Yesterday marked a couple exciting milestones for me. In addition to my writing appearing on www.globorati.com (Overland Down Under), Mom sent me a copy of a small article that appeared in the Travel Section of last Sunday's Miami Herald, regarding one of my pieces.
Switching gears, I came across a really cool website this morning. You should check it out when you have a chance: http://incinq.blogspot.com/
On a more serious note, yesterday I finally had the opportunity to meet with some local South Africans that are doing everything in their power to make a difference. Their goal is to help feed and clothe some children in a local "squatter" camp. What I find so sad about South Africa is, that the country receives so little money from various international charities - who focus more on Somalia, Ethiopia, etc. But if you saw these little children, living in sheds with huge holes in the roof, sleeping on soaking wet beds, running around without shoes or jackets in the winter, and drinking only a glass of imitation orange juice for breakfast, your heart would break just the same. Not only do they receive so few nutrients, that their brain development is often years behind that of "normal" children, but the awareness level of the parents and caretakers is alarmingly low, leaving them completely bewildered when their children's teeth rot out of their mouth after they've been given bottles of coke regularly for the first year.
But to get back to this organization, their goal is to eventually set up a type of sponsorship program, to allow people to directly sponsor one child, visit them if they'd like, and receive pictures and information. But the short-term goal is to help get these children's immediate needs taken care of. They spend the day at a make-shift creché, or day-care, which is usually one woman, looking after far too many children, with too little money to properly feed or clothe the children who she's looking after. They're usually not bathed, and most have little or no immunizations... some have never even seen a hospital, clinic, or doctor. In any case, I promised to help in any way I could, from wherever I am in the world. It's so nice to meet people that aren't turning a blind eye to the immense poverty around them. It's incredible to think of what South Africa could be, if more people would stop depending on the government to make the change that they want to see in their world!