Flu, Ebola, and a Cartoon

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 48 Comments


John Kron, cartoonist. A must check out! Visit his website here.
Illness is making its way through my family. From boys to parents, we’re all sneezing, coughing, and whining of aches and pains.
The upside? No one feels like eating, so I haven’t had to cook.

I have a favor! Don’t run—it’s not cash or help carrying furniture or anything like that. I simply want to pick your brains...

My son, boy #1, was granted a fellowship this summer with Defence for Children International (DCI) in Sierra Leone, Africa. Of course, as a mom who has never sent her children out of the country by themselves, to start with a country that was once center stage for Ebola is giving me heart palpitations. Toss in the recently ended civil war and warnings regarding travel in the region like this:  

Areas outside Freetown lack basic services. Travel outside the capital after dark is not allowed for U.S. Embassy officials and should be avoided by all travelers. Emergency response to vehicular and other accidents ranges from slow to nonexistent.
Crime: Crime is widespread in Sierra Leone; U.S. citizens have experienced armed mugging, assault, and burglary. Petty crime and pick-pocketing of wallets, cell phones, and passports are very common, especially on the ferry to and from Lungi International Airport, as well as in the bars, restaurants, and nightclubs in the Lumley Beach and Aberdeen areas of Freetown. (From US.gov regarding travel to Sierra Leone)

Okay, so yeah, I'm a bit beside myself. And that whole roots and wings theory of raising them? I'm starting to think I should have clipped those wings a little. 

So, the favor I ask of you…does anyone know anything about the Freetown, Sierra Leone area? Know anyone there? 
Any information, with exception of the scary stuff, is greatly appreciated.

For the record, I’m very proud of my son. He says DCI is sort of the equivalent to Doctors Without Borders, only for attorneys. The DCI in Sierra Leone is working to protect children’s rights in an area where children are violated, abducted, and often coerced into sex trafficking or forced to join warring factions as child soldiers.

It’s for a good cause, but still…mom worries.  I can google, but so far all that's gotten me is gray hair and the lead on a vaccine for Ebola that evidently isn't available to the public yet. 


Thanks to our hosts LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! 


~Caleb's visit was fun, as always.
~We went to see John Wick 2. I rated it a meh. The men in my family said I was crazy, that it was awesome. I'm sticking with my rating. But I will happily report that no one killed his dog. Whew. I was worried for a minute.
~Conner, boy #4, got another 4.0 this 9 weeks and was interviewed to be a peer mentor at school. Way to go, Conner!


Join the goals hop!
*I filled about three boxes to donate from a few closets, so that's a win.
*I ordered pictures for photo albums. For some reason (most likely insanity), I ordered three sets of pictures for 2005. Go figure. I am now caught up to 2007. Only ten more years to go!!
*Does the flu count as healthy? Let's consider that when I'm not aching.
*Write. I managed about 21,000 words last month on a new story. 

48 comments:

  1. Sorry everyone is sick. Our weather has been so screwy here, up and down, it's no wonder no one feels good.
    I don't blame you for worrying. You're a mom - that's what you do. Just give him to God and let him go.

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    1. You're right. As always. I have always prayed that my children would follow the path that God lays before them and helping others is certainly up His alley.

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  2. I hear Home Depot has pretty heavy chains, and pad locks.

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  3. Blah to all being sick, hopefully the germs fly away. 21,000 words is great though. Hmm I know nothing but the bad stuff there, it is a great cause, but my mind always goes to "what if he ticks off the wrong bad guy" over there. That and all the disease, you can go blind from bacteria in the water getting in your eyes. I should shut up now before I cause more grey hairs lol

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    1. I'll add staying out of the water to the list of things I don't want him to do while he is there.

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  4. Ugh on the sickness. Hang in there - it will pass, hopefully sooner rather than later.

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    1. As long as I'm not vomiting, I'm okay with the flu. Even with aches and pains, I can write.

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  5. I guess it's the time of year to be sick… Hope you all feel better soon.

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    1. Yes, it is! It goes with the winter territory.

