As you read this, the top 30 MBB Scholars in Haiti are participating in the annual MBB Scholars' Leadership Week at a beachfront conference center. Though Haiti is a small island, some of them have never before been to the coast. The Scholar in orange enjoys the ice-breakers so much that she literally appears to be laughing her head off.
Besides having fun together away from stresses of home and school, these promising young women are exploring what it means to be an MBB Scholar and how they will, in their daily lives, be true to the Scholarship Program's 3 core values: personal integrity, academic excellence, and compassionate action.
Does this look like a brand new vehicle to you? Well, it is! But a few weeks on the roads--I use the term loosely--in South Sudan can take a serious toll on man and machine.
Pictured here is our intrepid MBB Country Coordinator, Bro Emmanuel, on his way to visit the remote villages where he supervises our women's micro-enterprise groups.
The photo below shows how much fun it can be to travel in the rainy season. Mud isn't the worst of it, though. Ambushes by bandits on one mountainous stretch of road between two of our program sites have claimed 15 lives in the past few months. Getting to and from the various MBB program sites is literally the most difficult and dangerous part of our work in South Sudan....
You've gotta love the spirit of the Haitian people! Here is a mortuary in the town of Gros Morne (where MBB operates its Scholarships Program for girls). It's called "The Optimist Funeral Home." Feeling kinda dead? Not in the pink? Wondering if you've got your priorities straight? This just might be the place that sparks adjustments in your attitude toward life...
It's a common sight in the villages of South Sudan: women as well as men (and young boys) puffing on home-made pipes. Some of the pipes are plain, functional; others are carved and quite intricate. Either way, they deliver the buzz of nicotine to people who seek the temporary easing of hunger pangs, sadness, or the countless other burdens that accompany a life of extreme poverty.