First Responders Rising

Within hours of posting our plea earlier this week to support the Barefoot School – our learning center in Cité Soleil, Haiti – I received a call from Gail Megaloudis Rongen, Chairman of the Board of the Nicole Megaloudis Foundation.  I am more than pleased to announce that Gail has authorized the Nicole Megaloudis Foundation …

Barefoot School

We have been supporting the Guepard Boxing Club of Cité Soleil (GBCCS) in Haiti since 2017. With our financial assistance in 2021, GBCCS was able to provide four meals each week to approximately 200 children after a 60-minute training session.  Our farm project in the Arizona desert has ‘taken root,’ and is beginning to produce …

Rights of the Child

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and opened for signature and ratification in November 1989 by the UN General Assembly.  It was officially ‘entered into force’ almost a year later in September 1990, over three decades ago.  Article 42 states that governments must actively work to make sure children …

A Toy Story

As the Polar Express steams by Herpolsheimer’s department store – the England Brothers of my youth in Pittsfield, Massachusetts – the kids on the train stare in wonder at the store’s window displays filled with magical Christmas visions.  “I want them all,” the ‘know-it-all kid exclaims referring to the abundance of extraordinary gifts and toys. …

Shoes

In America, we take many things for granted.  In recent years, our sense of entitlement knows no bounds. About a year ago, my friend Justin posted this picture of four homeless Haitian boys sleeping on the streets in Cité Soleil with this commentary… “…are they the ones who make the choice to live like this?… …

Never Too Old to Learn

I love language.  Though tempted to learn Esperanto – a constructed, international auxiliary language – I focus my current efforts on Haitian Creole. Many years ago, I coordinated trips for well-intentioned Americans to visit Haiti for one week.  The visitors could participate as ‘instructors’ in ‘English classes’ given to the Haitian children. After several trips …

How We Want to Live

“O Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come unto you.” Psalm 102 As a daily Mass attendee for six years, I’ve recited Psalm 102 many times as a responsorial psalm to daily readings.  I thought about it this week when my friend Justin posted this picture from our kitchen in Cité Soleil, Haiti. …

Earthquake

Those who follow our website understand our connection with Haiti.  As I worked the farm early yesterday morning, I received a text from my friend Gail Rongen in Florida alerting me to the earthquake that struck the island nation.   Although saddened by the rising death toll, I am relieved to report that late yesterday afternoon, …

Street Cleaners Beat Guns Into Brooms

“If you want to change the world, make your bed…”  So begins the first chapter of Admiral McRaven’s treatise on how each of us can positively affect the world we live in and make it a better place to be. Not one of the young people of Guepard Boxing Club in Cité Soleil, Haiti has …

Spiritual Understanding

In a December 2017 interview with Kozo Hattori and Pavithra Mehta from Awakin.org, Dr. Manulani Aluli Meyer said, “A spiritual understanding not practiced under fire is without value.”  This is as profound a statement of spirituality as I have heard.  It was part of her answer to the question, “Your Greatest Inspiration.” Dr. Aluli Meyer grew up …