Monday, July 9, 2012

day 27: just one more?

Well, today we made it to 11 scholarships, with our total coming up to $5,525 raised as a result of this blog! This is really great news and I'm so shocked we've come this far! I continue to be grateful for all of your support, whether it be simply by visiting the blog and keeping in touch, through giving financially, sharing my blog with friends or the recipe suggestions--it's all made a huge difference and there's no way that these 11 kids would ever have a chance of gaining hope without you.

But tonight I ask the question--if we all come together and give it one final push, can we raise funds for at least one more? What about for a girl like her? What do we do about her? Now I want you to keep in mind, I don't usually post unhappy photos like this. You can visit our Flickr stream to see that my usual approach is to show the fruit of our work in the smiles, the end result of our work, rather than the despair. However for some reason on my own blog I've felt more released to just show you what I've seen. These are all my own personal images, just documenting what I've seen, to share with you and the world the reality that's out there right now, today.

So that's my simple appeal for tonight--with everyone chipping in what they can, I'm confident we can reach at least another $475 to bring in the next child to The Children's Hope Center in  Hyderabad, India. Even if you can only give $1, $5 or $10, please do it. It will make a difference.

If you're joining the blog late, let me tell you a little about our slum outreach in Hyderabad. It's an education center that facilitates every aspect for getting a child out of child labor situations--usually that of scavenging through the trash heaps of the slums looking for recyclables--and into school. We've partnered with some local schools where we send the kids. But we provide everything they need to succeed in school--uniforms, shoes, school supplies, fresh cooked meals, and medical attention when needed. In addition to that, we have full time staff at the center who help the children with their homework and tutoring when they come back after school. They also get a computer education at the computer lab at the center.

What's more is the facility is currently undergoing a complete overhaul and expansion. Also, a clean water well is being installed to save money on the children's drinking water supply, and to share the water with the slum community--many of the illnesses of the children in the slum colony where we operate the center are a result of water-borne diseases. So, all of that to say, a lot of progress is being made at the center, thanks to your support! Here's a real picture of that progress--a smile on the face of one of our newest students!

Personal update. Just nine more meals to prepare! This has been an incredible journey, learning more than I've learned on the previous challenges and really surprising myself all over again with what can be done with so little. Some rationing surprises again--turns out I have two eggs every day for the next 3 days, several more tortillas than I had calculated, and a bit extra oatmeal still remains. But running very thin on beans and pasta. In short, thanks to being conservative on the front end, I think I'm going to make it without any major shortages. My feet are starting to look pretty nasty but I'm trying my best to take care of them. I've lost weight, 8 lbs (3.6 kgs) as of a few days ago. All things considered, I'm hanging in there.

Breakfast. Standard oatmeal and raisins seasoned with season-all. Yes I like my oatmeal savory, try it! Tostada variation--re-fried beans, rice and chopped carrots. Not getting tired of tostadas at all!

Lunch. Egg fried rice with cooked ramen noodles, fresh chopped carrots and cabbage. With the right touch of pepper and seasonings, this is an amazing and very fresh little dish that can really hold you over. All for about 33 cents!

Dinner. I had another egg to use for today, so I hard boiled one to chop up for the tostadas. With boiled potatoes, re-fried beans and brown rice, this was a great new variety of tostadas! Bought a little paprika from my existing stock and it added a nice twist on the usual seasonings. Overall a really great meal, considering it only cost about 30 cents to make!

Midnight snack. I needed a little boost to write the blog tonight, and I had a little extra oatmeal and raisins stored up from my ration plan, so I came up with a sort of vegan oatmeal raisin cookie. Just a splash of canola oil, half-teaspoon of sugar, teaspoon of flour, a splash of hot water, mixed together and baked at 450F/230C for 12 minutes. Perfect!

Take Action!

1) Please consider giving toward my goal to donate scholarships for children of the Indian slums. We surpassed our initial goal of $5,000 to cover 10 scholarships, but I want to keep going to see how many more scholarships we can come up with! 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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