Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The First Day of Fall
With temps still nearing 100 degrees, here in Arizona it's hard to believe that the fist day of fall was actually yesterday! Where I'm from, fall means lots of red, orange, and yellow leaves on trees, school starting, and that it's time to get out the winter coats because there will soon be frost on the ground (if there hasn't been already). Since moving to Arizona I've come to realize that none of these things really happen here this time of year. School has already been in session for several weeks, the yellowing we see in our yard is actually the lawn needing to be over-seeded (something totally new to me since moving to the desert), and we no longer own any "real" winter coats.
I'm not complaining - at all! I'll take the 95 degrees in September over 9 months of rain and cold any day! But, having lived and visited many different climates, it's interesting to me how different each place can be during the same time of year simply because of where it's located on this Earth. In Zambia this week they'll have high temperatures in the 80's to low 90's with clear skies and probably no rain. Sounds nice! Next month it will warm to their highest temps of the year but still not likely go to above 95 degrees or so. Sounds great to those of us who brave 115 degrees in the middle of our warmest month, doesn't it? Or, does it?
95 degrees with lots of humidity can be pretty sticky, and when most of the population of Zambia lives without things like running water (let alone swimming pools to cool off in), or electricity (don't even mention air conditioning!), it suddenly doesn't sound so great anymore. Then, there's the rainy season. For those with nothing but a thatched roof over their heads, February in Zambia sounds downright miserable. But, there's hope...
With the help of so many of you around the world, Hoops of Hope has been able to build things like medical clinics that have real walls and solid roofs to keep the sun from directly beating down on the hurting people of that part of our world. You've helped build a school so that students can study and keep dry at the same time. Construction has begun on dormitories that will give kids a safe, dry, comfortable place to lay their heads at night. There has been real, tangible progress made there, and it's all because of those of you who cared enough to set aside a few hours out of your year to shoot some hoops. Very cool!
When it's raining like crazy in February, I hope you remember those that you've helped and that it puts a smile on your face. And, when it's as hot as it'll get next month, we can think of the shelter that those kids will have in the new dormitories. There's still much to do, and we don't plan on stopping any time soon (if we can help it), so keep up the good work all of you who partner with us on this journey. We appreciate you more than you'll probably ever know - and more importantly so do thousands of people, and generations to come, in a country many of us might never even get to see.