Hey, everyone. Long time no blog posts, I know.
Why is this?Because I am happy. Simply, happy and occupied writing, creating healthy cooking videos for the non-profit Organics4Orphans, and learning what it means to live on little and enjoy life every bit as much.
I’m in Kenya, Africa right now – Kitale, to be exact – and put off writing about the experience until I felt a prompt gifted from God.
I’ve been writing plenty for work, which has been good. I’ve been writing plenty for school, which has been fine. And I’ve even been scribbling – er, writing – lots for the awesome non-profit I’m volunteering with…
But there’s been little to write about it for this blog.
Perhaps this is because there is a huge difference between peoples’ worldview in the United States and in Africa.
Africa, as I’ve probably stated a million times, is one of the ‘dream destinations’ I’ve wanted to explore since I was 9 years old. The inspiration was placed on my heart through a vision of giraffes, elephants, and more, and I just KNEW down to the core of who I am that I’d go there some day.
It definitely hasn’t disappointed. BUT, there has been just as much heartbreak as delight.
Did you know that roughly 50% of EVERYONE on the continent of Africa lives in extreme poverty, which means they get by on less than $1.25/day?
What could you buy with $1.25 day?
As my dad said when I Skyped him, “I couldn’t even get a candy bar for that price here [South Dakota]!”. True.
You can’t get a lot for $1.25 in the US, but in Africa – if you’re trying to feed yourself and your four family members, you could get a large package of cornmeal/ground maize and a couple pounds of kale.
These ingredients would be made into Sukuma Wiki (Kenyan dish, cooked kale with (optional onions) and a splash of oil, and Ugali (cornmeal and water). Oh – and they’d last about 3 days.
That’s what people who work 40-60 hours a week are able to afford and get by on in order to take care of their families.
AND, believe it or not, the majority of them are some of the kindest and most spirited individuals I’ve ever met.
Which is why I’ve been contemplating. A lot.
How can we help these people thrive, not just survive? Organics4Orphansis offering the best remedy I know of, to be honest, and that’s why I’m here and volunteering with them.
The non-profit trains people to teach communities – free of charge – how to grow organic, biodynamic gardens and provide for themselves and their community. In addition, they teach them how to combat illness – such as malaria – by using God’s herbs (Artemisia – look it up) and natural medicine.
By enabling people to grow organic gardens (which are more affordable, as they require no pesticides and only compost/natural fertilizer) and heal themselves through the foods they do grow, they’re helping people become self-sufficient.
The non-profit is ensuring that the millions of orphans and widows are provided for in a healthy and sustainable way, and they’re providing jobs for Organic Agricultural Trainees to spread the message of God’s love all over Africa.
Already, I believe, the non-profit is working in 14 countries (despite being only 5 years old), and it’s hiring more trainees every year to teach communities how to grow organic, nourishing food for FREE every year.
I could go on and on (and perhaps I already did), but I’m mentioning this because I’m doing what I can to help change the situation… And I’d really love for you to do your part, as well. Visit the website to learn more, if you can, and consider donating.
Now, where was I?
Recently, God placed in my heart the inspiration to help a very close friend living here, who we’ll call *Natalie (changed for her privacy). She is an amazing individual with six kids, and a few of them have been troubled with physical and mental disadvantages.
Still, she perseveres.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for her to only have pennies (shillings) to scrape together to feed her family, which is why I just felt that a donation of some sort was needed.
Lo and behold, I was right. Or, God, of course, was right.
As it turns out, she hasn’t had money to buy food for her family, and was worried her kids would go hungry.
So, I gave her $20.
As you know from reading above, that is major money in Africa.
But in the United States, that amount of money can be wasted in a blink of an eye: a lottery ticket, coffee for two or three, breakfast at a restaurant, filling up the gas tank (okay, not quite a ‘waste’), and so on and so forth.
She was nearly moved to tears by the donation which – again – stunned me into contemplative silence. And, eventually, inspired me to write this piece.
Although a large percent of Americans are living in ‘poverty’ due to inflation, the recession, and low income, the situation is worse in Africa.
People could live very comfortably in the US, in my opinion, if they consumed less and appreciated more.
That’s what a large majority of people in Africa are forced to do in order to simply survive.
I’m not typing this up to guilt you or anything, but I think a change of perception is needed – especially in our ever-evolving and changing world.
Do you realize how BLESSED you are? Do you realize the incredible FREEDOMS you enjoy, every single day? Do you know how LITTLE you actually need to be happy, and the sacrifice billions around the world are going through just to provide for their family?
This plane of existence is NOT easy by any means, but that IS changing. And I humbly feel that personal, internal change is what sparks a revolution among the masses.
Not a revolution of arms, but an evolution of consciousness, to consume less, love more, and be grateful EVERY darn day…
Hopefully, by glimpsing a bit of what others are going through around the world, you are blessed with more humility and heart to do what you can to create a better world for all.
It starts with you being the best version of yourself and transmuting negativity through love.
Thank you. xo