Water too is an essential body nutrient

Apart from just ensuring that our bodies have enough water content and are hydrated, water is also needed for its rich nutritional base. These are some of the nutrients that enrich water:

  • Calcium: this mineral is needed to give strength to bone and teeth.
  • Potassium: this nutrient helps in biochemical processes.
  • Magnesium: for your heart to function well and your bones to be strong, you need this nutrient.
  • Sodium: sodium is a very crucial extracellular electrolyte. We usually lose this electrolyte while sweating.
  • Copper: iron utilization is one major function of copper: it is also a good antioxidant.
  • Selenium: this nutrient by improving the process of anti-oxidation, helps in improving the immune system.

It is these nutrients that are found in Izumio drinking water, that make it indispensable. This explains why water is indispensable.

Benefits of water:

For sustenance of the human body, water is an essential component. Water is very beneficial for the human body to function well. Listed below are some of the benefits if water:

Water is a detox agent: Water detoxes the body by maintaining body fluids, and washing out toxic wastes and ensures that the body is clean. Thus for the healthy functioning of the body, drinking lots of water is a necessity.

Water helps in relieving fatigue: dehydration causes a lot of fatigue and weaknesses. Thus drinking lots of water to relive yourself of tiredness is needed.

Water helps in digestion and reduces constipation: a dehydrated body is often a constipated body. Water facilitates food movement in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus for a proper digestion and treating of irritable bowel syndrome, one must drink lots of water.

Water improves the mood: researchers have shown that even a very low percentage of dehydration can negatively affect your mood. Thus to keep in a good and positive mood, it is very important to have enough water.

Water is a relief for headaches as well as migraines: water is a medicine for headaches. If you are having a very bad headache, then drinking lots of water can relieve you of it. A study that was published in the European Journal of Neurology, explains that increasing the intake of water helped in reducing the total number of hours and intensity of headaches.

Water is an antioxidant: Water helps in the process of decongestion and thereby helps in inhibiting the oxidation process that releases free radicals that harm the cells. Thus water helps in preventing harmful diseases.

These are some of the benefits of drinking water. These benefits increase manifold when one drinks Izumio drinking water. Hence drinking is water is essential.

Eat Your Way to Good Health with this Supplement

It can get quite boring if you have to eat the same food regularly. What really works in the diet plan is a mix up on the plate every day. Having a cheat day out that does not continue during the rest of the month is a good idea, if you cannot maintain the diet plan.

When it comes to supplements, one must follow the rules and take what is recommended for you. Lutein has been proven to make you look younger than your years and help see better. If you do away with these supplements, it will prove quite problematic down the line. Let us look at the lutein benefits that everyone is talking about now.

Vision

The incidence of age related macular degeneration and even cataracts are slowed down. The carotenoid protects the eyes from oxidative stress that is caused by light and the elements. It also aids in reducing any extensive inflammation on the eyes. Reading in bad light or fine print is never advised as we age.

Skin

A supplement that improves metabolism definitely is a cause to celebrate. The skin is rejuvenated, the age lines are hardly or not evident, and the drawn look is pretty much kept away. If supplements do not give you the buzz, including using orange, green and yellow in your salads or cooked meals makes a whole difference.

Cardio Care

The heart is one of the main organs in the body that gives lease to life. A sluggish lifestyle, high stress levels, bad eating habits can cause the heart to ache and clog the arteries. This can cause a series of tests, probably an operation or a complete 360-degree turn in the diet and routine. By including a diet rich in minerals, proteins, some carbohydrates, calcium and other nutritional benefits, the quality of the heart improves, as does the overall health.

In Sum

As the right levels of the carotenoid infuses the body the blood content improves, as does the good cholesterol. By including the right amounts of lutein, the immune system perks up reducing any chance of a heart attack or a stroke. Diabetes is also kept under check with the right amounts of lutein in the body. As we eat our way to good health with a supplement or the actual food in the diet, the body and the mind work in tandem. For more information on the wide range of lutein benefits, visit the website http://alces.com.sg/.

Why Lutein Supplements are Beneficial for Human Eyes?

