Sunday, March 18, 2007

Taking my own advice for a change

About a month ago, I joined the gym. I was hoping to lose a bit of weight before Jorge got back, but alas, those 8 Cadbury Creme Eggs and 2 pounds of cheese I ate in Ireland seem to have de-railed my plans. Given that I advise people on health and nutrition FOR A LIVING, this was a serious lapse for me, but it was only one week, after all. And I'll be back to eating healthy again once I polish off the additional two pounds of cheese I brought home with me.

I know most of you will find it very difficult to imagine a gym in sub-Saharan Africa, but they do exist. I have hit the gym in Eritrea, Ghana, and now Malawi. Alas, Darfur still hadn’t opened one during my stay there, but I’m sure it’s coming.

My gym has two treadmills, three bikes, and about 8 weight machines. There is a sauna and steam room (which are only heated on request) and a hot tub of dubious hygiene. Overall, it’s small, but well-equipped and clean. It’s located in a very nice hotel opened by the Malawian president 3 years ago.

What you may not know is that every African capital has at least one swanky hotel for visiting dignitaries (Lilongwe has 3!). There’s been a trend for quite some time among African heads-of-state to build ostentatious, Western-style luxury hotels, intended to proclaim to the world that the country is no longer a backwater. And when these hotels get out of date they raid the treasury request the funds for a new one. Often these hotels are blocks away from slums full of poverty and squalor.

But for a gal in need of a bit of firming and toning, who needs politics, right?


Anonymous said...


Hi! I have been thinking about you everyday! I can't believe it has been so long since we talked. Good for you with the gym . I seriously need to follow your advice and get on the health track myself. I miss you always.

luv snooze