Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Is There A Doctor In The House!?

Greetings and blessings to one and all! Whether this is the 1st time you’re reading my blog or have been with me from day 1 when I started in Gambia, West Africa, I pray that my words touch your heart and mind: that you be encouraged, enlightened and entertained as you walk with me on my journey.

One thing I have to admit is that I have been inconsistent with writing every week as I was in Gambia. Seems I’m distracted with the goings on in my daily life of getting resettled back in Chicago.   

I came back on all around zero, so I’m working hard at filling up that which was empty! That includes but not limited to my energy, my own place to stay, a car, grounding and developing my organization here as well as maintaining it in Africa, being the matriarch for my family and making sure my health is in order. 

Let me fill you in on the healthcare exploits since my return. I commented in one of my blog post when I was in Gambia that I did not go to the doctor there unless it was an emergency. It’s not the fault of the system or people it’s just that certain things there are limited in more ways than one. So one of the 1st things on my “to do list” when I got back here was to schedule my annual physical. Now I must say, thank GOD I have health insurance, but what’s with the referral system in healthcare? Geez!!!!

Since I’ve been back I’ve been in a hospital or clinic setting 7 times. Yep 7 times in 76 days, whoa!  Mind you I’m fairly healthy, praise GOD, but I do have an ache here and a pain there! So it seems to me wherever there is an ache or pain you’re referred to this doctor or that doctor for each thing. Huh, what!? What happened to the days that you GP took care of all that? My GP could not even interpret a test result from another doctor I’d been referred to. And oh yeah, those referrals are ten times as much per visit than that of a visit with my GP. Is there a kickback scheme to this referral thing I wonder, especially since they’re usually all in the same network!? Hmmmm....

Here’s an example: at my stage in life a colonoscopy is recommended every 5-10 years as part of a wellness physical. Ok that means a referral to a GI Doctor to schedule the procedure at the cost of $40.00. Mind you he didn’t touch or examine me. The crisp white paper on his exam table didn’t get sat on or wrinkled. He just scheduled the procedure. I started to just rip off a sheet and ball it up for the heck of it to get a piece of some $40.00 paper! Hahahahaha!!! Now in order to get the results of the procedure I have to go back to him to give me those results and spend another $40.00, Dang!  

Not to mention doctors that will give you a prescription for only 30 days and tell you to come back in 30 days for a refill. Huh, what!? That means another fee for him or her. I tell you folks it seems like a racket to me and I’m a nurse!

Now I’m far from being financially rich and thank GOD I don’t have to take a lot of medication, but $40.00 here and $50.00 there takes a chunk out of my finances. But what about those that are facing health challenges, elderly and infirmed that do need constant medical follow up and medications. This is a maze that needs to be straightened out with a quickness. Ok, I won't rant, but this is a truth about a system that is faulty and broken.

 I’m just saying!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Living For The City!

Thanks for joining me again as I continue my journey! I haven’t written as often as I was doing when I was in Gambia, West Africa because I’ve really been trying to take it all in.  It seems that it should be like riding a bicycle; once you’ve learned to ride you never forget how, but with it comes apprehension. Will I be steady enough so I don’t fall off? Will I blow a tire and what about all the traffic around me?

I think as children we don’t consider things like that, we just jump on and do it and don’t even give falling a thought. But as we mature we are more aware of both sides of the coin. I’ve been looking at both sides and one does not outweigh the other and it’s not a coin toss for me. Watching and listening to what I see going on around me I’ve decided I’m all in, whether I fall or not I’m going to jump in and do it: no matter the ridicule or danger to be faced

Geez, what is she talking about? Okay, be patient with me and I’ll tell you more. You must remember my blog is my journey and sometimes my thoughts get ahead of my fingers.
I knew that when GOD inspired me to move back to the states from Africa it was for a purpose, something greater than me. It’s what life is all about really. Our successes, failings, suffering and joy is not just for us, but for others to benefit and to learn from. So I know I’m here not just for my own advancement, but also for that of others. It seems so many, far too, too many have forgotten or don’t know that.

I am where I am today because so many mighty and brave people stood up and have fallen so that I can rise. And I say rise because I know that I have not risen to my fullest potential yet to have reached the pinnacle of my journey. I promise GOD, myself and you as I rise that I will reach back for the hand of another to help them up their mountain. Whether by word or deed it’s a responsibility I so gladly welcome and accept.

