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Laguna Creek and Elk Grove Fundraiser for 100 Friends: PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:48
To Prospective Donors and Friends PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Saturday, 03 December 2011 05:13

To everyone who is reading this letter now, I want to tell you that you need not worry about “is my donation going to the right place, or “will it be used by the truly needy people it is intended for” – the answer is a resounding absolute Yes, I have personally been graced and amazed at the whirling dervish of caring, helping, loving, ball of love & energy & goodness, of Marc Gold, whom I have known now for about 4 years.

I have had the good fortune of seeing his work for 100 Friends & the miracles he achieves daily for thousands of truly needy children & people of all countries around the world.

He is full of energy, constantly working to raise and distribute money, love, care, and good,great Karma.

Just being around him creates good Karma. He is more than a charity, He is a living philosophy of helping people and he loves to do it constantly. He is full of love, humor, kindness, compassion, and wonderment. PLEASE donate generously to 100 Friends.


Kailash Ray Sarod Player

Bob Norwood Scholarships PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Sunday, 14 March 2010 21:18
On March 9th, 2010 our dear friend Bob Norwood died after a lengthy fight against cancer. Bob was an early supporter of 100 Friends so in his honor we are instituting a Bob Norwood Scholarship Fund. Every year (starting in 2010) $1,000 in scholarships will be awarded in Bob's name for students in either Tibet, Nepal, Cambodia, India, Vietnam, Indonesia or Laos. Student scholarships of even $100 are very meaningful in these underdeveloped countries. Thank you Bob for your support and encouragement and our sympathies to his family.
Project for Awesome PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dylan Gold   
Thursday, 11 February 2010 03:32
The Reverse Millionaire PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dylan Gold   
Thursday, 11 February 2010 03:28
Dear Everyone,

My good friend Marc Gold has built one of the most captivating projects (and one of the most interesting lives) that I know of. While traveling in the Himalayas in 1989, Marc (probably) saved the life of a destitute woman by pulling a few dollars from his pocket to fund her emergency medical care. Struck by Actually Experiencing the huge difference that small sums of western money can make in so much of the world, Marc, before his next trip to Asia, wrote a letter to one hundred of his friends. He told them the story of the destitute woman, told them that on his upcoming trip he was going to share more of his money with other impoverished individuals, and promised that if any of his friends would like Marc to give away some of their money too, he would gladly do that -- and report back on the whole adventure. Marc guessed his friends and family might send $300-$400, but they sent over $2,000.

From that beginning Marc has spent the past two decades building The 100 Friends Project. His current goal is to distribute, person-to-person, a total of $1 million (I joke to Marc, a 59-year old teacher who has lived "paycheck-to-paycheck" his entire life, that his goal is to become a "reverse millionaire"), and it seems that he is well on his way. When I met him, in 2002, Marc had distributed around $100,000, but now the total exceeds $500,000. He's donated (or loaned) money to desperate people in hovels, orphanages, refugee camps, and garbage dumps. Also in tsunami-ravaged and war-wracked places. (A few years ago, while my daughter and a friend rode the train at the Oakland Zoo, I was napping under a nearby tree when my cell phone awoke me: Marc calling from a rooftop under the stars of Kabul, Afghanistan). He has helped stranded people needing money to get back home, others needing immediate surgery, has freed several from virtual slavery and from other circumstances that most people reading this email (and the person writing it) can barely imagine. He's built five schools, four libraries, and four restaurants. With a tiny, tiny fraction of the United States' daily military expenditure, Marc has created an ocean of love -- and goodwill toward America. Word of his endeavor has spread far and wide, and Marc now devotes his entire life to 100 Friends. An expert in his field now, Marc is also eager and willing to teach anyone the simple logistics behind what he does, so that anyone who wants to can do the same. (Below, see the link to Marc's ally, Adam Carter, a beer vendor at Chicago Cubs and White Sox games.) The world can seem so very bleak at times, but when I look at Marc's life and consider the astonishing impact a single person can have, I'm humbled, and also very inspired.

