Today was lovely sunny and warm. So unusual for January in Pennsylvania, but it got me out into the garden and lightened my spirits. I even noticed a single danelion blossom in the grass. Spring will come, and while others might be horrified by the site, for a short time in early May the lawn can be a brilliant yellow full of dandelions. I posted this picture, and recommend you see the whole series.
I was going over my links to think about what to write about today. Earlier, in the midst of my writing block I'd thought of writing about how our actions radiate from us like the ripples in the water made by a sinking stone. So I started searching images with the tags "water ripples." Wow! water sure makes for some fascinating pictures.
In my incompentent style of blogging I collect links and then try to weave them into a post. Because I had writers block my list of links is rather large, the smart thing to do might be just to close that list and begin a new one, but I'm looking to see whether there are some on this list I really want to share before I do. It seems they fall into three general types: portals for African culture, more distressing news, and volunteering--there's actually a fourth: stuff having nothing to do with Africa but seemed cool to me.
Yesterday's topic was depressing, so I'll use the volunteering links. When I first met Nathan online, I was very eager to find ways of connecting with others with an interest in Africa. It seemed easy to find organizations online to donate money to, but I don't have money to donate. Over time I have met others to collaborate with, but it's seemed a slow process. However in the few months of doing this blog the pace has quickened. Now more than ever I see what a useful tool blogs really are. One of the delightful aspects is that you've got to "put out" in order to receive. I'm lazy; there's much I know I should be doing, but just don't make the time for it. "Ain't that just like living" as Mose Allison sings sometimes.
One of the things I want to get around to is some effort on the Bazungu Bucks idea. My friends tell me that I've got to tell them what they can do. That's pretty funny really because I keep thinking about the Internet and most of my friends hardly spend any time surfing around. Nevertheless, using Internet communications can be really helpful in organizing individual efforts in service to African people and people in the whole round world.
Here are a couple of examples what I'm talking about. Charity Focus is and organization which helps people find ways of putting community service back into their lives. It was the brainchild of five Silicon Valley friends in the go-go years just before the bubble burst.
CharityFocus builds websites for NPOs without charge -- it's not a discounted service, it's a free service.It's also an all volunteer organization which doesn't solicit funds; that's a rarity. The focus on service is so important, doing good is rewarding.
Online Volunteering has a wide range of opportunities for volunteering in service to people in the developing world. Online Volunteering is managed by the United Nations Volunteers. Obviously there are thousands of organizations to volunteer with, but both these are models of effective organization.
As I was writing, Nathan sent me an email saying that he went to a shop to purchase a computer. Tomorrow after work he'll pay for it and pick it up. I'm so happy. I hope that now Nathan can build on some of the ideas we've been talking about together. That together we can find ways to use the computer to connect people in his community with interesting people around the world. I look forward to working with Nathan and others in his community along with the Busoga Shining Light Association to find specfic ways for others to help in their community.