Thursday, November 29, 2007

zambia watch out

it is a sad state of affairs when a 15.5 hour flight sounds relaxing. but it was. i was in coach and cramped. and i did do some work. but mostly i just watched a couple of movies (hairspray and talk to me) and slept. it was not too bad. though my ankles and feet got such bad edema i thought i might get stretch marks. we had a 3 hour layover in jo'burg so i got a foot massage which started to help work all the swelling down. my cankles were back as soon as we were in the air again.

not much happened. but here a couple of photos...

waiting to board my flight from jo'burg to lusaka i used the water closet a few times. this one had a special room. at first i thought it was a muslim prayer room.

but no...

it was a squatter toilet.
i was offended
i am not totally sure why
i do like these potties best! (for public going)it seemed like we were off without a hitch, but then susan's luggage didn't come
thankfully she had a good carry-on full of cloths for tomorrow

tomorrow is VIP day. we start at 8 with a meeting with the ambassador, then the country team, and then a bunch of ministerial visits. it looks like it may be the only "suit" day, so that is good. though i didn't bring one. i will just were my best dress. hopefully that will be good enough.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


yall know i like good food. the key to good food is fresh. that is why i love community supported agriculture groups. i am posting my welcome note to this years winter CSA in case any readers around here are interested...if you don't live in the area you can find a csa you might be able to find one here. only this site didn't have either of the csa's i participate in... though i am sure you can find some great stuff!

Spiritual Food CSA

4209 East-West Highway; Bethesda, MD 20814

301-654-4899 x5;

Dear Winter CSA Members:

Welcome to the Winter/Spring 2008 season of the Spiritual Food CSA. At this point, we have about 107 members between the 3 locations. Bethesda, Arlington and Capitol Hill and are expecting a few more this week. The season will be starting on Friday November 30th , so please consider Wed Nov 28th as the final day to register. We will decide later if there will be an option for late registrations but if you know people who are planning to join, please tell them the Nov 28th date. It is so important to start at the beginning and much better for our organizing too.

Below is important information about the new season. Please read the whole letter. If you still have questions, please reply to this e-mail.


Nov 30 to May 23 (26 weeks)


For Bethesda: If you know you will not be able to pick up the share during the pick up hours,

Ø You may have it packed for you and set aside which is the best option. But MUST call BY THURSDAY 301-654-4899, x5 and leave a message asking that we bag it for you (for a $2 courtesy fee).

Ø You may come on Saturday and choose from what is left which may be in covered bins out on the tables or in the silver milk fridge. By Sunday it will likely be packaged up for donation and gone.

Ø If you cannot come at all, have a friend come, or you may request that we donate it.

For Capital Hill and Arlington members: You will receive a message from your host (or volunteers) explaining the situation and options at your pick up site.

If there are dates you know you will not be able to pick up your share at all, you can try to sell it through the yahoo group or sell or give to a friend.

PAYMENT: Thanks to the post-dated check system and to the many who paid the whole amount at once, almost all payments are in! A huge thank you to everyone for your cooperation. If you have not completed payment yet, it is due by opening day. If special arrangements are needed, please call this week.


The website at, >Spiritual Food for the New Millennium>CSA has a wealth of information on biodynamic food, recipes, membership, etc. or go directly to

For communication among members, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU JOIN the Spiritual Food CSA Group on Yahoo. It is quite easy to use. You can exchange recipes or ask others about a particular food, coordinate driving, find a replacement for volunteering if needed, etc. Also, many messages go out from us, the coordinators, only on this yahoo chat line (because of computer logistics here in the office) so if you do not join yahoo you would not get the following messages:

Ø weekly share list which we usually goes out the day before pick up

Ø recipes and food tips on new or unusual items

Ø extra items available for sale

It is very easy to sign up by going to From this link, click “Join This group”. If you are not already a member of yahoo, not to worry, it's quite simple. Where it asks you to sign in, if you don’t already have a yahoo ID, click “sign up” and go through the form to register. You can choose to give as little or as much personal information as you like. You’ll be asked to verify your new account by checking your e-mail for a message from yahoo; then return to yahoo and you should be on the join a group page – if not, go back to the link above or go to, choose groups, and search for our group by typing in: Spiritual Food CSA.