At 7 o'clock on Saturday evening, July 25th, Marc is holding a 20th anniversary celebration for 100 Friends. (Details at link below.) Marc has asked me to extend the invitation to everyone on this list: "Please bring your friends and family to enjoy the evening. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Donations will be accepted but not required and there is no entrance fee. Parking is free and there is plenty of street parking." There will also be live music, and a couple of short films will be part of an hour-long presentation about 100 Friends. I'm going to be there, and I'd love to see you there, too.

Brad Newsham
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9.14.09 Report: Vietnam & Tibet PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Saturday, 10 October 2009 23:42

Here is my latest report:

The project is going along really well. I've been working in Thailand, Tibet, Cambodia and Vietnam the last few months and I've seen some extremely poor people and provided whatever assistance I could provide. So more stories to tell - here are three.

1. I met a number of Tibetan students living in my friend's village. If they do not receive a scholarship ($150 for middle school; $200 for high school - that's for one year tuition and fees) then they will have to herd sheep or be farmers for the rest of their lives. The students who received scholarships looked so happy and relieved, almost as if they had won the lottery. Great feeling to see the looks on the eyes of the parents and children. To s three photos attached of me with one of the scholarship students see link below.

2. Just 2 days ago I met with a woman living one hour from Hanoi. Two weeks ago, her husband (a poor rice farmer) saw a man beating a woman. He came to her aid (he didn't even know her), brought her to the hospital and then left. The man who had been beating the woman hired two thugs who beat the man with a huge piece of wood, resulting in his death. The police are looking for the attackers but they have disappeared. I am told the police are sure to find them.

We arrived (after a one hour drive in the pouring rain) at their simple house unannounced - since they had no phone. The widow was there, along with her 5 year old daughter, twin sons (10 months old) and her late husband's parents. After a long discussion (assisted by my translator and guide of course) they expressed what they needed: $50 for milk powder - this will last for 8 months, enabling her to work while her in-laws watch the kids so that she can work to support the family. 

She also requested $150 to start a vegetable selling business. This done, we left, and the widow looked amazed at this unexpected visit from us. Too see photos of the widow and her husband's memorial altar see link below.

3. Ms. Vu Tra Giang - 33 years old
      Giang is an accountant for a private company. She is smart and able. Also, she is probably one of the most unlucky people in Vietnam.
        On March 23, 2009 on the way to work in Giai Phong Street, near Linh Dam residential area, Giang was caught in a horrible accident: a container truck hit her, ran over her body and crushed her two legs. The doctor could save her life, but not her two legs. They had to be removed. It was a difficult truth to accept but her family was always with her to help her overcome the pain. 
This woman has an unhappy personal life. She and her husband were separated. They have a daughter, who is now living with her grandparents, the husband's parents. Giang has to stay with her father and a younger sister. After the accident, their lives became more difficult. Her legs have been under operation five times to make it not be necrosis. The cost for these operations is about 150,000,000 VND (USD 8,500) much more than the family can possibly afford. However, the driver of the truck paid some for her treatment. Giang always hopes that one day she would have two artificial legs or a wheelchair to reduce the burden for her family in taking care of her.
      When Giang heard that she was one of the people to receive a wheelchair from 100 Friends, she was extremely happy. Coming to the ceremony very early, she felt very nervous: She said it was just like a dream! Giang told us with joy, “I really want to give many thanks to 100 Friends for their help”. With this wheelchair, from now on, Ms Giang can move around on her own. Life has just become a bit easier.
With a new wheelchair, her life will be less difficult and her family will have an easier time. Now funds have been set aside for her to have two prosthetic legs and some physical therapy for helping her to adjust to them. After she had adjusted to her new legs, she will be provided assistance to start a small coffee business utilizing a small cart with funds provided by 100 Friends. Photo of Giang: see link below.

To see the photos referred to in this email go here:



9.1.09 Tibetan part of China PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Saturday, 10 October 2009 23:13

Hi Everybody,

Greetings from Tibet (Amdo) in Qinghai Province, China. Tibet has been utterly fantastic so far. You MUST come here, it's so amazing. And now I have really superb contacts.

