Category Archives: africa

The Ebola Hype – Let’s get the facts and see how we can help!

Since the Ebola outbreak in May, there has been little news or information up until a few months ago when it exploded. Now it seems to be in our news feeds and conversations constantly with an immense amount of FEAR attached. No doubt this is a real issue and a serious crisis for those living in affected areas, but the extent and spread on a Global scale seems to be dramatically over publicised. I would like to focus on and hear the facts about such medical disasters. Thankfully through World Vision Australia and other we can learn about how practical measures are being taken on the ground.

Pictures of the Deputy Minister of Health & Sanitation, Madam Madina Rhaman and other Health Practitioners putting on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided by World Vision before entering the treatment wards at the Hastings Centre. Photo by Nathan BunduDeputy health minister of Sierra leone

Pictures of the Deputy Minister of Health & Sanitation, Madam Madina Rhaman and other Health Practitioners putting on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided by World Vision before entering the treatment wards at the Hastings Centre.
Photo by Nathan BunduDeputy health minister of Sierra leone

I have personally lived through the outbreak of a possible pandemic. I lived in Mexico when Swine flu broke out in 2009. Schools were shut, shopping malls closed, we were house bound and forced to wear masks. It was quite frankly terrifying to have the city you are living in shut down with the fear of state and national borders closing. I fled at that time for the US and missed my last few weeks of the college semester and final moments with friends. The first death in the US happened in Houston, the very town I had fled to. There was then risks in NYC, I was also there. After I’d returned to Australia, a few months later, a friend contracted Swine Flu, we only knew after a week of staying together at the snow in the same room, when she went to the doctor at home. This was a HUGELY publicised disease and threat to global security – to the point where we still have machines in place to monitor our health as we travel.

The situation was felt badly in certain areas and the fear of the spread went to all corners of the world. In the end, the health care was able to cope with the disease and the security measures seemed to work. I fear for Ebola, and for the nation of Africa, the media attention and scares placed on any travel will affect this country so greatly economically and socially for years to come. The whole of Africa has been tarnished with the same brush. The myths need to be dispelled and we need to focus on the facts.

 Zainab, 12, has been spending a lot of time with mum Finda, after her school was closed to prevent Ebola from spreading. “I really want this Ebola virus to come to an end. It has affected our education, social activities, restricted movements, and is keeping us away from our friends. My parents don’t allow me to go too close to my friends, neither do theirs allow them to come closer to me for fear of being infected with the virus. It is even affecting we the Kids Club because there are many things we want to do right now, but we have been stopped.” Photo by Sahr


Zainab, 12, has been spending a lot of time with mum Finda, after her school was closed to prevent Ebola from spreading.
“I really want this Ebola virus to come to an end. It has affected our education, social activities, restricted movements, and is keeping us away from our friends. My parents don’t allow me to go too close to my friends, neither do theirs allow them to come closer to me for fear of being infected with the virus. It is even affecting we the Kids Club because there are many things we want to do right now, but we have been stopped.” Photo by Sahr

This article from Seth Godin about the “marketing of Ebola” is brilliant and hit the nail on the head for me: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/10/the-self-marketing-of-ebola.html.

From the moment I started hearing updates, even when my father first told me about it, I questioned the extent of the media coverage on the disease. I have no doubt that this is a SERIOUS health concern and that people are dying in the masses from this. But instead of spreading hysteria across the western world about our family and friends going anywhere near anything, perhaps we could focus our attention on helping those who are affected.

I am a big fan of the work of what World Vision Australia do and have support them for 10 years with two sponsor children. I’ve also been to visit two projects with them. I was keen to hear what they had to say and to get the numbers and facts from them, and it’s gravely different from what the media feeds us.

Ebola Quick facts

  • So far 9,191 people have caught Ebola inSierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, and 4,546 have died from the disease across those three countries.
  • At least 3,700 children in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have lost one or both parents to the virus, with women disproportionately affected due to their role as caregivers and health sector workers
  • Ebola infection rates have reached epidemic proportions and are growing exponentially – the number of cases is doubling about every 20 days
  • World Vision has sent a planeload of more than five million pieces of protective clothing and equipment to Sierra Leone, to be distributed to health workers across the country to protect them and their patients from infection
  • World Vision is also training 750 health workers in prevention and control measures, as well as basic care management
  • There are almost 3,000 confirmed cases just in Sierra Leone, with more than 900 people dying from the virus. Ebola is spreading in Sierra Leone at an alarming rate, with the number of new cases doubling every three weeks. This means that five new people are infected with Ebola every hour in Sierra Leone.
World Vision Sierra Leone’s National Director, Leslie Scott making the official hand-over to Sierra Leone's Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madam Madina Rahman. Medical Supplies arrive to help combat the Ebola outbreak. Photo by Jonathan Bundu, World Vision

