26 December 2008

HIV Students in Namibia

An interesting article from un.org providing even more motivation to address HIV/AIDS as part of my volunteer experience.

Special thanks to Aleks from my WorldTeach group for passing this along.

HIV-positive youth in Namibia, Tanzania need greater support from schools – UN

23 December 2008 – Children and young people living with HIV in Namibia and Tanzania are not getting the kind of moral support they need to further their education, according to the first United Nations report commissioned specifically on the learning needs of this vulnerable group.
“Supporting the educational needs of HIV-positive learners: Lessons from Namibia and Tanzania” calls for stepping up support for students living with HIV, noting that the extent of the failures of educational institutions in the two countries are being “masked” by gaps in data and a lack of research.
It identifies the challenges facing educational institutions who want to respond to the needs of children and young people living with HIV and makes recommendations and guidelines on how best to support them.
One of the most striking findings of the report, released by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is the pervasive stigma and discrimination faced by children living with the infection.
“Every HIV-positive child interviewed in both Namibia and Tanzania described personal and ongoing experience of the negative consequences of disclosing their HIV status,” according to a news release published on the website of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
“Each felt that there was greater safety in keeping silent. Stigma was described as ‘more killing’ than the disease itself,” it added.
The studies found that the information on HIV shared in schools was often “depersonalized and remote from the needs of the individuals infected and affected by the disease.”
There was also a “lack of effective communication” about sex or reproductive health, with the subject treated ‘flippantly’ in many schools.
At the same time, the report did find evidence of reduced school fees and expanded feeding schemes for children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV as well as children living with HIV, which it believes suggests that “things are getting better.”
UNESCO recommends focusing on specific interventions for HIV-learners, in addition to ensuring the equitable delivery of accessible, quality education for all children.

21 December 2008

19 December 2008

11 more days...

I depart for Namibia in just 11 days! I seriously cannot believe that it's so close. It seems like a long, long time ago that I started this whole process (November 2007) with the intention of going to Kenya. Well, as fate would have it, that plan transformed into a wonderful opportunity in Namibia. It also seems like I've been on the "See ya later Circuit" for awhile saying bye to friends and family. I try my best to live in the present, but I wanted to take some time to reflect and share my list (I've determined that I like doing lists on this blog thing) of expectations for my trip along with people and things I will miss.

Expectations:
Helping Namibians, Helping other volunteers without teaching experience, Being helped by other volunteers who have gifts to offer me, Expecting the unexpected, Being challenged physically and mentally, Making a positive impact on the village of Mangetti and the Mangetti Combined School (especially since they've never had a WT volunteer), Learning the ways of the Kwangali and respecting their culture, Learning the language of Rukwangali (eventually), Reading a lot of books, Visiting Emily Samek in Guinea, Doing some fun travel adventures with the WT volunteers, KEEPING AN OPEN MIND EVERY MOMENT ABOUT ALL SITUATIONS.

Just pretend Puff Daddy is singing, "I'll be missing you" while you read this list:

Teaching and Learning from the Winn Elementary students, Teaching and Learning with the Winn Elementary Faculty and Staff, Spending time at home with my D.O.D. and step-mom Amy, Playing living room football with my little brother Patrick, Wrestling with Cocoa the super-pooch, Visiting Mom, Diane, Grandpa Hart, Rose, Aunt Betsy, Uncle Jim, Aunt Mary Ellen, Uncle Dave, and all my NY cousins, Watching my cousin Jake play bball, Laughing with my amazing twin sisters Megan and Dawn, Talking about our Cleveland and Ohio sports teams with my brother Hal, Hanging with anyone from the Butler clan, Screaming "OH NOOO!!" with Ben and Randy, Helping my Gramma and Grampa Butler and teaching Gramma how to "Myface", Playing strikeout with Andy, Talking mess about the steelers to Jojo and Mike, Spending time with all the Vajentics, Hearing my little cousin Sean say "What's that?" when someone passes gas, Eating crispitos at Uncle Tim and Aunt Vi's, Playing High School Musical Sing-a-long with my cousin AnLi, Talking about Lance McCullers with my cousin Kevin, Going to Taqueria Arandas with Samantha, Going to Mutual Kumquat and Spearhead shows, Quoting Pootie Tang, South Park, and Foot Fist Way with Nate, Being inspired on how to love by Nate and Rach, Being inspired on how to live by Lori Waas, Waking up Mark and Jules with late phone calls to talk mess or leave random messages, Messin' with Fuzz and Mrs. Deeks, Laughing with Aunt Shawn and my cousins Grace and Emily, Chillin' the most with the Bieleckis, Quoting movie lines with my boy Dan and calling his wife Angie "Buns", Dancin' with my boys Andy, Aaron, Danny and Poz, My EC peeps, My MC peeps, My Austin Family (Moms, Sis, Clayton fam, Moran, SeƱor, Leyla and Michael, Sinthia, Javi, Leyla, Myles, Venny, Bubu, Mr. and Mrs. Rangel, Abuelita, Tobalaya, Moni, Baker, Kiley, Colvin, Sanders fam, Penson fam, Jones/Washington fam, Sims fam, Gadison/Miller fam, Conwill fam, Randall/Hollins/Collins fam, and the rest of my students' families). Anyone I might have forgotten, I got nothin' but love for you.

