The Rose That Grew From Concrete

over 8,000 people will receive access to safe drinking water for the first time – thanks to you

Thanks to everyone reading, this is the message I am able to deliver to you:

By the end of this week, Argisa, Ethiopia will have clean water!

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Most of you know that you all raised, over the course of one week, the money we needed for our first phase of the Ethiopia project. That, in and of itself, was a miracle.

Jack, from Waves for Water, boarded a plan on December 12, and I have just been informed he has landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Jack will be bringing 80 Sawyer filters to the rural village of Argisa, Ethiopia on Lake Awassa. This is where Sister Donna Frances has been living for the past decade. She lives in an area with an extremely high malaria rate, flooding, famine, and drought and is committed to living with the people without bringing in too much western influence.

Water has been a huge stress on Sister, but no longer. Everyone in the village will now have an overabundance of safe drinking water.

I was excited to also hear from Sister Donna today. I had written her quickly to let her know Jack was on his way, and was worried she would not receive my email before he arrived.

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What I love about this letter is how genuinely surprised and excited she is by all the different kind of cloth diapers that the village received from you guys:

“Hi Jamie, wow, I just arrived in Awassa and read your Email.  Today is the 12th of December, so they will arrive tomorrow. WOW, really exciting…Do you have a phone number for them?  I will wait for them here in Awassa, they will arrive on which day do you know?  Exciting, exciting.

Also 4 packages of diapers came; two full of colorful snap type diapers, and a box full of new Gerber prefold diapers, 5 packages… OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH what a god send, and there was a full box of diaper pins with them.  Lots of thick folded liners to go in the snap pants, soakers of knit wear, and just about all one could imagine under the rainbow.”
Loving thanks for helping me in Gods work with the children,
Sr Donna

We started this in October. It is now December, and in that time frame you all have single-handedly made a tremendous impact in a small village thousands of miles away from where most of you call home. Instead of water that brings death, you have provided water that gives life. You have also met the needs of the area with cloth diapers! While we have a long-term goal of bringing out an EC expert (still need to find someone willing to come with us in March), for now you are meeting the immediate need with hygiene and comfort.

Way to go, guys! I can’t wait to update you more with Jack’s pictures!

Waterlink Africa: Water Changes Everything

Clean Water Projects Image 2Did you know? $1 can give clean water to one person for over a decade.

Why is water life-altering?

  1. Unsterile water is the number two killer amongst children. Around the world, fetching water is a woman’s task. Thus, one of the most crucial health issues for women in Africa is the clean water shortage. 1 in 5 children worldwide dies of a water-related disease.
  2. Water is a women’s issue. In order to get access to clean water, women and girls must carry up to 50lbs of water every day over typically 5 miles or more. Carrying this water has shown to stunt growth in young girls which has contributed to the extremely high maternal mortality rate in these areas, but girls and women also face dangers along their way to a water source.
  3. Water improves education and economy. Education has been proven to be the greatest way to improve a community. When kids get sick from water-borne diseases, they can’t attend classes – then fall behind, then drop out. Most students suffer from severe dehydration because they try to drink as little bad water as possible. When the brain is dehydrated, it has a very hard time focusing on tasks such as school work, and chances of success are greatly diminished. There are some children who walk daily to get water and are unable to attend school, and the adults are unable to put hours into a paying vocation. When children have the opportunity to be educated, they can become problem solving members of the community and have a hope of contributing to their society.

Waterlink Africa

Fayye Foundation has teamed up with Waves for Water to pursue a series of clean water projects throughout Africa. The filters that will be installed use the highest filtration rates available, can provide clean water for an entire village for pennies a day, and have a high flow rate which eliminates the need to store water. The filters are self-sustaining and easy to maintain. If cared for, each $50 filter lasts for many years, providing clean water for up to 100 people a day.

waterlink Africa: a chain of friends, spanning generations, from Africa to America and back to Africa. Donor, healer, helper – each link is necessary. Waterlink Africa delivers solutions from inventors to people in need of safe drinking water in every faraway corner of Africa.

Waves for Water and Fayye Foundation are certain that everyone who lacks clean water deserves to have unlimited access via an endless chain of caring, of which each of us is a single link. Experts are confident that the water crisis will be completely eradicated in our lifetime, but the only way we can do that is by every person in the link working towards this cause.

To donate to our first Waterlink project (Waves for Awassa/Project Ethiopia) you can go here. Your tax-deductible donation has the potential to give 20,000 people access to clean water. Every dollar counts.

