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Category: Health

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”

Posted in Aging, Health, and Women's issues

Tuba manThe first time I realised I snored was when I went on holiday with my friend K to Morocco and she woke me in the middle of the night. I had just left my job and was stressed, she was in the middle of a merger at hers and was more stressed. Why two New York City gals decided to do Morocco on a cheap and cheerful is beyond me. What we really needed was a long weekend at a Four Seasons somewhere. Alternating cocktails with spa treatments. But, as ever with me, I want to travel somewhere new and K needed a break.

By day two – K was really cross and I understood why. I once had a boyfriend who snored so loudly that I used to sleep in the lounge. Made me vile tempered the next day. And ultimately ended the relationship. My dad had also always snored – I remember my niece mimicking him when she was about 8 months old. They were taking an afternoon nap and in between Dad’s stentorian roars, we heard little baby snores: mixed with giggles.

The Human in HIV, the I in AIDS

Posted in Health, and Women's issues

Last year I met some women in Kwa-Zulu Natal who blew my socks off. KZN is the province most devastated by HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Almost 40% of the population there is estimated to be living with HIV. One in five children is an AIDS orphan.

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School kids near Durban – the capital of KNZ listen to the Ultra-Marathon Team Talk

I was there with the Positive Heroes Ultra-Marathon team. We do outreach work in communities around the race routes. Nothing better proves that HIV is survivable than five healthy, fit people standing up in front of you saying “Hi I am HIV positive and I am running the Comrades Marathon (almost 90km /56 miles) tomorrow”.

That day we were visiting a secondary (high) school about an hour outside of Durban. Parents had trickled in to see what we were up to – and two ladies came over to me and offered me some eggs. They were so thrilled that we were at the school, that we had honoured them with a visit – they had come to welcome us.

But more than that – these eggs were from their own chickens. As we talked, I learned they had a business. They had grown from having one henhouse – supplementing their families’ food store; to building and maintaining three henhouses that held 20 chickens. They sold and bartered the eggs. Fed, housed and clothed their families with the proceeds. And, importantly, were able to send their kids to the school we were visiting. They were very proud of their henhouses and they offered to show them to me.

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