The poverty here is really intense. I have been helping poor villagers, nomads and students who need scholarships. I am having really amazing adventures, especially in the nomadic regions. Next time, I'll come for a month!

Many students, if they do not receive my assistance face a life herding sheep or goats for the rest of their lives. You would be shocked if you could see the conditions that many people here live under.

Some people - just the other day - wept when I gave them even $25 (175 Chinese Yuan) for food, clothing, medical expenses or educational support.

I'm at 7,000-11,000 feet so the weather is indeed very comfortable. The Tibetans for the most part are as affable and warm as one could imagine and so grateful for the help I am providing. I plan to return in the Spring or Summer of 2010, hopefully with $10,000-$15,000 to help even more schools, villagers, monks, students and nomads. I've seen very few foreigners on this trip. The weather has been great because of the altitude and the time of year. I bought almost $6,000 with me and now it's all been (wisely) distributed.

I'm lucky to have been taken to some very off road places where time seems to stand still.

Here is the list of donations made from this trip to Amdo. The donations are either for living expenses, paying debts, purchasing clothing, food, school supplies and medicine assistance, scholarships, animals, seeds, food, fuel, blankets, books, sports equipment

(Some of the students use English names because us foreigners have such a hard time pronouncing their Tibetan names)

  1. Drongo Elderly handicapped lady 75 yrs. Old Karmathang Village Qinghai Province 300 RMB $45
  2. Wang Xiu Yan handicapped lady 70 yrs. Old Karmathang Village Qinghai Province 300 RMB $45
  3. Jomo lady 75 yrs. Old Karmathang Village Qinghai Province 150 RMB $23
  4. Renchen Jyid lady 78 yrs. Old Karmathang Village Qinghai Province 150 RMB $23
  5. Karmathang Primary School books, school supplies, sports equipment 2000 RMB $295
  6. Sodnamgyal Mother with two daughters and 5 children Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province 300 RMB $45
  7. Sonthar Gyal Father died from kidney cancer 120,000 RMB in debt for medical treatment Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province 300 RMB $45
  8. Sodnambum seven person family; 50 RMB per month for one year; 600 RMB total $90 Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province trustee name Yangdrung Kar
  9. Trojabun Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province 4 children, father and mother; 600 RMB. $90
  10. Bon Skor VillagePrimary School Qinghai Province books, school supplies, sports equipment 2000 RMB $295
  11. Huajabgyal Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province 300 RMB. Father and two children; Father and mother both ill $45
  12. Phakmo Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province 500 RMB 41 RMB per month for one year $74; Father, Mother, three children;
  13. Tsugi Widow, grandmother 300 RMB $45. For grandmother and 600 RMB for widow; she cried; husband died from eye cancer; baby and daughter Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province
  14. Shamba Family; middle school scholarship 14 year old girl; 1700 RMB $251 . Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province
  15. Huamoyak scholarship student high school 1000 RMB $148. Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province
  16. Karbay disabled lady; 300 RMB $45. Medical treatment for leg broken in motorcycle accident Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province
  17. Nomadic Family Hojor Nomadic Village 400 RMB $60. Husband, wife, two children
  18. Hojor Nomadic Village Primary School books, school supplies, sports equipment 1300 RMB $192.
  19. Ancient Monastery, Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, . 4 Monks (2 elderly) : 500 RMB. for each monk $74 each= $296 2000 RMB total for 4 monks
  20. Tsebo Village Leader Hojor Nomadic Village 300 RMB $45.
  21. Tharmo Tso old lady blind in one eye and problem with her leg; 300 RMB $45 Bon Skor Village
  22. Iyo single mother Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province disabled lady and mentally ill; one daughter and two sons; 960 RMB. $142 - 40 RMB per month for two years (trustee)
  23. Darjak Gyal family Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province Father, mother, 2 sons and 1 daughter; in debt medical treatment for Mom (50,000 RMB.); son needs high school scholarship; 700 RMB $104.
  24. Wobudi 78 yrs. Old. Bon Skor Village Qinghai Province 200 RMB $30.
  25. Dorjee Tashi 55 From village Sakarkongwa; Father farmer; one brother; 2 daughters (grown and married) Wife died 19 years ago; Monks give him food; Donation 200 RMB $30 for food, fodder for fuel
  26. Dhondup 48 yrs. old; farmer; From village Sakarkongwa; 1 daughter 17 and 1 son 16 in high school; donated 200 RMB $30 towards education
  27. Sanggye man 55 wife Dongtso 51;From village Sakarkongwa; farmers; 2 children boy 20 girl 16; also works construction earning 2000 RMB per year; wife has health problems with hands and feet; couldn't afford high school for his son who is now working ; donated 200 RMB $30
  28. Kalsang From village Sakarkongwa; 400 RMB $60 for family support
  29. Sakarkongwa Village School 2000 RMB $296 fire boxes (classroom heaters), sports supplies, books
  30. Luba high school student girl 200 RMB $30 Bon Skor Village
  31. 400 RMB $60 Gucheng Township University student boy
  32. Zhou Xian male age 21 student in Xining 200 RMB $30
  33. Raylene (Agudrolma) she received a scholarship to study at a girl's college in Rajasthan, India These funds were for airfare, train, hotels and other expenses to go from Xining to India. 4000 RMB 5,545RMB $590.
  34. Veronica 5,545 RMB $819 for university scholarship including tuition, food, dormitory and transport
  35. Tsemdo $148 1000 RMB university student
  36. Emily $148 1000 RMB university student
  37. Robert's Village 3 students 2,031 RMB. $300 ( 677 RMB. $100 each) for middle school fees: Tsedan Gyal 15 yrs. Tsethat Skyid 12 yrs.; Haljor 12 yrs.
  38. Funds to support several families near Guinin 3,385 RMB $500
  39. Total=$5,589