You will be able to use this chat room to sign up for volunteering or to verify the date your have selected by clicking on groups, and the spiritual food CSA group should come up, and then choose the “database” link, or go straight to

E-mail is the main means of communication from us at the School of Life along with signs or flyers left out. PLEASE READ THEM!!! If you don’t use e-mail be sure to read signs and pick up handouts and occasionally ask what’s going on.

QUESTIONS? Durga ( , Lakshmi ( or Vyasa ( Again, the CSA phone number is 301-654-4899, voicemail box 5. But before you call with general questions, check out the website.


While not mandatory, volunteering is necessary for the functioning of the CSA at all 3 locations. If everyone takes a part, others are not left doing more than their share.

Ø “Setting up” involves preparing the week’s food for pick up on Fridays.

Ø Bagging supplements can be done in Bethesda or at your home (even Arl and CH)

Ø Each location needs a volunteer coordinator to be sure the schedule is filled

Ø Each location needs a weekly reminder person to contact the volunteer for that week

We can also use help with

Ø cleaning projects like the van and bins

Ø occasional computer work such as website projects and “internet listings”

Ø Newsletter articles or layout

Ø RECRUIT NEW MEMBERS!!! Talk to your friends and foes about the CSA. We start planning in January for the Summer season.

Ø Recipe/food person(s) to pass on ideas for food use via yahoo


If interested in any of these, call Lakshmi at 301-654-4899 x5.

If you cannot ever come on a Friday for set up, you can see there are plenty of other jobs available.

SIGN UP for volunteering takes place online and also in person the first week or two of the season until done. People will be there at pick up to show you around, answer questions and ask you to sign up. BRING your CALENDAR please. If everyone signs up twice during the season all will be covered and we can all relax and enjoy the community effort.

To view the sign up chart or to edit (which means find a replacement if you have to change your date) go to

PARKING in Bethesda:

There is a pull-through driveway. Please park straight in (facing the house), and be sure not to block the exit even if you come on off hours and no one else seems to be around. This house is used for many purposes and we wish to be considerate of all visitors.


CSA members are being offered the opportunity to have access to Raw Milk.

If you are interested contact Victor at


The season will run from early-June until end of November. Start thinking about this now. Registration forms will be out in early January.

Directions to Arlington and Capitol Hill will be sent by the hosts of those locations.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WaPo on the the new face of Mormonism

i found this interesting for obvious reasons

The New Face of Global Mormonism

Tech-Savvy Missionary Church Thrives as Far Afield as Africa

By Mary Jordan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, November 19, 2007; A01

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Outside Zion Osandu Ndukwe's one-room apartment, a naked toddler ran up and down a filthy hallway lit by a single candle. The power in the overcrowded slum was off yet again. The stench of urine from the communal bathroom overpowered the fragrance of spices in the bubbling soup that a neighbor stirred in the dark passage.

But this night, the misery all around Ndukwe -- the crime, the uncollected trash, the bathtub-size potholes, the dilapidated cars belching black smoke -- stopped at his door. It was a Monday evening, and because Ndukwe, 39, had been baptized into the Mormon Church six months earlier, that meant it was time to be with his family and sing God's praises.

"I am a child of God!" he sang, as he, his wife and their 4-year-old daughter celebrated in loud, joyous voices a faith once known for its all-white, all-American membership.

"I'm a changed man," Ndukwe said, sitting on a bed that took up most of his apartment. "I used to drink. I had girlfriends outside my marriage. I don't do that anymore, and I feel better. The Mormon Church contributed 100 percent to the change."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as it is formally known, now has more members outside the United States than inside it. The church's rise from its roots in Utah to a steadily growing global faith in 176 countries and territories has been aided by the Internet, including the popular Web site, which seeks to dispel the mystery that still surrounds the religion; by a satellite system linking 6,000 of its churches worldwide with the Salt Lake City headquarters; and by tens of thousands of missionaries knocking on doors from Lagos to Lapland.

As the world's largest faiths -- Islam, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Hinduism -- expand across the developing world, smaller faiths such as Mormonism are also gaining strength. The Mormon Church, which did not permit blacks to become priests until 1978, says it now has more than 250,000 members in Africa, including almost 80,000 in Nigeria.

Mormonism, which teaches that an American named Joseph Smith was a prophet who received visions from God about how to restore the true and original Christian church, had 1.7 million members in 1960. Today, according to church statistics, it has about 13 million, more than 7 million of them outside the United States.

