Yesterday was Blog Action Day, and the theme this year was poverty. Among the 12,836 participating blogs with an estimated 13,498,532 readers, my contribution, I was informed late yesterday, was missing something. “You said everyone else’s reaction but not mine,” said my wife. A brief discussion ensued in which I didn’t have a lot to say… but basically I figured since it was her story, I shouldn’t tell it without clearing it first. And now that she’s taken me to task, I will say — lest anyone think she was the only one unaffected by our tour — that it impacted her quite deeply as well. It was on her mind for several days as she recommended the tour to everyone we saw. When we discussed it yesterday, she reminded me that the experience was “life-changing.”
Last month I heard on the radio about an event taking place at The Forks in Winnipeg. Turns out that Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was running a tour that would be in town that weekend — the event was to set up a refugee camp and give tours of it so people could get a feel for the facilities and the conditions in one of the many refugee camps in the world. We decided it’d be good for the whole family, so we all headed down to check it out. Unfortunately, the SD Card with the photos was corrupted, but there are other photos online of the event, and you can preview it online as well to get a sense of the different stations on the tour and the information presented at each. The preview sets you in the role of the refugee — or IDP, Internally Displaced Person, since “refugees” are technically people who have crossed a border; IDPs may be in the same position, but have not actually left their country.
I’ve signed on for Blog Action Day again this year. Last year we posted on the environment (my contribution was called “So Long Ago The Garden“), and this year we’ll be posting on poverty. Blog Action Day is October 15th, so it may seem a bit early, but already as of this writing there are 1,480 sites committed, with a readership of more than 3,000,000. This is almost certain to grow tenfold in number of sites participating, and I would encourage any bloggers to join in. I realize that there was a synchroblog a few days ago which was coincidentally on the same subject… but it’s an important issue and the volume of posts for this one day is sure to dominate the blogosphere, bringing it top of mind for a very wide audience.
I’ve had an old post based on an older idea brewing for several years, and in honour of Blog Action Day, I’m pressing myself to rework and publish it. Blog Action Day is an experiment in response to the premise, “What would happen if every blog published posts discussing the same issue, on the same day? One issue. One day. Thousands of voices.” The issue? The environment. As I write, there are 11,320 blogs participating… I don’t know what that number will when it’s published.
I recently wrote On the Loss of Wonder and its follow-up visiting distinctly environmental themes just ahead of my mention of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, birds, and the environment. Thoughts on the environment in connection to the Christian faith go back some way, but unfortunately there’s been a period of chosen ignorance on the matter. I hope to continue with corrective thought.