My mission statement~

I intend on "trying" to live a life that is about: not putting in my mouth things that are bad for me or have come from an animal that was treated cruely while alive on this earth and during slaughter, creating lasting fond memories for my children and grandchildren, adventure, challenging myself, respect others regardless of species, race, color or creed, taking risks, having fun, being grateful, respecting myself & my body, being authentically myself, taking responsibility for my actions, being proactive, being a problem solver, taking action, introspection, transition, change, honesty, growth, loving & helping others, having integrity, doing my best, being easy on myself, enjoying this world, becoming well read, seeing the wonder of it all and never allowing fear to hold me back!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Wedding is this weekend..........and Philanthropy

This is my "firstborn" Megs and Jonathan!
They are having a wedding celebration this weekend!
They are an amazing couple and human beings~
They are asking that no one give them gifts.........
well, here you can read it for yourself;)
(The following is taken from their wedding site)
We’re packing up and moving again... this time to Dakar, Senegal (on the west coast of Africa).
We feel so fortunate to have everything we need or want in our lives. There’s nothing else we could do to be more happy, so we feel the only thing to do is to help other people in need of something, whether it be food, shelter, peace, or love.


We applied to and were accepted by Peace Corps, but while we waited for a placement we did a lot of research and read the blogs of Peace Corps volunteers, and we decided we might be able to be of more use independently, placing ourselves in the world versus having Peace Corps place us. (We received our placement in June - it was Vanhuatu, an island in the South Pacific - hard to pass up, but again, we found that we could be more useful and be more fulfilled intellectually trying to help independently.)
Having loved our time in Morocco, but still wanting to go somewhere a little different than where we’d been before, we decided on West Africa. In March we started researching organizations to volunteer or work for. In the midst of this, our dear friend Ricci came to visit us in Spain. She’s been living in Senegal since January, and her trip to Spain was supposed to be a stopover on her way back to the U.S. She went back to Senegal however, and her love of the country placed it in our top choices. Then, of all the organizations that we researched, Tostan stood out loud and clear as a perfect match for Megan to work full time with. Still, we kept doing more research, Jonathan believing he would have much more to offer in an English-speaking country (they speak French in Senegal). After expressing this concern to the staff at Tostan, however, they informed us about a “literacy through text-messaging” project they are trying to develop, for which J would not need to communicate in French immediately.



So, after interviewing and signing commitment contracts, we are off to Dakar, where Jonathan will continue working for Scholastic while volunteering his free time to help with the texting for literacy project, and Megan will work (volunteer) full time for Tostan as a project coordinator assistant, initially helping to develop an education program for women in prison. Tostan is a fabulous organization, and we encourage you to read about their philosophy, strategy, and successes at Tostan.org.
So, since we already have everything we could possibly need, we ask you not to bring gifts for us, but to help us help others. We originally wanted to donate a large some of money to either Tostan, Heifer.org, or Plumpy-Nut, all of which we’ve researched heavily and have great respect for. We’d really like to have more of a role in the way the money is used however, so we’d like to become a lender in a pool of micro-credit lenders and borrowers. Many people in the world have no way of earning cold hard cash, but they might need just a little of it to start up a shop, buy some livestock, or go to school. It’s called micro-credit because it is such a small amount compared to our standards - were talking loans starting at $25 (and of course for more than that as well.)


And since we will be loaning the money, the money will come back to us and we will be able to keep the money in circuit, continuously helping people get off their feet. (We have created a separate bank account for this money to keep track of it.) We will most likely lend through Kiva.org, a community where lenders can find borrowers and borrowers can talk about what they want the money for and also demonstrate their past rates of re-payment. It’s not even charity, bur rather a minuscule version of our system of student loans, mortgages, and car-loans. It’s amazing to think that what a nice shirt or dinner costs here could enable someone to drastically change his or her entire life.

