Yet another flurry of activity over the last few days. Remember that twelve-hun that I said was going to have to magically fall into our laps? Well.... it did. Not from the place it was expected- but does that really matter? All that matters is this- Hope Sudan Charities is now an official NGO (or "non-governmental organization") in Sudan. Remember the bit about "logo design" amidst the "Starbuck's addiction?" Feast your eyes on the fruits of a few hours of jury-rigging between powerpoint and a 15 year old version of Photoshop. This logo (or some future, more-tweaked incarnation of it) will adorn the sides of our prized Land Rover as we trek through east Africa.
As an official NGO, we can get the vehicle registered ahead of time in the name of the charity and not have to pay out the wahzoo (sp?) for a tag. This means we'll get our tails out of the capital city where there's probably going to be some capital chaos going on. Not the place we want to be at the time. Our friends in Juba tell us there's already street demonstrations and marches going on.
So this is yet another major roadblock taken care of.
In addition, you may have seen it mentioned once or twice that there's a group of Dinka boys in Nairobi who are currently going to school and have every intention of going back home to Sudan when they are done to become leaders and teachers. Well, Jason, Tim and Tiffany met these boys in Nairobi during the first trip to Sudan in 2007 and it just so happened that these boys were from Cueibet, the place we do our work.
The first time I got to meet them was in January at our hotel in Nairobi. The next day we went to the place they were staying; a 2 bedroom concrete apartment in Kibera (do a wikipedia search). I was crushed as I saw the conditions that these guys dealt with. Imagine being in your late teens to early twenties, a thousand-plus miles from home, living in one of the most dangerous slums in the world. One look at you and everyone knows tht you're an outsider from a war-torn country, and you will be treated as such. You have no idea if you're going to eat and if you do, who knows where the meal will come from?
Yet these guys are so happy to see us. It just crushes you and shames you. Another one of those moments where you think your heart is changed and that things will never be the same.
We have managed to pay for another semester of their schooling, which begins next week. We hope to have a new picture with all 8 of them in it up soon. We talk to them regularly and they are all excited to get back to school. The money doesn't just go for their classes, but room and board- 3 hots and a cot. The boys have quickly learned English as well as Swahili. The amount of information these guys take in blows the mind! More to come on these guys...
One last update: this weekend saw a Sunday car wash with a skeleton crew. Though we didn't see as many cars, we still raked in over 200 bucks. Thank you all so much for your donations. It will be so awesome to be able to post pictures and videos from the Sudan so you can all see the difference in people's lives that you are making!
We'll be planning some more car washes, speaking engagements and benefit shows. If you haven't yet, please follow this blog by clicking on the link in the right-hand column. It's easy! Click on some of the ads and generate some revenue for the trip! There's lots of ways to help out that are easy to do. You have no idea how much every little bit helps.