I'm going to leave you with a quote from a book I'm reading, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

"The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day..."

11 November 2008

MY PLACEMENT!!!

Here is an excerpt from my placement letter from the field director in Namibia. I'm so pumped!

Dear James,

Greetings from Windhoek! I hope you are getting excited for you year in Namibia. As you know, after much consideration, I have decided to place you at Mangetti Combined School. Mangetti CS is a combined school teaching grades 1-10 with about 360 learners and 14 teachers. It is located in the southern part of the Kavango Region in north-east Namibia. The local language of the area is Rukwangali and you will learn a bit during orientation to get you started. You will be the first WorldTeach volunteer at the school.

Currently, you are slated to be accommodated in teacher housing on school property. I did talk to the principal today, though, and indicated again that you are very interested in becoming involved with the community, which he was happy to hear. In fact, the school is overjoyed to receive a volunteer and the principal even said that the staff "jumped from excitement" when he told them. Mangetti is a very rural school, quite far from other towns. Therefore, it seems that the school and community feel somewhat marginalized. I think that your presence will do a lot to lift the morale of the school and community.

The two closest major towns are Grootfontein and Rundu. The principal says that many of the staff go to Rundu on the weekends and so it should not be a problem for you to get there for grocery shopping, etc. (There will be four WorldTeach volunteers in Rundu next year.) There is also a small shop at the NDC where you can find some basic needs. As I indicated, there is not electricity connected to the school at this time, though the wiring is in place and, this being Namibia, it could happen at any time or not at all.

Mangetti CS is interested in having a volunteer teach English and math Grades 8-10, and they say that your interests will be valued. I cannot emphasize enough that your assistance is greatly needed as they have difficulty attracting and retaining quality teachers due to the school's isolation. I am sure that you will be an amazing help and advantage to the school staff and be able to start many other projects and extracurricular activities that interest you.

22 October 2008

BLOWN AWAY...

I am simply blown away by the generosity from my family, friends, and people that I don't even know that are supporting this endeavor that will take me to Namibia in just over 2 months. My last post a few weeks ago, I stated that I was $268 away from my goal. Over a span of about a week, I received over $1,500 in donations!!! Like I said...blown away! The more that I am able to raise, the greater opportunity I have to stay for longer than a year. I would really love to have that opportunity, but do not want finances to hold me back from continuing this amazing experience. That being said, my goal of $10,000 was kind of a rough estimate of what I was envisioning, so donations will still gladly be accepted. :) Y'all are absolutely amazing. I am so fortunate to have amazing people in my life and I try real hard not to take that for granted.

Lots and lots of love and respect to you all!


Also, be on the lookout for a post in the near future regarding my placement. It looks like I might not get placed with the Himba tribe in the Kunene Region. There is an equally amazing opportunity in the Kavango Region in Northeastern Namibia. I will send more details when I receive them. I just know that it would be in a village in a remote part of Namibia with no electricity and the school has running water. If placed there, I would be the first volunteer that village and school has had. For those of you who know me, know that I would be extremely pumped about that possibility. WorldTeach has been incredible and I am so thankful for them. They are an amazing organization and I am blessed to be a part of it.

If you haven't done so already...GO VOTE!!!!

23 September 2008

2 more months!!!