Lutein is a carotenoid that occurs naturally and is typically found in various fruits and vegetables and also in egg yolks. It is commonly found in your eyes’ macula. Smaller amounts of lutein are also located around your retina, lens, and optic nerve. Along with various other antioxidant materials, lutein can be useful in obstructing the blue light that can damage the human eyes.

Defining lutein supplements

Many regard lutein as an important “eye vitamin”. It is a type of antioxidant, which is widely known for its capability to improve eye health. Generally speaking, you get more lutein in your body when your diet comprises of more colors. This is because lutein is typically present in coloured food items like fruits and vegetables.

Though it is a good decision to intake lutein by opting for a healthy and anti-inflammatory diet, it is an excellent way to increase the level of lutein in your body effectively and rapidly through nutritional supplements. When you get enough of this useful substance, there are various lutein benefits like increasing your metabolism rate to prevent diseases.

Merits of lutein supplements

As human beings become older, there is a fall in the lutein level in their bodies. The reason for that is because human bodies are unable to produce it. Women in their post-menopausal stage, smokers, and people who have blue eyes are known to have low lutein level in their bodies. Luckily though, it is possible for people to replenish the lost lutein in their bodies through proper diet and nutritional supplementation.

Research has shown that when you take around fifteen to forty mg of lutein on a daily basis, you can be well-protected against various diseases. As many people have to struggle to consume an adequate quantity of green and leafy vegetables as well as egg yolks, on an average the intake of lutein in human bodies is just around two mg per day. That is precisely the reason why supplements are so important for your body.

When you consume lutein as a supplement or consume food that is rich in lutein, the transport of the substance is easy and quick to your body, especially to your eyes’ macula and the lens.

Lutein exhibits an anti-antioxidant behavior that helps to protect your eyes from severe damage, caused due to sun’s exposure and blue light and poor diet.

Thus the risk of ailing from eye related problems such as macular degeneration, cataracts, vision loss due to age- related reasons can get reduced. Lutein also helps in protecting your healthy cells while doing away with dangerous or malignant cells.

Why Lutein Supplements are Beneficial for Human Eyes?

Lutein is a carotenoid that occurs naturally and is typically found in various fruits and vegetables and also in egg yolks. It is commonly found in your eyes’ macula. Smaller amounts of lutein are also located around your retina, lens, and optic nerve. Along with various other antioxidant materials, lutein can be useful in obstructing the blue light that can damage the human eyes.

Defining lutein supplements

Many regard lutein as an important “eye vitamin”. It is a type of antioxidant, which is widely known for its capability to improve eye health. Generally speaking, you get more lutein in your body when your diet comprises of more colors. This is because lutein is typically present in coloured food items like fruits and vegetables.

Though it is a good decision to intake lutein by opting for a healthy and anti-inflammatory diet, it is an excellent way to increase the level of lutein in your body effectively and rapidly through nutritional supplements. When you get enough of this useful substance, there are various lutein benefits like increasing your metabolism rate to prevent diseases.

Merits of lutein supplements

As human beings become older, there is a fall in the lutein level in their bodies. The reason for that is because human bodies are unable to produce it. Women in their post-menopausal stage, smokers, and people who have blue eyes are known to have low lutein level in their bodies. Luckily though, it is possible for people to replenish the lost lutein in their bodies through proper diet and nutritional supplementation.

Research has shown that when you take around fifteen to forty mg of lutein on a daily basis, you can be well-protected against various diseases. As many people have to struggle to consume an adequate quantity of green and leafy vegetables as well as egg yolks, on an average the intake of lutein in human bodies is just around two mg per day. That is precisely the reason why supplements are so important for your body.

When you consume lutein as a supplement or consume food that is rich in lutein, the transport of the substance is easy and quick to your body, especially to your eyes’ macula and the lens.

Lutein exhibits an anti-antioxidant behavior that helps to protect your eyes from severe damage, caused due to sun’s exposure and blue light and poor diet.

Thus the risk of ailing from eye related problems such as macular degeneration, cataracts, vision loss due to age- related reasons can get reduced. Lutein also helps in protecting your healthy cells while doing away with dangerous or malignant cells.