World Vision Sierra Leone’s National Director, Leslie Scott making the official hand-over to Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madam Madina Rahman. Medical Supplies arrive to help combat the Ebola outbreak.
Photo by Jonathan Bundu, World Vision

World Vision is working with the United Nations, World Health Organisation and other agencies to try to halt the spread of Ebola, and care for the children who have lost parents to the virus.

To stop the spread, World Vision has diverted its energy away from the normal work carried out in Sierra Leone, and focused on educating and training healthcare workers, and preventing transmission.

A biq question that continues to be posed by our nation is?

Are Australians at risk of getting Ebola?

Although there have been confirmed cases of Ebola in the US and in Europe, there have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Australia. Fortunately, Australia has a robust border protection system and the infection control mechanisms in our hospitals are first rate. It is critical that this outbreak is contained.

 

It’s something we and the media always focus on. Not ” how are those people coping?” “Are schools still running?” “What access do they have to healthcare?”

No. Our question is “How will this affect me”? Of course we feel this but I want to focus on seeing Africa survive and prosper through this difficult stage. To get help to the most affected areas and solve the problem at the root.

Do we even know what Ebola is? Here is some information on what the disease is:

What is Ebola?

Ebola virus disease is a serious illness with a mortality rate of about 50 percent of infected people. It spreads through human-to-human contact, with the first transmissions in outbreaks generally coming from wild animals.

Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids of infected people, or with items such as bedding that have been in direct contact with the victims themselves. It cannot be spread through the air. Health care workers have sadly contracted Ebola while treating patients, and the virus has also been passed on during burial ceremonies when custom dictates communal washing of the body.

Church leader Alhaji delivers a message on Ebola to his congregation. Photo by Jonathan Bundu, World Vision

Church leader Alhaji delivers a message on Ebola to his congregation. Photo by Jonathan Bundu, World Vision

I hope that we can start focussing on these facts. Looking at ways to support communities and stop the spread of disease instead of cutting off this country and bordering off the entire continent.

For more information on the wonderful work of World Vision Australia and how you can help the appeal, please follow these links:

Learn more about the World Vision Ebola response: http://wva.me/ebola_response 

Donate to the World Vison Ebola Appeal: http://wva.me/ebola_donate

Let’s stop the hype, get educated and take the next steps to supporting those in need.

 

NOTE: All photos and facts are from http://www.worldvision.com.au


Video memories of Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro

In 2011, a team of 9 inspirational people climbed Mt Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW. We raised more than $36,000 and had the adventure of a lifetime.

Grandpa! This is for you xx

If you want to take on such an adventure, visit Inspired Adventures

Emma standing on top of Uhuru Peak

Emma standing on top of Uhuru Peak

 


Journey through anothers’ eyes

It’s funny how different the same experience can look through another’s eyes. A journey that was shared so closely between a group of people can look so different from their view – and from their camera.

 

It was lovely recently to catch up with my friends who I did Mt Kilimanjaro Climb for Alzheimer;’s Australia NSW with in September 2011. We met and shared stories and photos and how our lives have changed since and it was so wonderful to reconnect.

 

These are photos from the lovely Anne and Andrew that really stood out to me and reminded me of some wonderful moments – moments of me enjoying and experiencing without even realising someone was looking on and capturing those special times.

 

Starting out the trip

The Tembo Girls are getting read to go before the climb

Staking my claim on our vehicle - though apparently this wasn't our van

Arriving at Camp Day 1! Woo well done team

 

gorgeous Anne and I, ready for Day 2

 

Misty misty on Day 2

 

Looking towards Kikelelwa Camp on Day 2 after 7 hours of walking, that's Mawenzi in the distance.

 

An incredible night view from Kikelelwa of the amazing Kibo that we will later climb

Amazing night view from Kikelelwa of Kibo which we willl climb in 3.5 days time.

