Health is a bounty

It is funny how I oftentimes overlook the simple things in life unless it is missing.  Although I have experienced this reality in the past, being without my usual health made this particular lesson a reality.  I have been bound to a wheelchair for nearly two weeks, unable to participate much due to an undiagnosed painful infection in my left leg.  I had big doubts about it being shingles as the swelling and pain grew worse. Finally, last week I gave into my husbands wishes to go to the emergency room.  My apprehension of going was because we have not had medical insurance for almost two years…

To make a long story short, the doctors in the ER confirmed that it is not shingles. They also did an ultrasound on my leg to be sure it was not a blood clot. The doctor wanted to prescribe me Xarelto but I was worried about all the side effects of Xarelto. To tell the truth, the doctors had no idea what the real problem was/is.  They presumed that some kind of bacteria entered my foot while I was overseas, and  they sent me home with a slew of antibiotics.  I have been taking the medication for almost a week now and the swelling has gone down dramatically.  Saturday afternoon I  happily progressed to walking with crutches rather than a wheelchair. And today I was able to walk without assistance; well, more like limp around because it still pains me.

I am happy to say that I will slowly begin doing photo sessions again, as I can handle them, but my dear husband still has to act as my chauffeur. In the meantime, I must thank all of you for your patience and happy thoughts.  I mentioned my sickness as a side note to my last posting because I did not want to make it a big deal. Nevertheless, I received countless emails from all my friends and fans wishing me well. Thank you so much for your concern and support.

Because I cannot post something without a photo, I thought I would share with you some images from village life in the  rain forest.

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A village woman about to go to the farm. They are smart and carry heavy things on their head keeping their center of gravity.  I tried it and terribly failed. It’s a learned art.

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They also carry babies on their back.  It is just a simple strip of cloth supporting the child, and the baby is so content there. It leaves mom’s hands free to continue work. If you look closely you will notice the baby is sweating, it gives you an idea of how hot and humid it was.  That was the most difficult thing for me to deal with while in Cameroon.

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Houses are constructed with local materials, another valuable thing we can learn from them. This is the inside of a thatch house.  The walls are made of bamboo and mud while the roof is palm leaves. The temperature inside of this house was a good 10-15 degrees cooler than outside, I loved being in here!

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This is the back of my in-laws house.  You can see they have a tin roof and mud brick walls.  This type of construction allows for larger buildings, although it is much warmer inside.  You can see the single light bulb hanging from the roof, it is powered by a generator, there is no other kind of electricity here.

p1010479This is a kitchen. All cooking is done away from the primary dwelling outdoors because they cook on a wood fire. To prevent burning down or smoking out their house, they build a small kitchen specifically for food preparation and storage. There is no plumbing of course, so their bathroom is a hole with sticks far far away from the house. I am glad I never got the urge while there… We slept in the village guest house which actually had a toilet, although it did not flush.

p10102661This is our sister Martha cleaning up the recently butchered pig.  We have video of the entire process from killing it to carving it up in front of the village elders.  Every part of the animal was used and I admired the care and traditions of the ritual. Although I must say that watching it confirmed my vegetarian ways…

Before I forget to mention it, each of the images from my trip was taken on a small $200 point-and-shoot camera. I did not feel good about bringing my large digital SLR camera with me.  I must say it did rather well  in good daylight (but there is no helping it in low light situations). It goes to show that if your light is right and composition strong, a simple camera can still capture great images. Those of you that are curious, it is a Panasonic TZ5 with a nice Lumix lens.

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  • May 8, 2009 - 12:17 am

    Ruth - Love the images again Jaime! My boss is from Nigeria and he’s been bugging meto carry Evan on my back because i’ve been complaining of how heavy he’s getting :) looks like smart experienced women carry their babies on their back

  • October 13, 2009 - 12:28 pm

    Frances Estrada - Jamie,
    It is so wonderful to keep up with you through your website. Hopefully, you are doing much better now and as always your photography is magnificent.
    I think of you often and hope to hear from you sometime soon.

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