Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wallace Falls

This morning we headed out for a day hike at Blanca Lake but as we continued on our drive, the weather was getting worse. We figured we wouldn’t have much visibility for the beautiful views so decided to do one we’d already done and that was even a little closer. Interestingly enough, it happened to be the first hike Justin and I ever did together, sort of, as a group activity with The Bridge, the young professionals ministry where we met. As usual, Scout was pretty excited to be out prancing around. Without paying much attention when we first started, we accidentally took the Railroad Trail for the first ~2 miles, which was pretty flat and easy going. Once it merged with the woodland trail, we had a easy-moderate climb to the Lower, Middle and Upper Wallace Falls. It rained a little off and on, nothing too bad. We enjoyed a packed lunch at the top and then headed back out. Here is the photo roundup.

Wallace Falls 014

Wallace Falls 020

Wallace Falls 009

Wallace Falls 028

Wallace Falls 034

Wallace Falls 030

Wallace Falls 035

Wallace Falls 041

Wallace Falls 004

And all tuckered out on the way home!

Wallace Falls 056

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Water Project

The Water Project, help bring clean water to Africa

Did you know nearly 1 billion people in the world do not have access to clean water?  Access to clean water affects health, hunger, poverty and education.

Health begins with access to clean water. HIV/AIDS is a disease that just ravages the body’s immune system. How can you live with this disease if the water you drink is so dirty that even the healthiest of people, with intact immune systems, get sick? You cannot treat HIV/AIDS or even manage the symptoms if you do not have access to clean water. Having access to clean water can drop infant mortality rates by 50%. And people cannot work if they are sick. Many of the reasons that un-developed areas of the world remain so is that they are caught in a cycle of poverty that is often the result of very poor health and nutrition.

Relieving hunger in Africa has to begin with access to clean water. It may seem simple, but we forget that without water, food is impossible to grow and difficult to preserve and prepare. It takes huge amounts of water to grow food. Did you know it takes 2400 liters of water to produce a hamburger? 70 liters for an apple? 185 liters for a bag of chips? Water is fundamental to relieving hunger in the developing world

One of the greatest causes of poverty in Africa is the lack of access to clean drinking water.  Access to clean water is the foundation of all development. The lack of water is therefore an often insurmountable obstacle to helping oneself. You can't grow food, you can't build housing, you can't stay healthy, you don't go to school and you can't keep working. Without clean water, poverty is inevitable.

Everyday, women and young girls carry over 20kg of water from sources over 7km from their homes and villages in Kenya. This leaves little time for education which is critical to changing the long term prospects of developing nations. Schools cannot run programs if they cannot provide water to students, faculty and their families. Because so many adults are sick from unclean water, children are often left to manage homes, provide food and look after the sick. With the many additional burdens that a lack of clean water brings, education simply becomes less of a priority. This sets up an unfortunate cycle of poverty as without a proper education, there is little chance of improving one's situation later in life.

Take a few minutes to think about how many times you use water everyday, without even a thought! To take a shower, use the toilet, wash your hands, prepare food, drink! We literally have water at out fingertips and yet nearly 1billion people are without. Please consider making a donation to The Water Project, an organization that funds both the technical assistance and supplies needed for communities to build wells, small dams, rain catchment systems and/or water filters. For as little as $10, you can help provide water for a person for 10 years.  Consider making a donation in someone’s name this Christmas season.

“I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.” Matthew 25:35

Click here to be directed to the secure donation site of The Water Project, a non-profit organization that's bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water.

Let's make water erupt from the floors of Africa and India .
And give men, women, boys and girls the gift water