Thursday, April 24, 2014

Making Friends with Dinner

Living as I do in the United States--and being a city girl, not a farm girl--it isn't often that I get to talk to my dinner before eating it.... But on occasion I have actually ridden for several hours in the same car all the way from Lokichokkio, Kenya, to Narus, South Sudan (a distance measured in hours, not miles) with very feisty, vocal, unsuspecting roosters.  Here, the cook in Narus is having a few final words with our dinner.... Let's hope they were comforting!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Poverty Costs an Arm and a Leg

Women living with Hansen's Disease in Mapuordit, S.Sudan

Most areas of South Sudan are still mired in extreme poverty. Perhaps that makes you think of hunger, or lack of access to education. True enough. But it also means lack of available health care, a deficit that can literally cost you an arm and a leg.

Hansen's Disease (leprosy), when not treated on time and consistently, maims its sufferers. Victims lose fingers and toes, perhaps even a nose. Despite its lingering stigma, this disease is completely treatable--that's why it is almost never seen in developed countries.  That it still exists in places like South Sudan is a wrenching reminder of how our world's resources are not equitably distributed.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Hair-Raising Experience

MBB Scholars in Haiti pledge two hours of volunteer service in their communities each month. In Gros Morne, a group of Scholars spend their time with the residents at Maison Bon Samaritan, a place for neglected elderly. Last week two girls braided the hair of the women there while others washed clothing or helped with general cleaning.

Volunteerism is a new concept in many developing countries.  MBB believes it's vital for all of its Scholars to give back, generously and regularly.  Volunteer work builds the Scholars' self-confidence and provides opportunities for them to demonstrate leadership, and at the same time it benefits the local community. It's a win-win!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Leadership Camp HAITI

What did you do during the week between Christmas and the New Year?  The highest-performing MBB Scholars in HAITI spent their vacation week at a 5-day Leadership Training at the beachside town of Arcahaie. What a treat!  They returned to Gros Morne not just with MBB tee-shirts, but also with bragging rights about having stayed in a beautiful conference center far from home, learned new skills, made new friends, and enjoyed free time in the surf.