August 21-24, 2018 was a most enlightening week as six delegates from Shanghai, China visited the City of Chicago through The Chicago Sister Cities Program. Members of the Chicago Shanghai Social Services Committee welcomed the delegation and a translator to the world of senior/elder services as administered by the state of Illinois and the City of Chicago.
Planning for this esteemed delegation took place over the course of one year. We aimed to provide the delegates with the most comprehensive view of service delivery models from the federal, state and local levels. Additionally, the planning committee ensured that our guests were exposed to a variety of the milieus that seniors interface with in their day to day lives.
The delegates visited Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Little Brothers -Friends of the Elderly Chicago, The Chinese American Service League, Cook County Public Guardian’s Office, World Business Chicago, Three Crowns, The Clare Senior Independent Living Community.
The week culminated with an International Symposium that focused on how to integrate community-based inter-professional care and services to optimize the health and well-being of older adults.
Conversely, we learned a lot from listening to how things are done on behalf of seniors in Shanghai. Next year a group of Chicago Senior Services professionals will travel to Shanghai, and their lives will change forever.
A professional and cultural exchange of this magnitude certainly creates bonds of unity and promotes a world of sharing. We are all grateful.
As we get older and consciously work to reduce our stress levels, I am always looking for ways to get the most out of life without expending a lot of energy to do so.
Take cooking as an example — I love good food with fresh ingredients. I love savoring a delectable meal, and there are times when I truly desire to make a really complex meal — you know the kind of meals that require a double boiler or Cream of Tartar (LOL). However, for those times that I want a quick and dirty meal, yet delicious and healthy, I am open to other ways without compromising on quality
Kweli Kitwana, a regular contributor to this blog shows us how to make good and simple pasta.
She says, “this is way too easy to make from scratch. With only three ingredients — a pinch of salt, flour and eggs — you can’t get easier than that.
Mix, roll out with a rolling pen and cut very, very thinly with a pizza cutter. Bring water to a boil (with a pinch of salt) and submerge pasta until al dente (cooked but slightly firm). You will find that this is the best tasting pasta ever!”
Kweli also makes her own tomato sauce. This truly is an example of This…I…Do…For…Me!
I happen to live in an amazingly diverse community where economic and cultural/ethnic social status meet.
At my local public transit station there is a weekend flea market. It’s a market that is truly filled with random oddities and enticing fare. Seriously, you can get a full body Thai massage, West African cuisine and authentic Ghanaian Bolga baskets. You can even get a pair of real mohair socks. All of this is accompanied by a serious drumming circle. It’s an amazing experience.
Exploring one’s community is one way of understanding who you are. We are rooted by where we ultimately settle geographically. I’ve always felt that one way of truly connecting with self and others is taking in the essence and nuances of where one finds him/herself.
Today, I’m bringing home my meal from the market. I’m spreading it on top of my South African fabric from my travels, and inviting a friend over to share this meal, along with a glass of Hibiscus 🌺 Gin Tonic — just because.