The Rose That Grew From Concrete

over 8,000 people will receive access to safe drinking water for the first time – thanks to you

Thanks to everyone reading, this is the message I am able to deliver to you:

By the end of this week, Argisa, Ethiopia will have clean water!

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Most of you know that you all raised, over the course of one week, the money we needed for our first phase of the Ethiopia project. That, in and of itself, was a miracle.

Jack, from Waves for Water, boarded a plan on December 12, and I have just been informed he has landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Jack will be bringing 80 Sawyer filters to the rural village of Argisa, Ethiopia on Lake Awassa. This is where Sister Donna Frances has been living for the past decade. She lives in an area with an extremely high malaria rate, flooding, famine, and drought and is committed to living with the people without bringing in too much western influence.

Water has been a huge stress on Sister, but no longer. Everyone in the village will now have an overabundance of safe drinking water.

I was excited to also hear from Sister Donna today. I had written her quickly to let her know Jack was on his way, and was worried she would not receive my email before he arrived.

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What I love about this letter is how genuinely surprised and excited she is by all the different kind of cloth diapers that the village received from you guys:

“Hi Jamie, wow, I just arrived in Awassa and read your Email.  Today is the 12th of December, so they will arrive tomorrow. WOW, really exciting…Do you have a phone number for them?  I will wait for them here in Awassa, they will arrive on which day do you know?  Exciting, exciting.

Also 4 packages of diapers came; two full of colorful snap type diapers, and a box full of new Gerber prefold diapers, 5 packages… OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH what a god send, and there was a full box of diaper pins with them.  Lots of thick folded liners to go in the snap pants, soakers of knit wear, and just about all one could imagine under the rainbow.”
Loving thanks for helping me in Gods work with the children,
Sr Donna

We started this in October. It is now December, and in that time frame you all have single-handedly made a tremendous impact in a small village thousands of miles away from where most of you call home. Instead of water that brings death, you have provided water that gives life. You have also met the needs of the area with cloth diapers! While we have a long-term goal of bringing out an EC expert (still need to find someone willing to come with us in March), for now you are meeting the immediate need with hygiene and comfort.

Way to go, guys! I can’t wait to update you more with Jack’s pictures!

Waterlink Africa: Water Changes Everything

Clean Water Projects Image 2Did you know? $1 can give clean water to one person for over a decade.

Why is water life-altering?

  1. Unsterile water is the number two killer amongst children. Around the world, fetching water is a woman’s task. Thus, one of the most crucial health issues for women in Africa is the clean water shortage. 1 in 5 children worldwide dies of a water-related disease.
  2. Water is a women’s issue. In order to get access to clean water, women and girls must carry up to 50lbs of water every day over typically 5 miles or more. Carrying this water has shown to stunt growth in young girls which has contributed to the extremely high maternal mortality rate in these areas, but girls and women also face dangers along their way to a water source.
  3. Water improves education and economy. Education has been proven to be the greatest way to improve a community. When kids get sick from water-borne diseases, they can’t attend classes – then fall behind, then drop out. Most students suffer from severe dehydration because they try to drink as little bad water as possible. When the brain is dehydrated, it has a very hard time focusing on tasks such as school work, and chances of success are greatly diminished. There are some children who walk daily to get water and are unable to attend school, and the adults are unable to put hours into a paying vocation. When children have the opportunity to be educated, they can become problem solving members of the community and have a hope of contributing to their society.

Waterlink Africa

Fayye Foundation has teamed up with Waves for Water to pursue a series of clean water projects throughout Africa. The filters that will be installed use the highest filtration rates available, can provide clean water for an entire village for pennies a day, and have a high flow rate which eliminates the need to store water. The filters are self-sustaining and easy to maintain. If cared for, each $50 filter lasts for many years, providing clean water for up to 100 people a day.

waterlink Africa: a chain of friends, spanning generations, from Africa to America and back to Africa. Donor, healer, helper – each link is necessary. Waterlink Africa delivers solutions from inventors to people in need of safe drinking water in every faraway corner of Africa.

Waves for Water and Fayye Foundation are certain that everyone who lacks clean water deserves to have unlimited access via an endless chain of caring, of which each of us is a single link. Experts are confident that the water crisis will be completely eradicated in our lifetime, but the only way we can do that is by every person in the link working towards this cause.

To donate to our first Waterlink project (Waves for Awassa/Project Ethiopia) you can go here. Your tax-deductible donation has the potential to give 20,000 people access to clean water. Every dollar counts.

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Christmas Stocking Project: Use Your Stockings for Good

stocking market clean water projects

Did you know? $1 can give clean water to one person for over a decade.

During the holiday season, there’s a lot of tradition in exchanging presents. We want to embrace our traditions and also be able to give back. Here’s our idea: instead of stocking stuffers, let’s put every dollar that would go towards those small gifts towards clean water for our friends in Africa. $10 that would have been spent on stocking stuffers could give life-altering water to ten people.

Why is water life-altering?

