A Little Give
I've got a lot of ground to cover today so get ready for a long bit of rambling.
First, we've made it back to our floating home in Mexico and it feels pretty great to be home. Even though I'm from Seattle and have spent the majority of my life in the region, it just doesn't feel like home anymore. Home is where our boat is currently floating and where it's currently floating has lots of tacos with my name on them, just waiting to be eaten. Mmmmmmmmm...tacos.
The bad news that I just realized this morning as I was stepping into the shower is the fact that I am now a translucent pasty white from head to toe. There are no tan lines left. A few weeks in Seattle's winter wonderland wiped away any shade of color that we had accumulated over our last 9 months of sailing the high seas, chasing an endless summer. Brenda actually asked if I was sick because I was so pale. Funny thing, I was thinking the same thing about her. But don't worry too much, if there's anything we're good at, it's working hard, and we'll have no problem working hard to get our tans back.
We've been getting lots of questions and statements about the glasses endeavor we are taking on. Everything from where are we going to store them on the boat, to how are we intending to help everyone on the face of the earth (not possible), to are we doctors and how can we feel qualified to give an exam and glasses, to how someone like you can help, among many others. I have even gotten some messages from people who have said we are wasting our time and making matters worse for people with nothing. By giving a sliver of hope and help, we are just setting someone up for failure and disappointment. Well, I'm not exactly sure how to respond to the last statement, other than to assume some people didn't get enough hugs as kids, so I'm just going to leave it alone. As for the other questions, I'll touch on the majority of them in the months and years to come. For now, I just want to answer the most pressing one. What can you do to help?
That's a big broad question with multiple answers. The first and easiest way is to go to the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation's website and give a few bucks. There is a donate button on the site which makes it easy. Their website is here:
Next, go to the same website and figure out how you can donate your old glasses. And yes that means everything you don't need anymore – sunglasses, readers/cheaters, nearsighted, farsighted, bifocals, etc..... If you are like me, you probably have some old specs lying around that you aren't using that are taking up space and collecting dust. Either drop them off at one of their multitude of collection boxes, or if you aren't near a collection site, pick up the phone and find out where you can mail them to. The glasses will get cleaned, reconditioned, and given to someone in need, quite possibly even by us in some random corner of the globe.
Beyond those two ways, things get a little more complicated. We've gotten some messages asking if people can send us a check to help out with any costs we have that are associated with the glasses. The quick answer to that is no. The glasses themselves cost us nothing. They are donated and we are giving them away for free. There are some indirect costs involved, like the suitcases we purchased to get them home, the fact that Brenda had to sell one of my kidneys on the black market to cover the baggage fees at the airport, and costs associated with traveling from place to place in our floating home to deliver these glasses. We were aware of all of those things when we signed up for this, and all of those things are costs that we want to cover. It's our small gift to humanity. So, thanks for the offer but no thanks.
But don't you fret, because if you are a good friend of ours and you sent a few bucks to the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation, you donated your old glasses, and you still want to help out, well, you are in luck. There are lots of other options.
If you want to get your hands dirty and actually help distribute these glasses, we have a spare bedroom in our sailboat with your name on it. Our good friends are always welcome to join us and help out for a bit. There are certain regions where this is more of a possibility than others, but if you have the mindset that you would like to contribute your time and energy, we'd love to have you. You'll not only get to stay in extremely cramped 4th class accommodations, you'll get to see your favorite people on earth (us), and you'd see what real life is like for the people who live here while sweating profusely. What more could you want?
If a 4th class trip on the high seas isn't up your alley, there is still more that can be done. Even though we are extremely excited about delivering free glasses to people who need them, we are aware that you may not be as excited as us. There may be some other project or idea that you have in mind that we may be able to help with. We have had requests in the past from people who have a connection to a certain area we will be traveling in and we know more than a few of you reading this who have roots in Mexico. If there is something in particular you know of that would make a direct difference in people's lives, drop us a message and we'll see if we can't work it out. We are up for nearly anything.
If you are still feeling like you just want to send us a few bucks and we can decide where to put it to good use, well, I think that's complicated too. We aren't a charity organization and we don't want to be. We have a couple of other projects we are working on that we may at some point ask monetary help with, but for now, we are just 2 people traveling the world by sailboat hoping to do a little bit of good along the way.
However, if after reading all of that and you still have time, money, and energy left over, and you are still thinking that you want to shovel buckets full of money our way, because maybe you have been reading this blog for the past couple of years and/or have been watching our videos and seem to get something out of them, well, we have one last option for you that has nothing to do with charitable giving - unless you count feeding me tacos as charitable.
2nd only to boat maintenance, this blog and the video series are our biggest expense. Shocking but true. When we left almost 3 years ago, we were in the States and had a Starbucks on every corner with free wifi. Not the case anymore. Cameras have been taken out of commission by salt water and replaced, and upgraded computers for editing videos have been added. But most surprising, is how much we spend on internet access to upload all of this stuff, especially in places where internet access is severely limited. If you feel like you want to contribute to the making of the nonsense you are reading or watching, there is now an option for that.
On this website, there is now a tab in the upper right corner titled, “buy us some tacos”. I don't think it works on a mobile device, so if you are reading this on your phone, go to the web version and click on the tab. Or, just go to this website here:
The patreon account works like a subscription fee. You can select a dollar amount that you are willing to shell out for each blog posting and video made (as little as $1) and you can start or stop at any time. For about the price of a delicious cup of foo-foo coffee each month, you can feel good knowing that you are helping us by keeping us keeping on. And if you don't feel like contributing, well, that's no big deal too. We'll still put this nonsense out there for you to stare at and scratch your head while thinking, “uh, what was that all about?”
In the interest of full disclosure, any funds that come from the “buy us some tacos” link will not only go to funding internet access, and cameras, and odds and ends that make the blog and videos, it will also go directly to tacos. If you haven't had real tacos from a real street cart in Mexico, you just haven't lived. They are probably the best thing ever. So yeah, by signing up at the link above, you are feeding an addiction.
There are a couple more points I want to make today. First, is that we are currently in Mexico. Mexico is just one country of many we are planning on stopping at with our little floating home in this world. We aren't in any rush to get anywhere, but we are slowly making our way beyond Mexico. One of the big appeals of distributing the glasses, as well as a couple of other projects we are working on that we'll share with you hopefully in the near future, is that they are mobile.
There will be times and places where we can get to work and do a lot of good. There are also going to be long stretches of time and distance where our services aren't needed or warranted. That's OK. Again, we aren't in any rush and the fact that we are mobile means we'll eventually get to those places where we can be a helping hand again.
The last point I want to make today is that we are just 2 people. We get an amazing amount of joy out of doing some good, but we aren't trying to save the world. We are travelers, wandering somewhat aimlessly with the wind and weather patterns, attempting to do something good as we go. But charitable giving really isn't the focus of our lives. We don't wake up in the morning and say to ourselves, “today, we need to do 10 good deeds!” We wake up in the morning ready to explore a new area, meet new people, and live the lives we have chosen for ourselves. It just so happens that there are places we are going and people we are meeting who can use a little helping hand. And since we are in these places and are ready and willing to lend a hand, why wouldn't we? It just makes sense.
|Brenda had a great idea to climb to the top of Mazatlan. 1,000 steps later and in blistering heat, we made it.|
|One of Mazatlan's many amazing viewpoints.|
|And another amazing viewpoint. Not too shabby of a place to be roaming around.|
|Statues are going up all over the city in preparation of Carnival|
|Home sweet home in Mazatlan.|