“We must discover a new respect for what transcends us; for the universe, for the earth, for nature, for life and for reality. Our respect for other people, for other nations, and for other cultures, can only grow from a humble respect for the cosmic order and from an awareness that we are a part of it, that we share in it and that nothing of what we do is lost or forgotten, but rather becomes part of the eternal memory of being, where it is judged.”
Vaclav Havel

"I cannot fully express with words, the joy I feel to know she is my daughter and he is my son-in-law" I love you two~love your mama!

24 comments:

Chrissea said...

Your daughter seems awesome! What a WONDERFUL person. I'm visiting by way of Carmi's, because I thought your comment about him being cute, was cute! I really like the pictorial on your sidebar and Wow - how did u ever put together that list of music!
Welcome to Blogging.

Tara Ann said...

How neat! You must be a very proud mama :)

P.S. Congrats on the new job too!

Beki said...

Wow. What an impressive and noble couple. I know you must be bursting with pride. I hope it is a wonderful celebration!!

laughingwolf said...

hiya ag, thx for dropping over :)

welcome back, any time....

and nicely done, maw ;)

Keli said...

They sound like fabulous, unselfish people! You should be very proud!

McEwens said...

I came over cause of your comment on scarppys blog! WHAT A GREAT thing they are doing! I went to ghana and LOVED it! the people are WONDERFUL!

Toni said...

How wonderful! Congrats to the lovely couple on their up-incoming marrriage, and congrats to you for gaining such a wonderful son.

ga.farmwoman said...

What a beautiful couple, inside and out.
Now that sounds like an adventure!
I know you are so proud of them and for them.
Congratulations to you all.
Pam

Mechelle said...

You have done your job well Mom. I will be so pleased if my kids have 1/2 the altruistic attitude your daughter and soon to be son in law have. Thanks for sharing this. m

Egghead said...

Wow what a wonder young couple. They are inspiring. I came here from Kate at Chronicles of a Country Girl. I will be back.

Mary said...

What caring, wonderful young people -- the world needs many more like them. You must be so proud!

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

This is truly fantastic news.. congratulations to the wonderful young couple... what a tremendous post to read.... oh wow... you must be beaming!!!
You have got to be the proudest person in the world!

frugalmom said...

Thats an amazing story. How proud you must be of them!

papercages said...

Congrats--Your pride is showing. And rightly so. :) Nice post--nice blog. See you again soon. Thanks for dropping by my place.

Tracey said...

Well you should be one very proud mama....what a wonderful couple :)

Greyscale Territory said...

What an amazing couple! Their passion for helping actively is incredible! A wonderful tribute post to them!

Carolynn said...

Now THAT'S an adventure! What an amazing pair they are. You have every right to overflow with pride in them. And, they're both so cute too!!

Jo said...

What a wonderful post! How did I miss it??? You must be so proud of them. I think it would be wonderful to be young and to be able to go to a country like that and contribute. You will have to keep us posted!!!!

Jeannelle said...

Yes.....you have much reason to be proud and happy over this couple! How wonderful what they are doing. If only more of us were motivated in that direction......helping others and the world.

Many marriage blessings to them!

heiresschild said...

how exciting about the upcoming wedding.

i've been thinking about joining the Peace Corps. the U of MD has meetings sometimes where i can go and learn more and talk to people who've been. i wish you all the best. i came via Jo's blog.

i've been blogging for about 4 yrs, and absolutely love it. it's such a BIG part of my life.

richies said...

It is so great to see people not only concerned about other, but actualy doing something. There are too many Americans that just don't care what happens in the rest of the world

Becky :) said...

Heidi, you have every right to be oh so proud of both of them. They are amazing in their giving nature.

I will certianly keep them in my thoughts and prayers as they make this move and transition over there.

Look at this way, at least you have somewhere outside of the US to visit.

kouji said...

they do seem amazing. :) and i love that they're coursing some of their help through kiva. i love the idea of microfinance in this manner.

reluctantfarmchik said...

Oh wow- that's so awesome. Your daughter has your "Adventure Girl" spirit. That's so cool. Hope they raked in a heap at their wedding (I saw that post several weeks ago). So much fun, to be embarking on this new chapter. I wish them all the best.