Monday, August 1, 2011

Place Your Bets...

The past few days Teg has been sick. Like, couldn't- breath- loud- vibrations- at- both- inhale- and- exhale- retracted- breathing- is- his- throat- closing- up? sick.

Tonight, we ran out of water. You see, our water isn't really 'safe' to drink from the tap. It's sorta brown, stains everything and has chunks of what I can only assume are either dirt or pieces of rusted pipe line in it.

You know what we had to do in order to rectify both situations?

  1. Called doctor. Received advise. Went out to the garage. Retrieved his nebulizer and began treating him. I expect he'll wake tomorrow far better than today. He'll sleep through the night tonight, restful, well fed and happy. 
  2. Called my water bottle delivery service and asked if they'd come early to deliver us a couple more bottles tomorrow morning, rather than waiting till Wednesday.

Both of those tasks took about 6 minutes total. Simple. Easy. Resources.

(Keep reading- there is a Give away and a Challenge at the end.)

Although listening to your son not breathe well, is really scary- if we'd needed further life saving intervention it would have taking me 15 minutes to reach the well equipped ER that would have treated him immediately and not asked for payment upfront. Fifteen minutes.

How long would you be able to go without water? How far would you travel to save your child? Save yourself?

We've been bombarded by giving opportunities. Sometimes we are numb to them. I know we are numb to the images of another set of starving peoples somewhere in the world. Consider this my slap to your face to "SNAP OUT OF IT!"  This is real and it is here now.

MSF/Doctor's without Borders has been on the ground all along working with the chronic issues. The state of everything just jumped to acute urgent crisis. By supporting them and this project you are helping not only NOW when it is dire, but all the time, when needs, urgency and most important sheer mass of people wains a bit. But make no mistake. This. is. dire.

Just another face. Just another dieing starved child. Ever wonder how long it takes to get to that state. Ever imagine holding that childs hand? Can you imagine the relief of the mother who knows. KNOWS. K.N.O.W.S. her child is going to die there in her arms... and yet... you put food to the mouth of the child. A little peanut, vitamin, powdered milkish slurry. The child swallows and the mother cries out in tears of joy to God, to you and to MSF- Doctor's without Borders for saving her child.

Just another dieing child. Why bother? It's so overwhelming. I can not stand to look at that face again.

 He was almost 3yo here. Healing at 16 lbs. 16lbs. 2.5 yo.

You are looking at this face. The child you've read about here. The child you've held in your heart or hold his hand. When Tegbaru was relinquished by his family- the agency reps required one of them to join them in the long trip to Addis and stay with Teg for 4 days before they were confident that this child would live. (Another story for another day maybe) He was that starving child. This photo was taken 7 weeks after he entered care- he wasn't fit for "presentation" before that.

This Janus Challenge, spearheaded by a powerhouse rockstar. She recruited the athlete who agreed to to a triathlon! A freaking hard triathlon. To raise 20,000. The top fundraiser will be awarded an additional $8k. $28,000 will save 56,000 lives through MSF's plumpy nut in the Horn of Africa. Yes. Ethiopia. Somalia is hitting the head lines--- and there are political and access reasons for that. But it matters not. In that part of the world, national boundaries are gray areas anyway. These are people. People like you and me. People like some of our children. Definitely like mine. It is my family being effected.

They aren't calling for more water delivery. Who, exactly, would they call? They are walking through nefarious territory, scrabble and oppressive heat. Walking in faith, they will find someone to help them. Water. Water. Food. Food. Walking. Walking. Walking. And dieing along the way. There is hope. If even THEY have hope that there is something better, how jaded and ridiculous is it to turn your head in disregard, fleetingly taking notice, as if there is no hope so, what can you do?...What will you do? What have you done?

