Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bellingham Traverse fundraising

Mark Rhode has laid out the simple steps for setting up your fundraising portal for the Bellingham Traverse.  You can read about them at http://www.actionforafrica.org/p/bellingham-traverse.html#fundraise.

If you can't or don't want to raise funds this year, you can done using one of the personal fundraising sites already setup like http://www.razoo.com/markrhode.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Signing up for the Bellingham Traverse 2011!

It's not too late to sign up for the Bellingham Traverse, which is just next weekend (9/17).  It's not too late, but be sure to get you team registered by Sunday, 9/11.  You can register at http://www.actionforafrica.org/p/bellingham-traverse.html#registration.

Breeding Family Update - September 2011


August 7 marked the one year anniversary of our arrival in the USA as a family of 7.  The first year was a whirlwind of activity and transition for all of us.  The house was under renovation for most of the year and still has a few small finishing touches to be done before we can say it is complete.  It is very nice to have the extra space and the additional bathroom, even though there are still turf wars for the privacy time in the kids loo.   The first year of school was a success and all the kids did their best and improved dramatically in their English skills.  Lots of soccer, basketball, and swim lessons preceded the first summer break.  Summer in the PNW was a little cool early but by August the weather turned and we were able to enjoy a family camping trip to Birch Bay where we cooked out, went biking,  kayaking, crabbing, and spent a day at the water slides.

Now we are back in school.  Alex is a 2nd grader, David is a 3rd grader, Karabo is a 5th grader, Michelle is now in 6th and likes being a Middle Schooler.  Phillip is 14 and Selloane and I have decided to Home School him for 8th grade.  Not that we don’t like the school, but we have found that he gets lost in the shuffle and has certain needs that can be better met in a more flexible setting that can cater to him.  This is going to be a big challenge, but one that we feel  is the right thing to do for this young man at this time.
 
September 5th marked the 2-year anniversary of my sister-in-law’s death.  We honored her and remembered her  in several ways and continue to deal with the loss and grief related to her passing and the huge transition we have all been through.  HIV/AIDS sucks, period.  It is a constant in our lives and we do our best to keep it out in the open and not hidden under the rug or behind the couch.

Action for Africa continues its good work by collaborating with the people of Lesotho to provide the support for life in all its fullness.  We continue to be a part of A4A and on September 17th, three of us will be racing on three different A4A teams in the Bellingham Traverse.  Selloane and I will be on the 1st  leg, running 5.5m, and Phillip will be running 3.5m on the 4th leg.  Hope to see some of you out there!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bellingham Traverse 2011 registration is live!

Registration for the Bellingham Traverse as an Action For Africa team is up and running.  Head on over to the Bellingham Traverse page.  A couple of things to note:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Kayaks

Our Action For Africa kayaks are available for all Action For Africa Bellingham Traverse racers.

We have two kayaks stored at the Community Boating Center in Fairhaven. You are welcome to use them anytime they are available. A few things:

- Check for their availability at:


- If you would like to book them, please email kayaks@actionforafrica.org

- For information on hours and location of the Community Boating Center: www.boatingcenter.org

- Our kayaks are stored in lockers C18 and C19







- The kayaks do not come with paddle, skirt etc. For $5/day, the Boating Center rents to full package of paddle, skirt, life jacket, sponge, bilge pump and paddle float. Or, bring your own!

Thank you for helping Action For Africa through your participation in the Bellingham Traverse. We look forward to you racing with us again this year.

Enjoy the kayaks!

Bellingham Traverse 2011

Dear friend,

It seems like yesterday that you and I wore our yellow Action for Africa jerseys and raced in the 2010 Bellingham Traverse.

Because of you -- and hundreds like you -- we raised awareness of poverty in Lesotho, Africa -- and raised almost $20,000 to care for children who are living in very great need. Thank you so very much for your role in our success last year.

In February, a team of 9 Whatcom County residents (including my son, wife and I) visited the projects in Lesotho where those funds are being invested. I can tell you with all confidence that those funds are being used to bring safe water, healthcare, food and new life to children and families in Lesotho.

The 2011 Bellingham Traverse is only a few months away -- and we are committed to doing even MORE to care for children living in Lesotho. This year we hope to raise $50,000 to continue our work and reach even more children in Lesotho.

