Hello friends and family!
I apologize for taking a couple of months to update my blog, however, there was really nothing for me to give updates for....
To refresh your memories, I will be doing medical mission work in Kibera, Kenya in August 2009. Kibera is the world's second largest slum, with 1.7 million people living in 1 square mile.
I am now beginning to find out more about the trip details:
1/ My roommate:
I have learned who my roommate will be...Sonya Luthe is a Sr. Network Engineer for TD Ameritrade, and lives in Owings Mills, MD, approximately 20 miles west of Baltimore and about 1 hour from Washington, DC. We have been slowly getting to know each other through email. She applied for the trip in 2007, and is just now getting to go because of the political climate in Kenya that cancelled the trip one year.
2/ African culture and customs:
a/ It is rude to try to address the Kenyans by their first names and equally rude to try to get them to address you by your first name as well, and
b/ You should never compliment anyone on their jewelry or clothing, because the Kenyans will actually give you whatever you compliment on.
3/ Animal smarts:
When face to face wtih a baboon, do not make eye contact. Animals view this as a challenge - just turn slowly and saunter away. DO NOT RUN...there is not a chance that a human can outrun anything on the Mara.
The final costs for the trip will be known in the next month or so, but I am still focusing on raising $4,000 or so. I am asking for your help in both financial and non-monetary ways....
FOR MONETARY DONATIONS:
I realize we find ourselves in a very interesting financial culture, so please don't feel obligated to donate huge sums of money. Seriously, small donations add up (even as small as $5.00).
Many of you have mentioned you would like to donate money - to do so, please write a check in my name and mail it to my address below (please put AFRICA in the subject line):
4682 Wade Street #201
Bellingham, WA 98226
**If you need a receipt for tax purposes, please let me know, otherwise I won't be sending receipts for all donations.**
FOR NON-MONETARY DONATIONS:
I am collecting other items, some supplies for me and some supplies for the people we will be visiting. The list of things I need to take for myself is still being formulated, but in the meantime, please review the list below for things that will help the organization and the people of Kibera (the slum we will be working in). If you have any of these items and want to get them to me, please call my cell phone and we can coordinate the shipping or pickup, etc. My cell phone is 360.920.5624.
Here are items that will help:
inexpensive scarves (Kenyan women love them and they are great gifts)
small simple toys for kids
batteries (AA, AAA are the most popular sizes)
school supplies (this includes all those free pens and pencils we've picked up along the way)
thermometers (the old fashioned ones preferred, not digital)
Aspirin/Tylenol/Ibuprofen (we cannot ship these due to the Poison Act, but I can carry them in my luggage)
I'm serious when I say, WHATEVER you can give will help. Thanks again for keeping up with my blog. More details later....
Thanks and Love,