Monday, November 28, 2005

New Dame in the Gang

Last night my Brother and Sister in Law had their baby. She weighed in at 8lbs 13 oz and was 22 inches long. They named her McCall.
She's a cutie.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Napolean & Pedro

I just got this from a friend and thought it was worth sharing.
I love Napolean.

He's FRICKEN Awesome!

Thanksgiving and other odds and ends

Well Thanks giving is on it's way. Pretty soon we'll all be sitting down to a nice turkey dinner with our family and friends. What if instead of Turkey this year everyone just ate hamburgers? Or what about duck? I know supposedly the pilgrims had turkey with the indians when they got here but, let's just change it up to throw in variety. just a thought.

Well, this Thanksgiving is going to be a special one because my whole family is coming into town. The family coming to town is great but what makes the holiday special this year is that my brother and sis-in-law are expecting a baby. The baby should be coming any day now. So, we'll see what happens.

I also would like to note that Cristi and I went Skiing 2 weekends ago. That's right skiing. Cristi flew up to see me up in Idaho where I am doing my internship and the local ski hill happened to be opening the earliest they had in their 40 year history. It was a good day of skiing. It made me a little bummed to be living in Az. You gotta love skiing.

The other big event that I'm trying to prepare for is a Marathon. This isn't just any marathon. This is the Disney Marathon in Orlando. It should be fun. You run the whole marathon through the park and Universal studios. So, I'm sure it'll be lots of fun.
The only problems is that I haven't been training very well. I'll run good for a week and then I'll sluff off for a week. I have run about 14 miles on my longest run. The problem is that a marathon is 26 miles. Yeah, It's going to be trouble for sure. When I was up in Idaho for the past 2 weeks it was freezing. By the time I got off work it was dark and about 25 degrees outside. I've been spoiled living in Arizona.

I head to china in about a week so I'll keep you posted once i'm over there if I can get internet acess. I've heard that sometimes the government will block some sites. I hear they block cnn because they don't like the way the tv station portrays them. Running will hopefully happen while I'm over there as well but I've heard it is supposed to be cold there as well. Maybe I'll buy some fake nikes and get my run on.

I'm going to include some pictures that are random. I think I will put some pictures of the dump in El Salvador because that is where we celeprated thanksgiving last year giving out shoes and eating fried chicken. By far the best Thanksgiving I've ever had. Enjoy

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The world could use more Brooks's

My Companion from the my Mission in El Salvador just had a baby boy
and guess what he named him? Bill? No. Bob? NO. BROOKS he named him brooks
here's some pictures of one of the cutest babies if I do say so myself.


Congrats Udys

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Doing good while making some money for Ebay's founder

Below is a recent article about E-bay's founder investing in microfinance through his alma-mater.

This is a very interesting gift that keeps on giving. It appears that Omidyar foresees profits from this investment in microfinance. If he invests through a diversified microfinance fund like Blue Orchard, the investment will likely return 3%-4% per year. This turns out to about $1.5-2 million each for the University and MFIs per year. A great win-win. Tufts gets money and the inside track toward involvement in microfinance. Omidyar gets the social return in both poverty reduction and education. I'm interested to see this copied or modified by others.

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass—Tufts University today announced that Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay and co-founder of Omidyar Network with his wife, Pam – both graduates of Tufts – will invest $100 million in international microfinance initiatives through a unique partnership with their alma mater.

The $100 million endowment gift is the largest single gift in the history of Tufts University as well as the largest private allocation of capital to microfinance by an individual or family. The Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund will be invested solely in microfinance initiatives. An independent supporting organization controlled by a Board of Directors will have fiduciary responsibility for investing the funds with the expectation of risk-appropriate financial returns.

“Partnering with the Omidyars to advance microfinance is a strategic fit for Tufts on many levels,” said Lawrence S. Bacow, president of Tufts University. “As an economist, I’m attracted to microfinance as a financially self-sustaining model for making a difference in the world. Tufts’ commitment to active citizenship is a global pursuit that runs deep, and we are pleased to leverage resources that yield so many positive returns.”

Fifty percent of earnings from the fund will be reinvested in the original pool for additional microfinance programs. The remaining 50 percent of income will advance important Tufts programs such as support for faculty, financial aid, debt forgiveness for graduates pursuing careers in public service, and scholarships that will enable economically disadvantaged students to attend classes during summer session.

“We believe that business can be a tool for social good. Microfinance has already shown that enabling the poor to empower themselves economically can be good business,” said Pierre Omidyar. “By engaging Tufts as an institutional investor in microfinance initiatives, our hope is that the microfinance industry can better meet the demand for financial services among the world’s poor, while also demonstrating its potential commercial viability to a wider institutional investor audience.”

The $100 million investment will bolster international microfinance institutions in their efforts to scale their capacity to make loans to poor, predominantly female heads of households, who lack adequate income to provide the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing for themselves and their families. Microloans averaging $600—often as low as $40—enable the poor to launch their own entrepreneurial pursuits.

Pierre Omidyar noted that strategic alignment with Tufts was ideal for many reasons. “The university has not only demonstrated leadership in educating active citizens, but Tufts also has consistently engaged in seeking practical solutions to real-world issues around the globe,” he said.

