Did you know that it gets cold – almost everywhere in the world – that is habitable for human life?
All people – babies, children, young adults, mature adults – and the aging –
-are all suceptible to environmental conditions – like – the cold.
Even in the sub-tropics, fierce winds or dampness can push the felt temperature down to an unsustainable point for many to operate normally without some form of provision or protection.
The rainy season in Africa brings shivers, wet eyebrows, and eyelashes on the soft heads of babes – and environmental teardrops on the shoulders of the aged and elderly.
The monsoon season in Southeast Asia infects the feet of bare-footed children walking through puddles.
The communities of the Northern Hemispheres above the ‘poverty line’ can’t imagine a life without warm clothes suited for every limb and extremity.
“The little ones in the village are shivering.” Suggested an elder, as I was traveling abroad from the village.
It was between spring and summertime stateside, but in our village, sometimes the temperature drops down to forty degrees – especially at night – which is unbearable for the exposed skin of the hungry children in the village.
Cold is felt more – by those who are anemic. The B-Vitamins and red blood cells that help a human being regulate their body temperature are missing from their diets, so when they are cold, they also begin to have hormonal, metabolic, and immune system issues – simply from not being – covered.
In a location where more than 60% of the children are stunted in growth due to malnutrition – the simple ability to be warm-and-dry – matters.
So, we set out to find a new way to keep those adorable little village children -warm and toasty.
We did not have a budget to clothe them all – but we found a new recipe – that could help.
You may think I’m kidding. I’m not.
The children in many once-British colonies are used to drinking tea several times a day.
What was our nutritional experiment?
We tried as best as we could against our ever dwindling budget to replace a few of those cups of tea with homemade hot chocolate. Cocoa powder is common in many stores for travelers – and contains more iron and B-Vitamins than most teas.
Drinking a large, steaming cup of hot cocoa is similar to consuming a small serving of red meat – of which there is always a disparity for the poor.
When dealing with a malnourished village -iron pills are expensive, difficult to import – and easy to miscalculate — especially the dosages for malnourished children – even more so for the children suffering from starvation syndromes like marasmus and kwashiorkor.
Even if you give a child a multi-vitamin, they will often eat in the first time, and refuse it the next for the belly-ache that follows – even after proper dosage-ing under the care of a physician – they cry and won’t take them again. The only exception being gummy vitamins. They love the gummy vitamins – but if you knew how smart street children are – you’d realize those are not the safest option – one of the highest causes of child-death is iron poisoning from overdosing on vitamins. In the case that a child were able to get ahold of a tub – you’d have a problem.
However, a regular dose of chocolate can help keep the children warm and address some of those deficiencies – from the inside out. So that they might be able to endure colder conditions – with a better internally nourished physical response.
Most of the world’s chocolate is produced from trees in Africa – yet it is not a common flavor in nearby areas – the result being a steady supply of raw cocoa – but a lack of usage of this natural resource for the nourishment of village children.
The children’s eyes and smiles light up as they wrap their hands around a steaming cup of simple ingredients – meant to comfort – and nourish them.
So the next time you are cold, warm up with one of these cold-seasonal yummy hot cocoa recipes – and other comforting warm drink recipes – and remember the children in the village.
Perhaps we will write about another seasonal flavor – cranberries – soon.
Tip: If you are really cold and miserable – in a damp environment – consider a shot of whiskey. Whiskey helps to oxygenate your vital organs – and is anti-bacterial.
Whiskey is a known rudimentary, non-prescription treatment for asthma – and is a good substitute in the case of not having a doctor or prescription available. It’s economical, is medically effective in small amounts – and can be found in almost every large city around the world – and in some cases – can help heal respiratory infections in the absence of an antibiotic.
Due to spending time in villages, and experiencing malnutrition at times myself, as well as being asthmatic, having an over-the-counter substitute has helped me fight off asthma attacks.
I don’t know about you – but I am oh, so ready and hopeful, and prayerful – for chocolate.
Chocolate is fun to play with in the kitchen. Check out this Chocolate Roll Recipe by Gimme Some Oven:
Have some great chocolate – or hot cocoa stories you’d like to share? Wishing you could curl up together right now and enjoy a cup of hot, hot chocolate – and a warm blanket and movie? Has someone shared a good cup of hot cocoa with you? Share with us:
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