Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Love is in the Air

Valentine's Day happens to fall in the month of February and that's reason enough for me to roll with a wedding theme for this post.

Something Old

I would be willing to award ten points to anyone that builds a pair of these early roller skates today.

I was really hoping one of them would grind down a staircase railing.

Something New

In July of 2011, the Republic of South Sudan became the newest country on Earth when they split away from Sudan.  

From what I've read, conditions in South Sudan are dire. 

I did a little research on what I could do to help the people of South Sudan

The country has a newspaper callled The Citizen.  "Fighting Corruption and Dictatorship Everyday" reads their sub-heading.  I plan on keeping an eye on their website to stay informed about the issues facing the people of the South Sudan.

According to an article published in the New York Times about The Citizen, “Another reporter, Joseph Lagu Jackson, was a former child soldier and learned how to use an AK-47 at the age of 8; the news editor received death threats from the Arab rulers in the north when he was a radio journalist.”  Don’t we have an obligation to prevent people from being turned into soldiers at the age of 8?  Wouldn’t teaching these people to become journalists be far more productive than teaching them to kill one another?

At this point, I determined to do a little research into the logistics of sending material support to the people of South Sudan.

First, I checked with the U.S. State Department to be absolutely sure how Washington views the South Sudan to ensure I wouldn't be doing anything potentially unlawful by supporting the people of South Sudan.  According to a statement issued by the office of the Spokesperson for the U.S. State Department issued on July 8, 2011, "The United States stands with the people of both Sudan and South Sudan during this time of great hope and immense challenge. Our commitment extends beyond July 9, and we will continue to expand on our deeply-rooted partnership in the years ahead."  From what I've read nothing has significant changed in the attitude of the State Department since that time in regards to the South Sudan.

A quick search of the FedEx website indicated that they do not yet ship to any location inside of the South Sudan.  I found that one could use FedEx to ship to the city of Jimma in Western Ethopia, which is fairly close to the capitol of the South Sudan.  Unfortunately, to send a small box that weighs 80 pounds to Ethiopia using the least expensive method of shipping with FedEx would cost more than $5,200!

At this point I've given up on the idea of simply sending a care package.

That's All for Now

Tune in later when I wrap up this up with something borrowed and something blue.

TL;DR: I discovered that the reason that people living in developed nations do not simply ship books, medical supplies and other useful things to help the people of Africa is because it is wildly expensive to do so.


  1. Would be pretty cool to try those skates out actually.

  2. Wow. Thoughtful,wonderful and excellent post. Looks like like you have done lot of research. This kinda info and facts makes our heart heavy rite.
    Human is human no ethnicity can expedite growth. Can't imagine 8 years robbed and placed with ak47 inhin hands and asked to shoot. Sometimes I do wonder and think that people who crib about blackout of 3 hours as life in third world country.
    But not sure whether I would want all rich country people to pitch in annd share their wealth. As long as they don't fuel the feud or rob the burning house and help them solve their problems.
    Marking the diamond from terrorist group as illegal and marketing the same diamonds from sweat if same place doesn'tnt sound like a valid math either

  3. Life in South Sudan sounds gruesome buddy, it's always sad to see a country split like that. Awesome post man, I can't wait to read your borrowed and blues!

  4. Now that's just a shame. Ridiculous, understandable, shame.

  5. I can not believe Valentine's Day is this close. Thank you for reminding me, now I will send that "If girls were boogers, I'd pick you" card to the girl who no longer likes me.

    It is shocking it costs that much to ship a care package to Africa. If something could be done about the cost it would no doubt make it easier for others to help. Maybe the U.S. government could come up with some kinda deal where if citizens provided the supplies, they could ship it over there in bulk somehow... I don't know...just kinda brainstorming here...

  6. I want to see someone grind on those babies. The weird thing is they actually seem so practical! Well done for at least trying to send aid, that's more than most :) My only guess is to donate to a charity that will send the aid for you.

  7. Mark summed it up better than I can, but I'm still all about wantin' to see some EXXXTREEEEME CYCLESKATING!

    Can you imagine someone grinding with those babies? Aww hell, mang~!

    As is, thanks for this little tidbit concerning the Republic of South Sudan~! This is somethin' I'll be followin' m'self now, maybe even podcast 'bout it.

    Thanks, m'man!

  8. good luck to South Sudan. :|

  9. I wanted to send a simple package to a third world country as well, but the ridiculous prices threw me off of that idea... $5.200 for a package worth $100, tops... Makes me sad that I can't help.

  10. Guys, for anyone who wants to send packages - just sell the stuff, and donate the money, but, I recommend donating to such charities as charity water, because then you can see the RESULTS and you know WHERE your cash is going, unlike with many other charities. With Charity Water, with 20K you can practically save a village, check it out guys! I've been donating every month :)

  11. That's a lot of cheese. I guess we'll have to have one of those hundred-dollar-a-plate dinners. I'll cook the bacon-wrapped onions!

  12. sucks for all those bastards in the Sudan...but man those old timey skates look fun/dangerous as hell!

  13. Are there any relief agencies active there? You could just donate to them.

  14. you're right, seeing someone grinding down a staircase with those skates would be sick lol

  15. have you looked into the US postal service? it couldn't possibly be over $5,000.

  16. I was actually thinking the same thing as Banacek. Let someone who's already established there foot the bill for your donation shipment.

  17. awww... crud... I am sooo not prepared for V-Day... I forgot... Now I gotta rack my brain for something to make my GF happy...

  18. I will keep everyone updated on my progress with the buiilding of those roller skates.

  19. Hipsters would love that shit.

  20. shipping prices can suck sometimes