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  6. I know how you feel about sending your son to Africa. It's hard to let go. And I'm sorry I can't help you with any information about it. Thankfully, we haven't been hit with sick, but my daughter and her babies have terrible colds. Hope all is better soon.

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    1. A Facebook friend sent me info and ideas for where to get information. I knew if I asked, someone would have some solutions.

      I hope your daughter and grandbabies feel better soon.

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  7. So what does the DCI say about Sierra Leone? I have a friend in South Africa, but I don't think that would help. Sorry about all the sickness. Hope you are all soon back to health. Way to go Connor.

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    1. A Facebook friend suggested I make a list of questions and send them to the contact email on the website. Caleb will be home on spring break in two weeks, we can make a list of questions together.

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  8. Sorry to hear you've all been fighting the creeping crud. I hope it doesn't last as long with you guys as it did with us.

    Going to Sierra Leone on a fellowship sounds like an incredible opportunity for your son to see some of the world and to do a lot of good. Still, I can understand your concerns. (Okay, your terror?) But you KNOW you've done a good job raising your boys, and KNOW what fine young men they've become. Maybe you'll have to trust his decision, and pray a lot.

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    1. So far, my son has coughed for two weeks. It does seem to be one of those lingering things, but on the bright side, you only feel like you've been run over by a truck for a few days.

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  9. Hope you all feel better soon! The Sierre Leone trip sounds like it will be an incredible experience. I can imagine how you feel, but I'm sure the organisation does everything in its power to keep their people safe.

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    1. That's what my son said. And it's not like they're new to this...but I am, so...

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  10. Mom's always worry. He could be going to the next town over and you would worry. I don't say that to diminish your fears. He's going to a place that could have some serious problems. But it could also have some seriously wonderful life long blessings. Just keep those in the mix when you're worrying about things. Then pray like crazy. I wish I knew anything that could help but I'm clueless. Hope you all feel better soon.

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    1. You're totally right. When he went to NY, I worried about terrorists and dirty bombs. The day that little guy was born was the last day I was worry free. Ever since then, everything makes me pause. Prayer is the best answer, or I'd drive them all insane.

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  11. Love the cartoon:) And I'm sure your son will do great and be fine. It's a character-building experience for sure:)

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    1. Most definitely an experience. And no doubt will help him appreciate all the luxuries we take for granted.

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  12. Wow. Way to go with your writing and all that you do to care for your family! I'm sorry you're all sick and I hope and pray you feel better soon.
    As for Sierra Leone - I haven't been there, but there is a teacher at my church who has been there twice since Ebola started hitting the area hard, and she came back all smiles and with good stories. I don't know specifics, but I do know she felt safe while she was there while her son and her husband worried for her from home.

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    1. Now, that does make me feel better. And she obviously wasn't scared off from the place.

      We're doing much better. I hope you're healing well after your surgery!

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  13. I hallucinated on Monday so I'm just glad to be less sick today than early this week. Your son wants to help people. I think the best you can do is support him and be sure he remembers the rules for visitors to stay safe in Sierra Leone. Nice you are working towards your goals Liz.

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    1. That's scary!I haven't had any hallucinations or anything. Just coughs and aches.

      Yes, he definitely needs to follow the rules. He doesn't want to get cocky.

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  14. Flu. Oh, yeah, flu. I sound like a cat hacking up a hairball. I don't have any special personal knowledge of Sierra Leone, but I don't think I'd want my children to travel there, even at the advanced ages of 36 and 30. They are tough and adventurous. If it were my decision, I would have a difficult time saying yes. It's such a dangerous place.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. If only the decisions were still mine and he'd be safely spending his summer vacation with his mom. But I guess they have to grow up.

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  15. Flu aside, I think you did great! While not exactly counting as "healthy", there's not much you can do about flu. Sometimes I think it strikes where it wants regardless of how healthy people might be.

    Get well soon!

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    1. Very true. I thought I was going to avoid it by getting the flu shot and staying well rested.

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  16. I'm glad to hear Caleb had a good visit and that Connor is doing so well in school! Sorry that you are all under the weather though. Get better soon!

    (I live in Africa, and I don't recommend traveling anywhere except S. Africa and Egypt, particularly if you're American.)