 

Camp on Day 3 or 4, Mawenzi Camp where we stayed 2 nights, great view

 

Walking across the saddle towards Kibo

 

Hiking up and over the rocks towards the saddle - it's great to have some natural shots of hiking

 

We finished! At the Marengu Gate!! Enjoying a well deserved Kilimanjaro Beer

 

My certificate! Proof! Thank you Mufasa, King of Team Tembo

 

Team Tembo celebrate all together ( exlcuding our other 20 porters who were very much part of the crew)

 
Share with me your photos and memories of great times captured by another.


Views of Kilimanjaro

Mt Kilimanjaro. The roof of Africa. The largest freestanding mountain in the world. A marvel and a beauty.

I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and it was amazing to see it from so many angles and so many views.

 

Here I will share with you 5 gorgeous photos from 5 different points of the mountain. Each one more breathaking and inspirational then the next.

My first beautiful view of Kili from the plane

A view of the mountain from our hotel roof, the day we were to climb it

KIBO peak. Our first views of it from the actual mountain, at Simba camp on morning of Day 2

 

Good morning Uluru, wait no it's KILI! with the sunrise on it, it looked just like the red dessert rock of Australia. Day 3 - Kikelelwa camp

The most incredible to stop on Day 3 and have a rest - it's wonderful to see where you are heading! To be able to visualise the goal

I have to say one of my favourite things about doing the climb was seeing the mountain from so many new and unexpected views. Sights you can only see when you are climbing her beautiful faces.

 

From 16th September -22nd September 2011, I Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW!  I did this in honour of my Grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008. I was in Africa when I found out and I said at the time I would one day do this for him, in his memory! We are raising money for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW to raise awareness and the necessary funds for prevention of the disease that affects so many. Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke. 

You can still help me reach my $10.000 target by donating to my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA


Dismas (MUFASA) Alex, TANZANIA, Travel Profile

Introducing you to Tanzania by Dismas (Mufasa) Alex.

 

Mufasa is a dear friend to me who I only recently met on my amazing and epic journey, Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. As head guide, mufasa is responsible for all arrangements with staff and for the primary care of all 9 international participants on the trip. He commands his crew and orchestrates his tribe incredibly for a seamless and highly enjoyable tour.

 

I cannot wait to go back to Tanzania (planning 2 years time) to see more of the wonderful country and with my best guide and dear “Rafiki” (friend) by my side.

 

Read more about wonderful Tanzania from Mufasa and see his contact details below for those who are going!

 

 

1. Name: Dismas Alex (MUFASA)

 

2. Occupation: Tourism

 

3. Country of Residence: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

 

4. Country of Origin: Tanzania

 

8 NORTHER ICE FIELDS FROM THE RIM

5. email/contact/ website ( If happy to be published on a website):

dismasguide@hotmail.com, safaris@tanganyikaparks.com

P.O.BOX 7711, MOSHI

Cell: +255 768 848 323; + 255 658 848 323

 

6. Why do you love Travel? I feel happy to participate and deliver my community with responsible travel caring about nature flora and fauna living free in wilderness.

 

7. Favourite place in your home country and why?

Kilimanjaro (the roof of Africa), been there more than 150 times. I feel freedom of mind on the highest peak of Africa, as on the foothills where I grew up in Marangu volcanic fertile land, God given us. I’m so proud of it.

 

Snows of Kili background

8. Best place for tourists to visit in your country?

Places in combination eco-tourism Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro & Serengeti.

 

9. What other country would you live in if you had to leave your country?

I love my country Tanzania; more important, it’s a peaceful country; If it happens I’d like to live in any country similar as my home country.

 

10. Best travelling experience anecdote in your own country?

That is during my childhood, when I first climbed Kilimanjaro 14 years ago; with no proper gearsuntil 4,600 meters, and that I was happy getting closer to those big blocks of permanent glaciers I use to see from the bottom, and also landscape when on Ngorongoro crater rim and Serengeti endless plain with vast wild beast migration.

11. Favourite activity when around your city?

Chatting and exchanging tourism ideas with friends and colleagues

 

12. Do you feel you know your country well, or is more exploring of your homeland needed?

I know most of my country places of interest physically in spite of the fact that more exploring needed (eco-tourism) to the new places for Tourists to visit as Tanzania is big and believed to have plenty of virgin interesting places to visit.

 

13. Any warnings for travellers visiting in your country?

Others are normal like any other country, to bring/have copy of their yellow fever certificate.

 

14. Must see movie featuring your country and Why?

Novels and movies featuring Tanzania, so they can have an idea what kind of a country they are going to visit

October 2011

 

15. The best book to read before visiting your country?

The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernst Hemingway.

