Lest you think that Mercy Beyond Borders is all work and no play, last month I spent time in Jamaica giving some presentations at the University of the West Indies. Traveling to the various venues, I soaked in the sparkling Caribbean scenery: crystal blue waters, magnificent mountains, abundant trees and bright flowers. The people were captivating, too!
There was a time within living memory when air travel was very special and somewhat exotic. Passengers dressed up for their trips . This was, of course, before Homeland Security stepped in and we were reduced to emptying our pockets and stripping off shoes and jackets and allowing our bodies as well as our belongings to be scrutinized and x-rayed. The days of exotic flying are long gone.
But for someone who has never traveled internationally, there is still a thrill to it! This week MBB sponsored Shanas, to California to meet with our Board and donors. They arrived from South Sudan via Lodwar, Nairobi, Amsterdam, Portland and SFO, a bit bedraggled but nonetheless enthralled by the airports they saw en route and the strange food served on their various flights.
Shanas is one of MBB's first Scholarship alums, now a teacher in South Sudan. Sr Susan is the staff member responsible for the hundreds of young girls boarding at St Bakhita Primary School.
When harvests fail, famine stalks the land. When war spreads, even planting is impossible. But even when there is no food, women still need to feed their children. Here we see two women in Narus, South Sudan, picking through a pile of rubbish to find edible seeds. Tiny seed by tiny seed, they collect a handful. Foreign countries repeatedly try to send food aid to these regions, but conflict often closes the roads and prevents delivery. Peace is the prerequisite for ending hunger.
MBB Haiti has recently added new staff for its Women's Center! In addition to the Interim Director, Gail, we welcome the Literacy teacher, Anna; the Sewing instructor, Dieustin (shown here with an eager student); the Baking instructor, Osempleur; and the clerical assistant, Evadly.
We're forming a fantastic team for the advancement of women in Gros Morne!