Standing up is hard, however, I just have to do it or never leave.  And that wouldn’t be a good look.  Plus the paperwork, LOL! So we’re off down the same path we walked up.  One foot after another and those boots didn’t lose weight, they seemed to gain it.  The sun is up and I’m keen for breakfast.  Knowing there are no cafes up here you have to move!

Back to lifting my feet and instantly judging the ground.  You definitely don’t want a broken or sprained ankle at this altitude!  Time was slow enough going up the night earlier, now that the sun is up my eyes are stinging and want to close.  My guide grabs me and says we have to go.  Over rocks, around rocks, along narrow tracks where you need to bend over to slide between boulders.  And, finally, we get to the top of the scree.  My guide tells me it’s like skiing.  Cool.  I’ve never been skiing before!  This’ll be fun.  I worked out to take big steps.  At times you slide into the scree up to your knees, then you throw the back leg forward and do it all over again.  Oh, and don’t forget to listen out for someone yelling out “rock”.  Time to stop, look and stand aside as it rolls past you.  An interesting sight for a person who can see, and an interesting sound for me.  The air is extremely dry and your mouth dries out really quickly!  I’m thankful for my gaters as they help to keep the scree out of our boots.

On arrival, the hut at Camp Kibo is a lovely sight, even though I can’t see it.  Unfortunately, we’re asked to get our gear packed, go to the toilet if you have to, have a drink of water,  and prepare to move on.  There are lots of tired and excited voices around all looking forward to a feed and sleep but that’s not till we get to the Horombo Hutts, 3700m above sea level.

As the group leaves Camp Kibo the first snow of winter begins.  Such a lovely sight for the sighted persons to see, especially for those who haven’t been in snow before.  I can hear the snow hitting my rain jacket.  A very settling sound.  No trees, no shrubs, no grass.  Just rocks, dirt, snow and a number of tired, excited trekkers.

That afternoon we make it back to the Horombo Huts and are allocated cabins for the night.  With my guide I find mine and get inside to unpack and pack the days clothing.  Sit on my bed, actually more like fall onto my bed, which is on the floor. Another trekker askes if he can sit beside me.  “Mate, I don’t care where you sit, just not on me, I’m shattered!”  He says that he’s no better.  That was a bloody long day!!!

There’s dinner and a regroup that night.  The next morning the alarm is set for 6:30am.  Bottles are left outside for the porters to fill for us.  Down to the food hall for breakfast where there is no milo and the porridge is very watery.  Just add salt to flavour! Then we’re off again.  The track hasn’t changed except for the grasses, shrubs and foliage.  We’re beginning to hear birds again and a bird similar to a crow.  Around lunchtime, we stop at an area with timber picnic tables and benches.  We are presented with, I think, pieces of chicken and what felt like french toast.  Kind of rubbery, but tasty.  You’re really looking forward to a cafe to order something you can recognise!

We made it back to the 2700m above sea level Mandara huts.  Another welcome sight.  We’re given the opportunity to relax for the afternoon and explore to the near lookout at Maundi crater over looking Kenya   and Northern Tanzania.  You can see a very long way.

The next day, we’re off to the gate this time back the way we came.  Taller trees are gathering around us, more birds and monkeys in the trees.  Before leaving the Mandara Huts we are advised that near the gate leading out we may have children on the track about 5 or 6 years old selling chocolates.  We have been given stricked instructions not to look them in the eye.  To look straight forward and ignore them.  With money in my pocket that was difficult and I did shed a tear.  “Chocolate for a dollar”, “Chocolate for a dollar” is what they are saying.  That’s their living.

Well, we’ve made it out and wait for the trek leader to sign us out of the National Park.  We’re loaded into the bus to take us back to the resort with the eight-foot fence and barbed wire to have a shower, change and then we can go into Moshi to buy a souvenir.  Now that’s an experience!  I’ll tell you about it next blog.

See ya’