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Christmas Stocking Project: Use Your Stockings for Good

stocking market clean water projects

Did you know? $1 can give clean water to one person for over a decade.

During the holiday season, there’s a lot of tradition in exchanging presents. We want to embrace our traditions and also be able to give back. Here’s our idea: instead of stocking stuffers, let’s put every dollar that would go towards those small gifts towards clean water for our friends in Africa. $10 that would have been spent on stocking stuffers could give life-altering water to ten people.

Why is water life-altering?

1. Unsterile water is the number two killer amongst children. Around the world, fetching water is a woman’s task. Thus, one of the most crucial health issues for women in Africa is the clean water shortage. 1 in 5 children worldwide dies of a water-related disease.
2. Water is a women’s issue.
In order to get access to clean water, women and girls must carry up to 50lbs of water every day over typically 5 miles or more. Carrying this water has shown to stunt growth in young girls which has contributed to the extremely high maternal mortality rate in these areas, but girls and women also face dangers along their way to a water source.
3. Water improves education and economy.
Education has been proven to be the greatest way to improve a community. When kids get sick from water borne diseases they can’t attend classes – then fall behind, then drop out. Also: Most students suffer from severe dehydration because they try to drink as little bad water as possible. When the brain is dehydrated it has a very hard time focusing on tasks such as school work, and chances of success are greatly diminished.When children have the opportunity to be educated, they can become problem solving members of the community and have a hope of contributing to their society. There are some children who walk daily to get water are unable to attend school, and adults are unable to put hours into a paying vocation. 

You can help!
This Christmas, we can save one child, mother, brother, father or sister by donating as little as one dollar. Fayye Foundation has teamed up with Waves for Water to pursue a series of clean water projects throughout Africa. The filters that will be installed use the highest filtration rates available, can provide clean water for an entire village for pennies a day, and have a high flow rate which eliminates the need to store water. The filters are self-sustaining and easy to maintain. If cared for, each $50 filter lasts for many years, providing clean water for up to 100 people a day.

Your donation is going directly to our March project to bring clean water to a rural area is Southern Ethiopia, called Argisa. We are in close communication with Sister Donna Francis who has been living in the area for many years and has provided empowerment and housing for young girls in the area called Heartland. Recently, the situation has become dire and time is of the essence. Here is one of her last messages to us:

We have had typhoid repeatedly during the last 2 1/2 months, Masame and I, and the kids at Heartland, also repeated malaria caught in our livers.  Filters are a hope…but we haven’t been able to get them implemented yet.  We could use 5 at Heartland to meet the use for kitchen and drinking, with 30 kids coming, it would be good!!  The villagers are in a terrible need as we are the people who live on the lake shore.  The town where we go to get pipe water, treated by the government, is 2 km away, and we go when it is running to get drinking water.  This source was turned off for 2 months last year when the government demanded taxes for the water.  The town refused, and the water was stopped, and the people told to drink the lake!  We were sending donkey carts round trip over 50 km to get good water for drinking, and at 10 times the price!”

One dollar brings clean water to one person for over a decade. No amount is too small, and it will make a difference! We do ask for a minimum of $10 to receive a gift from Africa in return. However, if you even have 50 cents to give, it will assist  this project insurmountably. Please click below to donate:

 

 




 

 

 

Dr. Jay Gordon Answers Your Questions

First in a series with Dr. Jay Gordon.

We asked you on our facebook page what questions you had for Dr. Jay Gordon.

Here are his answers to five of your questions:

1. My middle daughter has autism. Are there any supplements that he would recommend for her?

Dr. Jay:

My approach is very basic: a sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy free diet is the heart of treatment kids with ASD.  Some children with autism don’t absorb vitamins and other nutrients well and may need higher dose B12 and other B vitamins.  Many experts recommend vitamin B12 injections.  I rely on either DAN doctors or other super specialists for other supplements such as glutathione, carnitine and more.  I strongly recommend evaluation of stool flora and stool proteins to look for malabsorption and maldigestion.

The nutritional routine of SFGFCF (casein-free is another way to phrase dairy free because it involves looking hard for dairy protein on the label even when “milk” isn’t listed) is the start.  Not always easy for families but the most important beginning measure.

2. A substantial portion of my friends (who were less than enthusiastic about breast feeding) tell me they physically cannot breastfeed. Yet out of my friends who wanted to breastfeed, only one was unable to. I realize some women truly cannot, but is there a reason so many women today can’t or think they can’t? And are there things women who want to be successful at breastfeeding can do to increase their odds of success and longevity?

