Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dare You To Move!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. 

Explore. Dream. Discover. 

- Mark Twain

Are you fearful about for next adventure? Whether it's a new job, a new relationship or a new trip, learn to face your fears. I have deemed 2011 as my year of living fearlessly and this has lead me to make some bold moves in my life. From living six months in Rwanda to white water rafting and bungee jumping in Uganda, with each new adventure, I have learned something new about myself. I have learned that I am stronger than I thought and that each new challenge prepares me for the next. Is there something that you are fearful of? In twenty years, will you be kicking yourself for not doing it? Challenge yourself to conquer your fears today! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ten years ago today, I was a junior in college. I had an early morning class that ended at 8:20a and I raced uptown to 51st and Madison to start my first day of work as a marketing intern for Berdon LLP. By this time, the first plane had already hit tower one and by the time I got to work, flames had engulfed it. We all watched in horror as the second plane hit and the towers came tumbling down. I will never forget that day. 

Walking home to Brooklyn with thousands of other New Yorkers who were fleeing the city, we didn’t know what to expect in the hours, days or weeks ahead. We were under attack but we knew that we were more powerful together than separate. This act of terrorism united our city in a way that nothing else ever did. So as we look back to that terrible day, ten years ago, let us always remember that “United We Stand.” 

Thank you to the hundreds of firefighters, police officers and emergency care workers who gave their lives that day to save others. You are forever in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless you and God Bless America! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I had the opportunity to celebrate Labor Day, two days ago, at the home of a good friend. One of the joys of any holiday is to get together with family and friends, laugh, play games and eat good food. Labor Day signals the end of the summer and the end of the barbeque season. So after spending most of the year in Africa, I was happy to eat corn on the cob, grilled chicken, turkey burgers, potato salad, cole slaw, pasta, and everything else that was available. By the end of the night, I was stuffed and happy. 

If you can't already tell, I love food! Growing up in New York, there is no shortage of diversity of people and variety of food. West Indian, Italian, Chinese, Greek, Ethiopian, Indian, Mexican, and so many other delicious choices are available in this melting pot I call home. One thing that I missed during my time in Rwanda was the lack of variety in food. My choices were limited to burgers and fries, pizzas, traditional Rwandan food and Indian food. But I never went hungry, not even for one day. Somehow I even managed to gain a few pounds, despite my eventual boredom with the food. 

These are the problems of the first world. "I am tired of eating that." or "Yuck, this again." Even the homeless people in New York have been known to refuse certain foods because it doesn't whet their appetite. So one day, when I was sitting in a cafe in Kigali, no less, eating a chicken sandwich, I saw an alarming ticker flash across the screen. It read, "Famine in the Horn of Africa." Famine??? I was shocked to see that the famine affected Somalia and parts of Kenya. In this day and age, with all of the aid and resources, to hear that the crisis had been going on for months was astounding. 

Famine is defined as a widespread scarcity of food, accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic and increased mortality. Millions of men, women and children across the Horn of Africa are starving and dying from lack of food. I can't even imagine going a day without eating, much less weeks on end. 

So after putting hunger into perspective, I have decided that food would be the one thing that I give up for the month of September. No, I am not going to starve myself, but I am going to limit my choices. Normally during the week, when I'm at work, I spend about $10 a day on lunch. That equals $50 a week or $200 a month on lunches alone! From today, September 7th to October 7th, I will give up my weekday lunches, so that hopefully a family in Somalia can eat theirs. 

What are you willing to give up? It just takes one thing....

Hunger is stalking 12.4 million people across the Horn of Africa. Starvation is a real threat for children in famine-declared areas of Somalia. As we work together & blog to tolerate #faminenomore, would you LINK UP to our post and blog about the ONE THING you typically spend $10 on that you could give up this week? Instead of spending money on that one thing, text in your $10 donation to "FAMINE" to "20222" and join World Vision in fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

After the Storm...

Hurricane Irene hit most of the Northeast this past weekend, the same weekend that I was scheduled to go upstate on a retreat to Lake Champion. Although it rained for most of the weekend and I was stranded at Lake Champion until Tuesday, this picture captures the scene on Monday after the storm ended. Peaceful and serene.

"Young Life’s Lake Champion is a premier 370-acre year round retreat center located in the foothills of the southern New York Catskill Mountains. Our facilities are nestled amongst towering pines, peaceful streams, and overlook our spectacular 50 acre lake which is brimming with a variety of fish. 

Lake Champion is available for booking during the school season from Labor Day to Memorial Day. During the summer, Lake Champion is filled to capacity with Young Life groups from across the country enjoying a week guaranteed to be the "best of their lives."

Lake Champion is devoted to providing a distinctive camping experience through unrivaled service, superior food and incredible facilities amidst God’s breathtaking creation.