Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What a Comedy...My First and Only Political Rambling

I've never been one to talk about politics but the news of late has me really thinking what this world has gone to with the kind of politics we have here. Not that it wasn't so comic before...now it only seems worse though.

I've always heard of nuisance candidates who file their candidacy every election because they have the same name as famous politicians also running for elections. But what saddens me is that some run for elections because of their fame and not necessarily their qualifications. What's worse is that they're encouraged by politicians who ride on these famous people's fame. It's no surprise that there are famous actors and actresses in the political tickets of major parties here...not that this can necessarily translate into votes for their parties but these artists are definitely crowd drawers in campaign sorties. A good way to set a trend that they are sure winners and for other politicians to later claim foul if they lost. Admittedly, though, there are some artists who went out of their way to study and prepare for politics and may really be qualified. That at least is good to know.
Let's see....we have a boxer who just had to take special classes to get a diploma in high school (no offense meant to his qualification as a boxer), famous rebel soldiers now in prison and running for senatorial posts. If they win, they'll be part of the country's law-making body. It's pathetic that some who have several times escaped capture for involvement in coup plots or deliberately avoided the law (under more than one administration) now want to be law-makers and impose the law. What's even sadder is that they may win...though personally, I think their fame has died down and people are just getting tired of having coups to fight for their rights. There are other ways. And the young politicians, though many are from the so-called political dynasties, seem to offer something good for the future of our children...IF they can only disentangle themselves from the web of traditional politics like their forefathers.

The boxer-cum-just-graduated high school with special diploma may just win. Many people's minds are simple and want to choose non-traditional politicians, but... will that boxer even understand the technical terms of what he is about to sign when presented to him??? Yes, there are so-called advisers (the politicians!!!). But how much truth would they be telling him to sign a purchase order or pay an expense??? I'm a junior executive in a bank and I sometimes even have difficulty when we start talking about cost-benefit analysis, numbers and justifications just so we can purchase an equipment or software!!!. Oh well, maybe I'm stupid?

My first and only political rambling....not saying anymore about this...just wanted to thresh out my growing disappointment in politics (you know, I could get killed by an angry crowd of fanatic fans for saying what I did...whatever).

Saturday, February 24, 2007

An Emergency in the Sahara...

I received an e-mail from Dr. Jeff Peterson of the ONE Campaign like most ONE members did. He was part of the medic group supporting the Running the Sahara expedition that started several weeks ago.

He recounted his story about being stopped during their travel so they could provide first aid to a one-year old baby whose leg was severely burned by boiling water. The child's parents were boiling it to make the water potable to drink but the child had accidentally turned it over onto himself. By the time Peterson and his team got there, the child's burns had gotten so bad because of the lack of clean water in the area.

Dr. Peterson wanted to emphasize and impart to many of us the great lack and need for water in these areas. That while many of us even have the luxury of buying bottled mineral water, people in these places don't even have adequate nor clean water to cleanse themselves with.

Many of us are far luckier than the people in Africa and many other depressed areas. After reading Peterson's e-mail, I can only be thankful again for all the blessings that have come my way.

Friday, February 23, 2007

AMANDA'S WORLD ...Living with Autism

I saw this article from a feed in RBCason's blog. I found the story quite touching as Chris Gajilan, a senior producer with CNN Medical News wrote about the meeting with Amanda Baggs, a 26-year-old woman who has low-functioning autism. She is part of a new generation of adults with autism and communicates using a computer or a voice synthesizer. There is no cure for autism, and causes are unknown.

Amanda posted a video of herself in Youtube (the videos are in the CNN link above). It's amazing what technology can do to help people like her communicate with the world in her own way and keep up with the demands of society. If it were not for a device that synthesizes words as she types on a keyboard, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a Chief Medical Correspondent said, he would not have been able to communicate with her at all.

She told Dr. Sunjay that because she doesn't communicate with conventional spoken word, she is written off, discarded and thought of as mentally retarded. He said that after his talk with her, it made him wonder about autism and how many more people like Amanda are out there, hidden, but reachable, if we just tried harder.

I'm sure others like Amanda have also experienced being ridiculed by people who don't understand her condition. I think it's time we all opened our eyes and reached out to them. They are really no different from us. We just have to understand them a little better and maybe be a bit more patient in understanding their fears.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Amazing Grace...A Must See Movie

The World Vision and Amazing Change Campaign are working together to bring awareness to people on the many forms of slavery.

The movie "Amazing Grace" tells of the inspiring true story of William Wilberforce, an 18th century British Parliament Member, who was an advocate for the abolition of the African slave trade in his own country. It speaks of the political, spiritual, and personal struggles of the abolitionist movement, and the experiences of Wilberforce that compelled him to fight for the freedom of those suffering under slavery.

To this day, slavery exists in many forms. Be they men, women or children, many continue to be enslaved in commercial sex trade, toil in inhumane conditions as slave workers, or children forced to work as child soldiers.

I posted this same entry in another blog and a friend commented how pathetic it is that even in somes homes, slavery exists. She's right...even in homes, slavery can come in the form of physical or emotional abuse, something that many probably live with in silence just to keep the family together or simply because of fear. What may even be worse is that some may not even realize that it is abuse and just accept it as a normal part of life. But how far can one go to take such abuses? Sometimes it takes an outsider to make one realize it and push us to take action and make a stand.

Please click on the links above for more information on actions taken by World Vision and Amazing Change Campaign to make people aware that slavery still exists to this day and how we can help change it.

