Friday, May 28, 2010

Me and Mini

I flew in to Minneapolis yesterday--my plane arrived at 12:00, I got to my hostel by 1:15--but my conference doesn't start until noon today, which means I have a little bit of time to do what I will.

I hit the grocery store and then...

I had a really great time, but I'm glad I'm a short girl instead of a tall swarthy man because otherwise riding such rides as Jimmy Nuetron's Atomic Collider and Backyardigan Swing Along (hey, I love the giant swings) because, otherwise, I would have really come across as a creeper. I went shopping at H&M, and I guess there were some other stores there (psh...I guess!) and I had a grand old time. I got home too late to visit the Institute of Art, but too early to go to bed but that was perfect for...

(Which is very different from talking to hostile folk.) A Swede. A Welshman. An Australian. A Tamil Indian. And me. I told them I was the boring one, but actually, talking to them, I'm not too poorly traveled. Also, I got to start talking about the Church, by way of BYU, but I got as far as "there are so many of us at BYU that we have church meetings in the classrooms" and "BYU's president is kind of like a pastor, but you see, the organization of the Church is we have a a prophet--" and then we were interrupted because someone had to go pay for another night and we didn't really pick it up. I'm anxious about spreading the gospel in part because of a L. Tom Perry talk I listened to on the bus that said that most people don't have a clue of what Mormons really believe, and it's partially our fault because we don't speak up. I semi-spoke up, but then, I didn't insist we continue talking about Mormonism when the Indian came back and instead of explaining that I don't like Family Guy and South Park, I changed the subject to bemoan Simpson's late glory. Well, I can be a coward, but as long as I keep trying, I guess. Anyway, I was stomped last night (late night+early flight=9:45 exhaustion), but I couldn't sleep right away because I was nervous about how I had/hadn't represented the Church. No worries because...

Because this room has no overhead lights, just thin white drapes over the windows to let in the sun, I woke up at around 6:20. I guess that's a good sign for when the conference starts in earnest and I need to be gone by 7:30, but today the museum doesn't even open until 10:00. I got up, enjoyed a nice run (although my iPod wasn't working, which is always a downer) through the shady streets of this neighborhood--the kids in hijabs at the busstops, the signs reminding cars where to park on even and odd plow days, the little houses pretending they're fairytale castles--got back and enjoyed a leisurely getting dressed and breakfast and Russian scripture study and...

I have an hour until the museum opens. Most people are still asleep or just getting up.
I'd lie down and take a little nap, but I don't want to mess up my hair and eye makeup, which look so nice for this time of day. I don't want to become one of those people who "travel," but then spend most of their time on the internet, watching music videos (although I did enjoy this one from Danger Mouse and that guy from the Shins this morning). I'm glad to have this non-conference time here to actually enjoy the city. Maybe part of that enjoyment comes by just hanging out in the hostel.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What You Get For Your Money

So some people have been asking what these projects are that I'm doing. I'm thrilled to give you the low-down on what good you can do. Here's what your money gets you:

$12--Soccer ball and materials for an orphanage or residential school
$35--Crafts for a school
$45--A handwashing station for communities with poor sanitation (only about half of Belize has adequate sanitation)
$125--A course in sanitation so that principles can be re-taught by mothers and fathers and teachers.
$200--A community-use toilet. It sounds silly, but many diseases are spread by lack of good toilets.
$250--An adobe stove to safely let out the lung-aching smoke of fire cooking.

Whether you just like to know what the money goes for or if you want to sponsor an entire project (say, a toilet for your annoying brother), these numbers give you an idea of what it costs to make HELP projects a reality.
In fact, if you donate these amounts and send me an email (or just post here), I'll make you up a handsome card like this:

A donation of $ 125 has been made in your name. This amount funds a sanitation course in a community to empower the poor to help their families, living longer, happier and healthier lives.

Man, that sounds like a much better present than dry, rubbery sausages or another tie.

HELP Belize

Everyone on this blog needs to know about this blog.

I guess it also wouldn't hurt if they knew about this donation site, too.

Le's do some gud!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lack of Planner

I hate it when I lose my planner. I have the vague sense that I have a lot to do, and an undefined worry that I've already forgotten something. Nuts.