In January 2010, I traveled with 17 others to the other side of the world to try and help people. We bumped along dirt roads for hours and went out to remote villages in Tanzania to provide health care and aid to Africans unable to get medical attention. We helped many wounded, diseased and sick. But when we came back, I feel like we were the ones who were really helped. My life is forever changed because of these people and the help they gave me, showing me their side of the world. Their side of life.
And now it’s over a year later, and it’s easy to focus on only my side. It’s easy to push and strive and go to get better…for me. It’s easy to work hard and pay bills and spend money on stuff. It’s easy to slip on my shoes to go outside, or turn on the faucet to take a shower or pour some from my Brita to have a drink. It’s not so easy for them.
Health authorities believe that most diseases in Africa are carried through unhealthful contaminated water. Many of the issues we saw and treated will come back to the Tanzanians, because these villagers don’t have access to clean drinking water. So the Saint Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church Mission Committee has taken up arms to raise money and awareness for our Tanzanian friends, specifically by raising money for well-digging equipment in Western Tanzania. Providing fresh water will save lives and empower the Tanzanians to self sufficiency.
The Committee organized An Evening of Songs for Change with soprano Jamie Chamberlin and the Istochnik Choir to raise money for well-digging equipment in Western Tanzania. It was a beautiful event with music that blew me away. “We are literally saving lives tonight,” Jamie said after her first piece. Then she sang Ave Maria and the Istochnik’s sang Lord Have Mercy and I wept. Literally…as I was shooting, tears were streaming down my cheeks…the music was that moving.
So I’m sorry you missed a beautiful evening for a beautiful cause. But you can still help. You can still make a difference. Monetarily, sure (see donation button below). But more importantly, mindfully. Be thankful, folks. Not everyone has what we have. Not everyone has 9+ pairs of shoes to choose from, let alone one, not everyone has a Brita to quench their thirst, let alone a single clean drop…