Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Christmas Around The World

Wow, only four days until Christmas.  There is no snow (although our children would love that), no Christmas music in shops, only a few decorations on sale in some supermarkets and no carol service to attend.
So,what have we been doing to prepare for Christmas?

We do have our tree that has traveled the globe with us. I love decorating it as our ornaments are filled with reminders of friends who gifted them to us or happy memories of Christmas' past.

For many reasons, our other decorations are mostly home made.  This year the children and I have had fun making paper chains, snowflakes and giant paper bag stars.

With no advent candles or readings at church here we usually follow some advent readings of our own,  This year we have enjoyed using 'Jesse Tree' advent readings, with a symbol to add each day as a reminder of that days story.

The schools that the children attend have been busy collecting donations & gifts for less advantaged children in the community.  They put on some great Christmas programmes too which have been a highlight for me as a mum!  Amy & Josh performed 'Twas the night before Christmas' poem.  Being an International school several songs were sung in multiple languages.
Abigail attends preschool at a Christian school and they put on a fabulous was Abigails first school performance and she did really well.  Her class sang " Happy Birthday Jesus" and reminded us what Christmas is all about.

This week we are busy with Christmas baking.  Gingerbread yesterday and mince pies today!
We shall have a traditional English roast and open family gifts on Christmas eve this year.
Christmas Day will be spent at our little church making Christmas special for the 60+ children in the community. After service we will have cake, koolaid and games.  We will share in lunch (Jolof Rice, fried chicken and coleslaw) and then we will watch a Nativity Movie.

Whatever, your Christmas holds we pray you will have time to pause and reflect on the reason we celebrate,  May you marvel anew at the details of the events as you celebrate Jesus, God's greatest gift.

“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today, in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10

Sunday, 11 December 2016

back it up...

Some people ask periodically, and I guess a lot of you wonder, how my back is doing after the motorbike accident I had just before leaving Uganda.
After the MRI scan in the UK and appointments with the Orthopaedic Doctor I was referred to do intensive physiotherapy in order to relieve the stiffness in my neck and back a hopefully help with the aching I get in my mid back.  I was able to find a new Centre that had just started in Liberia that provides physio, occupational and speech therapy that had been set up by a physio therapist from the USA.  Salt Rehabilitation was even conveniently located only about 5km from where we live.
I have been receiving therapy 3 times a week for the last three months and am now having a break for at least 8 weeks and will then review to see how things are.

My therapy has consisted of a lot of different exercises to stretch and strengthen my back muscles, ultrasonic therapy, Electronic Muscle Stimulator (EMS) and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS).

On the whole things have improved a lot, in particular the range of movement I have, has increased and the stiffness I had has really reduced.  The aching I get in my middle back has improved but is still an issue when I am in certain positions – the typical position it aches in when standing at the sink doing the washing up......but I haven’t managed to get out of it yet! Also, on days when I am particularly active doing practical work like maintenance on the plane the aching is an issue.

Me with Dr Kamara who set up Salt Rehabilitation

Pius - one of the two therapists that treated me