Monday, March 3, 2008

Essential Safari Clothes For Your African Trip

Taking the right safari clothing with you to Africa is one of the more important decisions you will make about your trip. The conditions you will encounter on a safari means you have to take some specialised clothes but be careful not to go overboard.

Here are the apparel essentials for a safari...

Safari Hat

The African sun can be very strong particularly if you are used to a milder climate so a good hat to protect you from sunburn is essential.

What makes a good safari hat? One with a brim that provides you with all round protection because the sun will burn you even when it is low on the horison.

It should be absorbent on the inside because you are going to be sweating in the African heat and waterproof on the outside for those sudden thunderstorms that can catch you unawares.

And it needs to be gas permeable so that heat can escape and allow you to cool off because a large percentage of the body heat you generate is lost through your head. The hat should be tough and rugged to withstand regular use and if possible be crush packable because space is going to be at a premium on your trip.

Safari Shirts

You need to pack some long as well as short sleeved shirts because the ones with the longer sleeves come in handy at night to protect you from mosquitoes but they are too hot to wear during the day.

And remember to leave the brightly coloured shirts at home especially if you are going on a walking safari because they make you stick out like a sore thumb in the African bush. It's much better to blend in so pick khaki, olive or brown garments but this is less important if you are going to be in a safari vehicle all the time because the animals don't take any notice of you then.

As far as the material goes you want something that will "breathe" because you can expect to get pretty hot on safari so lightweight, durable, non-synthetic material is the best.

Safari Trousers and Shoes

Again, you need to pack both long and short trousers to cover up at night against those pesky mosquitoes (it is often still warm at night but a little discomfort is better than being bitten) and you can wear the shorts during the heat of the day.

Muted, neutral colours are best but avoid white as it will become dirty quickly.

Safari boots are only essential if you are going to be walking through the bush. If you are going to be spending most of your time in the vehicle then a pair of comfortable shoes or sandals will do just fine. The sandals are particularly useful back at camp because they are cool and you can slip them on and off quickly.

Safari Jacket

In summer, the only time that you are going to need a safari jacket on safari is late at night and in the early mornings because the temperature can drop sharply then. In winter, you might need it during the day but when the sun shines the temperature can be remarkably mild even in winter.

If you are a keen photographer a safari jacket or vest with many pockets is extremely handy because you can take all your photographic equipment with you. Twenty pockets is more than enough for most travel situations and a few interior pockets are also a good idea for the really valuable stuff.

Find out what the six worst safari clothing mistakes are that people make and how to avoid them.

Safari hats must perform these three functions very well to be effective on a safari trip.

Getting to the Roots of the Porn Epidemic

In How Your Church can take on the Porn Epidemic, we looked at the need to communicate clear answers for dealing with porn and sex addiction from the pulpit, and provide a safe place for those who struggle with it.

But in the big picture, even if every church in the U.S. did this wed still have a big problem because men and women dont get hooked on porn in their 30s or 40s. The only way to contain and choke off the porn epidemic is to equip our youth for the inevitable battle with lust, before it gets a grip on their lives.

I cant remember meeting a man or woman who struggled with porn and didnt get hooked in their teenage years, if not earlier. Recently I was contacted by a mother whose 14 year old son was a full blown porn addict; its not uncommon to hear of a first exposure to porn as early as age 10. I remember 13 year olds who were having sex when I was growing up, and that was in the 70s. Its even worse in the sex-saturated sewer we live in today.

Theyre reaching out for help at a younger age; in our local Strength in Numbers meeting were seeing guys as young as 18. The picture these young men paint of the environment theyre growing up in is shocking: porn is all over the boy scouts said one. At our private catholic school, porn and masturbation are the norm, another told us. They made it sound like porn was everywhere, and I couldnt help wondering if they were exaggerating.

Sadly, the statistics dont show otherwise. In a study done in January 2002, the London School of Economics found that nine out of 10 children between eight and 16 have viewed pornography on the Internet. If your kids arent finding out about porn online, theyll learn about it at school from their peers (and yes even at Christian schools.) Some will find out about porn from their parents; I hear stories all too often where Junior stumbled onto Dads porn stash and got hooked.

The only way the church will turn the tide on the porn epidemic back is if we address it with our kids, before the world gets to them. We have to prepare them for the sex saturated culture that they will be exposed to and teach them how to deal with it; if we dont the statistics show your kids and mine have a 50/50 chance of turning into a porn addict. (See How Many Porn Addicts are in Your Church? for a look at the numbers.) Those odds are too risky to bet our kids future on.

Some of you may be squirming at the thought of addressing the topic of sex with your 10 year old, but theres no avoiding the fact that our children will be exposed to pornography (that is, unless we move our families to a monastery in Nepal and go into isolation). We have to face the reality of the culture we live in today, and take the initiative to equip our youth for the battles ahead.

