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Entries about exercise

Welcome or Not

sunny 76 °F

Today was a pretty lazy day. Even when I got up, I felt too tired and lazy to work out. I decided to write some thank you notes to the people who wrote my recommendation letter for medical school and FaceTime my parents. I also did a little grocery shopping and searched for souvenirs. I'm doing price comparisons between different shops to get the best price.

After talking with my parents, who are always the go-getters and can spend all day working outside and still have energy to exercise, I felt motivated to do a little something myself. One of the guys said he'd run with me as well. I'm glad I did it, but I definitely ran a little to close to eating. There is one other thing I noticed during the run. I realized that something that's been making me a bit uncomfortable during my stay here is that I don't feel welcomed in the community. Apparently it's a holiday weekend here, so everyone is out and about partying and drinking. I passed a lot of people on my runs, and 9/10 times they stare at me. I try to wave, but today I would say 0/14 people I waved at, waved back at me. So these people are staring at me, but not in a nice way. Then, 2x when I was out today, people started running beside me, laughing and mocking -- one was even a grown man. It makes me so uncomfortable, especially when they are laughing and talking to me in a language I don't understand. It honestly feels like I'm a zoo animal running through town. I can't be sure, but I'd have to say this is what it feels like to be a minority in a town...and it's not fun. You never feel at home and your guard is constantly up. It's very tiring.

Something else that is also taking some getting used to is the showers here!! It feels like they run the water through blast chiller before it comes out of the spigot! I thought I may have an asthma attack when I first put my body under the spray. The rest of the day was really great though. We had dinner, a housemate made dairy-free banana muffins, and I relaxed with some snacking, sudoku, and a movie (Avatar today!). Third week starts tomorrow ???? Happy Monday everyone!

Posted by kfkeane 11:37 Archived in USA Tagged zoo welcome run animal shower banana cold movie sunday exercise lazy mocking muffin Comments (2)

Not Sure How To Feel About It

sunny 80 °F

WIFI IS BACK ON!!!! It came on right before dinner.

So my alarm went off this morning and every being in my body wanted to go back to bed. I didn't, though, because I was supposed to meet three other people to run. The sun began to rise, though, and no one had shown up, so I went off on my own. I ended up seeing one of them along the way. I'm glad I got out running, but I think I'm going to take the day off tomorrow and sleep in.

Running has been nice on this trip because it has kept me relaxed. We sit a lot and I would be so antsy if I didn't exercise. After running, I took my laundry in for the first time. It was washed, folded, and ready by 1PM. For morning project, I was on wound care. I thought it was going to be very gruesome, like an episode of Grey's Anatomy, but it was much more doable than I had expected. This project really made me question volunteering abroad though. There were four of us students with a caregiver. It felt like we were extra, in the way. It was also weird because they had so few supplies. Like latex gloves, for example. I really didn't feel comfortable working around the bloody/open wounds without using gloves. This made me question the work we were doing. The more I thought about it, the more I realized what bothered me about this experience in general. We spent an entire semester before leaving for the Africa learning about responsible volunteering, and it feels like we are breaking all of those rules. We never communicate with the locals. Of course, this is hard because of the language barrier, but we never listen to what the people actually want. For example, when we were giving a lesson on healthy eating at the clinic the other day, a woman said, "next time you come, bring healthy food for us". They don't want to be lectured about how to eat healthy; they want access to healthy foods. Obviously, the biggest problems require changes at a government level, but I feel like we would be doing more good if we built community gardens and taught yoga classes. Show them how to live healthy lives rather than just reading facts about it. Rant on that over.

New rant. The food situation. I feel like an animal because I'm always worried if there is going to be enough food. All of us feel that way, especially now that a new family just came to the Lodge. Also, there is never meat in the meals!!!! It's driving me crazy! I can't live off of meals of potatoes and rice! It's okay. Things are pretty good here. Before dinner, we took a walk to the beach and just sat there soaking in the last rays of daylight. That always makes for a good end to the day. We are currently watching Moana and I found some pretty good microwave popcorn to eat while I listen to the movie and play Sudoku. Feeling content, and having wifi definitely helps!

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Posted by kfkeane 11:50 Archived in South Africa Tagged sunset beach friends sun run hot relax experience volunteer movie exercise early Comments (6)

Wait, I'm here!

79 °F
View Ann Arbor, MI -> Toronto, Canada on kfkeane's travel map.

I'm here!!! My favorite part of the trip thus far has been the drive from the airport to St. Lucia. The driver played some really cool African music and the scenery was gorgeous. Also, I FINALLY SLEPT!!!!! After staying at the airport for 8 hours, almost falling asleep while playing cards, then falling asleep while sitting up after playing cards, I got 2 hours of straight sleep in the car.

St. Lucia, at least the downtown where our volunteer house is, is actually really small. It makes my hometown seem big and booming, which is pretty hard to do. We got here around 5 then had an hour to unpack and shower before dinner. Even though the shower had no hot water, only one, pin-sized stream of water with the power of a firehose, and kept shutting off then turning back on, it felt amazing to be clean for the first time since Sunday morning (it's Tuesday evening for reference). We then went to dinner, where I had my first home-cooked meal since being home at the beginning of May! So I'm basically in heaven. The food was even specially made to fit my dietary restrictions. It as a chicken and veggie stew and tasted sooooo good. I missed meat so much. I regret not taking a picture to post. I wanted to thank the chef it was so good.

After dinner, we walked around town, which is one road that is about a 1/2 mile long. There were a couple bars, sushi places, and shops for tourists to buy souvenirs. Another group saw a hippo, which I unfortunately missed, but I did see a monkey digging through the trash. It was so cute, but our host said they are evil :D I don't believe it hehe. We then just sat around and chatted/snacked. We also learned our host makes stuffed elephants and hippos, so we all ordered one from her! Now I'm off to bed, though. I will get up at 5:30 tomorrow to run. Unfortunately it's winter here, so my window to run is very short because I have to do it when it's light out in order to be safe from hippos and leopards. This window is getting smaller and smaller when I'm here. Currently it's from about 6:30 AM to 5PM but we work from 8-4:30...so not much time. It'll all work out though. It always does. I have a good feeling about this trip. Tomorrow we have orientation to learn about the projects we will be working on, so stay tuned.

Posted by kfkeane 11:58 Archived in South Africa Tagged food local travel monkey sleep run explore hippo south_africa exercise arrived Comments (3)

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