Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ode to Dung and Community

A soft foot with a swollen ankle
Steps surreptitiously on slippery pebbles,
The off-hand moo or hog snort startles
As he approaches the animal pens,
A delicately putrid smell of dust, dung, and urine
Fill his senses for a brief moment,
But are soon replaced by other sensations,
Those of labor.

Sweat dripping across a brow, blisters forming on
Foreign regions of the hands that grapple with
Daily tasks.

Twisting corn, digging beds, mulching rows,
Milking,walking, lifting, breathing,
Then, at the precipice of exhaustion,
Fruits emerge.

Conclusive sensations in tasting the freshly picked and grown,
Milked and boiled, slaughtered and plucked , seasoned and dried and fried.
The calluses and sensations accumulate for seventy days,
Eroding away former fits of anxiety and attachment,
Loosening the eyes and the mind,
Open now to insights of dung and community.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Independence Day

Here is some Independence Day Truth: we live in a world spiraling around in despair.

I am here as an intern in Uganda for Foundation for Sustainable Development, working for St. Jude Community Farm, and I turn on the news - Choose your social ill:

Job Crisis - Middle East Fiasco - U.S. Upset in World Cup (just kidding) - Oil Spill - Poverty - Terrorism - Bank Failure... the list goes on I am sure.

I am here offering an alternative - and asking for you to join me and others here in supporting this alternative.

The program is simple, clear, and a long-term strategy to helping the youth of Masaka, Uganda (and possibly other districts across the country) to feed themselves:

30 Boys and Girls (between 12-20 years old) will join the farmers of Masaka in a
never-before-seen Apprenticeship Program. Receiving part-time salaries, opening
their own individual savings, learning about leadership and cooperative economic
development, and joining hands with sponsors across the world, the St. Jude
Apprenticeship Pilot Program will join the needs and assets of Masaka's
Adolescent Youth (ages 12-18) with the needs and assets of Community Farmers
under an Apprenticeship Program with targeted impacts of youth leadership
development, improved community entrepreneurship, farm business skills, and
cooperative scholarship savings.

We kick off their independence this Friday, July 9th, at the Contract Signing Ceremony, when each farmer receives their 2 Apprentices and both farmer and apprentice sign their individual contracts.

If this alternative inspires and makes sense to you then please read the attached program flyer, read Mike's Story, and join hands with us across the world in this groundbreaking initiative.

All checks must be made out to St. Jude Family Projects and mailed to 1119 Bonview Lane, Atlanta, GA 30324.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and Happy Independence Day,