Importance of pro-active pest control

The damages caused by pests, especially rodents every year are significant, and these damages are caused to agriculture, our homes, offices and everywhere else where they can inhabit. Hence, it’s important to control pests in order to stop these damages from happening. They also transmit many diseases to humans, and that’s why it’s more important to eliminate pests from your home. Let’s look at some of the ways rats can affect you and your family.

Rats are known carrier of many diseases, like Hantavirus, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, favus, and the bubonic plague. There are certain methods you can employ to eliminate rats from your house; however, for a comprehensive solution, you should call rat control services to address the problem , because that’s the most effective method to keep rodents away from your house.

Damages caused by rats are not limited to your health alone. They destroy many important documents, clothes, appliances, wires, and even currency notes. Rats chew and eat almost everything accessible to them. Apart from that, rat feces and urine causes substantial damage to your house and office. So, in order to keep your house or office clean, it’s important that rats are controlled. You never know, the urine or feces may end up in your food as well.

Rats may attract preying animals into your house, which could be a hazardous situation as far as the safety of you and your family members is concerned.

There are more than 2000 types of rodents and they quickly adapt to their surroundings. They are also smart enough to dodge the traps you lay for them. For proper rodent control, you need to understand the different species and methods you should follow for each species, which is not always possible for us. So it’s advisable to call trained rat control services to deal with the problem.

It’s easy to find the traces of rodents in your house if you look for rodent infestation signs. You may or may not able to spot rats in your house all the time, but if you see nibbled food, shredded paper, dried up urine, or hear scampering sounds, or smell a musky odor, then it’s pretty sure there are rats in your house and you need to get rid of them. Rat infestation can lead to serious problems for you in future if you don’t address the problem. It will not only affect your health but they may also destroy valuable papers or household items.

Methods Of Extermination To Treat Pests

Pests have a tendency of wreaking havoc both inside and outside a building. Termites are a real problem, especially on furniture and on wooden flooring. If left unattended, they will cause permanent damage. Reliable termite control services ensure that these monsters do not chew away to glory. To know if you have an infestation, ask the specialist to examine and test the damage. Here are some of the signs that you may find if you feel that you have been infested by unwanted guests.

* A powdery texture in the wood shows you that these creatures have settled in quite fine and are feeding away.

* You may notice tiny wings on the floor, especially around the corners of the room. They may be difficult to notice initially. Once you spot them, you will know that there is an infestation of termites, which requires professional treatment.

* If you notice any droppings that look suspiciously like excrement, you know that unwanted visitors have made a new home. Do not ponder over this too long otherwise they may just settle in comfortably.

Let us look at some of the ways to keep your home free from pests.

* The first rule of thumb, so to speak, is to prevent damp from settling on any wooden item. However, if you have laminated the wood, it is okay to clean it up with a damp cloth.

* Natural sunlight beaming into your home is a natural way to prevent them from staying put in one place. They prefer a fair amount of dark and settle in quite well if there is no sunlight.

* If you notice a large infestation, a good method that works without chemicals is to zap them with a hosepipe. They do not like water, but revel in the damp. After you have done this, make sure that you mop up and do not leave any water. Note: this is not ideal on wooden furniture or on wooden flooring.

Aside from these basic facts to rid your home of pests, the obvious choice is to call in professionally run termite control services. The firm Pest Busters gets the job done immediately. When a home has an infestation of a series of bugs, termites, rodents, roaches, it could be because of bad housekeeping. Pests take up residence when they find food and if you give them cause to settle in, nothing will deter them from shifting base, hence the need to call in professionals.

When to See a Doctor About Dark Circles Under Eyes

The Causes

Dark circles are a commonplace unwelcome phenomenon and the traditionally believed culprit is either lack of rest or illness, but they can be caused by other factors as well. Heredity, allergies, eczema, stress, lifestyle choices like excessive smoking or drinking, skin pigmentation abnormalities etc. can lead to the formation of dark circles under the eyes. Another important cause is aging, which deprives the skin of elasticity and collagen; the skin becomes thinner and the circles darken and become more prominent. Aging can also lead to the formation of eye bags. Yet another cause of dark circles could be that the leaking blood from the blood vessels get oxidized causing swelling, dark circles and formation of bags under the eyes.

Are Dark Circles Symptoms?