This investment in international microfinance builds on the Omidyars’ well-established partnership with Tufts. In 1999, the University College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts was founded through the generosity of the Omidyars, and it has gained international attention for creatively embedding public service values, skills and learning opportunities across the curriculum. Outreach activities involve students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of surrounding communities in programs ranging from child literacy to environmental cleanup.

“Through this venture with Tufts, Pierre Omidyar is using the same creativity that produced eBay to influence the world in profound ways,” said President Bacow, “and we thank Pierre and Pam for this opportunity to be their partner.”

Monday, November 07, 2005

Minuteman song and other "patriotic" tunes

Well it is official,

The minute men have their own song. It is a song that an Italian Immigrant named Luca wrote along with an array of other songs out on cd now. The songs are avaliable for download at Walmart for 88 cents a pop.

Here are the lyrics

The Minutemen
(Music and Lyrics by Gianluca Zanna Copyrights 2005)

We the minutemen we are gonna stand
for our Country we’ll fight till the end

We the minutemen we are common people
We’re just women and men
but our borders will defend

Against the invaders
against the traitors
against Vicente the mexican dictator

Dear Presidente,
I’m not a vigilante,
but we’ll say to Mr. Fox
that we’ll stand hard like rocks

Under the sun
of the desert
in the darkness of the night
all we want is to defend
our Country, our rights

We the minutemen we’re gonna stand
for our Country we’ll fight till the end

We the minutemen we are common people
We’re just women and men
but our borders will defend

Against the invaders
against the traitors
against Vicente the mexican dictator

We are Americans
We are free people
don’t tell us what we can or can’t do
Screw you FOX,
Screw you ACLU

This song is dedicated to Jim Gilchrist and Chris Simcox
and all the minute men and women
that are standing for America
God bless you All

Here's the site

Luca is the one in the patriotic flag pants.

He actually just called me and told me that I could use the song in the documentary for the minuteman section. I am hoping to get an interview with him. He's a very interresting guy with and interresting story.

I'll keep you updated on the process.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Save H.E.L.P.

HELP Intl. is a volunteer organization that does humanitarian projects throughout Central America.
I worked with HELP as a country dir. and later an assistant programs dir. It is a great organization but needs the help of gernerous people to keep it going. I know that it has impacted my life in a major way and many other young people

Please Help HELP. This is a letter sent out to volunteer alumni from the Executive Dir.

Please do what you can.

Hey guys,

I have very mixed emotions as I send you this email. After seven wonderful years, HELP may have to permanently close its doors. This is not a decision that we are taking lightly nor is it made without fully looking at all the options. As it now stands, HELP cannot financially continue the way we have been running.

As you know, our financial model is based on part of our funds coming from volunteer program fees and the rest from board fundraising. Between the large-scale disasters of the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, small organizations like HELP International are feeling a huge crunch. While most people are aware of the immediate crisis when a disaster is hot news, HELP knows from experience that long after the conflict has subsided, or the floodwaters have receded, there is still a need for assistance in building long-term economic recovery. HELP is committed to our partner organizations and communities in crisis countries long after the media has moved on to other news events.

We appreciate those of you who have recently donated to help our partners and friends in Guatemala and El Salvador after the devastation of Hurricane Stan. We have raised almost $3000 for the victims. We will continue to work to get those funds to our partners and help them as much as we can.

Believe me when I say that I really do not want this to be the end of HELP, but as of now, we have few other options. We are currently making one last major fundraising effort to allow HELP to continue. Your parents will be receiving letters informing them of our situation and asking for their financial assistance. Please encourage your parents to donate, donate yourself, and if you know someone who may be interested in becoming a supporter of HELP, please send them our way.

While HELP’s future is precarious, programmatically we are stronger than ever. We need funding for 2006 to continue our large-group work in Central America. In addition, due to HELP’s unique reputation and our training and support structure for our volunteers, we are now receiving requests for small teams of 3 to 5 well-prepared social entrepreneurial students to do targeted projects in other countries. So while we’re in a financial crisis, there is greater demand than ever for our skills. We would very much like to respond to these requests from countries where such great need also exists. We have received requests from:

Schools in Uganda
Microcredit groups in Panama
Cooperatives in Ivory Coast
Women entrepreneurs in India
LDS members in Madagascar
Community groups in the Gulf Coast
Local Craftsman in Ghana
To respond to these pleas for assistance, we need significant new sources of funding. As it now stands, HELP may have to discontinue all of its programs due to lack of funds.

I am asking you, as a past volunteer who knows and cares about HELP, to join us in this effort to rebuild and boost HELP into the next year. Continue telling your friends and family about your experiences. Tell them the stories and the small things that you did to make a huge difference in the lives of the people we serve. If you are interested in getting involved, we have lots of ideas and ways that you can help us bring in the funds to continue to make a difference. We have discussion booklets that describe who we are and what we have done. You can add your own pictures to this to tell your own experiences. We have several volunteers already setting up individual fundraising meetings, dances and concerts in their own area. Your efforts can make a difference!

Thank you for your participation in our program and for your support of HELP. We hope that you will recall the impact that your HELP experience had on your life and understand the importance of being able to continue offering this in years to come. Think of the people that you served and the excitement they have when we return every year. We really need your help! Please feel free to call me if you have questions or want to chat about this. 801-374-0556

Thanks again,


Jennifer Boehme
Executive Director
HELP International
phone (801) 374-0556
fax (801) 374-0457