Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Err... Hi?

So I doubt anybody is still reading (because who would? I never post), but I figured I'd check in. Because I want to ask for something. (Figures.)

I actually started writing a post about a month ago. I got as far as saying, "I suck for not posting, but apologizing is uninteresting to read about, so here's a funny story:"

And then... It turned out I didn't HAVE a funny story.

Life here has become sadly (or comfortingly?) routine.

Although the next week I went on a reporting trip to Burkina Faso, where my new friend/colleague took me to get grilled chicken, promising me that the chicken would still be alive when we got there.

I told him he was kidding.

He said, "Okay."

He wasn't kidding.

So sometimes life can still surprise me.

But in the meantime, I'm writing to see if you all want to help my friend Marie-Suzanne do something really cool.

(FYI, if this looks familiar, I asked star bloggers A. Maria and Jeanne to post about this as well, since I don't really think anybody still comes to my blog...)

Anyway, I'll let Marie-Suzanne tell you about the project in her own words (which I translated from French):

My name is Marie-Suzanne Seck. I live in Mont Rolland, a village in the Thies region. I am twenty years old.

I have found that the girls in my village are not very aware of AIDS and early pregnancy. I want to do a workshop for this in August, because all the young people are there for a festival. I am writing to ask for help.

In my village, I know 15-year-old girls who have gotten pregnant. At fifteen, you have many boyfriends and you do not know which one got you pregnant. If you say to one that it was him, he will say it wasn’t me. If you say to another, he’ll say it wasn’t me. And then you will be obligated to raise the baby on your own. Sometimes the family understands, sometimes they don’t.

As for AIDS, I had the idea because we did an anti-AIDS workshop one time in Mont Rolland for that, and I thought to myself that we should organize many to help young people and speak to them about illnesses.

For the activities, I would like, first of all, that the young people discuss together. Afterwards, I want to have two skits, one for AIDS, one for youth pregancy. After that, we will pose questions, and if someone gets it right, we will give them a present (for example, a condom, or a ticket for a dance night that we are organizing that night). We will also have some singers. I have asked a friend to write two songs : one for AIDS, one for youth pregnancy.

The evening, I want to have a dance party for the young people to encourage them to come. It will be free for everyone who came for the day’s activities. If someone else would like to come, they will have to pay 500 CFA (about $1).

I have already reserved the hall and I have started to organize the details. But I don’t have enough money to do it all. I have compiled a budget, and in all, the workshop and party will cost about $200. I hope that you could help.

Thanks for your understanding.

We wrote that letter to send to local NGOs to ask for funding and help. One of them is going to provide logistical support and free condoms, but they aren't able to help financially.

But I think this is a fantastic project, so I thought I'd ask my friends in the computer for some help. If you would be willing to chip in $5 or $10, it would go a long way towards helping Marie-Suzanne reach her goal.

If you're interested, you can send money to me (naomims at the email run by g0ogle, and damn you spammers) through paypal.

And in the meantime... What's new?