In a few cases, dark circles may point to a serious medical condition requiring treatment. Sudden appearance of dark circles or the appearance of dark circles under one single eye that remains even after a few days require medical consultation.

The Psychological Factor

Apart from such serious situations that are rare, there is the problem of psychological impact caused by dark circles in most people. In spite of all traditional injunctions about not making appearance a factor in judging people, the truth is it happens more often than not. Hence, our concern about our appearance. Therefore, if the dark circles can be removed, it is best to attempt to do so, either by the more traditional home remedies if it is a temporary phenomenon or by cosmetic dark eye circle treatment procedures if it is caused by aging.

Available Options

Dark eye circle treatment obviously depends on its cause. However, for those who seek a remedy for dark circles caused by age, fillers are considered by a majority of dermatologists to be the best solution. It requires the skill of an experienced dermatologist for its effective application. Laser technology can been used but requires more than one session and is found to be less effective than fillers. There are many fillers available like Restylane or the more recent Redensity II, which is, in Canada, certified for the treatment of dark circles.

It is important to find an expert in the field whom you can trust and then seek his or her expert opinion on what would be best for you.

Top 5 Myths About Facial Fillers

Facial fillers constitute a popular cost-effective treatment that seeks to restore the volume and/or elasticity of parts of the face by means of injections. Fillers are usually made up of hylauronic acid, a gel-like liquid carbohydrate naturally found within the connective tissue of bodies. Like most advanced medical treatments, facial fillers have aroused its fair share of doubts, myths and rumours.

Let’s have a look at some of the myths surrounding facial fillers:

1. It looks artificial

Fillers need to be applied in specific target locations by certified specialists possessing an aesthetic sense, in order to give the skin a youthful and hydrated look. It goes without saying that the wrong quantity of filler or incorrect location can lead to an undesirable appearance.

2. Facial fillers are irreversible

Most available fillers are hyaluronic acid products (Juvederm(r), Voluma(r), Restylane(r), Belotero(r)). Their effects can be reversed within several days by injecting a product called “hyaluronidase”.

3. A painful process

Majority of the fillers come with numbing solution mixed into them. Doctors recommend using local anaesthesia, and applying ice or topical ointment for additional relief. The injection needles are also blunt-tipped and minimally invasive.

4. Fillers require frequent maintenance

Usually, hyaluronic acid fillers can last anywhere between 6 to 12 months, and calcium hydroxylapatite can last as long as 18 months. On the other hand, collagen injections and temporary cosmetic fillers last a shorter period of time. The frequency of repeat treatments depends on the type of filler chosen by the individual. It also depends on factors like the filler’s target area and the activity level of the person receiving it.

5. Facial fillers can substitute surgical facelift

Facial fillers can only add volume and give a sculpted appearance. Surgical facelifts in Singapore work on a broader space than facial fillers. The former removes and lifts sagging skin, while removing the excess. It also boosts deeper tissue. However, a combination of both procedures can give optimal results.

In conclusion, it could be said that facial fillers constitute a breakthrough in field of cosmetic dermatology. A little awareness – choosing the right products, getting professional help and carefully focusing on the target area – can go a long way in restoring the quality and health of a person’s face, not to mention, boost confidence and improve his or her lifestyle.

Role of Lutein supplements for the eyes

Though it is true that all our sensory organs are important, it can easily be said that our eyesight is the “first among equals.” Experts unanimously assert that light and eyesight inspire people because only with the help of eyes, we can take in the beauty as well as the chaos that abound all around us. But if there are issues with our eyesight, it will not be possible for us to fully enjoy such things. Several studies have been conducted for finding the main reason that may trigger issues with our eyesight and the findings of these studies have revealed that it is the lack of lutein for eyes that may cause such issues. Let us delve a little deeper into this.

The hypothesis of researchers is that lutein is present in the eye’s macula – a tiny area in the retina that takes care of the three-dimensional vision we all have. Another hypothesis is lutein helps humans in detecting polarized light. Experts also opine that lutein keeps oxidative stress at bay and so, the eyes are safe from the harm that can be caused by the high-energy photons that emanate from blue light. Though these may sound hypothetical, we have concrete findings out of research studies that confirm that there is a direct relationship between the pigmentation of the eyes and our lutein intake.

