Africa Blog #4

Wow two posts in one day! It’s a miracle!

Usually I wait until our Africa meetings every other Tuesday to post an offical Africa Blog entry. However, this morning I was just hit with several Africa related stories as I fired up the old computer and I think as it gets close to the trip, God is just really placing a lot of things on my heart. So I thought I’d do an extra post.

First, my immunizations are done. YES! 7 shots later, I am now fully immunized against most of the common diseases I could get during my trip to Africa. I still have to finish my typhoid medication but those are pills so no big deal. One thing that is bothering me still is the Malaria risk. To combat Malaria you have to take pills during and for a short time after your trip. Not a big deal except that there are wicked side effects to some of the medications. Basically there’s two medications that most people take. The first one, called Malarone, is really expensive, nearly $200 for a three week supply. It’s complications are relatively minor, but the cost makes it unattractive. The second medication, called Lariam, is very inexpensive, but it’s side effects include nightmares, psychosis and suicidal thoughts! So I don’t know man, I think I’m going to take the expensive route, just for peace of mind. Literally.

So I wanted to talk about charity a little bit this morning because as I talk to my friends and family, it seems that charity is one of those things we are content to let other people do. It’s amazing how much we puff ourselves up when we give a toy to the Marines at Christmas or we drop off our old junk to Good Will twice a year. It also amazes me when we tear people down who are doing really good things, simply because they aren’t sacrificing enough in our eyes. Maybe it makes us feel better about doing nothing ourselves?

The reason I’m talking about this is because of a story that hit the news today. Bono, from the rock group U2, has donated a Ducati motorcycle to be auctioned off for charity. Now this is pretty significant because first, Ducatis are freaking expensive. And secondly, it is giving some publicity to a group called Riders For Health which is a group of people who use motorcycles to get health care out into African villages where there is no infrastructure as we know it. However, soon after this article was posted on a blog I read, the commenters started tearing Bono down, saying that a giving up a motorcycle wasn’t any real sacrifice to Bono. And you know, this just really pisses me off. Maybe it’s not a big deal for Bono to part with a bike that costs more than the cars we drive. But damnit, until your willing to match his donation in terms of time AND money, percentage wise, with your own, you really need to keep your mouth shut.

I also wanted to pass along another blog post I ran across this morning. It’s from a family who is going to Africa to do charity work and the guy has assembled a series of pictures showing what a weeks worth of food looks like for different families around the world. You can get to the post by clicking here. There are so many things that this series of photos illustrates to me I could do a whole post on that alone. Check out the link and let me know what you think.