Monday, October 16, 2006

Off to Liverpool...

Hello everyone! Just a quick blog to let you know that we are doing really well despite working hard and long hours, and therefore not having much free time. We travelled together to Birmingham two weekends ago for a conference of Mark's, and then to Manchester this past weekend for another conference of his, and now today I'm off to Liverpool for my job. My company has a branch in Liverpool they want me to help with the next two days. It's been fun for us to do a bit of travelling!

A few weeks ago I heard a stirring talk-show on the BBC discuss 'aid' to poor countries. At the end they concluded it definitely isn't a long term solution, but it's been ongoing for over half a century in some places. Aid actually debilitates people. What they(the poor countries) want (they had representatives from many poor countries) is to work, to feel pride and accomplishment in what they do, and to get paid appropraitely for their work. They suggested that through trade (not aid), through paying a fair price for what we're getting... we can help bring people out of poverty and give them that sense of accomplishment in their lives.

Then I was blessed in Birmingham to step into a shop that promoted fair-trade items. In this shop I picked up a "New Consumer" magazine and in that magazine I was challenged by my lifestyle/consumerist ways, but then I was actually given ways to live a more God-glorifying life... a life that helps fight poverty through what I buy/don't buy. I've always tried to be somewhat 'fair-trade', but I never felt as though I had all the equipment I needed. I never knew where to look, or what sources to trust. This magazine didn't give me all the answers, but it has put me on the right track. It's given me a place to start and some leads to follow. It also had an article on organic cotton... something I didn't think twice about before. I figured, "I'm not eating it, so I don't care if it's organic or not." Organic cotton is about saving the lives of the cotton pickers in third-world countries (from the chemicals used on not-organic cotton), about taking them out of poverty through trade, not aid, and about preserving the earth. I'll tell you more about this later.

Since then my mind has been reeling about real ways to fight poverty. I think I'd like to go on to get my MBA and use it to assist businesses to be fair-trade.

I'm excited about this, and if you are too, let's talk! Again, I'll tell you all more about this soon.

I'm off to Liverpool now...

Love,

Rachel

p.s. Please email me with your current detaills, including a mailing address for your Christmas card, and your current phone numbers. Thanks!