Macular degeneration

Research has proven that if macula pigmentation increases, risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration, including degeneration triggered by aging, decrease. A clinical trial that was randomly conducted also demonstrated that lutein could improve visual functions. If other nutrients are also put to work along with lutein, the benefits may increase manifold. In short, if people go for lutein, they can easily counter macular degeneration, including that triggered by aging.

Cataracts

Research has also proved that lutein can reduce the risks of development of cataracts. Though foods such as egg yolks, corn, certain fruits and green and leafy vegetables can provide us with lutein, we may not consume these items on a daily basis and hence, we may be deprived of the right dosage of lutein we require. That is why it is suggested that we must go for lutein supplements.

Photophobia

Photophobia is also known as “abnormal human optical light sensitivity.” Findings of a study that have been published in the Journal of Food Science reveal that lutein will help in improving visual performance and bringing down the issue of light sensitivity in users.

Simply put, if we regularly consume lutein supplements, we can overcome issues like cataracts, macular degeneration due to aging, photophobia, etc.

Why drink Izumio water? It is a known fact that users can derive a lot of health benefits by drinking hydrogenized water. Manufacturers of Izumio water have ensured to add good amounts of minerals also to it apart from the large quantities of hydrogen in it. Therefore, this water is even more beneficial to users. In other words, the health benefits you can have by drinking this water on a regular basis are much more than what you can get by drinking normal potable water or even water that has only been hydrogenized. Let us delve a little deeper. 1. Researchers have time and again been insisting on the ill effects of fluoride that gets into our body through various sources, the main among them being the water we drink. Some of the negative effects of fluoride on our health are that our bones can become brittle, the functioning of our brain can become haywire and our cognitive development may get decelerated. Fluoride can negatively impact the functioning of our thyroid glands also and this may result in obesity or mental depression. Izumio water can be a panacea for all these issues because it is capable of nullifying the negative effects of fluoride on our system. 2. The so-called potable water we consume daily has been tested a number of times and most of the test results reveal that the water contains lead. Lead is so dangerous that it can retard neurological development in us and cause nervous disorders. Since Izumio water contains lots of hydrogen and a good amount of minerals, it can help us in protecting ourselves from the ill effects of lead. 3. Researches have revealed that certain hormones can wreck havoc on the health of children and, more particularly, on their sexual development. If children are made to drink Izumio water regularly, parents need not worry about this issue. 4. Researchers have also found that Bisphenol-A can lower fertility levels in people and can cause various types of cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc. If people drink Izumio water on a regular basis, they can protect themselves from these bad effects of Bisphenol-A. 5. Another cancer-causing substance is chlorophenol and Izumio water can help in preventing this dreadful disease as well. 6. Izumio water is capable of reversing the damages the body cells suffer. Damaged body cells may cause several health issues such as many types of cancers, premature aging, neurological disorders, dementia and so on. In short, users can derive a number of health benefits by drinking Izumio water regularly.

hy drink Izumio water?

It is a known fact that users can derive a lot of health benefits by drinking hydrogenized water. Manufacturers of Izumio water have ensured to add good amounts of minerals also to it apart from the large quantities of hydrogen in it. Therefore, this water is even more beneficial to users. In other words, the health benefits you can have by drinking this water on a regular basis are much more than what you can get by drinking normal potable water or even water that has only been hydrogenized. Let us delve a little deeper.

1. Researchers have time and again been insisting on the ill effects of fluoride that gets into our body through various sources, the main among them being the water we drink. Some of the negative effects of fluoride on our health are that our bones can become brittle, the functioning of our brain can become haywire and our cognitive development may get decelerated. Fluoride can negatively impact the functioning of our thyroid glands also and this may result in obesity or mental depression. Izumio water can be a panacea for all these issues because it is capable of nullifying the negative effects of fluoride on our system.

2. The so-called potable water we consume daily has been tested a number of times and most of the test results reveal that the water contains lead. Lead is so dangerous that it can retard neurological development in us and cause nervous disorders. Since Izumio water contains lots of hydrogen and a good amount of minerals, it can help us in protecting ourselves from the ill effects of lead.