I want to invite you to a very important KICK-OFF PARTY for the 2011 Bellingham Traverse -- Action for Africa - Style! Please join us on Sunday, July 10th at the Bellingham Yacht Club http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Bellingham+Yacht+Club&ll=48.759357,-122.504876&spn=0.006931,0.01929&fb=1&gl=us&cid=0,0,11124272533302630462&z=16&iwloc=A).

Come be part of the action! Invite your friends to attend . . . it will be a great event! We will make a brief presentation at 4PM and 6:30PM with time between and after for socializing. Join us for food, fun and a briefing on our work in Africa. You will also have the opportunity to start forming your team for the 2011 event and become equipped to help us raise our goal of $50,000.

Please RSVP today by responding to this email or by accepting our invite at the KICK-OFF PARTY Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=223434484348307

See you soon,

for all of us at Actrion For Africa
David Loeppky

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Breeding Update: 7 months since back from Lesotho


It has been 7 months since we arrived back from Lesotho with our new family.  The kids are adjusting well to their new life and all it has to offer.  The first semester of school saw them all make dramatic improvements in reading and speaking English.  

Phillip, my 13yr old 7th grader has had the most difficult time adjusting, but he is a good boy and wants to do well.  He just has the biggest gap to fill educationally and the most loss and grief to deal with at the same time as trying to fit in socially and all that.  It is huge.  He is going to soccer referee school next week and looks forward to trying out for the elite Rangers team at the end of April.  He is really fast and a great soccer player.  He wishes life could be easier, i.e. no school or tutoring which takes away from time that could be spent having fun....He loves hip-hop music and wonders if Jaden Smith has to go to school.  I think he struggles most with the materialism of this culture and it frustrates him that we can't afford all the latest and greatest TV's and video game systems and why he can't have a cell phone and his own computer.   We don't even have cable TV....what a disgrace...LOL.   

The youngest ones(David and Alex) are flying and are already forgetting Sesotho despite our efforts to speak it at home....They respond in English  when spoken to in Sesotho, but they still hear it and talk it sometimes.  They are responding to the love and comfort of having a home and both parents involved in their lives.  They have many friends and have been going to lots of birthday parties and play dates.  

Karabo(10yr old 4th grader) is making great strides in school and has lots of friends.  She struggles with all the rules at home though.  I think she didn't have many or any rules for the last couple of years over there.  Last night she wanted to do homework after 9pm and i told her it was bedtime and she just couldn't understand why I was being so mean.  Part of it is having never had a father in her life who was there to set limits and make and enforce rules.  She enjoys being a part of Girls Scouts with Michelle and had fun playing soccer and basketball, though she doesn't want to play soccer this spring.  She and the boys are all starting a Taekwon-do class at the YMCA this month.  Selloane is also in that class.  

Michelle(5th grader) is an amazing young person...so mature and fun-loving...and has adjusted to not being an only child about as well as one could hope.   She has her moments of sadness about not having as much of Daddy's time as she used to have, but she absolutely loves the energy and activity and company that comes with having siblings. She is very smart and active in Girl Scouts, Swim Team, and School Choir.

They all played soccer in the fall and basketball this winter. It has been fun watching them play.  They are responding physically to a steady diet as well as their heights on the wall charts can attest.  There is so much more I could write about each of them individually and as a group, but time is not on my side.  

Today I am off but the work never ends for a father of 5.  Selloane and I are doing the best we can trying to keep up with them while taking care of ourselves as well.  She is at Yoga class right now and I am getting my workouts in as I can.  My work schedule right now is actually user friendly for me to get some exercise while the kids are in school. The only bummer is that I have to work Saturdays, so i will miss most of their spring soccer games.  

Thanks to all of you for your financial donations which helped us get them out of harm's way and into our lives and thanks also for the continued support.  I know some of you continue to make contributions to Action for Africa on behalf of the Lesotho Orphan Fund and I want you to know that the money is helping us tremendously.  Whenever we need money to pay for activity fees or excess doctor bills that are not covered by our insurance, it is all covered because of the generous support you and many others make.  

A4A is there for us and actually a group of them went to Lesotho last month to visit the projects they have been supporting and they also got to see Papali, the 16 year old sister of our kids, who is now a teenage mother and living at Sehlabeng, Good Shepherd Centre home for teenage mothers.  She and the baby (Kabelo Michael) are doing well.  I cried when I saw her pictures and the baby.  I know I will cry even more when I finally get to hear the video message they have from her to us.  

Peace and Love,
Mike and Selloane and 5 beautiful children