I can't believe that I leave for Namibia in just over 2 months!! We don't have our departure date yet, but it will be sometime after Christmas. I am getting really, really pumped! It's been a looooooooonnnnggggg year awaiting this time. Since I was originally supposed to go to Kenya, I have been accepted into WorldTeach since last December 31st! It has been beneficial in regards to fundraising, but it is truly testing my patience. :) Although I am excited about my departure, I have quite a bit going on in the next 2 months; some exciting, some not so much. Here is a sampling...
  • Finishing up this 2 week stint as a 5th grade bilingual teacher at Winn. It is awesome. I love the kids. It has made me realize just how much I miss having my own class. It's also challenged my Spanish skills as I have to teach Reading and Math in Spanish. Today, we learned about 4 different properties of Multiplication. I definitely had to check on some translations, not to mention the stinkin' concept!
  • Having crown lengthening surgery at the beginning of October. For those of you who don't know what that entails; it's where the periodontist cuts my gums and bone so that my tooth shows more (so I can have crowns put on my root canals). Sounds pretty sweet, huh? :)
  • Getting paid for the first time in 3 months! It's not going to be a whole lot, but it sure beats selling my stuff on craigslist so I have money.
  • Going to visit my boys, Andy and Aaron, in Sprawlville, Arizona in the middle of October. :) Probably going to be a few tears shed at the end of that weekend.
  • Witnessing history as Barack Obama hopefully wins the Presidential Election!! **Not trying to offend any McCain supporters, but Obama's my dude...and this is my blog! :)
  • Saying good bye to my amazing friends, students and family in Austin on November 8th. It has been an amazing 6.5 years here. Most definitely will be some serious tears shed when my dad comes to bring me back to Ohio.
  • Getting to hang out with my fam and friends in the Midwest!
  • Going to see the Browns play (and hopefully win) at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
  • Going to see the Cavs play (I have more faith in the Cavs...after all, I am a Witness) at The Q.
  • Being home to see Ohio State whoop Michigan for the 5th straight year! O-H...
  • Spending Thanksgiving AND Christmas with my fam for the first time in FOR-EVER...FOR-EVER (think Sandlot).
  • Possibly meeting up with some fellow WorldTeach volunteers before we depart at a Mutual Kumquat show in Michigan.
  • LEAVING FOR NAMIBIA after Christmas!!!!!
There is definitely much more to list, but I'm getting a wee bit sleepy, and I don't want to bore you any more than I already have. :)

Oh, and check out my amazing fundraising progress! Thanks to everyone who has helped! Those of you waiting to donate...what are you waiting for?!?! :) Only $268 more!!!

Love and peace to you all...


12 September 2008

UPDATE

Thanks to all of the many generous donations made over the past 8 months, I reached my original goal of $6,000! I am now setting a new goal of $10,000. I misunderstood exactly how much I needed to pay WorldTeach and there have been some unexpected medical and dental costs to take care of. I have also raised my goal to ensure my goal of staying in Namibia for over 1 year. If I am to stay for another year, I will most likely have to purchase my own health insurance. I appreciate your generosity in donating towards my volunteer experience. Your willingness to support me allows me to help my community in Namibia to the best of my ability. I am just $358 away from my new goal!! Every little bit helps. Thank you kindly for your support!

02 June 2008

Winn Students

A few of my former students, Brooklyn and Christopher, are coordinating an after school fundraiser for the last couple days of school by selling popsicles and pickles (which were provided by former students' parents). These kids are an inspiration to me and a huge reason why I teach at Winn Elementary. Word has spread throughout the school that kids can buy popsicles and pickles after school to help Mr. Butler help kids in Africa.

UPDATE:
The students helped raise almost $200 in just 4 days! Included in this picture are Brooklyn and Christopher, former students who helped spearhead the after school fundraising. Thanks Brook and Christopher!!! I appreciate y'all!




29 April 2008

How You Can Help

WHO IS JAMES? WHAT IS HE DOING? Watch the video and find out!
video

HOW YOU CAN HELP...
  • Positive energy, thoughts, and/or prayers
  • Keep in touch with me while I am in Namibia via this site
  • Come to fund raising events (check this site weekly for events)
  • Monetary donations (I am raising $6,000 to pay for the year long experience and related costs)
*On my site (click on the "donate" link on the left side of this page)
*Send check to:

James Butler
1134 Lawson Lane
Austin, TX 78702

*TAX-DEDUCTIBLE (Make check out to "WorldTeach" and write James Butler-Namibia" on the memo line)

WorldTeach
c/o Center for International Development
Harvard University, Box 122
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge MA 02138 USA

Fund-raising progress (so close!!!)