Dr. Jay:

Lack of support is the number one cause of breastfeeding failure.  I have seen the estimate that 1/20 women actually can’t nurse, but I think that’s wrong.  Read, take a breastfeeding class, make sure your doctor, the hospital and its nurses and your husband know that you want to nurse your newborn early and often and that no formula is needed for a healthy baby.  (And probably not needed for preemies and babies with mild to moderate medical problems.)

Make sure to get lactation counseling and support all through the first few days and few weeks.

3. I followed his recommendations for night weaning. Any recommendations on transitioning into his own bed smoothly?

Dr. Jay:

Slow transitions work and abrupt transitions are harder and sadder for parents and babies alike.  I recommend a sleeping bag or cot next to your child’s bed for a few nights at least.  Then, move the sleeping bag close to the door and then into the hall.  This takes longer and might feel harder but it’s easier on all of you.  AND, make certain you’ve picked a time that suits you and not your friends or in-laws or your doctor.

4.When a baby is totally BF & thriving on it, when should vitamins be introduced & what would be the best.

Dr. Jay:

I don’t agree with the AAP’s recommendation to give iron to all breastfeeding babies not their vitamin D recommendation.  I give no vitamins at all to healthy full term babies in the first six months. I start Vitamin D, 400 units in the second half of that first year, and add probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids in the second year.  The Omega 3 dose depends on the (palatable) brand you pick.  I don’t give multiple vitamins to healthy babies and toddlers and children.

5.I am one of the women whom so many have a hard time believing actually exist; I was absolutely unable to produce enough to feed my daughter despite many many hours pumping, appointments with lactation consultants, herbal supplements and lactogenic foods. I have hypothyroidism that is controlled with medication and when I gave birth, my blood pressure went crazy so I was on magnesium sulfate for 24 hours. Is there anything I can do during pregnancy to help my milk supply? Is it okay to take herbal supplements for increased supply during the 3rd trimester?

Dr. Jay:

Please talk to an endocrinologist who supports your strong desire to breastfeed.  I’m not able to comment on safety of some herbs during the third trimester.

The Anthropological: Breastfeeding & Weaning

Here is the last in my Katherine Dettwyler series. Part of a lecture from one of her Anthropology classes, which I’ve done my best to convert into a post.

(shared with permission)

The Anthropological: Breastfeeding & Weaning

Humans:

  • Kingdom- Animalia (animal)
  • class- Mammalia (mammal)
  • order- Primata (primate)

Humans are most closely related to Great Apes. (Organgutans, Gorillas, Chimpanzees)

Orangutan

Great Ape Nature: Social, reliance on learned behavior, and able to make and use tools.

Human Nature: Humans nature differs from great ape nature only in degree, not kind.

Culture:

  • Patterns of beliefs and practices, that lead to different styles of parenting and different expectations of children
  • patterns of ideas and behaviors that shape the way we live
  • culture is shared and learned
  • culture can be adaptive or maladaptive
  • culture can change rapidly or be very conservative and resistant to change

Breastfeeding in Mammals:  Like all other mammals, humans have mammary glands that produce fluid, known as milk.  Lactation/breastfeeding provide all mammal offspring with: Protective factors to prevent disease Curative factors to recover from disease Essential growth factors for normal development of the brain and body State regulation (respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, emotional comfort). The nutritional value of breast milk (and thus the nutritional function of breastfeeding) developed after the other functions in the evolution of lactation. The nutritional value of all mammalian milks have been shaped by the specific needs of each species. Human milk meets the specific needs of humans as large-bodied, large-brained, slow-growing primates

Whenever we design cultural systems of beliefs and behaviors that contradict our evolved capacities and needs, there will be a price to pay.

Formula fed babies are at higher risk of:

  •  Candidiasis
  •  Diarrhea
  •  Enteroviruses
  • Giardia
  • Haemophilus Influenza
  • Meningitis in Preterm Infants
  •  Necrotizing Enterocolitis
  •  Otitis Media (ear infection)
  •  Pneumococcal Disease
  • Respiratory Infections (general)
  •  Respiratory Infections (from exposure to tobacco smoke)
  •  Respiratory Syncytial Virus
  • Salmonellosis
  • Sepsis in Preterm Infants
  •  Anemia and Iron Deficiency
  •  Autoimmune Thyroid Disease
  •  Constipation and Anal Fissures
  •  Cryptorchidism (undescended testicle)
  •  Esophageal and Gastric Lesions
  • Gastroesophageal Reflex
  •  Inguinal Hernia
  •  Lactose Malabsorption
  • Morbidity and Mortality
  •  Plagiocephaly
  •  Pyloric Stenosis
  •  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  •  Toddler Illnesses

