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Published: October 6th 2018
As I get ready to begin my 40th spin around the sun, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the good fortune that has surrounded my life for the most part. The last of 4 children between my parents, my journey was arguably the easiest of anyone in the family. No longer was mom washing ziplock bags for reuse or dad pinching supplies off the railroad, ha! I grew up in one of the nicer neighborhoods in my hometown surrounded by trees, friends and opportunity. My parents gave me every chance to succeed from supporting my football (soccer) aspirations through countless camps and even a tournament in Europe, to my needed move West to start afresh for my college years.
Since then I have seen a few places, 51 countries and counting, worked in a few cool places, Alaska/Hawaii/Turkey/Taiwan/Indonesia, and experienced a lot of awesome events from 2 World Cups to teachings by the Dalai Lama. I have suffered as well from dengue fever in Australia to being robbed and left unconscious in the streets of Bolivia. It has been an incredible journey and my well of empathy runs deep due to my breadth of experience.
The sum of all these
experience has accentuated my already sensitive personality. Watching and sometimes even reading the news brings tears to my eyes. Even if we are living in one of the most peaceful times in the history of Earth, war, disease, poverty and natural disasters still affect a disproportionate amount of people. It is the recent natural disasters in Indonesia that I want to talk about here.
Indonesia is the longest I have lived anywhere since I left my home as a teenager. It has provided me with many peak experiences from hearing tigers call on Sumatra, walking in the Central Highlands of Papua to scaling the impossibly beautiful peak of Mount Rinjani on Lombok. Lombok was recently rocked by the largest earthquakes in its history which led to the deaths of nearly 600 people. I rarely watch TV as I get most of news from Twitter. So when I followed an article link (https://goo.gl/cnCnyh
) to a YouTube video that showed the immediate horror and devastation rendered by the August 5th earthquake, I knew I wanted to help out. Peduli Anak is a nonprofit that supports disadvantaged children on Lombok. Thankfully when I visited this past week, they now have tents and
all the basic supplies that they need. I dropped off a week's supply of vitamins for the 80 children ranging from 1 to 18 years old. Rebuilding is in full swing and amidst that noise children study in a few rooms that have been determined safe. Each room of about 10x10 meters has 3 grade levels studying inside. The first goal is building several earthquake resistance classrooms that will also serve as dormitories until more housing can be built. For more information about Peduli Anak, follow this link: https://www.pedulianak.org/
. I wanted to make this my cause to donate via Facebook for my birthday, however, I just found out that the supporting a cause option is not available here. There are a number of ways you get involved by following this link: https://www.pedulianak.org/the-earthquakes/
. Apart from assisting with the construction funding, you can also sponsor children to help cover education and living costs. This appears to be a very run programs which I saw evidence of when I visited. Here is a link for those interested: https://www.pedulianak.org/child-support-plan/
As I made my plans to visit Lombok, another disaster struck Sulawesi which lies about 1000 miles NE of Lombok. I have made 2
visits to this stunning island, and the last visit ended in Palu which was the scene of apocalyptic scenes on September 28th when an earthquake was followed by a tsunami. The situation is still fluid there and basic supplies are needed. If you would like to donate to this cause here is a list of reputable organizations on the ground: https://coconuts.co/bali/features/donate-victims-indonesias-devastating-tsunami-earthquake-trustworthy-charities-2/
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