#servicebeyondself

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Today as #rotaracters celebrate 112 years of serving humanity...
I would love to invite you to the #RotaractSunshineRally this weekend.
Lets turn up this Saturday, the 25th of February, @jamhurigrounds
touch a soul, and impact the world
#servicebeyondself
@rckukenyattauni

Thank you Concert Choir for leading the Veterans Day program for Winthrop Court veterans and residents. #talentedtigers #500acresoffun #servicebeyondself

Vote for
#TeamMaringa
#ServiceBeyondSelf

DUSA 2017/2018

"Vunja mifupa kama bado meno ipo, utakuja lia ukishapoteza muda wako. . .. "
Fun times
Chapati Forum For Chapaterians Edition
#ChapatiForum
#ServiceBeyondSelf
#ServiceToHumanityIsServiceToGod

The biggest event in Kisumu in the recent years #dca2017 #rotary #lakeside #servicebeyondself

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." - Scott Adams
#ServiceSaturday #ServiceBeyondSelf

MOST RECENT

#Repost @alzharawalking with @repostapp
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RESILIENCY: In this photo, taken in 2005, young Malik, Soutout, and Sadeya were digging for water in a drying seasonal marsh.  The children played and sang as we walked the twelve miles from their home to the marsh, carefree and relieved to conduct this “short” water errand.  The rains had filled up the marshes, and for a few months -- as long as the water did not completely evaporate -- they would not have to undertake a daylong search for the precious liquid.

Upon arrival at the marsh, I sat underneath a thorny acacia tree in silence, observing the children set themselves up.  This was a marsh, I asked myself?  All I saw was fly and dung infested mud trampled by cows, goats and donkeys.  The children dug and dug, for hours they fervently dug to reach the underground water reserves.  Disgusted, I simply could not get myself to help them.  Selfishly, I thought of dinner being cooked in the muddy water, and ugh, I wanted to vomit.  Eventually, a few women joined us to wash their clothes. Again, I watched them in great consternation.  With all the respect I had for them, I wondered if the clothes wouldn’t be cleaner staying dirty rather than being washed in this murky liquid.
The children finally finished filling up their numerous jerry cans. Before departing, Malik scooped some mud into his metal bowl, and took a large swig.  Refreshed, he tied his jerry cans to his donkey, and we set off back home.
Today, Malik, Soutout, and Sadeya are married with their own children.  I’m proud and happy to say that their children will never have to undergo such hardships, or risk disease or death drinking marsh mud.  Amman Imman built them a borehole in 2007, and ever since, they fetch pure water only a few minutes distance from their homes. http://www.ammanimman.org/
#azawak #ammanimman #waterislife #waterishope #resiliency #niger #africa #water #wells #picoftheday #travel #travelphotography #ngo #adventuretravel #adventurephotography #walkabout #walkaboutchronicles #servicebeyondself #service #globetrotter #touareg #nomad #adventurer #travelblog #travelblogger #adventureboldly

INCIDENT AT THE WELL: I ate my morning illiwa (millet porridge) while the girls packed up their donkeys.  I was already sweating even though the sun had not yet risen.  The day promised to be hot. It was, after all, mid-April, and the heat of midday often rose to 47 degrees Celcius or more.  We soon thereafter launched our journey in search of a well; the girls on their donkeys, and me on my feet. The landscape was barren... no green, or even a few prickly burs to make the walking slightly less monotonous.  Even the girls had left their playfulness behind at camp. I couldn't muster the energy to try to chit chat, or sing a song.  Man, it was hot, and I was thirsty.  I dared not sip water from my bottle... I hardly had enough to share with one, much less six little girls. Finally... it must have been around noon... in the distance, we saw movement.  Lots of movement: cows, sheep, camels, donkeys and men... all united around... aha, a well!  Screeeech went the pulleys, as three exhausted donkeys wavered past pulling an interminable rope. At last, there was hope.  After several more hours of waiting, we finally filled up on water at the troughs near the well.  It looked exactly like the contaminated marsh water I had helped collect several months earlier.  The girls giggled with joy as they shared drinks from the troughs with thirsty cows and goats.  I took swigs of my filtered water without feeling so guilty.  As I helped Mariama attach her last water jug to her donkey, I felt my wrap fall to my knees.  My little girlfriends looked at me in horror as I hastily bent down to pull my wrap back up. The men stared.  Even the donkeys must have stared.  No one had ever seen a half naked anassara (white person) before... probably the best entertainment they had ever gotten at that well.  Our walk home went way into the night.  We never again spoke about the incident at the well.  Certain things are better left unsaid. #donkey #ngo #watersearcher #azawak #ammanimman #waterislife #niger #africa #water #picoftheday #travel #travelphotography #nomad #adventurephotography #walkabout #servicebeyondself #service #touareg #storiesoftheazawak #everydayafrica #african_portraits