The church's landmark six-spire temple in Maryland, along the Capital Beltway in the Washington suburb of Kensington, was its first east of the Rocky Mountains when it opened in 1974. Now there are Mormon temples in more than 40 countries, from China to Finland to Ghana, and more than 8,400 Mormon churches or meetinghouses abroad, with a new one built nearly every day.

As the church grows in numbers and diversity, it is gaining global recognition.

"A lot of people think nothing but polygamy" when they hear of the Mormons, said Rodney Stark, a religious studies specialist at Baylor University in Texas, even though that practice has been outlawed by the church for more than a century. But as more people acquire Mormon friends and neighbors, Stark said, Mormons "are no longer seen as a peculiar little sect. They are too big."

Jan Shipps, a Methodist scholar who has written extensively about the Mormons, said, "When a cult grows up, it becomes a culture."

'Happiness and Peace'

Early Sunday morning in the dusty Oshodi neighborhood of Lagos, before the tropical sun pressed down like a heavy steam iron, the noisy streets were teeming. Women carried bundles on their heads -- cans of paint or a sewing machine. Creaking yellow buses, missing doors, were overcrowded. Wealthier people drove past in ancient Mercedes sedans discarded by faraway owners.

Amid the seemingly endless shacks and open sewers on haphazard Llesanmi Street, one lovely place stood out: a gated, cream-colored compound with a steepled church. Inside the spotless chapel, about 170 people sat in neat rows under whirring ceiling fans as an organist played quiet hymns. Almost every worshiper was black, and every male worshiper wore a white shirt and tie.

One after another, adults and children walked to the microphone and professed their devotion to the Mormon faith. Their reasons for joining it were diverse, but nearly all had once belonged to a larger Christian church they found lacking. Perhaps most of all, they said, they were initially attracted to the Mormon belief that devout families stay together eternally, not just until death.

Joshua Matthews Ebiloma, 40, a sales manager for a power generator company, said the Mormons offered him "peace of mind" he had not found anywhere else.

Nigeria is half Muslim and almost half Christian, and proselytizing foreigners, from the United States to Saudi Arabia, are pouring millions of dollars into the African nation of 135 million to expand their faiths.

Ebiloma has sampled a range of them. He was born into a pagan family and still bears the scars of tribal markings carved into his cheeks when he was young. After attending Muslim schools as a child, he tried various Christian churches before finding what he described as "happiness and peace" in Mormonism.

Now, Ebiloma nodded and smiled as fellow Mormons told their stories. One woman described the joy of having her family "sealed," a ritual that Mormons believe ensures that families stay together beyond death. Another said she believed that tithing -- the Mormon practice of members giving one-tenth of their income to the church -- "would bring great blessings."

A third woman praised Gordon B. Hinckley, the 97-year-old church president in Salt Lake City, who followers believe receives divine revelations. "I know President Hinckley is the living prophet," she said, just as amplified clapping and stomping in a nearby Pentecostal church began drowning out more testimonies.

"It is quiet and more organized in here," Ebiloma said later. "In other churches, people are shouting at the top of their lungs, sweating so much they need a hanky. One thing I know for sure: God is not deaf."

there is more to the article, but i don't want this to take too much space. if you want to read the here.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

wicked busy but good news for cassi

the last month has been a whirlwind of work. i am burning out and resenting the fact that i feel like my work owns me. not to mention that i feel like i have so much to do that i can do none of it right. but...i have learned some lessons.
  • anxiety is a function of not living in the present. the best way to combat anxiety is make myself be in the now. i have been doing that by just doing the stuff i am worrying about. it is amazing how much less daunting things are in reality. my imagination makes everything horrible when i am anxious. also, on the few occasions i have not been able to do whatever it is that i am perceverating about, i have started journaling about what it feels like to be anxious. it brings me back to the present and makes the anxiety dissipate.
  • you can really only do one thing at a time. so i have just been picking the tasks that is due earliest and pushing through to get that done. then just moving on.
  • that vacations are NOT vacations if you are taking work. that is what i almost did. thankfully i have a wonderful friend in lindsay and a great boss at work who helped me to a) see that i was running myself ragged and b) not feel guilty about postponing st. lucia. so now lindsay and i are planning to go to st. lucia in january. there are many reasons this should be better, none the least of which is the fact that i won't have to work while i am down there.
lots of other cool things have happened that deserve their own blog.
  • holly, dianna, brigham, jennie, and i started a dinner club. we have been trying new restaurants around town. i will share a post with reviews soon (hopefully)
  • saw dc united loose a seat in the chapionship to stupid columbus fire.
  • went to slc to meet with the church on pandemic flu.
all of these will be posts soon... promise. as soon as all this work is done i am going to hold myself up and just clean, go to the grocery store, and do some blogging.

