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.