1. Unsterile water is the number two killer amongst children. Around the world, fetching water is a woman’s task. Thus, one of the most crucial health issues for women in Africa is the clean water shortage. 1 in 5 children worldwide dies of a water-related disease.
2. Water is a women’s issue.
In order to get access to clean water, women and girls must carry up to 50lbs of water every day over typically 5 miles or more. Carrying this water has shown to stunt growth in young girls which has contributed to the extremely high maternal mortality rate in these areas, but girls and women also face dangers along their way to a water source.
3. Water improves education and economy.
Education has been proven to be the greatest way to improve a community. When kids get sick from water borne diseases they can’t attend classes – then fall behind, then drop out. Also: Most students suffer from severe dehydration because they try to drink as little bad water as possible. When the brain is dehydrated it has a very hard time focusing on tasks such as school work, and chances of success are greatly diminished.When children have the opportunity to be educated, they can become problem solving members of the community and have a hope of contributing to their society. There are some children who walk daily to get water are unable to attend school, and adults are unable to put hours into a paying vocation. 

You can help!
This Christmas, we can save one child, mother, brother, father or sister by donating as little as one dollar. Fayye Foundation has teamed up with Waves for Water to pursue a series of clean water projects throughout Africa. The filters that will be installed use the highest filtration rates available, can provide clean water for an entire village for pennies a day, and have a high flow rate which eliminates the need to store water. The filters are self-sustaining and easy to maintain. If cared for, each $50 filter lasts for many years, providing clean water for up to 100 people a day.

Your donation is going directly to our March project to bring clean water to a rural area is Southern Ethiopia, called Argisa. We are in close communication with Sister Donna Francis who has been living in the area for many years and has provided empowerment and housing for young girls in the area called Heartland. Recently, the situation has become dire and time is of the essence. Here is one of her last messages to us:

We have had typhoid repeatedly during the last 2 1/2 months, Masame and I, and the kids at Heartland, also repeated malaria caught in our livers.  Filters are a hope…but we haven’t been able to get them implemented yet.  We could use 5 at Heartland to meet the use for kitchen and drinking, with 30 kids coming, it would be good!!  The villagers are in a terrible need as we are the people who live on the lake shore.  The town where we go to get pipe water, treated by the government, is 2 km away, and we go when it is running to get drinking water.  This source was turned off for 2 months last year when the government demanded taxes for the water.  The town refused, and the water was stopped, and the people told to drink the lake!  We were sending donkey carts round trip over 50 km to get good water for drinking, and at 10 times the price!”

One dollar brings clean water to one person for over a decade. No amount is too small, and it will make a difference! We do ask for a minimum of $10 to receive a gift from Africa in return. However, if you even have 50 cents to give, it will assist  this project insurmountably. Please click below to donate:

 

 




 

 

 

Pineapple Jalapeno Mojitos

This post has been updated. If you haven’t tried this mojitos recipe – you need to. We can’t stop making them!

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Toasting our arrival home from Ethiopia. (Much to the relief of both Brian and Paul.) Next time we’ll try to avoid going to a developing country when their political leader dies.


Happy Cindo de Mayo!

The Wall Street Journal said it best- “plenty of beer, little history…but don’t let that spoil your party!”

Okay! We won’t! Here is a great pineapple jalapeno mojitos recipe revised from the one we had at Tommy Bahamas:

Pineapple Jalapeno Mojitos Recipe

(serves 4)

8 oz. Pineapple RumJamie mojitos recipe

6 oz. Club Soda

1/2 ounce lime juice

12 mint leaves

1/2 cup 1-inch cubes of pineapple

2 green jalapeños chopped

Method: Muddle mint, pineapple, lime, jalapeño. Add Pineapple rum and 2 cups of crushed ice. Shake/stir and pour into pitcher. Top with club soda. Serve in chilled glasses filled with crushed ice.

Ultimate Blogging Giveaway!

Today I am giving away the ultimate blogging package!

The winner of this giveaway will receive a blog design package (or redesign) from Shay Bocks Creative Services and blog editing by Greatproofreading.com.

The total combined value for this giveaway is $1849.00 (See details below.)

To Enter: Leave a comment below specifying why you want to win the two packages. (Only one comment per person entering the contest.)

Winner will be selected August 6, 2012 8:00PM Pacific Time.

About Shay Bocks and giveaway package:

Shay Bocks Creative specializes in stunning functional websites, blog themes, and logos for small businesses and personal bloggers and they want to create a professional custom design just for you. With the help of their handy creative brief, they will help to refine your vision and give you the new look you need. Although they specialize in unique and easy to maintain web/blog design for small businesses and bloggers, they are a full-service design studio that can meet all of your design needs. More information can be found at www.shaybocks.com and www.facebook.com/shaybockscreative.

*Shay Bocks Creative has contributed a Custom Blog Design package, valued at $1500, which includes a custom blog theme (self-hosted wordpress or blogger) with custom header, background, favicon, social media graphics, user-friendly navigation, custom typography, and theme installation.

(Rather not take your chances in the giveaway?  Head on over to www.shaybocks.com and use promo code JAMIELYNN for 30% off this same package!  That saves you $450!)

