The 21-day challenge for a good cause

At the moment there is much suffering in the world and all eyes are turned east towards China and Burma. People’s suffering in these places is horrifying, but the charity being generated throughout the world is commendable.

Yet there are other places of need and suffering. Places that don’t get in the news, or get forgotten as soon as the next media story comes up.

For these smaller, less “famous” places I’d like to set up a challenge. How much goodwill can be generated in 21 days?

The challenge will begin June 1st and last for exactly 3 weeks.

If you know of a small project that you could contribute to, then feel free to generate money, goods or any other kind of support for this project.

However, this challenge is being made with a particular project in mind.

The English Teachers Association of Switzerland (ETAS) is currently supporting the Matopo Primary School project ( Cindy is doing an excellent job at keeping the blog up and goes down regularly to give teacher training courses and ship mateirals. I’ve been trying to support her and the school as well through my blogging, but feel this just isn’t enough – thus the challenge.

For Swiss teachers and any others willing to join in, here is what you can do:

Primary schools – start a collection of school materials (they need everything!). What can be found around the homes of the kids in the school? What are neighbours willing to donate?

The class can then write a letter to the school or write a comment and say something about themselves.

Remember that materials should be in good condition, especially considering that getting the materials down is very expensive and so shouldn’t have to land in the garbage.

Business classes –If you are working in a company, the learners can present the case to the person(s) in charge and make a suggestion for a possible donation (a good one is to pay for part of the shipping!) Again, include a letter to the school, giving them your support.

Adult classes – You could write letters to different firms requesting donations with a description of the project and what is needed.

If you are interested in joining the challenge, please leave a comment and I’ll be in touch with further details.

If you are in Switzerland, then leave a message at the etasblog and stay tuned for more.

btw- I thank this idea Berta (who tagged me), and the Comment challenge (thank you Sue Waters! I hope you don’t mind me taking your great idea and adapting it)

Thank you


It’s been an interesting week for blogging. There are two separate things going on (sometimes the vocabulary for these ‘things’ just really fails me :-P) . One is the comment challenge, which is generating a lot of communication and connections. I declined to join the challenge seeing as how I was quite busy. However, I’ve been following it loosely to get an idea of what is going on and how I myself can improve.

The other is the meme game, which has been making the rounds again. As I was tagged for the second time (see below) and had a bit of time on my hands, I joined in. The two together make for some pretty cool happenings in the blogosphere.

This has generated quite a bit of discussion, as you can imagine. One that I’ve seen was on Carla’s blog, about the contacts we build and the friends we make in the virtual world. Kevin questioned the stress that Carla had put into this statement, but I have to agree with Carla. I am busy making friends out there in the virtual world, but I wouldn’t call them virtual friends, as we share at least as much of our time, feelings and hobbies as I do with people who live close by (but tend to be much to busy to actually meet).

It has reestablished contacts. People I hadn’t been in touch with in a while were suddenly there, commenting on my blog, and at the same time I was was checking out what they had been blogging about and meaving comments. Kevin said it aptly in his blog:

I found it interesting that as you move outward, some familiar names can still be found. It’s both a large place and a small place, isn’t it?

That’s exactly the feeling I get when I run into a name I know, be it in flickr, a blog post, a comment or anywhere else. Sometimes it’s even a personal e-mail saying hello. Now that makes for warm feelings inside:-) The familiar face in the crowd is turning into a regular experience that keeps me coming back for more.

Now I’ve found yet another tool on the internet showing just how connected we are (thanks to Gladys!)

Yes, Kevin, you are so right. The world seems larger and smaller at the same time.

I’ve been tagged!

Berta tagged me in a a comment of the last post. So I will join in the Meme game

Alicia also tagged me a while ago for the meme game, but unfortunately, I was too busy for having fun. Now I’ve been tagged again, so here it goes long over due…

What was I doing 10 years ago?

Dealing with a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old, working at a small private language school and getting claustrophobia there. That’s why I started my distance M.Ed. ANd I’ve never regretted the time and energy invested!

5 things you have to do today:

Wel, since it’s already late, I certainly have to turn off my computer. I also have to call the cat in and give her some TLC. I have to (in the sense of ‘want to’) finish this post, get ready for bed and, I guess that’s it for today.

Snacks I enjoy…

I love wasabi peanuts, and can never say no to chocolate. I also enjoy any kind of snack someone has put energy into making and has an intense or complex taste.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

I would donate pretty much all of it to charity. At the moment portions would go to Doctors Without Borders, an organization I already donate to regularly, to another organization a friend of mine set up to train doctors and assistants in Africa, and then I would send some to the Matopo Primary School, which I am also supporting through my blogging together with the ETAS.

Of course, I’d want a bit to travel, but even a million would be too much for me. In the end, I’d probably take a bit of petty cash and that’s it.

Three of my bad habits:
1-avoiding my bad habits
2-denying that I can think of any

5 places I have lived:

Bozeman, Montana (USA); Pocatello, Idaho (USA); Seattle, Washington (USA) and Reussbühl, Switzerland

5 jobs I have had:

Cleaning a local senior citizens day center. A souvenir saleswoman. An au-pair girl for 2 months. A German teacher, then an English teacher (German is awfully hard to teach!) and now I’m a coursebook author as well.

6 people I want to know more about:

Jennifer – someone who’s become a good friend,

Cristina Costa can’t be missed. My first cyber friend!

JoAnn, who’s close by, yet we never get time to talk

Dennis/Dennos simply because I always love hearing from him

Kevin, since I’ve been in touch withlately, but really don’t know him (I must ask him how he manages to change the picture every day!)

And THE person for best sites: Larry Ferlazzo

Latest doings

I’ve been busy lately, too busy to be on the computer much, but since things are slowly winding down, I’ve found time to engage in a bit of fun.

Kevin from over at dogtrax offered a challenge I just couldn’t resist. Your day boiled down into 6 words. Well, I decided to expand it to 36 words over 6 days.  Just a few more days and a few more words.

Then there’s twittering over at lwc (which I’m also doing for Your Day in 6 Words).

And I had a good time giving a workshop for the regional ETAS about powerpoints. An evening full of sausage dogs 🙂 (see to find out my source of inspiration)

Finally, I’m trying to drum up some support again for the Matopo Primary Blog since the situation over at Zimbabwe is pretty tense at the moment.

Maybe you’ll have a look and leave a comment?