There Is No Me Without You

 woman and child

I just picked up this book at work today called “There Is No Me Without You” by Melissa Fay Greene. Sounds like a trashy romance novel, doesn’t it? It’s actually the opposite, however. This woman wrote a memoir about Ethiopia’s children and people living with the HIV/AIDS virus. I just got through the first chapter and was pissed.

Greene informed me that 81% of the country’s people live on less than $2 a day. (I’ve already spent that much, and it’s not even noon. ) What’s worse, only $2 per person per YEAR is spent on health care by the government. The funny thing is, in 1998 during a war, the government spent $2 million dollars a day. In 2000, Ethiopia’s defense budget exceeded $800 million.

This sounds familiar. Not that the United States is at this extremity, but I feel like our priorities are in the wrong place as is Ethiopia’s. Even though we are considered the most powerful nation on earth, there is definitely room for improvement. And just because Ethiopia is one of the most poverty-stricken countries does not mean we shouldn’t look at their situation and reconsider ours. Unfortunately, Ethiopia will probably never be a Utopia.

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Webcam

Pretty much the coolest thing ever, in my eyes anyways. It’s a 24 hour webcam of a watering hole in Africa. Sometimes giraffes, lions, and zebras show up on the screen. Warning: if you have a Mac, it might not work. That might be a good thing for me; I would get nothing done if I could watch this webcam on my computer. I want to know what you guys see on this webcam!

Malaria, No More

I found a blog the other day that mentioned a Time magazine news article called “The $10 Solution”. On the website, Malaria No More, one can donate a $10 dollar bed net to help prevent someone from catching Malaria. Every 30 seconds an African child dies of the disease.  I may not be a math genius, but that adds up to 2,880 children a day, and around 1 million per YEAR.  Oh my.  The simplest way of prevention is having a bed net.  That’s it.  Please, PRETTY PLEASE, check out the website, think about it (I’ll give you 10 seconds), donate 10 buckaroos, and save a kid’s life.  How cool is that?  You can say you saved a life today, because you did.

Lions, Tigers…and Elephants?

This blog is written by a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, Africa (thanks, James). It’s pretty interesting to see the type of work he has been doing. Also, with a good possibility of being in the same continent by June, I can get an idea of what kind of mud hut I want to live in. kidding. I don’t get to choose…

Africa Blog

So a friend of mine, who is quite the intelligent blogger, suggested that I should start reading up on other blogs and make some links with them. Well, I randomly found an interesting blog that caught my eye. Sociolingo’s Africa blog gives any news about the continent that you can find. I have a feeling that I will be referencing this blog quite a bit.

One category in the blog caught my eye: Peace Corps. I am going through the long, sometimes stressful, application process and was excited to read some more information on the subject. Three news articles came up and two of them were about some Peace Corps volunteers being electrocuted and dying on a boat ride down the river. Hmmmmm…the first thought that popped in my head, and excuse my french, was “shit”. At least the last article was about a woman making lasting friendships that she will never forget. I guess that’s the risk you have to take if you want to save the world, right?

Africa

If you know me, you probably know that Africa has a place in my heart. There are too many issues going on there to list in just this one entry, but I’m sure there will be many more to come concerning the continent.

In the U.S., we’re having trouble controlling the eating habits of our children. Each year, there is an increased rate of children who are becoming obese. In many African countries, however, it’s the exact opposite. These children do not have the access to enough food to even stay alive. One mother describes her children as “little dead bodies”.

Three percent of the children in the U.S. are malnourished while over half of the children in most African children are malnourished. Can we just send them the Lucky Charms that our children shouldn’t be eating?

Click here to read a NY Times article