My heart aches for the children of not only this, but especially for the past two and upcoming generations: these children of the young uneducated and under educated parents. Parents that breed ignorance, anger and hatred in their own homes. You can hear it in their voices as they speak to these children calling them names that don’t bolster self esteem, but tear down dreams. You can hear it in the music they listen to and allow the children to hear. Not all music, but I’m talking about the music that turns the beast savage as oppose to soothe the savage beast: music of sex, hatred and violence. Music that insults me and assaults my ears, mind and heart played loud enough to penetrate young innocent minds.

It’s all around and easy to see in the way the females, I refuse to call them women are dressing leaving nothing to the imagination and I will not leave out the males who believe that the showing dirty underwear is a fashion statement. Not only are so called adults dressing like this, but they’re also dressing their children like that.  

It hurts! Do you hear me it hurts! And unless you are turning a blind eye and you have a heart it should hurt you too. So you say it doesn’t affect you or your community. Humph, well let me tell you if not now, then one day soon it will make a great impact on if not you then yours. I know it for a fact because what you see and hear here in these states travels all over the world. That’s right, even today in most African countries young men are walking around with the pants below the butts with their underwear on parade and our once modest sisters are not so modest any more. 

So I’m all in, whether I fall or not. I will lift up my voice to one, to ten, to the hundreds even to thousands and if only one person benefits from my voice, well then I’ve done my job.

What will you do?

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Who threw the deck of cards up in the air?

Yep it’s been like that. A deck of cards unshuffled, some missing, some face up and some face down scattered all about. I’ve been waiting for a time to write so I could tell you how marvelous everything is and fill you in on some major accomplishments, but truth be told things have been weird. Nothing has gone as planned, but that’s what makes life interesting and helps to build character.  

I’ve been rolling with the punches and I haven’t felt a lick! Seriously, I’m so at peace in the midst of this chaos and that is beautiful. Years ago I probably would’ve blown my stack, did some self medicating and filled my life with distractions to escape some of this craziness, but now I stay focus and keep smiling because I know that great things are coming my way. Not because I see them or have been told that by anyone, but GOD’s promises never fail. I feel and know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be at this moment in time.

First thing is that the place where I was supposed to stay when I got here only existed in someone else’s mind and dreams. I hope that dream materializes for her more than I do for me. So after spending a few days in a hotel waiting for this dream to materialized I called out to GOD and said I know you didn’t bring me here for this. I also asked him for some wheels so I could get around and not feel confined. And like the good FATHER HE is, poof! The very next day I found a place and a car I could afford. Talking about grateful! 

Next thing was my shipment from Gambia. Now that was a headache because of miscommunication. I only found out last week where the shipment was and now I’ve got to pay all kind of crazy storage fees. Dang!

Then the publishing company that I had contracted with to publish my book last April sent me an email saying that they were not going to publish it because they didn’t have much success at publishing books of that particular genre. Huh, what!? They knew what they were getting when they asked me to contract with them. Hmph!!!!

Not to mention that my children’s lives are somewhat turmoil these days. Geez! This is the main reason why GOD has brought me back here. Just to be here for them. Whether they call me or not to reach out to me for me to help, I’m here!

I’ve so enjoyed cruising around the city, taking my grand daughter shopping for her birthday, going to church on Sundays and catching up with some old friends. Despite the fact that things have not gone the way I would’ve wanted it I so appreciate all that is in my life. And I know it only will get better!

People ask me if I miss Africa, well all I can say is that in spite of all the cards in the air I’m too busy enjoying the moment to miss anything!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Here to There

Well it’s been a while since we last met here. It’s all on me because I have been silent these past few weeks. I had to keep quiet so I could hear that small still voice that dwells inside of me. I’ve have made some crucial decisions and more importantly my spirit is causing me to reposition myself. 

I’ve prayed about it, asked for a sign and received it. As difficult as it may be I’ve decided to leave Gambia and move back to the states. Yep, out of Africa for now. Hold on, wait a minute, not my organization, just my physical being.

