South African Red Cross

Posted: October 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

The SARC provide training and home-based care to people living with HIV & AIDS, and support to affected families, including orphans and vulnerable children.

The core activities are:

Identification and support of orphans and vulnerable children
Support Groups
Home-based care
Training in home-based care
Distribution of emergency food parcels
Training and support in food gardening
Assistance in obtaining social grants
Counselling services and referrals
Training in income-generating skills (beading, sewing, baking)

I have just applied to become a volunteer with them, really need to get my foot on the ladder in the HIV sector…fingers crossed…


Posted: September 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Been going to UWC (University of the Western Cape) as an external student for a few weeks now, working on my thesis, sllllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooooooooow progress even still I must admit…

Very very nice, very very helpful people here…not like some other colleges I’ve been to LOL!!


Posted: September 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Consilia, my host mother, is setting up a Section 21 company (nonprofit organisation) to help young people in the Athlone area who have matriculated (equivalent to the leaving certificate) to go to university/college. Like Ireland before free fees were introduced (though I wouldn’t call over 1000 Euro free!) in the coloured communities in Cape Town, many young people simply cannot afford to go onto further education, and in many cases will be forced to work for the minimum wage – by setting up such an organisation, Edume will give young people a chance to break out of their predicament.

Established in 2010 by Consilia Zwavel, this soon to be nonprofit registered under section 21, has developed in response to a growing need to support matriculated students in Athlone, Cape Town, South Africa.
One of the barriers to these young people moving forward is not knowing what avenues are available to them, what routes they can take and what resources are available to them and so many are forced to work for minimum wage, if they are lucky enough to get work, which hinders their opportunities to further themselves through the education system.
Another barrier is the registration fee. In many cases, once the registration fee has been covered, the student in question can avail of student aid. And in comparison to the US and many European countries, this registration fee is small, but can play such a huge role in the future of our young people.
Edume will aim to provide this registration fee for potential students whom are deemed deserving of such assistance (demonstrate the will and commitment to succeed). When they have graduated, one of the requirements of said assistance is that they will provide assistance to the project and where possible support future students who enrol in the process.

Posted: September 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

My host sister and I were leaving the mall the other day and there were lots of white tents set up outside…I had been wondering what it was…a girl from SHOUTITOUT.ORG came up to us and asked us did we want to take a HIV test, so obviously I said yes. We were given a wrist tag, then given a computer to watch a really informative video and answer questions on HIV & AIDS. Then we were taken into tents to do the test, it was an oral swab that takes just 20 minutes for the results. So we then sat outside with lots of other people in the neighbourhood waiting for the results. I was invited back in to one of the tents and the girl took my results and said…..“you are HIV…negative”. Then later on, my host sister and I were back at the mall and this guy shouts ‘Positive or negative?’ and then it clicked he was talking to us, we turned around and it was a guy who had been tested with us earlier on!

Been off the stuff since August 17th…well that was my last can. God I miss it. I put this up as anyone who knows me, knows how much I love it… Going to stay on the wagon though, especially if I have lasted…21 days now.

Lazy ass…

Posted: August 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

As Leo knows very well, I have been VERY lazy these last two weeks with my research, I did so well with the reading, researching and now that it has come to the actual writing, well, I have sat down a zillion times to do it and I just haven’t been able to do it!!

However, this morning I went for a jog and a young man greeted me. I recognised him from last year. He said ‘Where have you been’?’ and I replied, ‘Where do I know you from?’ He told me I had given him some change when he had helped me out at the petrol station! Last year! And he was right. I thought I was good with remembering faces…. Anyway I had a chat with him and he asked me what I was doing here, I told him and he proceeded to tell me he is HIV+, which is rare in the area that I am living in… and I had a very insightful discussion with him. And that has helped me to get my ass in gear….

Sugar in disguise

Posted: August 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

My CrossFit coach (Roland – very kindly suggested I list what sugar can be called on food packaging, what is the point in me telling you the bad news about sugar and not tell you how to find it…


The following is a loooooong list of sugar’s other identities…

  • barley malt
  • beet sugar
  • brown sugar
  • buttered syrup
  • cane-juice crystals
  • cane sugar
  • caramel
  • carob syrup
  • corn syrup
  • corn syrup solids
  • date sugar
  • dextran
  • dextrose
  • diatase
  • diastatic malt
  • ethyl maltol
  • fructose
  • fruit juice
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • glucose
  • glucose solids
  • golden sugar
  • golden syrup
  • grape sugar
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • lactose
  • malt syrup
  • maltodextrin
  • maltose
  • mannitol
  • molasses
  • raw sugar
  • refiner’s syrup
  • sorbitol
  • sorghum syrup
  • sucrose
  • sugar
  • turbinado sugar
  • yellow sugar


Xylitol – ( is a natural sweetener that does not have any effect on blood sugar level (and so is safe for PLWHA).

One of the biggest problems I have found with HIV & AIDS guidelines is that sugar – cookies, pastries etc. are actually recommended (!!) to prevent the associated ‘wasting’ but, sugar makes fat, and what actually is lost in ‘wasting’ is muscle…

Sugar IS the Devil!!

Posted: August 6, 2010 in Uncategorized
  • Sugar can suppress the immune system
  • Sugar can cause varicose veins
  • Sugar can increase cholesterol
  • Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases)
  • Sugar leads to cancer of the ovaries
  • Sugar can weaken eyesight
  • Sugar causes food allergies
  • Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen

For an EXHAUSTIVE list – 146 Reasons Why Sugar Is Ruining Your Health

Sugar and your immunity

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

I hope everyone knows this…if you feel like you are coming down with something DON’T reach for a can of coca cola or a ‘candy’ bar….that will surely bring you that cold or flu that is looming…

I know myself as on Sunday I was coming down with something but I still decided I would have a can of fanta grape (yuck) AND a can of coca cola and guess what… I got pretty sick… That is only anecodotal, but imagine if you were immunosuppressed…then you would probably know that sugar is a BAD idea… as your body will probably tell you that, so why do the HIV guidelines say sugar is okay? I really don’t get it…the guidelines do say that there is lots of room for improvement…

For a person living with HIV & AIDS, the probably suffer with things like thrush and other fungal infections. For that little boy P (aged eight) he could hardly eat due to thrush in his mouth – because it was so painful…but he is still fed sugar, EXACTLY what the fungus thrives on…

I have yet to see mainstream nutritional guidelines made for PLWHA by PLWHA… a lot are still made by medical doctors and guess what!! They get absolutely NO nutrition training at all!!!


Little boy doing fine

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

The 8 year old that was admitted to ThembaCare a few months ago is doing great. When I got here (less than 1 month ago) he could barely feed himself nor move around and play…he has very quickly improved…and it is so wonderful to see.