#Repost @alzharawalking with @repostapp
・・・
Amman Imman, Arr Issudar

The Tuaregs have a saying, and it begins with "Amman Imman, Arr Issudar" (Water is Life, Milk is Hope". Of course, I had heard the saying "water is life" time and time again before traveling to the Azawak of Niger.  But only when I witnessed children walking all day long, every single day, desperately searching for water did I truly understand the reality of the concept.  They were not looking for clean water.  They did not know the meaning of that luxury. They looked for a gallon or two of mud, drawn from wells over 600 feet deep, just to keep their brothers and sisters alive until the next day. Often they arrived at a well, only to find it dry, and continue their search until the evening.  I would sit at the well with them, observing donkeys painstakingly drawing out handmade rubber buckets from the bowels of the earth. They pulled and pulled and pulled... and kept pulling... the rope seemed neverending.  When would there be water, I would myself?  And when it finally came, I bawked.  Water?  No way was I going to drink that gooey filth! But what else was I to drink?  What else were they to drink?  How was this life?  How did they maintain their smiles and keep playing, when all I wanted to do was cry?  I had grown up in Niger, but never before had I seen such dire conditions. Never! The men and women of the Azawak became my heroes.  Their survival became my mission.  Twelve years later, and Amman Imman has brought water to close to 100,000 people of the Azawak.  There are still so many more living without water... so many more children waking at 4 in the morning, and walking often up to thirty miles a day looking for the life saving liquid. They walk on until the evening, without even a second to think about attending school.  But their hope is my hope.  They haven't given up, and so neither will I!  Let us cover the Azawak, and the rest of Africa with wells and water so no child dies of thirst ever again!

#azawak #ammanimman #waterislife #waterishope #niger #africa #water #wells #photooftheday #travel #travelphotography #portrait
#adventuretravel #adventurer #service #servicebeyondself

JUST ONE MORE DAY: (fourth set in the Water Searchers series)
This woman had been waiting for hours for her turn at a well over 120 meters deep.  Both of her children, exhausted by the wait and heat, took a nap: the baby on her back, and the elder of the two on her donkey cart.  She had traveled close to 20 miles earlier that morning, sent by many of her family members, to carry out the water chore.  This interminable waiting was not unusual. In fact, she had expected it.  All she hoped was that the well would not run dry before her turn came.  She did not wish to camp overnight at the well.  Sometimes that happened, when the deep well was overexploited and it took many hours for water to seep back through the earth.  Sometimes the well owners had to drop a boy or man deep in the well to dig deeper, which could speed up the process.  This was always a dangerous and scary process; the men or boys could lose their lives if the well caved in on them.
The woman’s jerry cans were completely empty.  She hadn’t brought enough food, and the three water searchers were getting hungry and thirsty in the scorching heat.  It was well over 40 degrees celsius and climbing.  She was also concerned about her family members that remained at home. What would they cook with or drink if she did not return quickly?  She sighed, this was just another exhausting day, not unlike many she had spent before, and not unlike many she would have in the future.  A day of hoping that she and her kids would make it to the next.
#watersearcher #azawak #ammanimman #waterislife #niger #africa #water #picoftheday #poverty #travelphotography #desertification #drought #adventurephotography #walkabout #walkaboutchronicles #servicebeyondself #service #storiesoftheazawak #portrait #walking #photooftheday #instagood #instagram #humanitarian #development #wells #ngo #photojournalism #everydayafrica #african_portraits

We 💜 this quote from Diane Sawyer: "Whenever you are blue or lonely or stricken by some humiliating thing you did, the cure and the hope is in caring about other people." #ServiceSaturday #ServiceBeyondSelf

SHARING: These photos are about sharing the stories of the people of the Azawak, with the goal of raising awareness and funds for Amman Imman’

In the first photo, I am talking to Louis Mazzatenta (Senior Assistant Editor at National Geographic) and his wife, during their visit to the Amman Imman expo at the Stanford Art Gallery in Washington DC.  Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department, Bisa Williams, heard of our work with Amman Imman for the first time thanks to this expo.  Denis and I were privileged to later meet her in Niamey, while she held the post of Ambassador of the USA to Niger.  Several months later, she honored us with a visit to our Ebagueye and Kijigari borehole communities.
In the second photo, Bisa Williams is talking with Kijigari community leaders, including the president of Kijigari’s water management committee, Adham.

In the third photo, I am presenting Amman Imman’s work to Samuel Lee Hancock, founder and director of the Emerald Planet Show, a worldwide environmental and economic development production based out of Washington DC.
@ammanimman @stanfordinwashington @natgeo

#Louismazzatenta #nationalgeographic #stanfordartgallery #Emeraldplanet #bisawilliams #photoexpo #azawak #ammanimman #waterislife #niger #africa #water #picoftheday #travelphotography #adventurephotography #servicebeyondself #service #touareg #storiesoftheazawak #yale #Fulani #photooftheday #instagood #instagram #humanitarian #development #wells #ngo #photojournalism #bisawilliams #USambassadortoNiger