MANY THANKS TO YOU ALL...

Grateful in Arizona!

Danny and Dasan rockin' out to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"

Danny and Andy singing "Love of my Life"


Wow. That is about all I can say about the "African Benefit Concert" that took place at the Circle of Peace Church in Peoria, AZ this weekend. The concert was a collaborative effort by some of my best friends from college (Andy--Master of Ceremonies/Coordinator, Aaron--Giving massages, and Danny--Providing the sweet music). It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful for all the people who came and supported me and my cause. The concert raised $885!!! I am getting closer and closer to my goal of $6,000. Thanks again to all the support!

PEACE AND LOVE...

25 April 2008

My new Green T

I recently had a couple shirts made that advertise my website and my favorite saying, "Be the Change." I plan on wearing them every day to promote my trip. Check it out!

FRONT--notice the sweet "peace" font!


BACK--Namibia colored in


PEACE AND LOVE TO YOU ALL...

08 April 2008

Manchester College, Mutual Kumquat, and SAVE THE FIREHOUSE!

On Saturday, March 29th, Mutual Kumquat put on an amazing show at Manchester College and raised awareness of my trip allowing me to speak and raise money. I am forever grateful to the wonderful people of Mutual Kumquat (Seth, Drue, Chris, and Jacob) as well as the beautiful people of N. Manchester and Manchester College. I was able to raise $290 at the event, pass out cards, and most importantly connect with people.

Again, I am so thankful to all of the people who supported me with words of affirmation, positive energy, donations, and songs (Kumquat brought me on stage and sang my favorite song, "In My Eyes", which they haven't played in 4 years...it was amazing!).

I also want to raise awareness of something else that is very near and dear to my heart. The Firehouse is a youth venue which hosts concerts and other fun activities in North Manchester, IN. It is a great place that was started by brilliant kids who wanted something fun to do with their free time instead of just sit around and drink. When I was a junior at Manchester, and RA on GMII (Garver Hall), we did a fund-raiser called the "Scruff-a-thon" (basically had a beard growing contest for the month) during the month of January to raise money for The Firehouse. Anywho, we raised $700 in a little over 3 weeks and it was an awesome experience!

Now to the real point of this story...The Firehouse roof caved in last summer and basically destroyed the whole place. So now they are renovating and raising money to return it to it's glory. Please visit their site and donate a few dollars. It is very worth it. You will get a happy feeling inside when you donate...I promise. :)

The Firehouse site
YouTube videos about The Firehouse

18 March 2008

Exciting Updates

Here are some updates:
  1. I was featured in the February GCU (where I got my Masters) Alumni Legends Newsletter. Click here to read it. It was written before my Kenya trip was canceled.
  2. I ordered business cards for my fund raising efforts and they have arrived. I am putting them in all my "Thank you" cards, passing them out to friends and family, leaving them at businesses, etc. I am excited to spread the word through these cards, and plus it's pretty cool to have a business card. :) Here's what it looks like...
  3. Fund-raising Concerts:
Mutual Kumquat
Saturday, March 29th
Manchester College--Wampler Auditorium
N. Manchester, IN
8:00pm

Danny Klingler
Saturday, April 26th
Circle of Peace Church
Peoria, AZ
7:00pm

Peace and Love to you all!

17 March 2008

Fund-raising Concert in Indiana!

I will be in North Manchester, IN for a fund-raising concert on Saturday, March 29th. My friends' band, Mutual Kumquat, is putting on a CD Release/Benefit Concert for my trip to Namibia. I am really excited to see Mutual Kumquat live in action and also hope to see lots of friends from the midwest that might be able to make it to the show. Here are the details:

Saturday, March 29th
Wampler Auditorium @ Manchester College (IN)
8pm
Mutual Kumquat

Hope to see y'all there!!!

In other news, I have updated my site for the kids. Check it out.

11 March 2008

Namibia Here I Come!