Preparation starts in the home, before theyre ten years old. I told my son about sex when he was nine, and eased him into the subject of pornography by saying that its pictures of naked people. Weve discussed the Biblical framework for sex a number of times, and he understands that pornography is a warped, satanic distortion of what God intended it to be. Weve discussed how destructive and widespread porn is in our culture; my son knows he will be exposed to it, and that hiding his temptations or trying to fight them on his own will give lust the power to rule his life. Weve talked about the need to avert our eyes from sexually inappropriate images, and hes caught on. This past summer I took him to see a movie in a theatre, and when a trailer was shown for the Dukes of Hazard (which shows women running around in hot pants,) my son saw me turn my head away and he did the same without me saying a word. (We have to model what we teach.)

Openly discussing the perils of lust with my son has already made a difference. On his own, he told me of images of scantily dressed girls in a video game he bought (which the ratings on the sleeve had said nothing about) and threw the game away. He told me when he watched a movie at another kids house with a scene of a girl in a bikini. He still has a long way to go, but at age 11, my son has employed tools that many men dont use until much later in life.

My son would have never done this if we didnt have a strong relationship, which is why its so vital that we make an effort to talk to and have fun with our kids. They wont confide in us if we give them the impression we dont care, neglect their emotional needs, or come off like we never sin. Our honesty with our faults teaches our children that its safe for them to come to us with their failures and temptations.

Next, we need to talk openly and honestly about sex and pornography to our junior highers at church. In a group setting, our 12, 13 and 14 year olds should repeatedly hear Gods standards for sexual purity. They should be warned of the perils of playing with pornography and how the decisions they make now can set them on a course of destruction later in life. One way to do this is to have an adult whos struggled with porn share in honest terms how sex addiction was destroying his or her life and what it could do to them.

And, in a group setting at church, our junior highers should be invited to share their own experiences and temptations with porn and lust. (Dont think they havent had them.) Doing this will build community and transparency in the church of the next generation, and encourage them to be less secretive with their weaknesses which our generation hasnt always succeeded in.

One of the guys at our Strength in Numbers group once said I wish I would have known when I was a teenager that my addiction with pornography was going to destroy my life. If we try to hide our kids from the sexual sludge the world is throwing at them, we will be responsible for keeping the porn epidemic alive and thriving in the next generation. By preparing our youth for war, the church will turn back the tide of sexual sin in the church and be the salt and light its called to be.

Getting to the Roots of the Porn Epidemic By Mike Genung

Bio: Mike Genung struggled with sex addiction for 20 years before God set Him free in 1999. He is the director of, a ministry to the sexually broken and their spouses, and the author of The Road to Grace; Finding True Freedom from the Bondage of Sexual Addiction (available at Blazing Grace also helps churches minister to the sexually broken by providing resources and helping them set up Strength in Numbers groups

Hair Loss - Don't Comb Over The Problem

Dramatic hair loss can be a traumatic experience and can have severe psychological affects on the sufferer. Although in some fashionable circles, a bald or shaved head on a man is considered trendy, studies have related hair loss to unhappiness with ones image in both men and women.

Numerous factors contribute to the cause of hair loss: Scalp bacteria, stress, poor nutrition, genetic baldness (affecting men and women) and hormonal imbalance. In many cases, hair loss may be caused by a combination of these factors but genetic pattern baldness is by far the most dominant factor, accounting for nearly 95% of all hair loss in men, as well as affecting millions of women.

Studies carried out by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that most men regard hair loss as "an unwanted distressing experience that diminishes their body image."

The Academy also reports that hair loss in women can negatively affect self-worth, including a significant loss of self esteem, being introverted, feeling less attractive and tense feelings in public places.

A further unsettling study shows that At least half of women in the U.S. will experience some form of hair loss by the time they are 50 years old. Considering hair loss affects 80 million people in the USA, this shows a disturbingly high number of people suffering emotional distress because of this syndrome.

There are a number of options available to those who want to improve or indeed reverse hair loss. Some may choose to use a wig or hairpiece while others choose medication. The only two medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are Rogaine, and Propecia and both are proven to combat hair loss.

Propecia is a prescription pill that men can take once a day to effectively treat genetic hair loss. The active agent in Propecia is a drug called Finasteride. Propecia works by controlling the levels of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. With the levels of DHT in your body returned to normal, your hair loss could stop.

Rogaine was the first FDA-approved hair loss treatment for both men and women. The active agent in Rogaine is a drug called Minoxidil. Rogaine is a solution that is applied topically to the scalp twice a day and is clinically proven to combat hair loss in its early stages. Rogaine comes in either 2% or 5% strength.