My mom (right) breastfeeding me. 1986

Maternal Health- Research also suggests women who do not breastfeed have higher rates of:

  • Breast Cancer
  •  Endometrial Cancer
  •  Esophageal Cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  •  Ovarian Cancer
  •  Thyroid Cancer
  • Uterine Cancer

And:

  • Poorer Cardiovascular Heath
  •  Higher rates of Diabetes
  •  Poorer Emotional Health
  •  Higher Fecundity/Fertility
  •  More hot flashes during menopause
  •  More Osteoarthritis
  •  More Osteoporosis
  • Slower Postpartum Weight Loss
  •  More Rheumatoid Arthritis
  •  Less Sleep: 40-45 minutes less per night
  • More Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Culture can change rapidly.  Our genetic legacy – our anatomy, physiology, and behavior – as animals, mammals, primates, Great Apes, and humans – changes much more slowly.

 

The Milk Line:

Along which the mammary glands develop in pairs; it extends from the armpit to the groin. Some animals have many, some have two, some have some; some, such as the elephant have only the first pair (in armpits); humans have only the second pair, on our chests; some animals have only the last pair (or last two pairs) coalesced into an udder near their groin.

Human Milk: Humans have low levels of protein & fat in mother’s milk.
Infants are Fairly continuous feeders: Multiple times per hour, around the clock, until longer sleep cycles and quiet alert times gradually develop, and baby adapts or accommodates to mother’s preferences and schedule
Where allowed unrestricted access, will continue to nurse several times an hour for a few minutes each time through toddlerhood and beyond (sleep more at night, but nursing several times a night is typical/normal until weaning)

About Weaning:

  • During the first few months, the more often the baby nurses, the more milk the mother produces
  • After about 4 months, demand drives supply – the more milk the baby removes, the more milk the mother makes
  • More frequent nursing leads to more milk, with higher fat concentrations
  • Our late age at reproductive maturity predicts 3-6 years of breastfeeding (based on 12 to 20 years for reproductive maturity)
  • Primates that nurse for one year have their own offspring at the age of 4 years
  • Most mammals, including primates, nurse from birth until the end of infancy, where infancy is defined as “birth to the eruption of the first permanent molars”
  • In humans, these are the teeth known as the 6-year molars; they erupt in the back of the mouth behind the deciduous (baby) teeth about the same time the first baby teeth (the ones in front) are falling out.

 

Facts About Human Weaning:

  • The instinct to suck/suckle persists until about the age of 6-7 years
  • The immune system reaches maturity around 6-7 years
  • The brain has completed most of its growth by 6-7 years
  • Children are much more independent by this age than they are at 1-2-3 years of age
  • Range of 2.5 years to 7.0 years as natural age of weaning in modern humans
  • Many cultures around the world where all children nurse 2-4 years or longer
  • Many children around the world, including the United States and Australia, who nurse 2-4 years or longer, including up to and beyond the predicted upper limit of around 7 years

Human children expect to be the primary parenting focus of their mother’s attention for many years before a younger sibling is born
Optimal human birth spacing would be at least 4 years between births, with 6-7+ years being even better

It is normal and healthy for children to breastfeed for many years

Examples of Societies Where Children Nurse For Many Years

meme1

Photo by Lori Dorman

By Dr. Katherine Dettwyler

(shared with permission):

NOTE: Anthropologists no longer refer to any society or group of people as being “primitive” or “savage” or “barbaric” – people who have very simple technological resources may nonetheless be quite sophisticated in terms of religion, philosophy, kinship systems, art, music, etc. Therefore, please excuse the following authors for using the terminology of their day.

 

Examples of societies where children nurse for many years.

First source:

Ford; Clellan Stearns 1945

A Comparative Study of Human Reproduction. Yale University Publications in Anthropology; Number 32. Yale University Press.

 

Page 78: “The length of the nursing period varies markedly from society to society.11 The average age of weaning in our tribes is between three and four years. In a few societies complete renunciation of the breast is deferred until the age of six or even longer. The Andamanese and Copper Eskimos children, for example, are permitted to suckle as long as nurses are available. Cases are reported in the literature, of children occasionally nursing up to the age of twelve. . . . Quite regardless of the availability and use of other suitable foods, weaning seems to be delayed as long as it is at all possible in the great majority of our primitive societies.”

