Finding New Feet for Outgrown Shoes

This story about finding bare feet around the world to be paired - no pun intended - with outgrown but otherwise perfect shoes had me want to root through all our closets so that I could find new feet for all those extra shoes in our house. Read it, and you too will want to contribute to this movement that is living proof that one person can indeed change the world.

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Volunteer Opportunities in Johannesburg

To help out future expats in South Africa, I have put together a collection of volunteer opportunities in and around Johannesburg. I don't claim it to be in any way complete as there is simply too much going on to mention it all. I just "assembled" all the outreach projects I was involved in or that were brought to my attention by friends.

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The Story of Charity in Africa

One of the first questions prospective expats typically ask me is what kind of volunteer work might be available for them or their spouses. If you bear with me, I'll provide some answers. But first, my (evolving) views on charity. In a way, this is the African story. For decades, no, centuries, people from the West have descended on Africa to "do good." To help those less fortunate souls who can't "help themselves."

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From the Horse’s Mouth

horses at Shumbashaba stables near Diepsloot, johannesburg

Hi. I'm Sparkie. I'm 11 years old and I live at a place called Shumbashaba Stables, out in the beautiful countryside to the North of Fourways in Johannesburg, South Africa. I'm average size and have big brown eyes, and my favorite food is carrots, though I've been known to chew on a jacket, too. Come visit me at Shumbashaba, halfway between Dainfern and the American School.

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Pure Joy

Today is when we hand out our Help Portrait pictures to children of the Diepsloot Combined School. You can see their faces transform as they catch a glimpse of themselves. Pure joy radiating in all directions as if the sun has suddenly broken through clouds after a rain, drenching everything in its magnificent power. And then the urge to share it with their friends and see their pictures in return.

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The Gift of a Picture

When you’re moving to South Africa, inevitably you will become involved in charity work. There is almost no way around it. There are myriad opportunities of how you might get involved, but one of the charities especially dear to my heart is Help Portrait, a worldwide organization of amateur photographers whose goal it is to bring the gift of a picture into underprivileged communities.

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Horses, Horses, and More Horses

When you’ve got nothing going on in your life but a horse show, you take pictures of horses.

Brown horses.

White horses.

Brown and White horses.

Little horses.

Pretty horses.

Jumping horses.

Bucking horses.

Peeing-when-performing horses.

Sleepy horses.

Sleepy dogs on horses.

Kissing horses.

Loved horses.

Horses’ ... 

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Giving Hope at New Jerusalem

“There is a career path and there is a sacred path.”

I cannot get these words out of my mind. They were spoken to me by Anna Mojapelo, founder and director of New Jerusalem Children’s Home, when I visited the facilities of her orphanage and adjacent Montessori preschool a few ... 

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Giving Back

I know I’ve rallied hard in the past month for donations for the Alexandra Baseball League, and I’m very grateful for the funding we’ve received to date (more on that in my next post). But I’m not the only one out there, and today I wanted to give credit to my friend Bing (who ... 

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