3. Researches have revealed that certain hormones can wreck havoc on the health of children and, more particularly, on their sexual development. If children are made to drink Izumio water regularly, parents need not worry about this issue.

4. Researchers have also found that Bisphenol-A can lower fertility levels in people and can cause various types of cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc. If people drink Izumio water on a regular basis, they can protect themselves from these bad effects of Bisphenol-A.

5. Another cancer-causing substance is chlorophenol and Izumio water can help in preventing this dreadful disease as well.

6. Izumio water is capable of reversing the damages the body cells suffer. Damaged body cells may cause several health issues such as many types of cancers, premature aging, neurological disorders, dementia and so on.

In short, users can derive a number of health benefits by drinking Izumio water regularly.

Ukraine Memories

At about the same time last year, I was in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, giving free English lessons to Russian-speaking locals using new edition coursebooks bought at a bookstore in Bern. I was in strange territories, far from everything familiar.

But however different things looked, sounded, felt, and tasted at first — I sampled my first-ever pizza topped with mayonnaise in Kremenchuk — eventually, it was fairly easy for me to feel at home in the former Soviet republic.

The Ukrainians, I found out, are just like Filipinos: warm, hospitable, and generous. It was a breeze for me to befriend people. Had it not been for the language barrier, I could have made more friends there. My students were exceptionally bright and easy to handle. They were sweet as well, showering me with thank-you gifts and cards at the end of the course. My personal favorite present was a bottle of home-made honey given to me by Nikolai, a Ukrainian pensioner whom I miss so much to this day.

Of course, just like in any other situation, there are exceptions to the rule. How can I forget the cranky Ukrainian shopkeeper who thought I was stealing her ice cream when I took them out of her freezer? But I later “made peace” with her when I returned to her shop four weeks later, bought some fruit juice, and smiled after paying her. She surprisingly smiled back. You see, right after the unpleasant ice cream incident, my American flatmate, an experienced missionary who had been in Ukraine for a long time already, told me that one should let the Ukrainian shopkeepers, many stricken with paranoia, do their job. No customer was supposed to do any ‘product touching.’ “That’s their responsibility,” she said. Well, at least in small stores.

After my English teaching stint and other church volunteer work in Kremenchuk, I hied off to Donetsk, chaperoned by my flatmate, by bus on a seven-hour journey to visit a Filipino missionary who had been doing ministry work there since December 2002. It was a blessing to see Sarita at work, persevering to meet the needs of a local church there and serving the community’s poor and needy whenever she could. And boy, her Russian was impressive!

My last stop was in Kyiv where I welcomed my husband at the Borispol international airport in mid-August, after almost six weeks of separation. We were supposed to do research work together — meeting ministry workers and taking some documentary photos and video shots — for the Manila-based missions school I was accountable to.

We first visited a Swiss-American missionary who has been spearheading a street children ministry with another missionary, an American, for a few years now. Both spoke Russian amazingly well (it served as an inspiration for me…yes, I can be fluent in German if I want to). The children there at the center were surprisingly friendly, and one particular 11-year-old girl warmed up to me completely that she even appointed herself as “the photographer’s assistant,” operating my Nikon SLR camera with so much ease.

We also met some Messianic Jews who would later take us to a rather ill-equipped men’s drug rehabilitation center where former drug addicts, now Christians, shared their life-changing testimonies with us. We saw during the visit that they lacked basic food supplies. And so, we headed off to the nearest supermaket after our talk with them, and bought a whole cake and a bottle of Coca-Cola for their afternoon snack. It was already a big deal for these men who kept saying spaseeba (Russian for “thank you”) to us. That humbled me.

There was also this visit to the Hillsongs Church where a nice lady in the guest relations team gave us the contact information of the CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) Headquarters there in Kyiv. Both were pleasant experiences — the worship service at the Hillsongs Kyiv and the impromptu ocular inspection of offices and TV studio at CBN Ukraine, courtesy of an accommodating translator named Vitaly. The CBN visit was especially relevant to me since I used to work at CBN Asia based in Manila.