 

Footnote #11, also p. 78:

“Number of years child is nursed: Ainu (3-4); Andamanese (3-4); Arunta (3-4); Azande (3-6); Baiga (2-3); Bena (1.5-2); Carib (1.5-2; occ. 2-3); Copper Eskimo (3-4); Crow (1.5-2); Dobuans (occ. 1.5-2); Hope (1.5-3); Jivaro (2-3); Kababish (1.5-3); Kurtatchi (2-4); Kwakiutl (2-3); Kwoma (2-3); Lakher (2-3; occ. 3-4); Lango (2-3); Lepcha (3-4; occ. 6); Lesu (2-3); Macusi (3-4); Malekulans (1/2-1); Maori (1.5-2; 3-4); Maricopa (3-4; occ. 1.5-2; 6); Masai (1.5-3); Mbundu (3-4); Murngin (3-4); Nama (3-4); Omaha (2-4); Sanpoil (1.5-3); Sema (2-3); Tanala (2-3); Tarahumara (1.5-3); Taulipang (1.5-2); Thonga (2-3); Tiv (2-3); Toda (2-3); Tongans (2-3); Trobrianders (1.5-3); Tubatulabal (2-3); Tupinamba (1.5-2; 3-6); Venda (3-4); Witoto (3-4); Yakut (3-4); Yukaghir (3-4).”

 

Second source:

 

Wickes, Ian G.

“A History of Infant Feeding, Part I. Primitives Peoples: Ancient Works: Renaissance Writers.” Archives of Diseases in Childhood, 1953 April; 28(138): 151–158.

 

“Hottentots seldom feed longer than about four months, Samoans less than one year, Armenians for one to two years, Australian Aborigines for two to three years, Greenlanders for three to four years, Hawaiians five years and Eskimos for about seven years reaching a maximum in King William Land of up to 15 years. In these circumstances, a mother may be suckling two or more children of different ages at the same time. “ p. 151

 

“. . . H. Mercurialis, the misogynist, wrote “De Mortis Puerorum” in 1583 in which he recorded that lactation may last for two or three years but most women (whom he described as stupid and always making mistakes) gave pap by the third month and stopped breast feeding by the thirteenth in contrast with the old days when, for example, Plotinus at the age of eight used to run from his tutor to his nurse and clamor for the breast.” P. 158

 

Third source:

 

Shelton, Herbert M. 1934 The Hygienic Care of Children. Tampa, Florida: The American Natural Hygiene Society.

 

Shelton speaks of the initial stage where the child gets only breast milk, then a transitional stage where he gets both breast milk and other foods. So the end of the transitional stage would be what I call “weaning.”

 

“How long this transition lasts among various people is determined largely by the character of foods upon which they subsist. I think it clear that the end of the third year should be the minimum duration of this period. Five years may be regarded as its necessary maximum, although it is often seen to exceed this age by one to four or five years.” p. 129

 

To clarify, Shelton is saying that the age of weaning is often seen to be 6-10 years, which I find a little overstated.

30 Before 30 Update

When we started out on this Pre-30 Bucket List we never thought so much would get crossed off in one year.  I guess that is what makes life wonderful and scary at the same time- As much as you plan for your future, you really don’t know what it holds.

We can check off a few more to the list:

Number 24- Visit New York:  Not only did we visit once, but twice in one week.

Number 19- Get featured on TV/radio/print/newspapers for something we believe in. This one makes us laugh now. Check to everything. Even though the coverage was not executed the way we would have done it ourselves, it definitely ended up being the roundabout way of getting our intended message out (thanks to the BF and AP communities- you guys are awesome!)

Some of my favorite articles and blog posts about mothering, attachment parenting, and breastfeeding that were created from the craziness of the TIME cover: Alanis Morissette wrote a wonderful piece about attachment parenting – Huffington PostA Very Personal Story, What’s all the Fuss? (along with this cover), Why Time Magazine is Showing Attachment Parenting is Going Mainstream Not Extreme, API and their response to TIME , Alanis Morissette on GMA, Norwegian cover and article on breastfeeding past infancy , Huffington Post Article 3 weeks after cover release

Number 4- Start a 501(c)(3) and be a part of real community, not just charity.  Check out the Fayye Foundation and our brilliant staff that has made it all possible.

Number 3- Attend a finale show of American Idol. We did this last year and I forgot to write about it! We sat in the second row. It was really fun!

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