Thursday, December 18, 2014

Uganda Recap: Top 10 Highlights

Four months ago, I set out on an adventure to Africa for my mater's research project with the University of Minnesota. It was an amazing 3 weeks full of adventures---  definitely a trip of a lifetime!! I am so grateful for the Healthy Foods Healthy Lives (PDF Doc) grant that helped get me to Africa--  and made the research component of my trip possible!
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Now that my grad school semester is over-- and things are winding down, I decided to go through some old pictures and highlight just a few of my experiences and perspectives!
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Top 10 highlights and lessons learned:
1) Met amazing people!! My awesome Ugandan research team, a few med-students, public health students, "random" travel buddies, a peace-core volunteer.. and more!
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2) Learned a lot about the Moringa tree (PDF abstract about my research study). I am still in the analysis stage of the research--- so I can't say anything more! Qualitative research is much more difficult than I had anticipated--- but really incredible!
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3) African food!!!! It was delicious --  extremely cheap and easy to eat vegan there too! I consider that a bonus! (see related blog posts: Feasting on Traditional Foods and In Uganda: Plant-based )
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4) Witnessed the globalization of food, diet, westernized culture. We live in a small world. Big food industry and tobacco (yes, still) are taking over the world... This was definitely not a highlight, but rather lessons learned.
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5) Ran out of water for a couple of days.... (see related blog post). It had something to do with these pipes....
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6) Went on an African safari!!! It was absolutely breathtaking to watch these beautiful creatures in their natural environments. The creatures of this Earth are incredible! Let's be good stewards to them.
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7) Elephants!!! I fell in LOVE with elephants!
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8) Met 2 designer and had a dress made for me! (see related blog post)
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9) Deeper appreciation for life of all forms--- animals, humans, and plants. Richer understanding of community--- and the importance community plays in our need for security and ultimately our survival.
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10) I feel privileged, yet very thankful to be able to do what I do, to see the places I have seen, and to have met the people I have met on all of my global journeys.... all these people, places and experiences have helped shape who I am today and the perspectives I have on life, health, and living!
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Bonus: Jackfruit... new favorite fruit!!
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I am already looking forward to my next adventure! Hope you can come along with me! Stay tuned for upcoming Moxie travels!
Peace,
- Moxie Dietitian
Originally posted on Moxie Musing

Monday, December 8, 2014

Vision Trip back to Haiti

Hi Friends,
I am doing a fundraiser with ViBella-- an organization in Haiti that employs women to make jewelry. I had the opportunity to visit ViBella's organization back in 2013 when I was living in Haiti. It was wonderful to meet the ladies that make the jewelry and to see the facility where they work. I was impressed with ViBella's organization not only because of what they are doing to give-back to the community, but also because many of their pieces are also made out of recycled goods, such as plastic and cardboard.
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I am planning to use the money raised from the fundraiser to help cover travel expenses for an upcoming vision trip to Haiti. I am hoping to get back to Haiti in January or February to visit a few organizations that are currently working on sustainability projects-- like reforestation, compositing, and gardening. I have been asked to help implement a health and wellness summer program at the orphanage where I used to live. We would like the children to learn about sustainability, nutrition, and alternative health/ wellness practice--- we have potential plans to take them to an eco-food forest for a hands-on field-trip to learn about the environment, conservation, and plant-based lifestyle. I am really excited about all the ideas that are currently being generated around our summer program--- and can't wait to share more in the coming months!
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Anyways, if you are looking to give a gift that gives back this Holiday season---  check out the ViBella store. If you decide to purchase something and you'd like to contribute to my online fundraiser use:
**Enter Party # 428 at check-out! 
To learn more about ViBella, check-out this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt7mq1B8bfA
These are a couple of my favorite pieces from ViBella! The feather earrings are awesome!! :)
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Thanks for all the support!
-Kristina