Friday, July 31, 2009

We Really Are the Lucky Ones

We really are the lucky ones you know.

With all that is going on in the world right now its difficult to see how truly lucky we really are to be living in the West. Our economies are faltering, and our home prices are falling. Many of you, like me, may have lost most of your retirement account when the market crashed last year...

But we don't die from walking through a park. We don't have to bribe officials for an education. We still have clean water and enough to eat.

Millions across the planet struggle every day for the basics: food, clothing, shelter, enough education to pull themselves out of the grips of poverty. And millions more are threatened by the remnants of wars past. The most heavily mined country in the world isn't Cambodia. Neither is it Angola, Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan. The most heavily mined country in the world is Egypt. 23,000,000 mines are estimated to be left over from the Second World War. Millions across the globe live every day with these threats.

My wife and I have been able to travel the world and we've been astounded again and again to find that those who suffer most from our wanton disregard for basic human safety, are often the ones who greet us with the biggest smiles, the warmest handshakes and the most gracious hospitality.

We decided that we needed to give something back for all that we have received. We found Aki Ra. His simple goal is to make his country safe for his people. He's adopted 2 dozen maimed and orphaned kids and his NGO, Cambodian Self Help Demining clears landmines and unexploded bombs in 'low priority' villages across the country. We decided to help him in his work. We've been doing it for 6 years.

We decided that we really need to be on the ground in Cambodia to do the most good, so in October we are closing our home and moving to Siem Reap. We've committed to a 2 year 'gig'. If that works well, who knows....

And we really are the lucky ones.


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