    Take care....I'll be happy to share the photos and some videos. For example, went to Quinghai lake, the largest lake in China the other day..233 miles in circumference. Wow.


100 Friends & Tibetan kids PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Thursday, 18 December 2008 11:25

I went to Kham (Eastern Tibet) to help the needy in December, 2008. Dr. Tsultrim was our translator, guide and overall helper. In December, 2008 I again collaborated with Tsultrim to provide warm clothing for 32 Tibetan children. $500 was sent for this purpose. Here is Tsultrim's report:

Report on school students clothing supply.
Tsultrim is a native Tibetan doctor invoving in development project proposed 100 friends in 2007 that there is a great need of providing clothings to students from poor families at village level schools in Tibetan areas of western China, at the same time Tsultrim presented photos of 26 school kids to 100 friends. The photos were taken by locals with consulting from the school teachers, village leaders, but there is lack of name record from them. So in Nov 2008 as soon as there was a hope for a small fund from 100friends, Tsultrim with local reliable Lhama, village leaders and school teachers re-selected 32 kids from poor families in Karnang primary school, and conducted the clothing purchasing, transporting and supplying of the project.
Lhama prepares the children to receive their new winter coats.
Implementation Steps
1.As soon as fund arrived in bank by Nov 3, Tsultrim exchanged it into Chinese Yuan in order to avoid further dropping of exchange rate.
2.Started selection of kids at village level and recorded the height of each kids.This took bit a long time since there was a big snow fall in that area and it needed to wait for some village leaders for involvement.
3.As soon as we got the record started purchasing of clothing in the capital (provincial level you get better quality clothing).
4.The 32 sets of [winter warm jacket and warm trousers(inside is camel wool)]clothing being transported to the capital of the prefecture (870KM distance).

