Sunday, June 10, 2007

Blueberries and Gawad Kalinga

I went blueberry picking this weekend with the kids and some of their friends - it marks our 9th year berry picking and me and the kids got a whopping 16 pounds!!! I need some blueberry recipes... mostly I love to freeze them so I have them throughout the year for smoothies. I paid $24 for the 16 pounds so it's way cheaper than the grocery store. And it was sooo humid I was soaked in sweat! This year we went with some friends from the kids' school. To the right is a photo of Tre'-Anthony and Sam - someone has a mouthfull of blueberries I think!! The pic below is a self-portrait of Susan and I (Tre' and Nick's mom), and Savannah brought her friend who lives across the street. Susan enjoys photography also and so one day soon I will link to her new blog! When she gets one! ;) hint hint Susan!

Saturday night I attended a fundraising gala for the Humble-Kingwood Fil-Am Foundation who are building a sustainable village in the Philippines through the nonprofit organization Gawad Kalinga. I want to write an article about this very awesome project. It's being organized by two professors from Kingwood College where I used to teach, Geology professor Cherith Letargo, who grew up in the Philippines, and Biology prof Brian Shmaefsky. They plan to run an Environmental Geology class in Spring 2008 that will plan and then fly over there to actually help the villagers build the community. Gawad Kalinga has the motto "No More Slums" and it's similar to Habitat for Humanity except that the individuals who get the homes have to help build a neighbor's home first and then they qualify for their own. They don't pay anything but rather use a system of sweat equity. The villages are really nice, and funds are raised to help put in schools and clinics as well as teachuing them about hygiene and other things.

Gawad Kalinga was started in 2001 by Couples for Christ to take care of natural-disaster survivors who often ended up in slums in Manila. One amazing thing about this ministry is that there are Muslims and Christians working side by side. Sponsoring groups from many countries have helped, including France, Australia, Germany and Virginia USA. Now Humble-Kingwood will have a village built! I am so impressed with this ministry and hope I can sell an article on this idea so I can travel over with them next spring break. I'll see if Cherith can let me borrow some pics to put up here. She and Brian went over there last year to scope out the situation.


Sus said...

You always have the funnest pic's from your travels! I always get a great sense of the energy going on. And man am I jealous of those blueberries! I remember as a kid picking blackberries up in Indiana. *dreamy sigh*

Lisa Sullivan said...

What an AWESOME project! Oh please keep me posted. Need a co-author? LOL!

And blueberry picking? Sounds like so much fun. :-) I'm sure the kids had a blast and I love the pics!

What a bohemian life you lead, my friend. Luv ya!

LivingPlanet said...

you might find this interesting:

good luck!

Anonymous said...

On June 12, 2009, GK will hold a Global Summit in Boston, MA. The day we commemorate the Philippine's birth as an independent nation, Gawad Kalinga continues its fight for freedom for the Filipino and the world's poor.