 

16. The must eat dish or delicacy of your country?

Ugali (stiff porridge- corn flour) Banana stew, banana beer,

 

17. The top three sayings to make travellers stay in your country easier? E.g. How much? Too expensive or Hello.

“Karibu” – Welcome

“Hakuna matata” – No worries, no problems

“pole pole” – slowly slowly

“Poa kichizi kama ndizi” Crazy cool like a banana.

 

Our mountain tent

18. Best time of year to visit?

All year around, except the raining season March & April for hikers

 

19. The 4 words that best describe your country:

Tanzania the land of “Kilimanjaro”, “Serengeti”, “Ngorongoro” & “Zanzibar”

 

Emma and Mufasa on the SUMMIT!!!

 

 

 

 

 

KILIMANJARO

Mountain Guides & safari Outfitters

Post Office               Home Address:-

7711 Moshi              Taifa rd.

East Africa               Tanzania

Phone +255 768 848 323

E-mail: dismasguide@hotmail.com

Climbing/Safaris & Beaches


World Alzheimer’s Day

Every year on 21 September, World Alzheimer’s Day unites people living with dementia around the world. There are more than 36 million people with dementia worldwide and by conquering the world’s highest free-standing mountain on World’s Alzheimer’s Day, we will be helping to fight to make sure that dementia is recognised as a global health priority.

I am today going to  summit Mt Kilimanjaro in honour of my late Grandpa Jack who passed away from Alzheimer’s Australia NSW. I made a promise soon after my grandpa passed, when I was in Africa, that I would Conquer Kili for him.

This is a killer disease and it’s affecting many Australian lives- we need to make a change and raise awareness. We can do things to prevent it, and by raising such funds, we can hopefully find a cure.

 

Learn more about World Alzheimer’s Day – http://www.alz.co.uk/world-alzheimers-day

 

I am currently in Africa Climbing the tallest free standing mountain in the world, Mt Kilimanjaro. I’m climbing on behalf of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW and raising money for the wonderful work they do.

 

You can still sponsor me by visiting my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA


Are you doing enough training?

  •  Backdated to  25 August 2011

 

Are you training enough? Are you fit enough?  Are you strong enough?

 

Everyday people are askng me am I ready for my Kilimanjaro Climb.

 

The answer is, I don’t know.

 

How can I know?

 

I’ve been getting in my 2 hour walks, heading to the gym, doing some of my P90X workout DVD’s and just trying to get the fitness in as much as possible.

 

But I’ve never done a 7 day hike. I’ve never even done a 1 day hike- so I don’t know what to be prepared for.

 

I’m taking each day is it comes. It’s just one foot in front of the other.

 

Pole Pole – slowly slowly, The African guides tell trekkers this on the trip.  I think this is the most common advice- walk to the beat of your own drum and pace yourself. You’ll make it!

 

Any training advice or tips from any climbing you have done?

 

 

I am currently in Africa Climbing the tallest free standing mountain in the world, Mt Kilimanjaro. I’m climbing on behalf of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW and raising money for the wonderful work they do.

 

You can still sponsor me by visiting my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA

 

KILI COUNTDOWN – 20 Days to go


 


Take a Leaf out of another’s book

I’ve turned to friends for advice and information as the date now creeps increasingly closer to when I must venture out and Climb Mt Kilimanjaro.

I am fortunate enough to have some wonderful friends who were more than happy to give their time, tips and share with me some souvenirs from their Kili climbing experience.

I met with my high school mate Dan who climbed Kili just last year and he gave me not only great advice but a DVD of his time on the mountain, a diary given to him by his tour group with information on Africa, and a great Map of the park and the mountain. As it’s finally within reach, I’m really getting stuck into these resources and trying to place myself in Africa.

DVD 

I’m yet to watch the DVD though think this will be a great learning experience- and interesting to see someone else’s journey. The movie was commissioned by one of the members of his group and is shot over a series of different climbs. Dan was actually in this one but not featured. Pretty cool souvenir to get though!

Safari Journal 

A wonderful gift from the tour company given to all the participants of the trip. It’s got beautiful images, information and facts about Tanzania, star maps,  area maps, wildlife spotting checklists, Tanzania folk tales and lovely writing pages where you can pen your own story. It’s such a great idea to have it all in one, and a fantastic souvenir. I really hope I get something like it – but I have also prepared my own.