The boys with their new winter coats at the primary school. Donated by 100 Friends in December, 2008.
5.The transporting agency couldn't reach the village on time since some time there is no cell phone signal, but after 4 days the Lhama went to the prefecture capital to get the clothings transported to the village level.(140KM both ways)
6.The next day, clothings distributed to each kids. The size were excellent and the kids were very happy.
7.Lhama returned to the prefecture capital for sending the photos from a internet service center to Tsultrim.
The girls with their new winter coats at the primary school. Donated by 100 Friends in December, 2008.
Tsultrim received $500 US$ from 100 freinds, it was 3,331RMB after exchanged.
32 sets of clothing cost 2,880RMB (90RMB x32sets) plus 480 for transportation to the village, and packing. In total it was about 3,360RMB(the extra 29 was paid by the Lhama).
Requesting people for sending photos from their printing shop, packing and transportation with private trucks it is hard to colect receipt so all are included in one receipt from the shop, which see here 3,360RMB.
Lessons learnt
1.With very small money can help lots of people in remote areas of China.
2.This year there was no enough money for good pair of shows for these kids but hope next year's winter they will have.



Update 11.1.08 Thailand PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Monday, 01 December 2008 07:36

This article was written by my niece, Vanessa Johnson: 

   Justice for the Least of Their Neighbors:  

     Justice is defined as "just behavior or treatment." When Fr. Arrupe said that, "... which does not issue forth in justice for the least of their neighbors is a farce" I think he meant that educated men and women should care most of all for those less fortunate than them. 

      There are several people whom I know that fit this definition of "educated," but very few strive for justice both in their neighboring communities and in other parts of the world. One person in particular is my Uncle Marc Gold. When he was young he taught school in Harlem and was voted New York City’s “teacher of the year.” He later counseled HIV/AIDS patients in San Francisco at the beginning of the crisis. Uncle Marc then created a program 19 years ago called "100 Friends" that works overseas in various countries, mostly in Asia, such as Burma and Tibet, as well as in Africa in places like Mozambique where he came to visit my family when we lived there. 

      Originally personal friends and now many ordinary people donate to his program and my uncle then travels thousands of miles to distribute out the money to the neediest people. According to him in, "the most compassionate, appropriate, culturally compatible, constructive and practical manner possible." My uncle voluntarily takes the money donated by "friends" and personally delivers it to people that need it to survive or simply receive a bit more justice. This is genuine compassion and selflessness that cannot be found in most people.

      My uncle does this task for the "least of others." He takes great pride in changing the lives of a few dozen people every year and gets a joy that cannot be expressed in words but can only be seen if you travel with him to the rural areas and urban slums that he visits on a yearly basis. He has even gone and visited my father, who works for USAID, in the war-zone of Afghanistan in order to offer support to individuals and grassroots organizations to assist the people living in some of the most horrible living conditions imaginable. He put his own life in danger in order to seek justice for others. Recently his efforts to build a school in Afghanistan were realized. To me this is true altruism that is a rarity in the world today.  In these developing countries, the $10 that buys us a "happy meal" in the United States can supply an individual with necessities such as antibiotics and healthcare, or even a check up for the entire family. It is small contributions like this that can make such a difference in someone’s life without having to carry out impossible tasks and it is this that inspires me to make contributions for the “least of my neighbors” not matter how big or small. 

      I am in awe of the contributions that people from all over the US and abroad make to my uncle's organization. It never ceases to amaze me at the amount people are willing to donate on behalf of those that deserve justice. Although many people make their contribution by writing a check or sending in some money by clicking a button on a website, I will never get over the pride that comes from knowing that my Uncle Marc goes himself to offer the support that he knows is most needed. It is essential to him and his contributors that he personally interact and know the stories of the people that he is helping.

      I remember even as a young child sitting in the living room with my family listening to him tell stories about the phenomenal people that he has met over the years. Some of these people he has kept in touch with for 20 years; he has seen them grow, get an education, get a job and learn to support their own families. Some are even able to help others. He forms relationships that surpass anything that most big organizations can do because he is out in the field and learning about who needs help the most and who he is helping. He once told us about a woman in Tibet that he met almost 20 years ago who was suffering from a serious ear infection. He was able to take her to the doctor where a $1 antibiotic may have saved her life and then provided a $30 hearing aid which restored her hearing for the first time since childhood. I was amazed to learn that you could make such a big difference to a person’s life with so little money.  My uncle Marc has been able to help thousands of individuals, families and small organizations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This is truly inspirational and something that I will pursue as I grow and develop in my new college community.

