Last night, I sat in on a webcast on by Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and listened to a panel of four aid workers give first-hand accounts of MSF’s response to to the Syrian civil war and the health crises in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. This is the second webcast I’ve sat in on and I knew it would impact today’s post, but until this morning I just didn’t know how….
This time of year we wish each other a happy holiday season and good health in the coming year. Those are certainly things I included in the holiday cards I sent out. But do we think about what that latter part means – I certainly thought about it seriously in the card to my 97-year-old mentor. As a donor to MSF, I receive field news reports about where and how MSF is providing medical care in countries where not even the most basic modern health care systems are now in place. Countries in turmoil from years of military conflicts and possibly extreme weather, where the populations rely on international organizations for maternal and child health care, immunizations, and emergency treatment. And, I know first-hand about the loss of life due to lack of proper treatment in the DR Congo and have seen the efforts in places like Uganda by U.S. Aid to empower the poor with information on malaria, AIDS, and maternal care. (Pictures above of U.S. Aid funded malaria prevention and personal hygiene campaigns in Uganda.)
In the United States of America our health care system might not be perfect, in fact in some ways it might be really bad – but I guarantee you it’s not anywhere near as faulty as the struggling healthcare networks in most Third World countries.
And, by the way….
As of January 1, 2015, all U.S. citizens are required to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. For families with income above $28,500, the penalty is 1% of income, but not more than the average cost of a bronze level plan. At lower income levels, the penalty is $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, with a $285 maximum per family. Certain individuals, such as those whose income is below the filing threshold, are exempt from the penalty.
Before you think about complaining about a medical bill or wait time in a doctor’s office, or the next time you wish someone good health in a holiday card – please take a second to be grateful for all you have and all you don’t have to worry about.
To learn more about MSF and/or to donate please visit their website here.
Better Late Than Never
Top ten photos of 2014 as compiled by Time Magazine.
Turkish Airlines has created an epic food map. I added the above picture from my meal (plantain bread, fish stew, cassava dish) in Kisangani, Province Orientale DR Congo. Have a favorite meal from somewhere you traveled and want to share it with the chance of winning a trip? Enter the Turkish Airlines competition. **What is your most memorable meal from a trip and where do you want to travel next?
What happened when a woman lived according to the Pinterest “most popular” page? Sounds exhausting, but she nailed it! Must read for any gal who gives a damn about the perfection portrayed on Pinterest and Instagram.
I’m not trying to be mean, but this is one of the funniest things I’ve seen all year. I laughed myself silly at this YouTube video “How to Recover from Treadmill Fail”
There are a lot of Best of 2014 album lists, e.g. 8tracks. Some of my favorite music from the past year…
• Rosanne Cash, The River & the Thread. SO good.
• Taylor Swift, 1989. I don’t care, I love her.
• Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence. A different sort of album for me, but I like the depth of some of the tracks.
• Ryan Adams, Ryan Adams. Every single song.
• Drive by Truckers, English Oceans. Really good but not as good as the older stuff.
• Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Give People What They Want. Ooooh.
• Eric Church, The Outsiders.
I hope you enjoyed the past few posts since the relaunch of Delicious Musings in September. Thank you very much for reading! In 2015, you will find new original in-depth series as related to food and travel. Exciting adventures await!!
I will resume posting on January 5th. Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season!!!