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    1. So, my nervousness is well-founded and not just me being a wuss. There is no stopping him. I will just have to impress upon him the importance of following the government travel cautions like staying in the city and not going out at night.

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  17. I remember when our family got hit by roto virus. I made jello for a week. I understand your traveling worries. My husband's family is from Trinidad and he would love to visit. I hear stories (from other members of his family) about kidnappings and crime and say, "Hey, let's go to Canada!"

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    1. My kids had the roto virus when they were little. That was a week from hell. My deepest sympathies to you.

      Yeah, I wish he was heading to Canada. :(

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  18. So sorry all are sick. That's miserable (even though your bright side is a huge thumbs up bonus point). I feel for you about your son. On one side, we want them to experience things and do so much...but we want the best for them too - not to wind up with some disease or worse. My son has been spending the last few months considering entering the Marinas and going into the infantry, which isn't anything bad...definitely not as scary as going to an ebola area! But I wasn't happy, especially when he was excited about maybe landing on the front line somewhere (not what a mom wants to hear). I didn't say too much because I figure these are choices he has to make. Luckily, he's changed course and is heading for the reserves instead. I'll send prayers your way ;)

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    1. I always feel like such a whiner when I complain to a military mom. Active duty or reserve, that is a huge sacrifice for a noble cause. Blessings and prayers for your son and for you.

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  19. You're so right, there is a bright side to everything. Although sometimes it's harder to find than others. Hope you and your family feel better soon. And I totally get the worried mom thing. Overcoming my worries is a constant struggle. I find prayer is the best remedy.

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    1. Prayer is a mom's first line of defense. :)

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  20. I'm sorry everyone has been sick lately. I hope everyone gets better real soon. Unfortunately, I don't know anything that can help you with your dilemma.

    That's a nice word count for the month. Mine was...0. lol

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    1. My word count the month before was 0, so I was playing catch up!

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  21. Hello Elizabeth. Hope you get well soon. I think you can find out about what kind of safety the DCI can provide for your son over there. It is definitely okay to be an overprotective Mom.

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    1. I'm feeling much better. Thanks!

      That's a great idea. I will have to make a list of questions and get my son to ask them, or I will.

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  22. Sickness is no fun. I hope everyone gets better soon!! At least you were able to find a bright side. :)

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    1. There is usually a bright side to most every nuisance in life.

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  23. I really admire your son for going over and doing that, and helping those less fortunate. More young people should, but I would definitely have the same worries if one of our girls decided to! Hopefully, you'll be able to keep in touch via Skype etc. Sorry I can't be more help. It's the time of year for bugs, and it tends to go through the whole house. Great word count though!

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  24. That's so awesome that your son is doing that. We both wish him well!

    I don't have kids, and I never leave the house, so on the plus side, I never get sick. But unfortunately, I've never even heard of Free Town or Sierra Leone until now... because I don't ever leave the house.

    Hope you feel better soon!

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  25. I don't know anything about that area, but that has to be the toughest part of being a mom--letting them go into the world. Sounds like you did a great job building that foundation your children will need to stay safe and be successful in life! So sorry everyone's sick at your house. Hope the flu breaks and you get to enjoy spring happy and healthy!

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  26. If it were my kid going there, I'd go to this site

    http://www.infowarsshop.com/

    and buy SURVIVAL SHIELD X2 NASCENT IODINE, LIVING DEFENSE, and the PROPUR FILTERED WATER PITCHER for starters. You might see something else there that makes sense. The iodine will serve as a detox for all the bad halogens, Living Defense will get rid of parasites, and the water filtration just makes good sense.

    One of the keys to not get robbed in a big city (anywhere) is to not look like a tourist. Don't look all around with "big eyes." Look purposeful whenever you move around. If you use a backpack, don't zip it at the top. Make sure both zippers are on the bottom of one side so no one can unzip, stick in their hand, and walk away with your stuff. I'm not sure about the wallet as I've never carried one in my pocket. Maybe check out alternatives online.

    And then pray for him. Don't ever underestimate the power of prayer!!!

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