Sunday, June 22, 2008

Three Cups of Tea

While Evan and Ellie were at the orthodontist the other day, I was browsing Target.
And lately, because I have lived in one house for three years and I am feeling restless, foreign aid and foreign travel have been on my mind.

No, I don't know why. As I've expressed in past posts, partly I have a desire to remove myself and my children from our comfort zone in order to understand the blessings we have. In part, I have a desire to fully experience something new, something challenging like a new language or a new culture.

Mainly, I have always been consumed by a desire to make things better. Usually, this was fighting for the underdog at school- and yes, the VP of students knew me well. Any injustice towards the weaker kids, especially those who were mentally incapable of standing up for themselves, and I usually ended up front and center with Haslam. It didn't really win me any friends.

Regardless, I am determined that somehow, someway, we are going to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than us. And while there are lots of opportunities to serve, I have concerns about fundraising when our economy is unstable. Because I really don't like to ask for things like help. Or money.

Anyway, because of all of this, I was intrigued by the book, "Three Cups of Tea". It is the story of a failed attempt to climb K2 in the Himalayas and how that failure combined with one man getting lost in the middle of nowhere has brought education to thousands of children, especially girls, in the farthest regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is one of the most inspiring stories I have read in a very long time. It made my wanderlust even worse, and made me even feel compelled to do much much more than I am doing to help people who have nothing.

Now, I just need to consult with the kids and decide on where that help will be focused. And even more difficult, I have to figure out how to find the funds to actually make it happen.

1 comment:

Christina said...

This may not be the direction your thinking and I don't have the info with me, but you could probably google it...

There are programs out there that you can loan money to small business start ups in third world countries. Generally it's a business woman and the loan amount can be as low as $25. The loans are repaid after the business takes off and you can turn around and reinvest in the same business or loan it to another business. I read about it in a magazine around Christmas time. It was a suggestion of how children could be of service globally.

It's an idea. But it doesn't get you "out there".