Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finishing Touches

Workmen balance on ladders and oil drums while renovating the Scholars Lodge in Gros Morne, Haiti. The residence, located on a quiet street behind the all-girls’ primary school (St. Gabe’s) and not far from the several high schools that MBB Scholars attend, contains 6 bedrooms, each with hand –crafted metal bunk beds that can sleep up to 20 girls along with the supervising House Mother. A smaller structure in the yard of the Lodge is being transformed into the MBB office and a dining area for the lodgers.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Not Quite Door-to-Door

Heavy rains drench S.Sudan for 7 or 8 months each year, flooding huge swathes of land and rendering all travel both difficult and dangerous. Roads, where they exist at all, degrade into mud and quicksand. South Sudan is home to The Sudd, the world’s largest swamp. When the rains come, crocodiles run. Flash floods kill.  When the dry season arrives and the water disappears, detritus from the wet season becomes visible.  Here we see a tanker truck that didn’t quite live up to its company name, having been sucked into the mucky riverbed halfway to its destination, like a rusted dinosaur doomed by its own weight. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Who's that?

Sylvie Dieckmann, the MBB tech volunteer/webmaster who accompanied Marilyn to South Sudan in 2011, returned on her own in October to teach computer skills for several weeks to the girls at St Bakhita’s in Narus.  Here she is in the village of Nacipo, not far from Narus, surrounded by Toposa fascinated by their images on her digital camera. For many it is the first time they have seen a picture of themselves, and they do not know whose image it is until another person says, “That’s you!”

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Someone to Look After Us

During September, Mercy Beyond Borders formally opened its "Scholars' Lodge" in Gros Morne, Haiti (and yes, it's painted a bright Pepto-Bismol pink). Pictured here is Jeanine Sterlin, the newly-hired House Mother at the residence. 

Looking at the strength and calm resolve of her face, we can all be confident that Jeanine will be a steady, competent and caring supervisor for our young Scholars.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"For All the Saints..."

November 1st is traditionally ALL SAINTS DAY, a time for honoring those whose radiance lights their corner of the world and whose other-centered living inspires us to greater goodness.  This year Mercy Beyond Borders salutes BRIGITTE DECRE, a wonderful, longtime volunteer and MBB supporter who died several months ago, much too young. Born in France, she was a pixie of a person with a huge heart. Always sparkly-eyed. Always interested in others. Always generous with her time and treasure.  Brigitte loved the outdoors: hiking, biking, gardening, swimming.  She avoided the spotlight herself, but stayed busy behind the scenes making good things happen for others.  And this she did while battling cancer for more than a decade.  Even death could not stop her magnanimity: during her funeral in France, her family and friends collected over a $1,000 in donations for Mercy Beyond Borders. Love is truly stronger than death!  Brigitte, thank you, thank you, for gracing us with your presence.