 

About Great Proofreading and giveaway package:

GreatProofreading.com is a sole proprietorship run out of the home of a work-at-home mom and military spouse. Kendall Hoover has more than five years of proofreading experience and two years of full time employment-related experience (including resume and cover letter development), as well as Bachelor and Master degrees in Speech and Hearing Science. GreatProofreading.com provides academic and web editing as well as resume and cover letter writing services, but Kendall specializes in blog proofreading and keyword research for blog search engine optimization. Kendall takes the time to get to know the mission and focus of your blog and provides suggestions for content, style, flow, clarity, word choice, and idiomatic expression. Monthly blog proofreading packages are available in packages from $45 to $200 and more information can be found at www.GreatProofreading.com. They encourage you to check about their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/greatproofreading for specials and blog writing tips.

*GreatProofreading.com’s portion of this giveaway is a Web Editing Start-up Package which includes editing of all “static” pages (i.e. “about me”) and keyword research for search engine optimization. This is valued at up to $349.

 

Contest begins: July 30, 2012 9:00AM Pacific Time

and ends: August 6, 2012 8:00PM Pacific Time

Winner will be chosen using Random.org

*Participants must be 18 years or older to enter.

*The winner of this giveaway must submit personal information such as legal name, address, and social security number for submission to the IRS on a 1099 form.

Sudanese Hibiscus Tea Recipe

In celebration of our genealogist finding living contacts to relatives in Sudan, here is a Sudanese Hibiscus Tea (Karkade) recipe to celebrate our heritage!

Here is a bit of a tweak on a traditional tea recipe in Sudan:

  • 2 Liters Water
  • 2 Cups Dried Hibiscus Flowers ( found in most Jamaican or Mexican markets by the name red sorrel or roselle)
  • 1 Ginger Root peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Blossom Water
  • 2/3 Cup Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Fresh Mint Leaves

Directions:

  1. Rinse dried hibiscus in cold water.
  2. In a saucepan heat 2 liters of water to a boil. Immediately add the dried hibiscus and remove for heat.  Steep for 8-12 minutes.
  3. With a small mesh strainer or a cheesecloth strain hibiscus water into a pitcher.
  4. Add the orange blossom water. mix.
  5. Add the honey. Mix until dissolved.
  6. Top off with Vanilla and mint.
  7. Add ice and chill for 3 hours in the refrigerator.
  8. Serve over ice.

Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding Dolls?

I found this photo of myself as a child yesterday:

My first thought: “That is a massive scrunchy.” My second thought: “I’m bottle feeding my baby doll.”

Perhaps to retaliate from our anti-breastfeeding culture many women decide to become anti-bottle feeding as a response.

I have friends who will not allow their children to have dolls that come with bottles. They will throw away the bottle that comes with the doll, and some have even purchased the “The Breast Milk Baby” for their children.

While some people may think it is extreme, it does make logical sense to me. Our kids have such a disadvantage to having a successful breastfeeding relationship with their children because of Western societies anti-breastfeeding views they will be bombarded with their entire lives. Taking out bottles as play for a child would give your child and early foundation of breastfeeding as biological normal feeding for a human.

However, if your child wants to bottle feed his/her baby and you’re unsure what to do to- I don’t think you should burn those toy bottles just yet.

This photo of me as a child reminded me of how much I enjoyed playing with my dolls and toy bottles. Children are extremely perceptive. I knew that my dolls were not real. I understood my own desire to become a mother one day, and it would be different than playing with dolls. I also LOVED playing with my dolls. My favorite part was “feeding” them with their bottles. I had dolls that would cry until they received their bottle, dolls that would “drink” water and urinate afterward (changing a doll’s wet diaper was really exciting to me), and bottles that would have disappearing milk and orange juice in them as you turned them upside-down. The simple pleasures of a child, right?

I always believed that I would breastfeed my children, even as a child. My bottle feeding dolls did not confuse me. I always have had strong positive memories of being breastfed by my mother, then when my sister had her baby I developed another positive view of breastfeeding by watching how she cared my my niece ( my sister is fourteen years older than me and had her first baby when I was nine years old). I learned from them why they valued their breastfeeding relationships with their children. If you don’t want to let your kids play with bottles, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. However, don’t think that a plastic doll and bottle will change any thoughts on parenting you have instilled in your children, through example or conversations.

I want my boys to know there are many healthy and acceptable options in life.  Even something as simple as the explaining pumping/formula feeding/breastfeeding and why each option can make sense depending on the family is important to speak to them about early on. If they choose to have children one day and end up bottle feeding their babies (out of educated choice or because it is the only option available), they hopefully will have been taught to feel no guilt or shame in caring for their children the best way for their families.

With that being said, the plastic bottles get to stick around in our house. However, bottles are not the desired means of feeding dolly as of late:

Aram (2 years old) breastfeeding my favorite childhood doll.

Samuel (a couple of weeks after he came home from Ethiopia) breastfeeding the same doll. He was really excited when he saw it because he said the doll looked like him. He still sleeps with it every night!

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