I grew up with the ever present slap to the head over leaving a morsel of food on the plate because "there were starving people in China". In the 80's it changed to "Starving people in Ethiopia." Make no mistake. This drought- this famine has been researched and cited as the worst in 60 years. WHAT!?! Seriously? 60 freaking years?! Yup, worse than before. Way worse. You're a grown up now. Now you can do something. Do something. Act.

If you've already given to Phil Wisely's fundraising for Doctors Without Border's efforts for plumpy'nut in the horn of africa- GIVE AGAIN. I dare you. Make a bet. Make a bet on my 1st world problem of obesity. Who much will I loose between now and August 28. Whoever comes closest will win a copy of the great Injera cookbook (and other fantastic recipe's) and an Ethiopian scarf, straight from Ethiopia. If there are more than one that guess correctly, I'll honor it to each or if you have the book already, I'll send you some good Maine Treats. More importantly....

I will pledge an additional $5 for every single person that places a bet and gives the money over on Phil's fundraising page. I've been out of work for over a year and a half now. If I can donate- you can too.

Quite a few of you cheered me on on my Health Wise quest. Here's my challenge to you. Place your bets on how much I'll lose between last week and August 26. How much? Certainly not too much. Go to this site and give $1 per pound you think I'll lose in that 4ish weeks. Come back and tell me how much you've donated/ betting. I'll enter you in.

Yes. I see the ironic twist here and it haunts me more than I can say. Here, I, obese from too much food, lay next to my, once lifeless literally starved skeleton of a son. It speaks to me from many places.

I have lived the life of a privileged person in this earth. The privilege of eating when available. The privilege of whining about the difficulties of having healthy highly nutritious food in front of me, isn't the DQ that I crave.  Privilege of drinking at a moments notice, or whining cause delivery was late. Sharing anything we have with park kids who prefer one lunch box over another.

I do not let it pass my lips without saying thanks, anymore. There is value in what I've so long taken for granted. Value of Life. It's certainly worth more than $10- $20- $30 bucks.

PS: Clarity
  • Click over to this page to give. Give now. Do not wait until the 26th. I've decided not to announce weekly weight loss numbers so there are no advantages to waiting. Do it now and get your friends here.
  • Make your gift and then come back here and comment on what you've bet/donated. There is a role call over on his site so it's easy to track donors. 
  • For those of you weary about online donations- Kintera is a VERY reputable fundraising site. It is very secure- they do many/most online fundraisers for things like this.
  • I will set up a separate page listing all bets as they come in. I will donate an additional $5 for everyone that does this. So go get your friends, roomates and digitalbuds to get over to his site and give, then come back and comment here. 
  • After the race is complete- I will post results and winner of contest and hopefully show Phil as the Janus winner of another 8k. 
ETA- Some hints- i have more than(far more) 50 lbs to lose total. Other than 2 weeks in Ethiopia I havn't had 2 weeks in a row of losing weight in over 10 years.
    The scarf is a big one. Big. The book is new and sales from the book benefit "Clinic at a Time."


      Liz said...

      This is a great motivator for everyone, everyone wins! Unfortunately, I misread the directions. I donated the amount of $ that I had decided on, not the pounds that I know you will lose! I put down $25, I meant to put down 7 pounds! Oops!

      M and M said...

      Let's get this party started! I am betting 12 lbs in 4ish weeks. I'm going for 10 lbs myself in the next 3 weeks - so I'm with you in this. Today - so far - a good day.

      Themia said...

      You are awesome. Here's to 10 lbs. Going over to donate now.

      Jennifer said...

      Great idea and motivation....I'll take 8 lbs......going over to MSF....

      Annie said...

      Thanks for the slap in the face friend. I need it sometimes. The scarf is beautiful!! I donated $20 but I want to guess that you will lose 11 lbs. On the roll call (i haven't checked myself though..) it should say Sei*^ter Family (my last name). You go girl!

      beckyr said...

      Great challenge. My guess is 11 lbs, but either way, you are a winner!

      Sara said...

      Great idea! I say 9 lbs and I donated.