This is not an easy thing to do. I’ve lived here for almost 10 years. 9 years and 5 months to be exact. So I liken this part of my journey as gestation period in the womb of Mother Africa.  She has nurtured me and fed me with her many riches and now it is time to come forth.

This all feels weird and at times quite unreal or at least surreal. I imagine this is how a baby feels when it has reached full term in the womb. No matter how you turn, which ever way you stretch there isn’t enough room. It was my spirit that led me here and now it is leading me on, almost like a pull that I can’t resist. There are some greater things waiting on me, I can feel it and I must be where GOD wants me to be to receive these great blessings HE has for me and also to be a blessing to others. I knew that when GOD gave me the inspiration for It’s Nice To Be Nice International  that it was not only to be in Gambia, but in whatever part of the world HE chose to send me to. I’m being obedient so who knows where to from here. 

I’ve discovered and rediscovered so many things about myself. I’ve learned how deep, strong and widespread are my roots. Many of us from the African Diaspora long to reconnect with our African Heritage, to know our ancestral roots, but what I also discovered is that my roots are not only in Africa, but they are also in North America. So my love is far and wide. My family is there in the states and I can not ever forget that or them. They need me, I need them!

So, I’ve been packing, selling, shipping and storing my stuff for this major move. It’s hard enough moving from one residence to another, let alone moving from continent to another. And get this, I don't have an address in the states any longer. I'm moving on faith and know that GOD will provide me with what I need and much of what I desire. It’s sort of freeing getting rid of so much stuff though. Furniture, clothing, linen, house wares, office supplies, satellite dish, and electronics you name it. I’ve either sold it or given it away. And as I look around I still got too much stuff! Geez!!!! My vices are clothes, shoes, handbags and the like.  And oh yeah, my art! My art is a reflection of life and places I’ve been; nothing expensive in a material sense, but as I look around at it I see where I’ve been and it also tells me where I want to go.

This is why I’ve been silent all these weeks my friends. It was and is just way too much stuff going on to be able to sort through all the emotions, boxes and suitcases to share. I wanted to make this transition as calm and stress free as possible. To do that I prayed then I’d plan each step in order not to create chaos and be out of my house that I’ve rented here for 6 years on the target date that I set.

I did it and I’m on a countdown now and only have a few days left here. I’m excited by what’s coming next, yet weepy for what I’m leaving behind. Will I come back to Gambia? Of course all things by GOD’s will! I’ve got property here, I’m a citizen of The Gambia and my organization is here......

But right now I’ve got on traveling shoes.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Lady in waiting!

Welcome! What a blessing it is to share with you again. I apologize for the inconsistency of my post. It’s not because I have grown tired of posting to my blog or that I have forgotten. You my readers are important to me, but stuff is going on. Good stuff!

If you can recall in my post on April 8th of this year, “Brother can you spare a dime”, I wrote about asking GOD for a sign to let me know if I was going in the right direction and following a path that HE approved of and more importantly a path that HE is me leading down. That’s when a pineapple plant I planted over 3-4 years ago fruited. Wow! I’m still in awe and testifying about that!

Well anyway since to me that was my sign I’m moving ahead with some plans for my future and that of my family. And oh yeah, big things happening for my organization, "It's Nice To Be Nice (INTBN) International".  That may not sound like a big deal to you or anything out of the ordinary way of thinking, but it is for me. You see, I’m a late bloomer. So some of the things people did when they were young I’ve experienced in my latter years and thank GOD for that. I believe that since I’m more mature now I can fully appreciate experiences deferred. 

In my life I have not really been a planner. I actually believed and still have a belief that if it’s intended for you and if that’s how GOD wants it, then that’s how it’s going to be. So I felt like what was the use in planning, just live and GOD would work it out. Like I’ve said I’ve matured and praise GOD I’ve matured with wisdom.  So this planning thing is so new to me. I must admit though, by not planning and following my spirit it has taken many places I’ve wanted to go and experienced many adventures, people and things I desired.

One of the things I’ve learned about planning is to hold those plans tight to you chest because haters are everywhere and some people hate for no earthly reason at all. I say that to say there is a lot I want to share with you, but I can’t right now till the chicken is ready to hatch. Huh, what!? 

Yeah, cat’s got my tongue.