Monday, August 17, 2009

Orphaned and Abandoned children with HIV/AIDS in Africa

In the middle of the night, in bet. sleep and a yelling couple outside, I saw a program on ABC Family highlighting the youngest victims of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa-the tiny orphaned children, some of who are battling the deadly disease as well. I know about the epidemic in Africa but at the same time, I don't really know. My heart dropped to learn that many of these poor children die when abandoned by their families. One baby boy was left out in a field to die the day he was born. He survived overnight and when the unmerciful sun beat down on his tiny body, he suffered burns on his chest and stomach. What a way to enter the world. Other children are left alone, abandoned so to speak when their mother (with AIDS) dies on them. This little boy touched my heart so much that I wanted to reach into the TV and hold him and cuddle him and kiss him. His mom died when he was two months old and after a few days, he was found by his aunt who tried to care for him but saw him as too much of a burden so she thankfully took him to an orphanage that specializes in caring for abandoned children with all sorts of ailments including HIV/AIDS. This little boy was four months old and stricken with AIDS. His whole body was covered in rashes. He was as small as a two month old and so emaciated. Of course his large tummy was full of worms. I watched this child and he looked like he had the weight of the world on his little shoulders. He would not smile, he would not grimmace. He just layed there in the caretakers arms. No sound came from him although the commentator mentioned he was in pain all the time. There are a few orphanages that specialize in taking in these unwanted children and I wish I could remember the name of the program so I could support them somehow. I'll look them up online.

I just had to mention this. Sometimes we drown ourselves with our problems believing we have reached the end of the world when there are others less fortunate out there than we are. I never liked when people would tell me there are others less fortunate than me when I would relay some issues to them but it is important to Stop and Look outside of yourself for a moment. Food for Thought.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

the Journey to College

Part One
By Epiphany
Starring Ajay Knowles

It's that time of year again when rising Seniors travel all over the country sampling the colleges of their dreams. They take on this daunting task as if their lives depended on it; well, I suppose it does. As my cousin would say, it is her retirement plan and don't mess with it. Wink, wink! Last week, I spent a couple of days traipsing around NYC with our happy Senior and found that exploring the city was just as interesting and entertaining as exploring the colleges. I think the following montage of our adventure just proves that seeking the perfect college is not an easy task but it sure can be a fun journey.

Our expeditions always started with the Q Train from Brooklyn. Somehow it stopped off in Chinatown a few times, where there were numerous pastries to savor and a bakery on every block to facilitate.

Between NYU and Columbia - Times Square beckoned. The Mayor closed parts of Broadway off from vehicles and now instead of honking horns and yellow cabs, all you see are people in lounge chairs sitting in the middle of the action.

Ah yes...the pedestrians linger, the lights shine bright - even during the day and the fever of NYC gets into your blood. Click, click, can never have too many pictures of the city.

Our Senior will have to make a decision soon. The world is his oyster, so which college will it be?

Well maybe he can decide later. Hot dog anyone?

Finally made it up to Columbia, the (1) train was pretty empty. As we toured the campus with Alex our fast talking Junior, it occurred to me that these bricks have seen some famous feet and our senior could become one of them.

A trip to New York would not be complete with out hitting one of their famous museums. We chose the American Museum of Natural History. We got off the train and the platform led straight into the lower level of the museum. How's that for convenience. I don't remember seeing that in the movie but every exhibit was so life-like that you felt you could walk in and become one with the landscape.

NYC is not short on people and everywhere we went there were throngs of people to get lost with. No one seem to care as they were busy doing the "own thang".

Practicing his NY lingo and hand gestures, our Senior fitted in well. Looks like he has been living here for years.

The week ended with a trip to Broadway. "Chicago" was brilliant and we sat so close to the stage, that you could see every little detail and be fully included in the show. The orchestra was powerful and I was pumped by "all that jazz". Hi Mama!!

Good times and great memories. I think our Senior might have been sold on New York, let's hope his applications are so compelling that New York will be sold on him.

Good luck to all you Seniors out there!!