Monday, March 21, 2011

The Right To Be Human

I got pooped on today by an infant. I wouldn’t make that up just for a cheap laugh. It really happened. I’ve got witnesses.

I wasn’t planning to start my blog posting this way, but now you’re with me, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to keep reading to find out what happened?

On a more serious note, to today is Human Rights Day here in South Africa. There are several aspects of Human Rights that I reflect on today and I’ll share with you here.


I just finished Nelson Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. It was absolutely incredible and I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning about South Africa’s struggle against Apartheid and Madiba’s personal role in all of it. One particular part of his life that surprised me was how active he was in “the struggle” while in prison for 27 years starting in 1964. I had gotten half way in his book (which was roughly 750 pages) and had only gotten to his imprisonment. There was so much that happened while he was imprisoned on Robben Island.

It really opened my eyes and gave me some more perspective on how far South Africa has come. Even in prison with little to no consistent contact to the outside world, Mandela and others fought for true and indivisible rights of humans.


In the spirit of Human Rights Day, I want to make a plea to you to help me finish this fundraiser with one great last push. I compete in the KLM charity half-marathon this Saturday with dozens of other Peace Corps Volunteers and thousands of other general public participants. I’ve been training very hard (about 40km per week) and hope to beat my time by 10 minutes.

Please take some time and ask yourself if you can put aside $15 for this Kruger Park/Half-Marathon fundraiser. It’s the price of a quick meal out while at work. I won’t be asking for any more donations after this week. So please, if you’ve been wanting to help but put it on your to-do list, please take just a few minutes to do it now.

Sadly, I didn’t make anything near to my $1000 goal. I only came up with about $300. Last year, you helped me raise over $13oo! I know money may be tight, but just a little from all of us can really go far!

So, do you think you can help? (It’s OK, I’ll wait until you come back!)

You can go to either link to donate:

My Facebook Donation Link

My Previous Blog Posting

Are you back? Cool, thank you for donating!


Finally, I’ll share with you the poop story for all of you who were patiently waiting.

My host brother recently had a baby boy born in January. His name is Tlhompo. Here are some pictures of him:



I was over at his mother’s house this evening and got to hold him. He had just eaten, so he had a bit his stomach decided to share with his shirt. No major damage done yet…

It had been a while since I got to see my nephew. And I guess he was also really excited to see me that he just couldn’t contain himself.

Everyone turned to me once I discovered that the rumblings were not him burping, and immediately the room of women and children burst into laughter, myself included. I think that was the first time I was ever pooped on. I can’t complain that I wasn’t given anything for Human Rights Day. And Tlhompo certainly expressed his right to be human and very matter-of-factly so.

And now, I leave you with a Poo Haiku.

Happy infant on my lap

Rumbling tummy

Got to change


Please, please, consider making a donation. It’s the last chance. Here are the two links again:

My Facebook Donation Link

My Previous Blog Posting

Thanks and wish us all luck on the race this Saturday! ◊ Salang Sentle—Stay Well

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Good news all around!

First off, a quick fundraising update!

Since I forgot to get a blog update to you all last weekend, I’ll fill you in on how we’re doing on raising funds for the Kruger Park Reimbursement Fundraiser and the KLM Half-Marathon:

“Running” Total (pun cheesily intended): $300

First week: 5 people donated $75 through Facebook;  1 person donated $25 from my blog

-->Weekly goal met! Thank you!!<--

Second week: $100 donated from the blog!


I have just over 3 weeks left to raise the rest!

Your mission this week, should you choose to accept it: Be one of 7 people this week to help me raise $280 (that’s $40/person). Think it’s doable?? Let’s please try it!


To show my continued commitment to this fundraiser, I’ve been continuing to train for the 13-mile race. I’m up to 6 miles, 3 days a week with a determined group of boys ages 12-15, most running on gravel roads without shoes. Thank you for your support! And now…

Photo Intermission!


 Making tin-can ice cream on a hot summer day!


  And enjoying tin-can ice cream on a hot summer day!


 Toy foam pills turned into dinosaurs in water(shoutout to Liz “Lizasaurus Rex” Doane! Thanks!)



 Playing in the rain


Backyard sunset


P1140264(480c360)These dramatic skies appear overhead practically every summer evening and happen more often than I can remember.

Onto the truly great news!

I’d like to congratulate my sister, Eden, her husband, Seth, and their son, Austin, for their most recent addition to the family: Jonah Michael Boyer. He was born into this beautiful world on February 25, 2011, happy and healthy! The whole family is doing very well.

I’m looking forward to meeting my newest nephew in 7 months. But for now, Skype and photos will have to do.


Last few thoughts:

-I’ve been slacking on photos. I’m sorry, pictures always make things more fun to read! More to come…

-A HUGE thanks to Dr. Johnson and the faculty at St. Cloud State University for coming together to send our school some great science supplies! Safe travels to South Africa, Dr. Johnson and group!

-If you’ve already donated, THANK YOU! If you think your friend may want to support this cause, please forward the information or Facebook link!

-It’s still freakin’ hot here!


I’d love some input: what do you want to hear about that I’ve been neglecting to blog about! Leave a comment or write me an email and let me know! ◊ Salang Sentle—Stay Well

Monday, February 14, 2011