Map

The Map of Kilimanjaro Park is really helpful to have and again starts to put things in perspective. However, looking at the elevations and having Dan talk me through the various parts of the hike and explain how treturous some of it could be, it also made me nervous. It will be great to come back and look at this map and see where I went and the heights that we reached.

Do you have any cool souvenirs or photos or blogs that you can share with me before I head off on this crazy adventure?

 

I will be taking on my biggest Adventure yet, Climbing Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW!  I will Climb Kilimanjaro in honour of my Grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008. I was in Africa when I found out and I said at the time I would one day do this for him, in his memory! We are raising money for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW to raise awareness and the necessary funds for prevention of the disease that affects so many. Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke. We must prevent and find a cure as it’s not a normal part of aging, and does affect 100,000’s of Australians.

Help me reach my $10.000 target by donating to my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA

KILI COUNTDOWN –3 Days to go

 


Everyone has a trick of the trade

As the time fast approaches for my Kili Climb, I find that everyone has a tip, trick or piece of advice they wish to impart.

 

Some of them are more worrisome and cautions really rather than insightful pieces of information, which can sometimes be less beneficial. But on the whole, it’s been nice to hear what others have to say and perhaps at times, get some harsh home truths about what it’s going to be like.

Here are some of the things that friends, strangers and experts have been telling me:

 

  • Tie your boots tight before the summit trip – you’ll be so cold at the top, the last thing you’ll want to worry about is tightening your boots
  • Layers!! Hot at the bottom and freezing at the top. Learning to layer will be your best asset.
  • Cold sore cream. An unexpected and unwelcome participant on the trip
  • Set your own pace- don’t let others dictate your pace
  • Take lots of photos
  • Make sure to bring chocolate and other snacks from oz, don’t buy them there
  • Ladies products and toiletries can be hard to find or aren’t of such good quality- get them here.
  • SQUATS, SQUATS, SQUATS~ (Training)
  • Wear your boots in! your boots will be your best friend
  • Take a more electrolyte based flavoured drink powder as opposed to the regular Gatorade or powerade powders
  • Eat and drink when told! The guides will know what is best for you.
  • Asante Sana – Thank you. Learn some Swahili, you’ll have more fun with your guides
  • Moon the camera on the summit – (more of a suggestion of a fun photo idea, one that I’m very unlikely to take up, but thanks)
  • Rug up at the top! It’s cold! Wear everything you own.

 

There were tips galore- and I get at least 5-6 suggestions a day. Everyone’s an expert. I know they are trying to help though.

 

I look forward to sharing with you my own gems of advice and pearls of wisdom once I’ve conquered Kili!

 

I will be taking on my biggest Adventure yet, Climbing Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW!  I will Climb Kilimanjaro in honour of my Grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008. I was in Africa when I found out and I said at the time I would one day do this for him, in his memory! We are raising money for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW to raise awareness and the necessary funds for prevention of the disease that affects so many. Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke. We must prevent and find a cure as it’s not a normal part of aging, and does affect 100,000’s of Australians.

Help me reach my $10.000 target by donating to my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA

 

KILI COUNTDOWN – 7 Days to go


Mountain Climbing PACKING LIST


It’s now just 5 days to go til my climb and I seriously need to start thinking about how I’m going to get all the gear I’ve accumulated into the backpack and onto the plane.

 

With ski jackets, hiking boots, walking bladders and a mountain of snacks and vitamins and tablets, I’m just not sure it’s all going to fit in.

 

See here the Packing List. Yes All 2 pages of it, that was provided to us by our wonderful organizers, Inspired Adventures. With a list like this, I cannot go wrong.

 

I feel as though I now have most things covered, but man is there a lot to check!

 

We also still have to do our last big shop for snacks, medication, pain relief, first aid kit supplies and any other cream, band aid or paste that is going to make our trip more comfortable.

 

 

Any suggestions on things that I should take for climbing a mountain?

 

I will be taking on my biggest Adventure yet, Climbing Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW!  I will Climb Kilimanjaro in honour of my Grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008. I was in Africa when I found out and I said at the time I would one day do this for him, in his memory! We are raising money for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW to raise awareness and the necessary funds for prevention of the disease that affects so many. Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke. We must prevent and find a cure as it’s not a normal part of aging, and does affect 100,000’s of Australians.

Help me reach my $10.000 target by donating to my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA

 

KILI COUNTDOWN – 5 Days to go


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