Let’s Make 37 Young

photo © 2011 Kirsty Hall | more info (via: Wylio) So I'm a bit older today. I was talking to Jason's grandmother last week and she told me that at 37, I'm still young. And really, here in the first world, that is absolutely true. I'm not old. I might not be young, but I'm certainly not old. But in places plagued by extreme poverty, I would be very old. The life expectancy in most of these nations is just not that much older than I am today, and in some places, even younger. Unclean water. Not enough food. Preventable, treatable diseases. At the beginning of the month, I asked you to consider making a donation to Nuru International for my birthday. And I love that we've already raised $198. That is severely cool and I am so thankful to those of you who have donated. You have … [Read more...]

Don’t Buy For Me

If you know me, you know that I'm not big on birthdays. Odds are incredibly high that I'm going to forget your birthday (especially if you're not on Facebook or I don't log in that day). We don't usually do a lot to celebrate birthdays at our house. A small gift. Probably a cake. That's about it.As I inch closer to forty, I'd be fine with skipping the birthday altogether, except that I really do like presents. I'm one of those folks whose primary love language is gifts. Yeah, I know.Honestly though, I don't need anything. (Well, maybe new hats - I do love wearing hats to cover up my grey roots when I haven't had a chance to color my hair.)But there are people who need things. Things like food and clean water and education. Stuff that most of us take for granted every day.I've written here … [Read more...]

The Adventure is in the Doing

I know that it's hard to imagine, but I'm not a tremendously adventurous woman. I like to watch movies and knit and read and eat soup. I'm not someone who, you know, DOES stuff.But as I've mentioned before, there is a group that is seeking adventure in one of the best ways possible. The folks at Nuru International are working together with people who are in extreme poverty to help them make a better life. Not with a handout, but by teaching them better sanitation, helping to dig wells and teaching them better farming techniques. The repayment on loans from Nuru is 98% and the crops are averaging a 300% increase. Here's a little bit about how Nuru works:How Nuru Works from Nuru International on Vimeo.We have a way to be a part of this adventure. I'm partnering with several other bloggers to … [Read more...]

Putting an End to Terrorism

I have friends who are very committed to non-violence. They've written about it, they talk about it, they live it. I find that really admirable, because as much as it's something that I like the idea of, I don't know that it plays out in my real life so well. I mean, one of my all-time favorite movies is Fight Club. So yeah.But I will say that I see violence surrounding us and it often just depresses me. And it is particularly upsetting when I see it being addressed with more violence. I'm not automatically opposed to all wars, but I do sometimes wonder if more guns and soldiers can really stop violence when you're dealing with terrorism and a seemingly endless supply of men, women and children who are so caught in a web of poverty and personal tragedy to have any way to avoid being … [Read more...]

The 24/7 Project

Last week I had the distinct honor of posting over at the Friendly Atheist site. I meant everything I wrote there.And the very next day, Hemant posted something that just tried my patience big time.I decided that I could sit here and complain, or I could follow my own advice and do something. I hate being a hypocrite, so it's time to do.One of my very favorite organizations in the whole world is Nuru International. They go into a community that is dealing with extreme poverty and they work with that community to help them learn better agricultural techniques and better hygiene techniques, which allows them to earn more money, help their children become better educated and end the cycle of extreme poverty. Their methods are working. They are seeing huge improvements from farmers who … [Read more...]