Their Bodies are Their Own

I’m hoping to plant a seed my friends. A little seed that you won’t remember being planted. Maybe it will make it just a tiny bit easier to accept the way your loved one chooses to live out the rest of their lives. You may think this topic is morbid, in the middle of your day, no warning. I don’t mean to upset you. Let’s talk about a dying person, our dying persons?

Our loved one will naturally stop eating and drinking as they near the end of life process. This is both a involuntary and voluntary process. A person who is actively dying has very little energy, too little to attempt trips to the bathroom or sitting up to eat.  Eating and drinking would require them to tap into the little energy reserves they have. Also, the body is shutting down and has no means of processing foods and filtering waste as their organs are most likely shutting down. As a result, food consumption will have a adverse effect and you may notice them vomiting or complaining of stomach upset, difficulty swallowing,  audible chest congestion, notice swelling in their hands and feet.

Our loved ones who are in transition do not experience hunger or thirst like you or I would. Just think back to the times when you were ill and had no appetite or discomfort, so busy was your body in trying to regain it’s equilibrium.

I cannot imagine the pain involved in watching someone you love fade away before your eyes. Unfortunately, food and drink will not stop them from slipping away and it does not enhance their quality of life. Feel free to offer them food but try to force or cajole them. They have had to live their entire lives under the weight of people’s expectations.  Let them live out their remaining days unencumbered and with dignity.

Love Yanique.



One Man Army

Yesterday morning I rolled out of bed to a “I love you” text from my 63 year old friend Dee(short for Darcy) alongside a link to a video of an artist I had never heard before.

Although the song was sad, I  felt invigorated after listening and searched for more tracks from Dee-1. I was happy to find that he challenges the status quo.

A baby faced Dee-1 uplifts me and I float through the day humming this song.

Dee-1, stop calling people stupid. I hate that word. Maybe misguided, never stupid. However, I’m sure “stupid”  doesn’t compare to the words I call people when I’m driving *covers mouth.

Feel good.

More food for thought.

He cares about our health.

Later that night I smiled as my friend’s 10 year old daughter giggled while listening to Sallie Mae Back.

Now I have two friends named Dee who have my heart. I love that his positive message transcends age, religion, gender, race, and politics. I love that  this former math teacher, who readily admits to not being perfect, has stayed consistent in his message since he started his career years ago. His motto is “Be real. Be righteous.Be relevant”. He walks alone on his beaten path  yet is able to give back so much to the world. You can find out more about him here.Thank you Dee-1!

Do you see what I see?

I used to tremble in fear when people looked at me, wondering if they could see through me and know that I wasn’t worth anything. Painstakingly, I worked my way through that phase in my life. I did this by exposing myself to different environments and people. I faced some rejection but the benefits of baring myself to the world were rewarding more than anything else.   Though still shy and awkward, I am much more comfortable with being me.

I’ve watched people shy away from my stare much like I used to . Do you see what I see?  I don’t care what your background is, when I look at you I see limitless potential. I don’t care what your background is, I am proud that you got out of bed today to face this world and all of it’s challenges. Maybe you didn’t get out of bed but instead cried and released something gnawing at you. You’ll get out of bed tomorrow. Celebrate your smallest achievements, they are no less grand or meaningful than that of your peers.

I feel like I am worthy of love, happiness and appreciation. All I see when I look at people is beauty and maybe that is what people see when they look at me. You might be perceptive, intuitive, able to discern peoples moods because you are an observer. This does not make you a mind reader. Don’t sabotage yourself by guessing what people think. You are the person you have to live with 24/7, be more concerned with what you think about yourself. It’s not easy but we can do it!

Have a beautiful week!



Njagabaar bi

November 2014

Djoudj National Park. North of St. Louis, Senegal.


Waiting for our tour guide.


Puffer fish.

Finally onboard our boat, we watched awestruck as women waded neck deep in the water gathering water lillies. Traditionally dressed with headwraps, they gracefully bobbed up and down to cut the flower at the stem. They sell the flowers at a market. We did not photograph the women.IMG_9757





Our first glimpse…



Breeding grounds of the Great White Pelican(Njagabaar bi in Wolof. Wolof is the language of Senegal.)







We saw a variety of birds in Djoudj National Park. I identified egrets and herons. The park has over 400 species of birds and  other wildlife. You can read more about the Great White Pelican here.


November 2o14 . Dakar, Senegal. Better late than never.

The language of Senegal is Wolof. Laamb is the Wolof word for wrestling.



Whoever is thrown to the ground first is the winner. Hands only!



The bottles contain herb laced infusions that the players use to bath with. It is prepared by a marabout(Muslim religious leader) and is supposed to protect the players.







A loser pouring libations. He dug a hole in the earth and poured what appeared to be water in it. He then drank the water from the earth and  bathed his face and shoulders with it.




Peanut ladies



Enjoying the show.



Dancing while they watch the match.



Wearing gris-gris , leather charms that have Koran verses on them.




The drummers played all night long even as  dignitaries make their entrance.



The singers.



The amateurs had their turn. The pros arrived.


Unfortunately, my camera died after this. And so did my voice. If you’d like to learn more about Senegalese wrestling, you can read  Here.

Wight? Wight.

I’m a year late but I just finished watching Game of Thrones season 5. I love the wights. Finally some zombies I can respect! Spare me those slow moving zombies that plod along tripping over themselves. Ok, they eat brains but so what? There’s a anthropologist, foodie,  or some adventurous person out there somewhere doing the very same thing. I’m not impressed.  Besides, how can I respect the undead if  I can outrun them?   Now, lets take a look at wights.

  1.  They took on a giant named Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun. You can call him Wun Wun for short.They didn’t win win but they did succeed in making said giant hastily walk into the sea with no clear direction in sight. Where the hell did he go? He wasn’t wearing a life jacket, didn’t have a boat, a paddle, a plan. The last scene  he was above waist deep in water and making determined strides.  I hope he makes  it. If he doesn’t, I’d be  delighted to feast my eyes on a zombie giant.
  2. They’re fast.
  3. A throng of wights threw themselves over the head of a cliff in order to get to their enemies. They didn’t stop to debate the wisdom in that and they rose from their fallen positions rather gracefully.
  4. They value teamwork. We  have seen the way zombie squabbles ensue when they are fighting over a meal. Wights are above that. They understand that teamwork makes the dream work. How many of us can say that about our colleagues, friends and lovers??
  5. Brains are not the priority like most of the undead I have seen in movies. I always thought zombies had rather shortsighted goals. Wights  want to kill you and increase their ranks. I suspect they’re heading towards world domination.
  6. They’re fast.
  7. They have chirren zombies. We all know that chirren zombies up the creepy factor times a thousand.
  8. There is no gradual decent into zombiehood. There is no sweat beaded upper lip and  strange behavior to  clue us in that someone has been “infected”. Wights are dead in an instant and  reanimated with a mere flick of da wrist from the powerful White Walkers.

My invisible friends, the wights are one of the main reasons  I eagerly await season 6 of Game of Thrones.  On another note, Wun-Wun would make a great baby name. What do you think?