      As part of my school's co-curriculum program I worked at Martha's Table, a soup kitchen in downtown Washington, D.C., and have held the leadership role as head of the school's community service program for the past two years. I have lived for most of my life in countries like Mozambique and Colombia and appreciate the “needs of least of our neighbors” whether they live downtown, or a poor country across the globe. 
Update 11.18.08 Vietnam PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Tuesday, 18 November 2008 05:02
Everything is going well, I'm going to visit the National Pediatric Hospital and bringing loads of teddy bears, dolls, toy trucks, musical instruments etc. I was there last year and it is a splendid way to spend a few hours with sick and injured children. You should see the smiles!

My friends at local NGO's have arranged for me to visit a few families in need that I can help. Another organization (www.hscv.org) has arranged for me to visit some rural families that I have been sponsoring as well. So lots going on.

My nephew Shon is with me for the second year (for 2 weeks, he came with me to Cambodia last year) and he's really enjoying Hanoi so far. We went to Blue Dragon (http://www.bdcf.org/) today, and it was lovely to see the staff and some of the children. I will be donating $1,000 towards the building of the house for a needy family with 6 children in Hue.

I got together with Van (Vietnamese Human Rights lawyer) and I must say it was a joyous reunion, we like each other a lot. He told me about an extremely poor place near the Chinese border (about 300 km. from Hanoi) that we will be able to visit on Friday and Saturday to provide assistance. It's a very poor school and the children really need help so we'll bring food, school supplies, warm clothes, money etc.
Update 11.10.08 Nepal PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Tuesday, 18 November 2008 05:00

Got back a few nights ago from a remote area in Eastern Nepal. I ended up taking an extremely exhausting 4 day walk in the Himalayan foothills with my Nepal friends. I am rather sore in my calves and thighs but...........

I had one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. I was taken to people and places I would not have found on my own if I walked a thousand years. I could not have found a more fitting place to do 100 Friends work.

With my readings about poverty and my experiences and discussions I have known for a long time that as poor as people are in the cities, poverty in the rural areas is almost always worse, usually much worse. I have wanted to to work more with country people and I have a done a little bit of that in the past but this time I penetrated into areas the likes of which I have never seen before.

I can't go into all the details now, there are too many, but I met desperate families that I can really help, saw children living in appalling conditions, I've finally found the exact right place and conditions to both effectively prevent young girls from being trafficked into horrific lives in Mumbai and other places as sex workers as well as rescuing and rehabilitating girls already trafficked.

This has been a goal of mine for a long time and I always thought that it would be done in Cambodia but I could never quite find a way to do it there. And as an added bonus, my biggest donors are very interested in supporting the work.

Then there's Lal Singh, a wonderful old Buddhist Nepali who is blind in one eye; I think we'll restore his sight for a $50 cataract operation and other man who has only one foot and had a prosthetic foot that fell apart that can be helped and loads of kids with all kinds of solvable problems. Everywhere I went there were people in need and I had the perfect guides to make things happen.

Lal Singh

So satisfying but I REALLY had to work to climb up and down those mountains and sleep in pretty rough conditions but it was WELL worth it.

Today I'm taking 25 children and 10 adults to a funky amusement park...they are thrilled.

I learned about Obama's win by listening to the BBC on a tiny FM radio Wednesday morning live as it was happening. Thrilling and emotional; I raised my fist in the air. My Nepali companions knew very little about the whole thing but they picked up on my enthusiasm and joy and they were happy for me if a bit bewildered about what it all meant.

Update 10.7.08 Bali PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Monday, 27 October 2008 12:55

100 Friends has just made a grant of $4075 to the John Fawcett Foundation (www.balieye.org) in Bali, Indonesia so that numerous children can receive urgently needed medical treatment.

