Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Song of Strength

This song was written for my friend Billy's mom who just passed away from cancer. I know that it doesn't directly relate to Sudan or me going to Sudan. However, I feel that this is a beautiful song about strength, even when you are at your weakest moment and what or who you look towards in that moment.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Use AIM's online payment form for support

I just added a link on the right-hand side of the page, in which you can financially support me using your credit card via AIM so that your payment is easy AND tax-deductible. Just click on the text under "If you want to support me financially..." caption and it will take you to AIM's website. Paypal is the link below that one, which has the "make a donation" button. My Paypal is currently not under the category of non-profit, however, I am working on it. If not through Paypal, then I will try to set up something with AIM for those who pay via Palpal. I'm sorry if this is confusing.
So, for more current news, I am working at the Outfitters AT Harper's Ferry this summer in which I am able to receive "pro-deals" on necessary gear and clothing for my year in Sudan. We are looking into getting MSR, North Face, and Exoficio to donate some stuff. For example: I will need a water filtration system and MSR is just the company to provide one. One thing that I still need, and am still trying to figure out how to do this, is a series of Rabies shots. In rural areas it is highly recommended to get this series because of the remoteness of the area. Once bitten by a rabid animal, one only had 10 days to find treatment. By getting the pre-treatment, I will prevent getting rabies even if bitten. The one thing holding me back from getting the series is that it will cost $500!! If anyone knows a cheaper place, please let me know. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Counseling Ops

Well, its official that I'm leaving for orientation in Pearl River,NY on August 27th...that is if I raise the money. Seriously though, the financial train is rolling full steam ahead. Today I checked my Paypal account and received 2 more deposits. Thank you both. Also today I spoke to my regional coordinator on the phone. He gave me some interesting websites to check out and a counseling center to visit while I'm in Nairobi on an R&R visit. One website is similar to the "Ten Thousand Villages" stores around the country which offer equal exchange goods. The website is www.tearfund.org. It is mainly a micro finance organization that helps Kenyans to start their own business. Dave (my coordinator) and I talked about my friend Laura's recent trip to Kenya and how she felt the need to teach small business skills to the young people. She noticed that the young men and women had educations and MTV, however there were no jobs available so they are enraged and bored. One thing that I have been thinking about over the weekend is trying to figure out what kind of enterprise that the 20 somethings of Ikotos could get into. I have been supporting the Bead For Life organization, which offers employment and community development for women in Kampala, Uganda, so what can I do in my little town? Is it possible that I can be a connection in their own community development? Yesterday, my Dad made a comment that my friend Laura, who owns an outfitting store in Harper's Ferry, WV, maybe could buy walking sticks, made by the the people in Ikotos, and sell them in her store. I've been thinking about that, and once I get there and evaluate things, that could be an option (Well, Laura would have to be on board too). So, I'm excited for the possibilities one more step towards instilling hope in the 20-somethings.

The counseling center in Nairobi is called the Tamini Counseling Center. When I am in Nairobi I will check them out and get a sense of how they operate. While in Uganda for training I will try to check out a place called Dwelling Places. This one has a website that you can also check out: www.dwellingplaces.org

One other new happening is that I will be taking the GRE on the 22nd of June and will need all the prayer possible for the math section especially. I am applying for the Master's in Counseling department at WVU and will need an 800 total on the GRE. Although that is not too hard to obtain, knowing my math skills, I will need an 800 on the verbal section alone. For those who have just asked themselves the question "degree? I thought you are going to Africa?" Yes, you are correct, however I will be deferring my acceptance for a year and beginning the program in the Fall of '08.

I hope everyone is enjoying their late spring. The weather in West Virginia is beautiful!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Update on raising support

Today, I spoke at Mt.Wesley United Methodist Church, which is a small country church on the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Although they are a small congregation, they presented me with a check for $7,000!!! It is so exciting because I have been a little nervous that my fundraising has been at a standstill for the past month. Also, people in the congregation gave personal offerings which added $737! So now the total amount of support is $8,512 for now. Mt.Wesley, if you read this, thank you.