... so said the good fathers at Saint Trinians. In this instance, however, a talkative Irishman was actually a good thing.
I hosted a themed storytelling event last night, at Caer Blanco, a gothically themed sim. Our objective was to raise money for the Phelisanong Clinic II in Lesotho. The current establishment is so poor it actually has dirt floors. In the words of the sim owner, Rascal Blanco:
Lesotho is a small country in southern Africa; mountainous and stunningly beautiful, the country is home to the Basotho people. AIDS is taking a devastating toll on the country, with people in their productive years, i.e., parents, farmers, teachers and health workers, dying in alarming numbers. Left behind are children and the elderly, who struggle to survive.
In the foothills of the Maluti mountians, a remarkable community is providing a home for disabled children and those whose parents have died of AIDS. Founder Mamello Lehlotha has a wonderful strength of spirit, a sense of humor and a clear picture of what she wants to accomplish. The Phelisanong Disabled HIV-AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children Community Project provides a resource center for disabled adults and children, a primary school with over 300 students, several HIV-AIDS support groups, a farm, a pre-school, a handicraft cooperative and an outreach program that serves 14 villages in the area.
Recently a small clinic has been established at Phelisanong. This clinic is housed in a tiny rondeval which has an army cot for examinations, a small locking cupboard and a desk and table for the nursing assistant. There is a great need for basic medical supplies and equipment. Since our visit this spring, we have learned that the community around Phelisanong has begun to rely on the clinic thus putting an additional strain on their already meager resources. Partners for Others will be shipping a container of donated medical equipment and furnishings for the clinic and school in early 2009. We are working on raising the funding for a new clinic building that will give patients some privacy and enable waiting patients to be inside rather than out in the weather. Thank you so much for helping us with this project.
In 2006, Partners For Others, owners of Better World in Second Life partnered with SOLID to bring a bit of Lesotho to the virtual world. We raised awareness with a beautiful exhibit for Gardens of Hope. This project linked five communites in Lesotho through the construction and maintenance of tree nurseries , gardens and greenhouses. Gardens of Hope project assisted in the production of tree, vegetable, medicinal herb and fruit seedlings and crops. We are thrilled to announce that these projects have been successful and have reached the point of being self-sustaining. We can't thank the community of Second Life enough for their generous support of Gardens of Hope.
Our combined efforts and donation raised more than 8 thousand lindens last night, which may seem like not much compared to RFL dollars, but that's not bad for an hour's work, I must say!
The audience seemed to enjoy the evening; at least the laughed in the places they should laugh, and clapped sometimes. :-D
I had prepared 20 stories, honestly not knowing what to expect. I managed, i think, to tell four:
The Foundations of Our Traditions: a zombie invasion short story
The Tell Tale Heart: Poe's story of obsession and murder
The Bowmen: a story about a supernatural salvation that I love to tell
Dey Ain't No Ghosts: done in dialect,and edited for PC reasons (whew!)
I greatly enjoyed participating in this event, and will happily volunteer for another, if called upon.