Lions and Mad Men
The stupidest thing I’ve ever done brought me dangerously close to a lion. Living in northeastern Kenya where I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the ’70s was like living in a game park. Wild animals were commonplace. There were crocodiles in the river that I rode my motorcycle through (no bridge). I often spotted gazelles, dikdiks and zebras running through the bush. Baboons and monkeys were...
I used to be a scavenger. After that, I worked in a sugarcane plantation so I...– Sherwin, a peer educator for ChildFund Philippines’ ABK2 initiative, which combats child labor by involving youth in telling their friends and other children about the importance of education and the difference between acceptable child work and exploitative child labor
Baby Essentials for World Malaria Day
I went to several showers recently for nieces who are having their first babies. Not having been to a baby shower in the U.S. for a while, it was fascinating for me to see the even wider range of baby gear that is available these days as compared to when my own kids were little. Having a baby seems to continually get more complicated. But among all of this new and fancy stuff, I didn’t spot...
'Where Have All the People Gone?'
Photo: Courtesy of AlertNet/-IFRC/Stephen Ryan As I climbed out of the small boat and onto the bridge, in front of me was pure chaos. Families, surrounded by their animals and other household possessions, were all crowded onto the highest land around, trying desperately to stay dry. Although Bangladesh floods every year, that particular year’s flood was something else. It made worldwide...
I would like to take a rest in a free and green place full of flowers and...– Reponse from a 10-year-old in Bolivia, when asked what she would do if she had a free day
My Cat Maddie
When we announced to our two children that after six years of living near Atlanta we were moving back overseas, this time to Egypt, they laid down two conditions: that we don’t sell our house and we bring our cat Maddie with us. These were two conditions my husband and I could readily support. Five-year-old Maddie became a global cat. She traveled well – sleeping contentedly in her travel bag at...
johanesindonesia asked: if you can provide help for children in Indonesia, especially for multiple disabled children
I’d give the street children a home and put them in school.– An 11-year-old in Brazil responding to the question of what he would do if he was president
Billboards Tell You Things
Photo: Jake Lyell You can tell something about a country from its billboards. Whenever I travel, I’m always reading them – noting what they are selling, how they portray people and important issues of the day. My fact-finding starts on the ride from the airport. That is, if I can stay awake after flying what often seems like halfway around the world. No billboard research stands out more in my...
Nailing your flip-flop to the sole of your foot is no laughing matter. It hurts. That was a usual occurrence when I was a Peace Corps volunteer many years ago. The area where I worked was very hot and dry and full of arcadia bushes. These bushes would drop their nasty thorns all over the ground. If you didn’t pay attention, zap, they got you! You would step on a thorn that would go straight...
One of the things that we learned through these discussions is that girls also...– a 17-year-old Angolan boy who participated in a peer-led training session on gender-discrimination awareness
"But Mom, do they speak English?"
Whenever I would tell my family I was bringing colleagues from work or visitors home for dinner, the first question my young son would ask is, “Are any kids coming?” If the answer was yes, I would start listing their names, ages, etc. My son would inevitably interrupt me and ask, “But Mom, do they speak English?” This happened regardless of whether we were living overseas (my family lived in...
A CEO's April Fool's Mistake
I learned the hard way that when you become a CEO you can’t make jokes like you did before you held the top job. With my old organization, I pulled a few April Fool’s jokes that others really loved. They always took the same form (I guess I’m not very original): I would send out an e-mail saying something outrageous and see how many people I could fool. My favorite was during a time we were having...