PREDESTINED: My destiny has been forged around the meanings of my name:  Ariane Alzhara Kirtley. Ariane, the woman in Greek mythology who led Theseus to safety. Alzhara, Arabic for a rare, ephemeral flower of the Sahara. Kirtley, “over those hills” in Old Gaelic.  Like the Alzhara flower I blossomed in the wondrous wastelands of the Sahara, where I also nourished my passion for helping others to safety. All the while, my inner compass steers me “over those hills” and beyond, propelled by an irresistible compulsion to walk, seeking new worlds of adventure, discovery, and meaning.
In this photo, taken in 2005 when I first traveled to the Azawak as a Fulbright scholar, I am sitting with my friends Zeinabou, Hassitou, and Sadouan.  These women hosted me, shared their tents and food, and cared for me as if I had been one of their own.  For several months I traveled with them from one pasture to another, setting up a new camp every four or five days.  During the day, I witnessed their hardship securing water for their children, often walking over 30 miles a day just to obtain a few drops of brackish liquid. In the evenings, we rested together underneath the Milky Way and shooting stars, while recounting tales of different worlds. Their kindness and challenges inspired me to found Amman Imman: Water is Life in 2006.  In 2007, Amman Imman built the Tangarwashane borehole for their community, which has provided pristine and abundant water ever since. #regram from @alzharawalking
#destiny #predestined #ammanimman #niger #azawak #water #Tuareg #nomads #alzhara #portrait #africa #waterishope #waterislife #walking #service #servicebeyondself #globetrotter #desert #portraitphotography #sahara #fulbright #touareg #african_portraits

A PHOTO WORTH A THOUSAND SMILES:

In this picture I am happily printing out photos for the children around me.. their very first photo of themselves, for them to cherish and keep.  In the second photo, children are proudly holding up a print of themselves.  Sometimes development isn’t just about fulfilling basic needs… it’s also about bringing happiness through fun, and in this case, memories.  Thanks to the @dogmeetsworldorg Project, founded by Carolyn Lane, we distributed several hundreds of photos, throughout the Azawak and Niamey.  Imagine the smiles that you get, from children and adults alike, when they see and own a photo of themselves and of their friends.  Some of them discover their face for the very first time.  As a photographer, I went from a smile thief, to a smile giver in just one click and one print.  How rewarding!  Thank you, Dog Meets World!! #Dogmeetsworld #azawak #ammanimman #waterislife #everydayafrica #niger #africa #water #picoftheday #travel #travelphotography #adventuretravel #adventurephotography #servicebeyondself #service #globetrotter #nomad #adventurer #storiesoftheazawak #fulbright #yale #portrait #photooftheday #instagood #instagram #humanitarian #development #portraitphotography #photojournalism #everydayafrica #people_infinity_

"Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." - Mother Theresa #ServiceSaturday #ServiceBeyondSelf

Super cool school!

Early one morning, while walking from our borehole village of Kijigari to a nearby camp, I came upon this little guy as we both made our way across a dried and barren marshland.  We were heading in opposite directions.  So intent on reaching his destination, he did not even look my way to offer a typical “matralaka” salutation.  Ever curious, I asked him where he was heading. “To school, I’m off to school! My father is the school director in Kijigari”, he answered proudly. "Do you like going to school?" He beamed, "school is super cool!" "You best get going, then.  Don’t be late.” I waved him off with a smile. I secretly felt loaded with cosmos gratitude.
Kijigari is one of the few communities in the Azawak with a school.  Before Amman Imman built the “Kijigari Well of Love” -- financed by Montessori schools worldwide -- attendance was as low as 10 to 30%, depending on the time of year.  Kids simply did not have time to attend classes as they were too busy looking for water.  Today, attendance has grown to over 85%. Even more impressive is that an increasing number of girls attend the school every year.
Amman Imman has supported the Kijigari school with materials and books.  Because we believe that quality education requires highly qualified and motivated teachers, we intend on offering teacher training classes in the near future. @ammanimman

#school #azawak #ammanimman #waterislife #niger #africa #water #picoftheday #travel #travelphotography #portraitmood #adventurephotography #love #servicebeyondself #service #globetrotter #portraitphotography #storiesoftheazawak #fulbright #yale #portrait #photooftheday #instagood #instagram #humanitarian #development #ngo #humanity_shots_ #photojournalism #montessori

The biggest event in Kisumu in the recent years #dca2017 #rotary #lakeside #servicebeyondself

No more hunger!
Sisters Hassie and Rabbie are eating the traditional millet gruel called Illiwa.  The millet is cooked into a paste and, if available, mixed with fresh or soured milk.  Enjoyed at around 10AM, it is often the only meal a nomad in the Azawak will eat during the day.
Amman Imman has worked toward improving nutrition in our communities.  Among other food security initiatives, we build cereal banks, where grain is available year round, at a more affordable price than what can be purchased on the market.  It also makes staples available at closer proximity.  A majority of families have reported going from subsisting on one meal a day to three meals a day since we’ve instated our food security programs. @ammanimman
#Hunger #azawak #ammanimman #waterislife #waterishope #humanitarian #niger #africa #water #picoftheday #servicebeyondself #service #globetrotter #touareg #nomad #portrait
#storiesoftheazawak #instagood #instagram #african_portraits #photooftheday #followme #adventuretravel #blackandwhite #instagood #instagram #ngo

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