Timonene (hello...in Chitonga!:)
Welcome to Reflections for RIPPLE weekly updates! If this is your first read, then you’ve got a lot of reading HW to ketchup with. And if you’re a regular reader, put some pep in that step and some mustard on that dog and donate already!  If you’re on the fence, I’d relish the opportunity for you to read on. Go get it, hot dog.

This past Saturday proved to be a monumental swim, not only in weather conditions but in exposure. Kay Yoder, part of RIPPLE’s US operations, had passed a lead on from CBS 2 Chicago’s Mike Krauser, a local reporter and familiar voice on 780AM.

With Mike meeting us at our swim point, my brother Colin and fellow future-swimmer Doug Baker were also present to enjoy Saturday’s wintery weather. Suffice to say, we weren’t in our Sundays best.

For a winter swim, conditions were close to ideal. A fresh 3-4 inches from the night prior, fluffy flakes, lake effect snow and an air temp of 28 made for a pleasant ramp-up run before our swim. As is now typical protocol, Gardner and I ran past our swim point to double-back in order to have some wind at our backs. The added sweat was well appreciated.

With three gents waiting for us at the end of the dock we had a good 150 yard run out to collect ourselves before cameras were rolling and trepidation silenced. Even at this moment, there’s a sense of tranquility to be had.

To a bystander, it would make sense to quickly unclothe, hop in, hop out, and get running ASAP. Quite the contrary however. Even getting out of sweaty layers needs to be done with a sense of aplomb.

Cannonballs offer a much more instantly enveloping ‘knock the wind out of your lungs sensation’ opposed to the gradient found at the beaches. Best to take a deep breath prior to!

Your reward, as explained in our video interview, is that you exit the water with a renewed sense of winter air warmth. It’s a paradox so innately deconstructed, that you begin to wonder how you lived without it. Kind of like a cold shower. Let’s bridge the gap, shall we?

Enough about me. Let’s talk about you. Try this. Standing under a hot shower, start turning to cold and see how long you can stand the cold 50-degree water before returning to heat. Blah! Uncomfortable!

This swim is immeasurably more exhilarating, and infinitely more gratifying in the snap-second sensation afforded by the water temperature. And like all things in life worth working for, you’re the recipient of a warm breeze in Chicago’s harsh winter months. Relativity check straight from Malawi!

None of this is about me, however. It’s for the people of Malawi, and the positive impact RIPPLE Africa has proven it can achieve in the community. If I’ve harped on you to make a donation, it’s for this reason only. So put your hard earned dollars to work as efficiently as possible. You know the drill.





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