It Began in Africa

South Africa!
Travelling is an important part of fulfilling my soul. It helps me understand how and why we are all connected. A recent trip to South Africa shifted me in a deep way; so, I’m dedicating this May 2013 Newsletter to that magical place! This summer it’s time to change your surroundings and renew your joy for life. Enjoy!

Travel to your Edge: South Africa

Our trip started in the beach town of Camp’s Bay, taking a jaunt down to the tip of the world at Cape Point, and then an extended stay in the bustling seaside City of Cape Town. No trip of mine is complete without sampling the local wines; so we headed to the wine regions of Stellenbosch and Franshoek. The food in South Africa, by the way, is incredibly tantalizing. And people really take their time to chew, chat, and sip. After several days of wining and dining, we headed to the bush and that’s where my shift began.
Savoring the freshest fruits, veggies, and meats from the property’s farm, our safari dinner led to conversation around an open fire. We decided to stand up to better gaze at the full moon sky when we heard a sound that rattled the bottom of our bellies.  Although our safari adventure had already been saturated with the sounds of elephants, kurus, antelope, impalas, baboons, rhinos, water buck, buffalo, snakes, leopards, hyena, monkeys, and birds, (among others!) I had yet to hear the lion’s roar. It was less of a sound, and more of a deep-bass vibration. The sound of the lion completing its kill echoed throughout the night and struck my core; connecting me with the depths of the earth and the power of mother nature. I will never forget that feeling.
Just before we embarked for South Africa, my grandfather passed away. I loved him very much. At his funeral, the chaplain spoke about the seasons of life- birth and death – a continuous, and sometimes painful truth of our existence. The next day we found a group of four female lions basking in the sun. We were so close, we could hear them breathe and their throats rumble. I looked into the eyes of one lioness and I felt a deep tug at my heart as my eyes filled with tears. In her eyes I saw beauty, strength, fear, life, and death.  I saw my grandfather. It was as if I saw the universe in one glimpse and I wondered if that’s what Arjuna saw in the famous Bhagavad Gita.
The reality is we are all in a continuous cycle; contributing to the ebb and flow of dark and light matter, low and high vibrations. South Africa is a place that allowed me to disarm; to truly move from my soul center and feel from my heart center. It stripped me of all the cloudiness that can keep one from seeing beauty everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, if you are large or small, if you are black or white, where you came from or where you are going. South Africa welcomes the truth of all beings. Read below to learn about the importance of women & water!
Water & Women
Clean water is a global issue. Some of you know that I am a water resources consultant, which means I work with counties, cities, and water districts to fund and plan projects to protect our water supply and clean our waterways and oceans. As a technical advisory board member for the ThirstProject, I’ve supported fresh water wells built in 12 countries around the world. We’ve decided to focus our efforts on providing water to all of Swaziland (an African country adjacent to South Africa) by 2020. Access to clean drinking water is imperative for communities to thrive in terms of health and financial success. South Africa is similar to most third world countries in that women and children spend hours each day fetching water. In fact, many children don’t go to school because they need to assist with domestic chores at home: walking miles to fill buckets of water at dirty watering holes, then carrying jerrycans back home to spend the day boiling water to sanitize it for washing, cooking and bathing. You can imagine the health implications as well, in a continent where HIV/AIDS is as widespread as diabetes in the states. South Africa has a system where their shacks (homes) have large green water tanks on their roofs that are filled by a truck coming by and refilling them for a fee. Although there is fresh groundwater (mother nature does the best job of cleaning water, allowing it to infiltrate through the soils and then storing it in underground cavities known as aquifers), there are few water wells, if any, to access it. The ThirstProject, like many other non-profits charged with providing clean water, provides the engineering, installation, and monitoring of the groundwater wells. They even include GIS (geographic information system) programming to map the exact location of the wells to ensure proper operation. They also educate the women on how to operate and repair the wells. Yes, the women are the heart and soul of African communities – no women, no water. Since we all share the same water that was here when the dinosaurs existed, it truly is our global duty to conserve water and protect it as a public resource, if not a human right. You can find out more about the ThirstProject here: website or facebook.

 

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