Amazing Grace is a must see movie...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hunger in Burundi...and Lending a Helping Hand

Organizations like UNICEF are neverendingly busy trying to help alleviate hunger and poverty. Just recently, hunger and flooding in
Burundi have killed children, made many homeless or kept them out of school for days. The death toll is mounting and needless to say, these people need a helping hand to see them through the tragedy that has befallen their nation.

I have once written about whether one can live on $1 a day. At least 60 per cent of these people live in less. What is sad is that the cost of their most affordable source of protein, beans, has almost doubled.

The UN is working to help provide food to more than 2 million Burundians. But their efforts don't end there. They also have a program to provide psychosocial support and recreational activities to children who can no longer go to school. An estimate still has to be completed on the extent of funding needed to help rebuild homes, schools and provide food to the Burundians.

What's good to know is that parents of school children are doing their share to help themselves by rebuilding the schools damaged by flooding so the children can go back to school soon. It's a community of people trying to help rebuild their own lives to bring some normalcy back in what otherwise would be a seemingly hopeless situation.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Our Own Little Miracles...

bright light bright light!

Some have probably read this inspirational story of a child wanting to buy a miracle. I found it quite touching and thought I'd share it with others.


A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet.
She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes.

Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above
the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise...nothing. She cleared her
throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster...no good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his

"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick...and I want to buy a miracle."

"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.

"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?"

"We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you," the pharmacist said, softening a little.

"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."

The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?"

"I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money."

"How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago.

"One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audibly. "And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to."

"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers. "

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have
the miracle you need."

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well.

Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

"That surgery," her Mom whispered. "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?"

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost...one dollar and eleven cents....plus the faith of a little child.

In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need. But we too can make our own little miracles. It just takes a little bit of what we have to share, and together we can work on our own little miracles for others to have better lives.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Ok, I just have to react to the story I read from Matt's Blog. If I didn't write it here, Matt's comment box would be filled, lol.

When I went through Matt's blog, I couldn't have been more shocked at his story about an article on three million Muslim devotees raising their hands in prayer for global peace in Bangladesh. It could have been one of the world's largest religious gatherings...a wonderful event.

What saddened Matt and certainly SHOCKED and ANGERED me was that these people were holding a prayer for world peace but women, except for the very high ranking ones, were not allowed to participate in the gathering.

To advocate world peace on one side, and then not allow women to particpate in it by virtue of their sex, on the other, is to me soooooo degrading for women and such a wrong (I softened this word) policy on women if it is one.

It also makes me realize that there is still so much we women have to fight for to live and be treated as equal of men. Why there has to be such a double standard in society is beyond me. I'm well aware that double standard exists in most societies but really...

If my children's father ever told me to walk behind him because he's man and I'm woman... I'd push him off the boat once we're at sea. He can't swim, lol.

I just had to let this out. Sorry readers.

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Neighbors and Me...Kids Who Chose to Make a Difference

Today was one of those days again that I found myself really touched and getting a bit emotional. When I read the article about 2 very young teenagers who organized their own group to make a difference and uplift the way of life in their poor neighborhood, I couldn't have felt prouder as if I were their own parent. It makes me wish and hope that I can instill the same kind of values in my own children.

The Republic of San Marino honored UNICEF for being a leading advocate for children over the past 60 years. But what really touched me more was that through the San Marino Permanent Mission to the United Nations, the Belizean children’s group known as My Neighbours and Me, was given the San Marino-UNICEF Award in recognition of its extraordinary work in one of the many poor areas of Belize City.

What is even more stunning is that the group, My Neighbours and Me, which helped protect Belizean children against crime, violence, drugs and the spread of HIV/AIDS, was founded 2 years ago by brothers Herbert and Ashman Wiltshire, who were then just 18 and 13 years old. The group, which started behind their backyard has since grown to more than 50 members.

To quote Herbert's words, “My neighbourhood is neither scenic nor developed, and is indeed a centralized area of poverty and crime. Children growing up here are rarely exposed to productive activities. There are a lot of teen pregnancies, guns and violence.

So we had a choice: following others into drugs and crimes, turning to sex as a way of making money or trying to make a difference.”

They chose to make a difference. And every Saturday, children of all ages – some trekking long distances – gather at the Wiltshire home to participate in recreational and educational activities such as karaoke, dancing, drawing and learning how to use computers.

Herbert said, “Our backyard has become a safe congregating area for the neighborhood children. We are making sure that the children not only find joy and laughter here, but are also connected to a trusted person, with whom they can talk about abuse and sexual exploitation, the pressure of having sex or doing crimes, and discuss how to protect themselves from diseases such as HIV.”

My Neighbours and Me received $20,000 from UNICEF to help carry on their work. Herbert and Ashman are indeed true inspirations to the Belize community and children their age. They have shown how far they can go to make life better not only for themselves but also for their neighbors. They have truly proven that they CAN make a difference.

To learn more or support My Neighbours and Me, please e-mail wiltshire@btl.net.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

YESSSSSS...$1.450 Billion to Save Lives

Weeks before Pres. Bush's State of the Union address, members of ONE and other cause-oriented organizations sent thousands of letters to the US President asking him to support the fight against poverty, aids, malaria and tuberculosis in his speech.

Just recently, the House of Representatives voted for an additional $450 million more instead of just the $1 Billion increase many orgnizations fought to save.

This is indeed wonderful news. It translates to more lives being saved, less people getting hungry everyday, and more people having clean and potable water.

Hats off to all those who worked hard for this!