last, but certainly not least, i want to direct you all to the blog of one of my "sisters". i am lucky enough to have adopted two families as my own. the packards and the allreds. they are awesome and i really wish i lived closer. the oldest of all of the "sisters" is cassi. she is a dynamo! she can best anyone in a passionate debate on just about anything. smart as a whistle and adventurous to a fault at times. i love that she is always trying new things. we met up in cambodia a couple of years ago when lindsay and i were traveling through on our fateful trip in vietnam where we had "the accident". bekki (another allread sister) was living in singapore so cassi and jana (mom allred) flew over to hang out then they met lindsay, diane and i in angkor wat. it was awesome!

cassi started a blog that i think is really worth watching. it is called metamorphosis. tomorrow she is undergoing gastric by-pass surgery and she is going to share her experience on her blog. below i am going to paste her first entry. though i must say, that her second entry is the one that really got to me most: she lists her top 10 reasons for getting the surgery.

i am excited for cassi and i am humbled by her courage and humility. she is a wonderful example of what it means to take chances. i am praying that all goes well tomorrow, and that the all goes welledness will continue until she is at her desired weight.

love you cas! good luck!!!!!!

The game begins...

Where to begin? I was small when I was born (6 lbs, 6 oz) and that was the last time I remember being small. Okay, I don't really remember that. Which means, I cannot remember a time--ever--that I didn't feel overweight. Which is not to say I was always obese. My younger sister was naturally skinny, and I was naturally somewhat chubby. In my mind, compared to her, I was fat. I look back at my childhood pictures and say, "Wait a minute! I wasn't as fat as I thought I was!"

Fast-forward forty years, and I am exactly what I always thought I was. Fat. Very fat. If there were a category for super super morbidly obese, I'd be in it. The weight began creeping on during my high school years. I weighed 140 lbs as a freshman (age 14) and I thought I needed to lose 50 lbs. Granted, I'm short, but still, I wasn't as fat as I thought I was (that seems to be a theme). By my early twenties I was around 240-260. I lost 80 lbs at one point, just before I met/married my husband. But after baby #1, I was right back up to 260. After baby #2 (seven years later) I was up to 320. After about 10 years of rigorous dieting and vigorous eating (cuz you know they go hand-in-hand!) I found myself over the 350 mark. 358 to be exact.

The last 15 years have been a gradual climb of 100 lbs. It was so slow you'd almost not notice. And when you're already fat, it seems to all just "blend in". However, when I see myself in photographs, I now have the opposite reaction than I did as a child. It always surprises me to see how large I really am. Apparently, my sense of "what size I am" is rather warped. That is something I will have to deal with on my way down. I'm sure other things will come up as well. I am 100% convinced that extreme obesity has as many emotional connections as it does physical.So, after years of resisting the idea of weight loss surgery (thought I was giving up, wanted to do it on my own, didn't want to take the easy way out, etc.), I have finally learned that a) it's okay to ask for and/or accept help, b) it's NOT the easy way--but it's almost always the SURE way, and c) I'm pretty darn stubborn. Now I'm going to take that stubbornness, which we shall reclassify as determination, and put it to good use.