Here is a summary:

1. 4 children needing operations for cleft palette:

4 x $340 = $1360

2. Since I have been involved with Yogik and helped him to get his prosthetic leg, let's continue by spending $200 x 4 months for mobility and strength training.


3. Two year old boy (Gede); colostomy;needs operation).


4. Wiranto (#518); 7 year old boy (Bali); burn patient; post-operative mobility and strength training.





Update 10.27.08 Burma PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Monday, 27 October 2008 08:58

I'm back in Yangon. Burma and particularly Inlay Lake was just fantastic. Our last night was magical. Peter and I went to a monastery orphanage by boat. We purchased 200 pounds of rice, 5 gallons of soybean cooking oil, pencils, books, marbles (kids love them here), balls, and other toys. We loaded them into a boat and went off around 4pm. We arrived there at 5pm, loaded up a rented tractor-truck and charged up the hill, first to loading boat with rice and other suppiies for orphanage, Inlay lake, Burmathe boys building, then down to the girls. There are 110 children in all.

The girls were particularly charming and they all deeply appreciated our efforts. I asked the staff what there biggest need was and they said as the cold weather approaches, the kids (who sleep on beds without mattresses, only flat boards) are often feeling cold or chilly, they don't have much to keep them warm at night. Marc with Headmaster of Orphanage, Inlay Lake, Burmalittle girl at the orphanage, Inlay Lake, Burmaloading.boat.Inlay

The headmaster, who has held that position for 40 years arrived as we left. He is a devout Buddhist and he thanked us profoundly and said he could only thank us with Buddhism and he handed us a sheet of wise Buddhist aphorisms.

It was dark by the time we finished and as we left the girls building it started to rain and rain and then rain harder. We stood at the dock and the wind started really blowing hard and we were all of a sudden cold and totally soaked. The boatman wanted to go out in that weather to return to the town but we refused, it seemed unwise to go out at night into a squall so one of the locals invited us into his very simple bamboo house. We made a run for it.

It was quite a (blessedly short) distance through puddles and mud to his little house. They lit a candle, gave us towels to dry off  (just him and his lovely wife lived there, they recently married so no children as yet) and then they gave us a change of clothes including a sarong for me and they put my soaked pants in a plastic bag. They gave us hot tea and sweet bananas. Smiles all around. They are very poor and have the tiniest shop imaginable with very little to offer their occasional customers. Our guide said, "poor in money, rich in heart". rich, indeed.

By this time the rain had ended and we proceeded to the boat. We were greeted with a dazzling display of stars in the now clear sky, many lovely fireflies and only the reassuring sound of the well functioning outdoor motor as we slowly, carefully and gracefully made our way across the lake and back to town.

We when returned we went back to our hotel and freshened up a bit. Then we went back to our guide and gave them the equivalent of $350 to purchase 110 blankets, one for each and every child. We also sent $50 with him for our host in order to expand the inventory of his little bamboo house business by several magnitudes. I am sure he expected nothing from us but I wanted to help him nonetheless. The blankets were delivered to the children today. Before we left for Yangon this morning, the headmaster came at 7am to see us off. He has such a lovely spiritual sense about him and we departed with smiles all around.

 boat with supplies for orphanage at Inlay Lake, Burmafisherman at Inlay LakeWe will return next year and scholarships to university for some of the older children may be possible at that time.

Update 9.30.08.Sulawesi PDF Print E-mail
Written by admin   
Tuesday, 30 September 2008 07:29
Had an extremely amazing day yesterday in Makassa (Sulawesi)...helped 30 families in the garbage dump community..very intense...gave out 25 pair of rubber boots..distributed tons of toys and some money for each and every family...we went to all their homes and met them..they have NEVER received any kind of aid before..one old 70 year old man who lives alone wept..it's been videotaped..tons of photos...also agreed to pay for a young girl's university education...future work will take place benefiting the education for the children and economic development for adults...walked through the dump..incredibly sad...then went to an orphanage and donated loads of books and school supplies and gave money for a baby with a fever to be seen by a doctor..
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