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November 16, 2006

Forming An Organization

I've had a very interesting meeting. There are a few of us who are motivated to continue serving Africa, and Kenya specifically. We met tonight with the perception that while we all have ideas on how we can help people in Africa, yet alone it is difficult to accomplish anything. I'm interested in rural clinics, others are concerned with educating and treating patients with AIDS and other diseases, or want to work in hospitals educating the medical personnel there about basics like BLS and preventing sepsis. There is so much to be done, so much need, that it is daunting, even intimidating, when faced by yourself. Hence, having a group of like-minded folks to help carry your ideas makes it seem possible that you might actually make a difference.

That sounds quite serious, morose even, but we're a fun bunch. We just got together and mulled through some ideas, some interests, and considered the ideas we have. We talked about forming a nonprofit organization to fund projects, but decided that there are several of those already that we can utilize. We have a lot of ideas, that seems to be the lacking factor in many organizations. They have the money, but not the ideas and insight to successfully infuse that cash to where it needs to be put. We are considering working with the Hope Alliance, an organization that is partnered with Choice Humanitarian, but perhaps more medically geared. We would also consider hitting up Duke University and other big organizations for funding.

I think the most exciting part of forming an organization like this is that there is the real potential that we can help. Looking back on the trip to Kenya that Jess and I took, I realize that I brought back far more knowledge than I imparted, and that I didn't necessarily provide any real physical help for the clinic. It was much more of a learning experience, an opportunity to delve into a situation and see what the needs are, where the weaknesses lay, and to lay the foundation for actually really helping in the future. That is what this organization is going to be about.

It would be a shame for me to just to go to Kenya and to come back to my life, slip it back on, and continue as though nothing was different. No, it wouldn't be just a shame, it would be irresponsible. I actually feel honored, blessed that I had this experience, and I can't believe that it would be simply that, just an experience, solitary, isolated, and meaningless. I can't believe that it won't affect both my life and Jess's life. That is not an option in my mind.

So, we're lookin' for people. That's a real strange way to sell it, but we are. We want you, as Uncle Sam would say. We want ideas, we want people who have a passion to help. Think of this as the most important help-wanted ad you've ever seen, because we really want to make this happen. We want to form an organization that is able to take nurses and doctors to big hospitals in Mombasa to hold seminars and talks, to teach and educate; there is such potential here. We want to spread out from Mombasa, to hold free clinics and build permanent ones, and again cycle through doctors and nurses who want to make a difference. If you want to be a part of this, to be a part of creating and building an organization, then you need to contact Aaron. Seriously now, we want ideas and inspiration, and we want people who are interested in taking trips to Kenya to fulfill these ideas and dreams.

Phew! So that's my little bit, my minute on the soapbox. It really was a good meeting, and there were real ideas in the room. That is inspirational in itself.

Anyhow, I finished three photo books. Turns out they are a little expensive to produce; if anyone has any ideas on how to get them produced more cheaply, let me know. If you want to see a PDF version of the book, click on the titles below:
If you are interested in purchasing a book, let me know. I am deciding on how many of the books to purchase, as it is possible to save on shipping with multiple books, and I am also looking for a different publisher - currently I am planning on just having Apple publish the books.

Anyhow, I look forward to any ideas that people have.

November 08, 2006

Pictures From Kenya

I've been working hard on getting pictures up on my website. I had over 3000 to go through. I ended up deciding on 650 of them to put up. I had to clean these up a little, then resize and rename them. I had to put up pages for them, and put captions under each.

Phew! And it's not all done. What I want to do is put exerpts from my personal daily journal that I kept on each page. The journal was really long, so there should be plenty of material to use. But that I will work on that slowly.

At least the pictures are up for viewing. I've separated them into weekly sections. I also broke the pictures of the national parks (Shimba Hills, Tsavo East & West, and Amboseli) into their own sections, since there were so many pictures of those. Click Here for the link, or copy this link as well to get to my photo website:


At least with the captions, you'll be able to tell what the pictures are. I've got to go through and lighten some pictures. The uploading to the Internet darkened some. Also, check back in a week or so to read the journal entries I'll be adding.

It's good to be back in the US. I'm busy, not only with the pictures, but I'm designing three books of Kenya pictures, and I'm also collecting my thoughts for both a presentation at work as well as an article I'd like to publish. I also am trying to figure out how to fundraise for the Kokotoni Clinic, and am writing up my recommendations. Finally, I'm already thinking and planning for next year. So there is a lot of interesting things running through my head. I'll present some of the better events here.

 Anyone with ideas, please let me know.