In between these major appointments, we encountered drunk men and hungry streetchildren in malls (they wanted my lunch on two separate occasions), desperate men in costumes who posed with tourists for a small fee, talented buskers, pathetic-looking beggars, and wily con artists. It was…interesting.

Accommodation-wise, our apartment in Kyiv was nothing fancy at all, although it had the basics (kitchen, toilet, and living room with a double bed and a single sofa). I remember sleeping on the bed which could have well been the habitat of a zillion dust mites. Talk about sleeping with enemies! In contrast, Sarita’s apartment in Donetsk was clean and cozy. The one in Kremenchuk, meanwhile, was described as “communistic” by my flatmate. It was there where I had to drag my 28-kilogram luggage all the way up the five flights of stairs reeking with the smell of cat pee (it was pure torture).

Ah, Ukraine. I miss this country, despite the linguistic and logistical challenges a visit entails. I’d like to: 1) hold English lessons in Kremenchuk once again; 2) bring some winter clothing for some of the cash-strapped people in Donetsk who don’t have a heating system in their shanties; 3) cook decent meals at the drug rehab center in Kyiv. Countless possibilities.

Suddenly, I’m reminded of the many things people take for granted here in good ol’ Switzerland. (Note: Also published in Oikos Online.)

RANDOM TIP: Take a peek at my Flickr photo album on Kyiv here. My other Ukraine-related blog posts are the Mashrutka Challenge, Outdoor Market, and Toilet Talk. If you have time to kill, do read them.

Picason Concert

Watch this video before anything else. If a picture can paint a thousand words, a video can paint a million. For this reason, I present to you a video footage of the recent concert of the Salsa Cubana band Picason in my town. Excuse the poor quality of the video; I simply used my digital camera to document the event.

Picason dished out a superb performance during the Biel Braderie (summer festival) in Biel-Bienne. Too bad we missed the first 30 minutes of their concert which started at 8:30 p.m. But the moment we heard their upbeat Latino music and saw the engaging dance number of the vocalists on stage, we were hooked till 10 p.m.

Never mind the fact that I’m not really the type who goes to concerts. But between the Picason concert and the yodeling fest held also in our town two weeks before that, I’d choose the former anytime for obvious reasons. Swiss folk music is not for me — not in the long-term, at least. It’s a bit, um, geriatric for my taste.

Going back to the Picason concert, some of the spectators, Swiss and Latinos alike, let their hair down and swayed to the rhythm of the music. I would have loved to dance the cha cha, but didn’t for two reasons: 1) my husband has two left feet; 2) I don’t normally dance in public (not that I dance a lot in private).

The great thing about this concert was, it was free. We thought we had to buy the Braderie pin to be able to watch the concerts lined up for the three-day summer fest. But that was not the case. We saw lots of visitors, who were not wearing official pins, watching Picason perform live in concert. So we enjoyed it as well, without a pin and without any guilt feelings.

Picason has a number of Swiss musicians on board, most of them instrumentalists. The band really makes good music, and I wouldn’t be surprised if their CDs are almost sold out. Most of the lyrics are in Spanish, if not all.

This group has really piqued my musical interest. I’ll be surfing the Net in the coming days to know more about their brand of music. (Note: You will find another YouTube video on the Picason concert in Biel-Bienne here.)

‘Tiangge’ Challenge

The big box from the Swiss supplier arrived last Wednesday morning. I guess it’s all systems go from hereon.

For the first time in our lives, my husband and I will try our hands at something we’ve never done before: rent a market stall and sell Filipino products at the monthly tiangge (market) in our town next month. After lengthy discussions on the pros and cons, we’ve finally decided to take the leap of faith in the world of fair trade — all for a good cause.

On sale will be bags, toiletries kits, pencil cases, and wallets made from recycled fruit juice and tomato sauce sachets. Proceeds of the sale will benefit the Filipino women who made these wonderful products basically from trash. They don’t ask for doleouts. All they wish is for people to patronize their handmade creations and put them into good use.

I do hope the Swiss will like the unique Pinoy products as much as I like them. Fingers crossed.

RANDOM TIP: Besuchen Sie unseren Marktstand am Bieler Monatsmarkt: 10. August, von 8 Uhr bis 18 Uhr.(Visit our market stall at the Biel monthly market: on August 10, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.)