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Experiencing a bit of post NaNo blues after staying up to celebrate on the forums and then could not sleep well. I am proud of and happy for everyone who made it through November. I can hardly wait to set up my winner icon! i cannot decide between cool viking ship or chalice of java [though it looks good enough to drink].

Now, today, to me begins the real Xmas season, though I did open some decor over the weekend AFTER Santa ended the parade. NOW we can begin the season of giving, after we have given thanks for what we do have. I have some major issues with the shopping frenzy that accompanies this time of year, especially when there is so much economic and political turmoil these days. I think it is a good time to think about what we really want to share with our families, friends and the world around us.

Today is World AIDS Day and coincidentally, it is also the launching date for Mocha.org. I wrote about this new campaign/site last week, but they have officially opened. The link I had before may not have worked. They asked some bloggers to respond to the statement “I need Africa more than Africa needs me” and they have answered with their own response which I will share with you now.

I NEED AFRICA MORE THAN AFRICA NEEDS ME

When I think of Africa, the following images immediately come to mind: Starvation.  AIDS.  Child soldiers.  Genocide.  Sex slaves.  Orphans.  From there, my thoughts naturally turn to how I can help, how I can make a difference. “I am needed here,” I think. “They have so little, and I have so much.” It’s true, there are great tragedies playing out in Africa everyday.  There is often a level of suffering here that is unimaginable until you have seen it, and even then it is difficult to believe.  But what is even harder is reconciling the challenges that many Africans face with the joy I see in the people. It’s a joy that comes from somewhere I cannot fathom, not within the framework that has been my life to this day. [read more]



I am sipping a [homemade] mocha right now and counting my December 1st blessings. Happy Twelfth Month!!

I was asked to consider this statement and what it means to me. It did not take me long to come to the very simple conclusion that Africa represents the beginning of human history and therefore, our very existence is connected to Africa. That is my deep answer. I am sure that there are some folks out there who may dispute that fact [you betcha 😉 ] but science, anthropology, history and yes, theology generally lead back to the same area. I also concluded that if the birth of mankind began in the African continent then it is not too hard of a stretch to believe that our world-wide rebirth can also be centered there. In contributing to the renewal and growth of African nations and people, we can ensure the growth of our international community and culture. As Africa goes, so, too, do we. It’s the basic Ripple effect.

It is easy, for some, to pretend that the other half of the world is somehow behind us or backwards. Those folks tend to walk through life with blinders on, but those of us with open eyes and open minds are already noticing that it really is a small world, after all [sorry, still my fave Disney song 🙂 ]…not to sound facetious, because seriously, the world is shrinking as far as communications, commerce, politics and science go. If we have learned nothing else from our war, we should realize by now that what happens on the other side of the world does effect us, too.

For many of us westerners, our perception of Africa, [which is a continent, btw, consisting of 53 separate nations] is based on the pictures we see of refugees and famine. It is hard not to associate the entire continent with such images, but that is equivalent to associating all of the USA with the 90210  zip code. It is time that we learn more about this large part of our world culture. The organizers of Mocha.org are organizing a networking action site which will link our own education with an opportunity to help and contribute to African, and therefore, world culture. The basic idea is centered around my favorite bevarage, the mocha. If we java junkies can live without 2 extra mochas [or lattes or red bulls, what’s your poison?] a month and we send that $7 towards a project we choose to support, then we can contribute more to world growth [and maybe sleep a bit better]. They go a step further and offer groups, organizations and even celebs personal pages so we can network and watch the progression together.

After participating in the Blog Action Day project and really enjoying being part of such a powerful movement, I was pleased to be approached for a similar project. First of all, the power of the Internet and bloggers in particular, to contribute to the world dialogue and activist culture is in a trite word, awesome. {The word itself is not trite if you consider the original meaning, but of course has since been trivialized by over- and mis-use. I’m taking it back.} Secondly, and the organizers are smart on this one, they were apparently reaching out to bloggers participating in National Blog Posting Month, many of whom, by now may be scratching their heads or other parts trying to think of what to blog about. Of course, I always have that other thing happening this month, but those posts are getting somewhat repetitive and redundant. So if you are a BloPoer or PoMoer, or just have your own thoughts on this statement or the action, here is a topic for today’s post…or heck, any day is good. Please feel free to share your thoughts on what that statement means to you, here, too.

Of course, I did my research before agreeing to share with my readers and suggest you do the same. They plan to open the official site December 1st, and I will have more information then but you can already get information there and start to sign up for a project which utilizes personal activism, international organization and social networking. Groups and individuals can use their own soc net pages and bloggers can use their sites too. So anyone who is looking for a project to contribute to or participate in may be interested.

Personally, I know I want to use my writing to contribute to the greater good and improve the world [if not just my own karma points] As I proceed in my blogging experience, I hope to find more ways to use my blog for good. I still consider this blog primarily a “writer’s blog” but do not want to continually indulge my tendency to block myself and go into anxiety overload.

And yes, I can link this whole thing to NaNo because, I kid you not, I quoted this song in my story and it actually contributes to a character. I will end with this Utube selection because I invite you to check out the lyrics and because Simba is so darn cute.

I know that I must do what’s right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure whats deep inside, frightened of this thing that Ive become

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