After a long month of not knowing exactly what I would be doing with my life for the next year or so, I have decided upon an amazing opportunity in Namibia (just north of South Africa). I am still waiting for finalized details, but I will most likely be placed in the Kunene Region in northwest Namibia living with and teaching the Himba tribe. Do a search on "Himba" and you will learn of a culture rich in tradition and virtually untouched by Western civilization. Also, please check out my "Himba Slideshow" on the left side of my page. They live in mud huts, the women do not wear tops, and they are semi-nomadic people. That's just a few of the obvious differences from our society. Most teachers live in "teacher's housing" which consists of a small concrete structure, but I have requested to live with a host family. I think it will be an enriching experience like no other. The program will begin in December of 2008, so I will have some extra time in the States to catch up with family and friends before I depart. The cost is still $6,000 and I am back on the fund-raising train! I have received amazing support so far and am very grateful for that. I look forward to even more support in the next couple months before I leave. Here are some things that I am looking forward to in Namibia:
  • Teaching in a mobile school! WorldTeach has not sent a volunteer to teach in a mobile school and I am ecstatic to be the first if it all works out.
  • Living with a host family, possibly in a mud hut!
  • Experiencing a culture unlike anything that I could ever imagine!
  • Learning to appreciate life from a whole new perspective!
  • Being connected with WorldTeach, a great organization who has been in Namibia for 20 years now!
  • Stepping way, WAY, WAY out of my comfort zone and learning a very different way of life!
  • The opportunity to educate and raise their awareness about the AIDS pandemic that is destroying their country and continent!
FUND-RAISING ANNOUNCEMENT:
Saturday, March 29th--Mutual Kumquat (friends from college) is putting on a CD Release/Benefit Concert for my trip at Manchester College (IN). The show will be in Wampler Auditorium at 8pm. I will be there and would love to see anyone that lives in the Ohio/Indiana/Michigan area!

Saturday, April 26th--Danny Klingler (friend from college) is putting on a Benefit Concert for my trip at the Circle of Peace Church in Peoria, AZ (near Phoenix). The show will begin at 7pm. I will also be at this concert and would love to see anyone that lives in Arizona or somewhere else in the southwest (even though I don't know many)!

Please spread the word and forward this site to whoever might be interested in helping.

Suggested donation amounts: $25, $50, $100, $200, $500, or however much you can!

My goal is to raise $6,000 to cover my participation fee and related costs.

To donate, simply click on the "DONATE" icon to the left. It is a secure link. If you feel more comfortable sending a check to me, my address is:

James Butler
1134 Lawson Lane
Austin, TX 78702

To make a tax-deductible donation, send a check made out to "WorldTeach, Inc." to WorldTeach. Please make sure that you note the donation is towards "James Butler--Namibia Year Program." If you don't mind, could you please send me an email (see my profile) when you send the donation to WorldTeach so I can send you a thank you letter? Thanks!

WorldTeach
c/o Center for International Development
Harvard University, Box 122
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge MA 02138 USA


Check out my current fund-raising progress...


08 February 2008

Dream Crushed...but Staying Positive

The violence in Kenya has become so bad that WorldTeach has halted its program and put the brakes on my dream of volunteering in Kenya. I have been thinking about and praying for the Kenyans for the past month since this all started, and I will continue to do so. I really hope that they are able to stop the bloodshed and find peace, but there has been ethnic tension for years just waiting to explode and I have no idea how it's going to stop. I hope that the politicians are able to do something, but I'm not sure they will be able to quell the violence in 2 weeks like they claim. Anywho, I could go on and on, but I will spare you. :) Please keep the people of Kenya in your thoughts and prayers (if you pray). Thanks!

What's next for me? I am definitely going to volunteer somewhere next year. I want to help people in need. I would prefer to work with orphans. I would prefer to work with people affected by AIDS. I would also prefer to work with younger children. That being said, I am trying to be more open about opportunities. WorldTeach told me that I can choose another program to work with since I am already accepted into their organization. They have a few others in Africa that I am leaning towards (South Africa, Namibia, Rwanda), but I am also looking into Costa Rica, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Guyana. But I am also looking outside of WorldTeach to see if I can find something else that truly fits my passion. As you can see, I am quite confused right now.

Whatever path I choose, I will continue to fund-raise (at least $6,000) to pay for flights, program fees, etc. I greatly appreciate your support! I will definitely keep you posted on my decision.

Peace and Love.

28 January 2008

Double Your Donation!

Yellowhouse Media, an educational software company, has pledged to match donations up to $1,000 through the end of February!!!! I am incredibly grateful for their generosity and willingness to support teachers worldwide.



