Friday, June 29, 2012

day 17: for the women of the slums

Tonight I'm dedicating this post to the women of the slums. They do all of the cooking, under the most deplorable conditions. As my friends and I sat with this family, it was the typical time of the day for chai, but she had no milk. So we bought her some milk and tea mix, and she made us all chai. It was delicious, and she was so amazingly kind to prepare it for us. We listened to several stories of what they face in their daily struggles. This is the site of where we'd like to open a second education center. One step at a time, with your help, I'm confident we'll make it happen.

On another visit to the slums, I met these lovely and talkative ladies who were preparing a few small potatoes for dinner at sunset. I looked into their pot (you can just see the lip of it here), and it was full of murky water. One method often used to deal with the muddy water in the slums is to let the bucket sit for a few hours after collecting it from the well, so that the sediments settle to the bottom. Then, they will carefully scoop out the "good" water from the top of the bucket for drinking water. It goes without saying that the number one killer of children in the slums is from water-borne diseases that lead to diarrhea and dehydration.

Shifting gears to another continent, this is in Uganda near our medical clinic and school campus. Yet another glimpse at what these women have to work with in their outdoor "kitchens." This precious lady walks for several miles every day with her baby on her back to gather drinking water and firewood. Here she's preparing some kind of small meal on her makeshift outdoor stove.

It's a stark reminder that my "challenge" is no challenge at all as I work with my electric stove, oven, microwave, toaster oven, sink with running water and garbage disposal, and dish washing machine, while keeping all of my perishable ingredients nicely refrigerated in my huge refrigerator! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, I have electricity to keep all of that running without fail (they don't have access to any electricity).

Great news today. We had an amazing response of donations today. A total of $920 came in toward my goal of 10 scholarships for children of the Indian slums! And what's even better, it was the best day in terms of number of donors and number of countries represented! We received our first-ever donation from Italy, and another came in from the UK. Thank you all so much, we really recovered from our $0 day yesterday, with a vengeance!

Here we are, together, making a difference, because we're overcoming indifference!

These funds will be in the field within a matter of days and I can't wait to show you the new kids who have been on the wait list to get into the education center. I'm already coordinating with our native team to be prepared to bring these kids in! We're a smaller organization, so we can move rather quickly on this. So, please, consider chipping in toward the goal today.

Here are some images from the education center, of kids who were previously searching for recyclables in the trash, now cleaned up, getting an education and fresh meals daily! They say, "Thank you!"

For those of you curious about how I'm faring with $1 worth of food per day, here's the daily recap. Today was not bad at all. You should really give some of these dishes a try. 

Breakfast. I had a stroke of inspiration. I cooked my oatmeal not only with raisins, but also with chopped carrots, and placed a fried egg on top with just the right amount of my favorite savory season-all. What would I do without season-all? It lives up to its name: it really seasons all. Smile. This was awesome. 

Lunch. I lightly fried some cabbage and then prepared that with a basic egg fried rice dish. With a standard re-fried bean dip and homemade corn chips, I was set for a great lunch. Cost, about 33 cents!

Dinner. Now this doesn't look too healthy, I admit, but it was delicious. It's all about the seasonings. If we've got seasonings, even basic ones, we can really work miracles in the kitchen, amen? Fried potato slices, the usual (and simply amazing) homemade corn chips, and pasta/ramen with one teaspoon of pasta sauce and just the right pinch of seasonings! Bam, 33 cent meal, done. Day 17, kicked. If I can do this, you can too! Time to simplify!

Take Action!

1) Please consider giving toward my goal of 10 scholarships for children of the Indian slums. So far we've raised $3,700 of my $5,000 goal to cover 10 scholarships. Every little bit helps!

2) Please visit my unofficial sponsor, through this link. 7% of your purchases made through the link are given to Peace Gospel. If you're in the UK, use this link.

3) If you're compelled by my effort here, please share it with friends. One of the main goals is awareness. So if you can help with that, huge.

4) Leave me feedback. Please comment on this post, especially if you have any ideas about what I should try to cook with these ingredients I have available. I love hearing from you! It really helps!

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