The game has begun...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

no more novice travelin for me

on wednesday i was on my way to SLC for a pandemic flu exercise (more on that later), i was sick and i was working like a banshee. i had to review 6 program areas of the botswana COP (country operation plan) for PEPFAR which meant i was spread all over the place with a HUGE binder of "sensitive" info AND my laptop. i had already written a synthesis of the india COP and i needed a break. (i am amazingly productive on a plane, but i think this was bugging my seat mates as i was stuck in the middle seat in coach). i fumbled thru my stuff only to realize that i had left my headphones (the free ones you get from your iPod) in my checked bag. the guy next to me had some fancy headphones and he was sleeping (or pretending to). so the minute he woke up i asked him, ever so sheepishly, if i could borrow his headphones. he agreed.

they were awesome. i didn't have to turn the volume all the way up and i listened without too much intrusion of the engine noise and crying babies. i talked to the guy about them. his brother had given them to him and though they weren't awesome, they were the best gift he had ever received. i decided right then and there i was done with being a novice traveler.

on friday i fly to st. lucia with lindsay for thanksgiving. and i will be turning over a new leaf. accompanying me will be my QC2s (see below) and a tempur-pedic eye mask.

as i will spend more 100 hours between now and the end of the year, i think my investment will pay off. better!!!!

i am way stressed out with work, so i might end up blogging will i am on my way to st. lucia. but i want to get photos from the LDS church site visit and more... stay tuned, but be cool because, i have too much work to do right now.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Meet the FOKers

for my birthday party, we invented a game called meet the FOKers (friends of kimberly) to help everyone get to know each other.
the rules: "find someone at the party who's done something on this list, and get their signature. you can only use kimberly once, so choose carefully."

  • has been issued more than $1000 in parking tickets
  • has contracted malaria
  • has skinny-dipped with a co-workers
  • has broken more than three bones
  • has broken into a stranger's home
  • taught at the MTC
  • made out at the MTC
  • had a french lover
  • REALLY loves costco
  • rode a century ride -- 100 miles
  • cultivates a garden
  • currently has a warrant out for his or her arrest
  • was born under libra
  • prefers mac/apple
  • is platinum on delta
  • has been on an african safari
  • has been on a shelfari
  • has been hospitalized in a developing country
  • has written a letter to mayor fenty
  • attended the colonial ward
  • doesn't own a t.v.
  • medaled in a triathlon
  • writes a blog
  • drives a crappy old car
  • has shopped at last chance in arizona.
no one won at my party. so now it's an internet game. write me back and tell me how many apply to you, too, and you will be rewarded with a cruelty-free, locally-grown, pesticide-free and all organic meal, ala kimberly.

here are some photos from the tea party

the party planning committee
which for this party
was combined with the "finer things club"

the finer things

maryjoy entertaining a happy throng

that is one heck of a profile eileen!

me and cheese

Thursday, November 1, 2007

trunk or treat

for some reason, around these parts kids don't say trick or treat all that much. they just show up, stick out their bag, and expect candy. i am either old, old-fashioned or both. but i just think if i am handing out candy i should get some song or dance. or at least some tradition following. but whatev

this year lindsay, dianna, and i dressed like a triathlon and hit the town...

swim, bike or run
take your pick

harried housewife and welder
brigham was trying to reconnect to our mission days
long live the GLBRM

princess lillie

princess diamond

a gangster dragon and his runner tiger brutha

she told me this stole her soul

daniel and desmond mixin' it up


taking a break from the exhausting work of handing out candy.

elena the macarena


he goes by the name luke,
but sure plays a mean yoda

for karis, halloween means face paint

gabby may look like daphne,
but really she is a genius


yw throw back

i don't know how this robin hood could save this maid marian
but they make a happy duo for sure

and she sings

the isaacs

scream it mar-king

the atkinsons!

laura jean all afright

jackie as cleopatra.
she wasn't quite sure who cleopatra was, tho

a witch, a swim, a bunny, and charlie brown

she can wiggle her nose just like a bunny!

proof that nursery is the best calling!

mayhem ensued
i think people realized there was fun to be had at the mormon church
and we were inundated with "neighbors"

with all the fun that the mayhem brought and having a tired biker, dianna and i headed off for east capitol street to see all the fun they do there.

this one house had a display of mannequins from the bush administration. this is condi rice as catwoman. her eyes glowed red.

rudy guiuliani as the riddler. behind him are the heroes, hillary and barak (batgirl and batman, respectively). it should be quite a contest between good and evil!

that fat penguin is dick cheney, and the wild joker is gwb. those two are having the time of their lives!

we're still puzzling over this riddle. throngs of people on the street were, too.

catwoman's kid sister, the orca.

a sampling of some of the insanely carved pumpkins around town on halloween. and only in dc would you see pumpkins carved with "McCain 08."

victory! a successful outing for team awesome.
dianna is probably excited because she stayed up past 7:30pm.
happy halloween, everyone!!