Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Scramble

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s poorest countries: over 80 percent of the nation’s 77 million people live below the poverty line, 10 million of whom are at risk of starvation. The current global rise in food prices and failed seasonal rains have left this country on the brink of famine.

Health indicators in Ethiopia are among the worst in the world. Preventable disease counts for at least 60 percent of health problems in the country. One of the main causes of serious illnesses and death is malaria, as many people do not have access to effective treatment and prevention care.

Ethiopia also faces severe shortages of clean water and poor sanitation. In some areas, only 17 percent of people have access to clean water. Diarrheal diseases are common as people are forced to use contaminated water supplies and do not have access to toilets and washing facilities.

One of my co-workers at LexisNexis has done an amazing job over the past three years with putting on a running event here in Bozeman called "Scramble for Ethiopia." It's a fund-raiser of sorts in an effort to support the construction of sustainable drinking wells in particular city/town/villages in Ethiopia. The boys and I decided to participate this year. I volunteered some time to help with the preparation of the race yesteday, and the boys ran the Kids Race this morning. Boy did they do awesome. Both of them ran in the 3 to 5 year old race...a race around a hay field about a quarter of a mile long. They were so serious during the race, and enjoyed the sweet victory of the finish line, a "gold medal" and a popsicle. I was so proud of them, and it was a great way to show our support for a country in such need of our help.

They were so pumped for the race...talking about trophies and gold medals all the way to The Commons. It was good that a couple of the older kids raced first so we could talk about the importance of not quitting vs. being the first to cross the finish line.

Finally, their race was up. Listening to the race coordinator instructions.

 Run Kalen! Run!

Run Joel! Run!

 So focused - so determined!

 Can't talk to you right now Dad. I've gotta run!

Great job Kalen. You did it!

 Way to go Joel. You did it!

Just like the Olympics. I got a gold medal !

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