Thursday, September 27, 2012

Better than an Umbrella

No umbrella to shade your infant?  No problem!  Just use an empty gourd placed over the child’s head while slung papoose-style on mom’s back.  The Toposa women of South Sudan are endlessly inventive with what little they have.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spirits, anyone?

The practice of Vodou religion is widespread throughout Haiti, often co-mingled with practices from other religious traditions such as Catholicism.  Pictured here is a small roadside restaurant operated in Gros Morne by a local Vodou priest. Children from the nearby Catholic school are stopping by for a snack. Such sites fly a flag from a bamboo pole to signify the type of priest who lives there and who will (for a price) offer prayers or intervention with various spirits, for good or for ill.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

On their way

Pictured here with Sr Marilyn are a few of the 67 Southern Sudanese young women currently studying on MBB scholarships. They gathered to say thanks to all of YOU who have donated to Mercy Beyond Borders. You've changed their lives and given them resources to pursue their goals of becoming journalists, agronomists, nurses, lawyers, engineers and yes, politicians. All of them speak of their desire to use their new skills to improve their fledgling new country.

Being with these young women, and knowing full well that without MBB Scholarships they would no doubt have already been given away in marriage by their parents, seeing their determination to make something better of their lives--well, these windows of opportunity are just HUGE!  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Breakfast of Champions

By the time a visitor like me wakens at dawn, the local South Sudanese women have long been stirring: gathering firewood, hauling water, starting cooking fires, preparing breakfast.  With our sleeping huts and tents in the background, this photo shows the cook at Kuron Medical Clinic fixing our breakfast of “ugali.”  It’s made from ground maize and water, boiled to a polenta-like consistency.  Not much taste, but it fills one’s stomach for the day.  And I'm always grateful the preparation didn't depend on me!