Thursday, March 8, 2012

Making a Difference

You know when you watch those commercials or news reports that show starving children in Africa, entire villages destroyed by earthquakes, or refugees from a war-torn country? You either feel super depressed about the direction the world is going or you feel really inspired to make a difference! But then you think, what can I do? Just one little person in this huge world....

Last Friday I asked my friend out for Preference Week and we went to the Hunger Banquet. It was actually really cool! It is a big event at BYU that raises awareness about poverty and world hunger. About 70% of the people that go have to sit on the ground and they get to share a bowl of rice and beans between two people. Another small percentage get to sit on chairs, they are the "middle class", and they get to eat a hot dog, chips, and soda. Then the very small elite "upper class" gets to sit at nice tables with like a 5 course meal or something delicious. Though we may not eat 5 course meals every night, that represents us. 

While my date and I were sitting down watching everyone come in we talked about "making a difference". Everyone wants to feel like they contribute to society and everyone wants to change the awful things that happen in the world. I always feel that way when I travel. Having been to a few countries around the world, I feel like I've been exposed to a lot things, both good and bad. Traveling lets you see other cultures and wonders of the world, but it also opens your eyes to the filth, poverty, hunger, despair, and challenges that so many people of this world deal with. Those are things many Americans never have to worry about. Sure, I'm a "starving" college student who has "no" money. But I have food in my cupboards, and I have financial help from my parents. There are so many things that we take for granted in this life. 
These are some pictures I took in Egypt of people who really don't have much. Traveling to these places taught me a lot.

We stopped by this little village and ended up giving them the leftovers from our lunches (it wasn't that good, but they were so grateful!)

The Hunger Banquet featured Maya Ajmera, social entrepreneur and founder of the Global Fund for Children. She told some really inspiring stories about how she has made a difference, through educating children and doing all sorts of things. I left the banquet a little hungry, not just for more food, but with a desire to DO something. To somehow help the world. 

My roommate Faith has done some really cool things with the organization Help International. She went to Guatemala and Tanzania and she definitely saw the difference she made in the children she taught and the projects they did. All the money that the Hunger Banquet made on tickets is going to this cool organization called Koins for Kenya, and they build wells in Kenya so that they can have clean water. Pretty great, huh? That is one of the biggest problems in Africa, people get super sick just from drinking the water! 

That's Faith in Tanzania, the beautiful blonde in the middle. Aren't those kids precious!

Some of you may be aware of the KONY 2012 film and campaign that is going on, specifically on facebook, that is raising awareness about Invisible Children and Joseph Kony. He abducts children in Uganda and forces them to join his army, or turns them into sex slaves, among other horrific things. I watched the 30 min video today and it filled me with loathing and disgust in the awful people of this world, but also with pride and hope in the people who really are making a difference. 

It is possible. It might just be donating some money (since some have plenty to spare) or maybe just sharing on facebook or on a blog. I think each person has the ability to add hope and light to a world that is often filled with despair and darkness. Teach it to your children, your friends, your neighbors, and your community. With the internet, we can do SO much good! If you have time, watch this video and learn more about what is happening in Uganda and other countries in Africa. Be inspired, and maybe you can do something to make a difference.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Baby Hungry

February was a fun month. I spent President's Day weekend with my sisters and brother-in-law in Washington D.C.! It was a blast. My sister Ann Marie had her baby shower and it was so great to be there for it! She is due April 4th, with a little baby boy who's name will be Jack (Richard) Dalton. Good name, right? Well, Sarah came down from New York City with the most delicious and adorable cupcakes I have yet seen. And that's saying something since I live in Provo. These cupcakes were about the size of a quarter, just big enough to pop one after another into your mouth. They also had flavors such as: peanut butter and jelly, oreo, s'mores, blueberry, tie die (?), cookie dough, and many more. We wrote Jack's name with the cupcakes, as you can see 

Also, Sarah and I made juice/punch and put bath toys in it. It was pretty cute.

Well it was a good weekend to spend with my sisters. But the weekend after that was spent with the rest of my family! Mom and Dad came to SLC from the Great Northwest and we chilled at the Condo with Jeff, Kira, Baby Jeff, and Matt - the birthday boy! 
Mostly we ate lots of food and played with Jeffrey, but it was a blast. As per request of my similarly baby-hungry sisters, here are pictures of the beloved nephew. Have you noticed a trend in my blog posts...?

who could resist that face?

He likes to squint now when he laughs. It's adorable.

Time to bundle up!

Favorite Picture

He sure loves his football

Soon I'll have another nephew to take over my blog! Gosh I'm excited. 
Also, I got a 98% on my parenting test today, so I was happy.
Also, it's preference week in my ward which means we have ask out boys....i don't like it. I'm just saying that I fully appreciate how hard it is so...I hope I never have to do it again.