Surgery is another popular alternative for those seeking treatment. Hair transplantation has significantly improved over the last few years, and unlike old-fashioned dolls hair plugs, results in virtually undetectable, natural-looking restored hairlines and density.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is one of the newest methods of hair transplantation, and there are only a few clinics around the world that offer it. FUE is a technique of extraction of follicular units and is an ideal option for patients who wish to wear their hair very short or are afraid of surgery. Up to 1500 follicular units may be transplanted in one sitting.

The FUE procedure allows the surgeon to harvest each follicular unit one at a time from the donor area (the back and sides of the head, as these two areas are not prone to balding). Once harvested, each hair is artistically transplanted into the balding or thinning areas of the scalp, allowing for painless and complete hair restoration.

This revolutionary process has many advantages including completely natural results, very little bleeding, no visible scar formation and less recovery time for patients. No blades or scalpels are ever used with the FUE procedure. Since there is no cutting of the scalp, patients still have the option of shaving their heads throughout their lifetime.

Clearly, the treatment of hair loss has come a long way over the past decade and the options available are numerous and painless. Indeed, the prospects of losing your hair need not be so terrifying after all. Who knows, with all these ground-breaking treatments becoming more popular and improving social awareness, our world in the next decade could well be a much happier, hairier place to live!

For more information on hair transplant treatments, contact The American Hair Institute

Catherine Cunningham is a copywriter based in Costa Rica. You can contact Catherine at

Surviving Summer With the Children

Ah! School is almost over for another year. Over will be days filled with getting up and getting to school on time, homework, last minute school projects and school programs. For about two weeks after school ends everyone is loving life. But then reality sets in. Children become bored. The parent's normal schedule is gone. The rest of the summer is a constant challenge.

As a young mother, "Summer Vacation" was a real challenge. I had seven children, very little money, a small hot house and a husband that was out of town most of the time. It was enough to drive the most stable mother to the edge of insanity. So, we would pack up the old station wagon with a picnic lunch and find places to go. Over the years we visited every park, lake and canyon in three counties. We visited museums, went to community events and toured local factories. Once a month we would go somewhere that required money such as a zoo or amusement park. Our summer days were busy and fun.

I was lucky in many ways that I had the ability to stay home with my children. In today's world most parents have to work to survive. This only compounds the problem of keeping children constructively busy during summer vacation. It is a proven fact that when most children are left to their own devices for extended periods of time they tend to get into trouble.

What is a parent to do? The key to surviving the summer is planning. It is good to provide a variety of activities. Whether as a parent you have the time to spend with your children or you leave them with someone while you work, it is important to have a plan. Even if you work, it is important to plan time with your children doing constructive and fun activities. Spending time with our children will create lasting memories and traditions that will be handed down for generations. These are some activities that have worked well for others.

1. Museums. Everywhere there are museums. Most counties have may museums. Museums can be entertaining as well as educational.

2. Parks. Pack a picnic lunch and visit a different park every week until you have found all the parks in your area.

3. Reading Chart. It is important for children to keep reading over the summer or they can loose some of the progress they have made. Make a chart and have rewards for certain numbers of pages read. There can be small rewards for a few pages read and then when a larger number of pages are accomplished a trip or large item can be the reward.

4. Neighborhood Carnival. Have your children plan a carnival for the neighborhood. They can make up games and serve bags of popcorn or candy.

5. Theme Days. There are many days that celebrate everything from donuts to airplanes. Hera are a few examples: National Doughnut day in June 6th, Space Day is July 16th and Peter Rabbit Day is July 28th. Research what days fall in your schedule and plan activities for the day around the theme.

6. Nature Scavenger Hunt. Send the children into the yard or neighborhood or take them to a park. Have them find as many different kinds of leaves and rocks that they can. When they are done, have them research what kind of leaves and rocks they are and then have them make a picture or craft out of the items.

7. Bird watching. Obtain a book about birds. Make binoculars by gluing two toilet paper rolls together and having the children decorate them. Send them out with their binoculars to look for as many different kind of birds as they can. Making and hanging a bird feeder will attract birds to your yard.

8. Meals. Let each child help plan and prepare a meal each week.

9. Historical Sites. Every town has a history. Find the historical sites in your area, learn about them and visit them.

10. Tye dye. Learn how to tye dye clothes. Buy white T-shirts and let the children design their own shirts.

As you plan out your activities you will have a lot of fun, create memories and most importantly, retain your sanity as you go through the summer months.

Christopher Anderson wants to share his success as a business owner with others who desire to own their own business. He also believes that the economy is stronger with more business owners, and as a result, He is focused on helping business owners succeed.