Sunday, January 28, 2007

i've decided to ride this horse in the direction it's going. what i mean is that i'm going to stop looking for an organization to take this little sweet project of ours on. it's just not working. the time for more "legitimacy" will have to be later. if ever.

i have mixed feelings about it all right now. including whether it even needs to "look' legitimate. i understand getting credit for donations is nice for the donor. and that would be the main reason, if any, that i pursued it in the future. and perhaps other organizations might respond differently? however, i do believe there are thousands, likely millions of small groups especially in third world countries flying by the seat of their pants, never knowing where the damn money will come from and simply operating out of a sincere desire to help. these may not look legit to the average american, but they're probably more legit that the average organization sucking up most of the money donated for administrative costs. yeah, it's not neat and orderly and on paper; it's frustrating to not be able to help in a huge way esp when one sees the factors that have to be seen once in the midst of it; and yeah, it would be nice to be totally sustainable. but the truth is this: you may make a tiny difference in a tiny part of a day for people who would otherwise feel the world does not even know they are there. gregorio told me this once. the world does not know they are there. this coming from a man devoted to his family and his community. and, if a child sees a possibility they didn't know off before? i guess you would have to see the light in their eyes to know what i'm talking about. so yeah it make take a generation or two, one person at a time. or one stove at a time. or one vitamin at a time. like the story of the jellyfish (or starfish). the jellyfish, (or starfish) are all washed up on the beach. a boy is seen tossing them back in the ocean one at a time. someone says, "well, why are you doing that? it seems a waste of time!" and the boy answers, "if even one survives it's worth it!"

so with that, it's totally ok to work overtime right now for this. i can't think of anything i need that rates up there like a clean burning stove in a freezing place! and steve and i will have what we need!

now, i will stop ranting.

i heard from my manager and yes! yes! yes! I got my 4 month leave of absence!!! and we have our tickets!! we'll be leaving march 26th and returning june 24th!!!

i'm working on what will be my little "study", ie., something similar to Winrock where pulmonary function tests were done, also something measuring the particulate matter in the air, (not sure how in the world to do this yet!), a a survey of fuel collecting and use habits in terms of who does it, and time spent. and i'd like to figure out a way to quantify respiratory illness but haven't come up with something i think will be measurable. my idea is to come up with a baseline and then return and see what changed. (i like studies.) other news, i got a donation of vitamins from the vitamin angel---2 cases. exciting!! i'll bring applications for pave to fill out so they can keep coming, hopefully directly. :>)

otherwise if allowed, i will start freaking out about all the little stuff to do. i am a list person right now. and i keep misplacing them.

i got back from a trip to NY not too long ago. four days and a bit difficult. i have very little practice in being there. it was nice to see my brother and i'm glad he's doing better. my folks are ok but increasingly was hard to see my mom struggle to get around. i'm afraid she'll fall down the stairs she climbs umpteen times a day to use the bathroom. or on the very uneven steps and ground outside. my dad seems fine, just sleeps more and is even more argumentative about everything, esp politics. but, they're not ready to change anything and i'm not sure of what else to do but wait for when that comes. and, of course, no one seems to be too happy i'm headed back to peru. oh well. my dad says there are folks here who need stoves too. probably so...

p.s. this is to jeff, whom i met on the plane. i found that book you mentioned on amazon!

Monday, January 15, 2007

i've been spending a big chunk of my day in front of the computer searching for humanitarian organizations that may be interested in taking what steve and i are going to do as their project. according to the attorney i saw, exisiting non profits can hold money donated towards 'stoves for sipascancha' in a separate bank account. and they can issue the right documentation in return to the donors. so yeah. i'm looking. while there are numerous organizations, it's not an easy task. i research and read about them, end up emailing and then sometimes they don't write back. imagine that! and if they do they beat around the bush. what i think is that they probably hear from alot of good folks with good ideas. and it's sheer luck to actually hit it right. like say the right thing, on the right day, with the right person. so, i'm looking for miracle. while i know we could do it ourselves, with our own funds, it just seems like this could be done! a person could make a donation covering the cost of one stove for a family, or more if they'd like. and gosh, if i could get an NGO to take us on, the legitimacy of all this could skyrocket.

tomorrow i'm faxing all the paperwork to CMMB. and by the end of the month we can get in steve's physical and his shot record. as i alluded to above, i'm totally obsessed with money right now making it, saving it, or raising it! i'm back to work on 12's and trying to work extra.

it'll all be ok, i know.

in a couple days i'm going to visit my family. and this horrible freak icy cold weather will be apparently headed in the same direction as me. unbelievable. i'll be there for four days. taking care of rather sensitive stuff. sensitive to me anyway.

and i submitted my leave of absence request. i could see it sitting on my manager's desk! (i had put it in a red folder!) but there's been no response as of yet! i am on pins and needles. in part i feel bad, like i've kept some secret from them. but in another, it seems i will be doing something like this for the rest of my life. to some degree i will always be willing to leave a job, walk away from my life for a little while, shake up my sense of what's normal and still survive.

good night, it's time for bed.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

great news! we got our airfare and medical insurance and a stipend for me (350$/month) from the Catholic Medical Mission Board!! Almost immediately on hearing from me about what we were setting up, rosemary wrote back and said she would help!! So steve and i are hustling to get our physicals, resumes and misc other paperwork to her so we can......GET OUR TICKETS!
we want to leave the last week in march and return 3 months later and be within our tourist visa of 90 days.

very exciting!! so there is a plan, there is a budget for the project (i've asked pave to go over this again and make sure its as accurate as possible), we have our expenses for the most part covered, excluding maybe some weekend excursions to the various ruins and sites. i put in for my leave of absence. i'm on pins and needles about all of that. they'll either say yes or no! I think its just this upending my life business that has me that has me somewhere between nervous and totally excited! and come the first of february, i'll be giving notice at my house so to be out by the 1st of march. and storing my stuff for a few months at my ex-husband's. i'll be staying there, or likely everywhere for the last few weeks before we go.

Steve has given his notice to Robert and to the Morning Glory and they will all be waiting for him on his return! in fact, he even has a leave from his radio show and will get to come back to the same slot and elijah will cover for him. he's busy getting house stuff arranged for his absence and he's studying quechua!

i'm writing to winrock about how they accomplished their baseline testing, the pulmonary fuction testing, etc and whether they planned to follow up on it. even though pave is approaching this independently, i'm still interested in gathering that data and doing something with it. so i'm sure the conversation will continue till we get there and then like she said, "no te preculpas."

the big thing now is fundraising. bottom line is we'll have the money. i know we will. i'm just pushing it to the edge is all. however i did visit a non-profit attorney yesterday. his advice to me was to find a humanitarian organization willing to take my project on. we would then have a bank account where people could make donations and receive the proper paperwork so to deduct it from their taxes. So i'm looking! maybe whitaker? i asked pave for a video illustrating a few homes and the current firepit situation if she can. i want the budget verified one more time! an idea i have is to suggest donations of an "installed stove" or what it would cost per family to have one. instead of pencils for peru, stoves for sipascancha. and i'll be putting out letters looking for donations for school supplies. warm clothes, and vitamins.

Next week i'm heading to NYS for a few days. if i don't visit my mom and dad and brother before i go, i swear i'll never hear the end of it! tickets are cheap and it's time.

And oh, my archives seem to have gone somewhere...i'm not sure what to do about that.