13 January 2008

REASONS TO DONATE

Here are 10 reasons to consider sponsoring my volunteer experience in Kenya:
  1. You will be providing "Double AIDS Orphans" (children who've lost both parents to AIDS) with an experienced, loving, passionate, open-minded teacher.
  2. Donations are tax-deductible. See below for more information.
  3. Your donation is a contribution towards the costs of placing a badly needed volunteer in a developing country.
  4. You will have a hand in improving education in developing countries.
  5. You will be doing something about the AIDS pandemic that is plaguing Africa.
  6. Ever dream of volunteering abroad, but never got around to it? This is an opportunity to be a part of that experience you dreamed of.
  7. You will have first-hand access to my experiences in Kenya.
  8. Your donation towards my participation fees will directly benefit the Village as I have to pay for housing and food for the year.
  9. You will be making a difference in the world from your own home!
  10. The money is not for me; it's for the kids. It's all about the kids!
Please spread the word and forward this site to whoever might be interested in helping.

Suggested donation amounts: $25, $50, $100, $200, $500, or however much you can!

My goal is to raise $6,000 to cover my participation fee and related costs.

To donate, simply click on the "DONATE" icon to the left. It is a secure link. If you feel more comfortable sending a check to me, my address is:

James Butler
1134 Lawson Lane
Austin, TX 78702

To make a tax-deductible donation, send a check made out to "WorldTeach, Inc." to WorldTeach. Please make sure that you note the donation is towards "James Butler--Kenya Year Program." If you don't mind, could you please send me an email (see my profile) when you send the donation to WorldTeach so I can send you a thank you letter? Thanks!

WorldTeach
c/o Center for International Development
Harvard University, Box 122
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge MA 02138 USA


THANK YOU!

02 January 2008

Dream becoming Reality

On New Year's Eve, I received a phone call that quickly turned one of my lifelong dreams into a reality...I have been accepted to teach in Kenya! WorldTeach, a non-profit based out of Harvard University, has enabled me to finally pursue this dream of teaching abroad in Africa. I will depart the States in mid-July 2008 and inspire/be inspired in the Nyumbani Village in Kenya for at least 1 year.

The Nyumbani (pronounced 'Nee-oom-BAH-nee') Village is located approximately 3 hours north of Nairobi. This village was built to serve elders and orphans whom have been left behind by the AIDS pandemic. The children that I will be teaching are orphans whom have lost both parents to AIDS. No doubt this is going to be an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience! "Lea Toto" (the name of this blog site) means, "to raise the child" in Swahili. Not only is this is the mentality of the Village where I will be living and working, but it is also the name of a program launched by Nyumbani to provide services to HIV+ children and their families. I am so fortunate and excited to live and work in a place dedicated to the AIDS pandemic, a disease that is devastating an entire continent, as well as the world.

Here are some of living/working details that I am aware of:
  • The program lasts from July 2008-July 2009
  • The cost of the program is $6,000. I am trying to raise that money, which includes my flight to/from Kenya, health insurance, visa, housing, and food. Pretty reasonable for 1 year.
  • I will be staying in some type of volunteer housing with the 6 other WorldTeach volunteers.
  • I am going to try to learn as much of Swahili and Kikuyu (local language) as possible. I love learning new languages!
  • I will receive a stipend of $100 per month. Yes, living large and in charge!! :) This is truly volunteer work.
  • I will work as a Teacher's Assistant, teaching English. I will be assigned to work with a class in a specific grade (grades 1-7).
  • We will undergo a 4 week orientation session once in Kenya. The first 2 weeks will most likely be in an AIDS orphanage in Nairobi.
  • We will have a 1-2 month break around December/January when the school is out for their end of the year holiday (like summer vacation) and we are encouraged to travel during this time!!! That is going to be amazing!
  • The possibility of extending my stay in Kenya will be decided in June/July 2009, but I will deal with that when the time comes.

I have already received amazing support and I appreciate you all for that!!! If you are willing and able to support me financially, you can click on the "DONATE" icon on my page. It is a secure link. If you feel more comfortable sending checks or money orders, you can send them to my house in Austin.

James Butler

1134 Lawson Lane

Austin, TX 78702

Let me reiterate that I am extremely thankful for any type of support: thoughts, prayers, comments on my blog, love, hugs, positive energy, donations, good vibes, etc. I THANK YOU.

PEACE AND LOVE TO YOU ALL!!!!!


Feel free to enjoy this video about the Nyumbani Village. Click on this link and then there will be a video link (look for "wmv" or "mp4"). Click on one of those to see the video.

http://www.nyumbani.org/village_need.htm