It’s amazing that whenever you try to lend a helping hand, people come on your path who are in need. April’s cause was of course, Japan, because so many people lost their homes, their loved ones and are now struggling to rebuild.
We got in touch with a Canadian guest who went to Salsa & Salsa in Cozumel. She gave English classes at a school in Sendai for a while. The owner of the school is Michiko Eckard. She married an American, and moved to Seattle so her 3 kids could get an American education, but she arrived to Japan shortly before the earth quake struck. Since then she has helped many people in the Sendai community, including an elderly home and many internally displaced people. There is a lot of damage to the building, but the government inspectors did NOT give it a ‘red-tag’ (which means no one can occupy that building)!
Little LELA managed to collect the astonishing amount of $1,150USD, combining donations from Mazatlan, Cozumel and Los Cabos. A hundred percent of our donations will be going to this school in Sendai where it will buy school books, and help rebuild parts of the school that were demolished by the quake.
May’s cause for LELA will be the town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It was almost completely destroyed by the tornado that struck at the end of April. The money will go to the DCH Medical Centre in Tuscaloosa. As soon as we have more details, they will be posted on our website (www.salsaandsalsa.com/lela.php).
Sending you all our love,
Dancing Chef Maaike
Our Earth is hurting…earthquakes, tsunami’s, animals falling from the sky and icebergs melting.
Do you ever sit and wonder where it all went wrong? I often wonder who is to blame and I get angry knowing that it was generations before us that started the snowball effect that has led our planet to be in such a state. I too take blame for my generations lack of interest in saving our planet, but proudly say I am an avid recycler, I plant trees and fruit seeds whenever I can (wherever I can!) and I refuse to eat Shrimp or Fish that is not in season (so to discourage poaching).
I take comfort in knowing the little I do really DOES make a difference and if everyone did the same as I (or more) then our planet would not be hurting so much.
March and April has seen much devastation already, with the shocking images we’ve seen come out of Japan.
The earthquake, followed by a huge Tsunami, hit the countries north populations on March 11th. The hardest hit city was Sendai, with the city being literally swept away in just under a few hours. It’s hard to imagine what being there would feel like…I mean, what would be going through the people’s minds? I just can’t imagine it!! What horror!
Well, all we could do was watch it unfold on tv and pray…hoping that those who survived would be rescued and those who did not would be found to give their families peace of mind.
Lela sat patiently, as she also watched it all unfold and so April will be dedicated to Japan. 100% of the donations will go to Japan to help families who have been left homeless and children that have lost their parents. The death toll as of Wednesday has reached a horrific 12,468 with thousands still missing. We hope we can raise a record number for these victims and help them in same way, even if it is by giving them a little hope.
On a lighter note, we’re proud to say we raised a whooping $1722 New Zealand Dollars which went to the Red Cross in Christchurch, NZ to help those who most needed it after the earthquake they went through.
We’ll have some more updates on which group will be used for Japan. There are so many charities helping out there and we want to make sure we pick one that has little, if any, admin costs, so that help is really reached to those who need it.
In the wake of the devastating earthquake which rocked New Zealand’s second largest city, Christchurch is left with the painstaking task of rebuilding a city which was hit hard by the 6.3 earthquake on Tues, 22 Feb, 2011.
Images and video footage of the earthquake bring back memories of the Chilean earthquake, with people looking around, not knowing who to turn to or what to do.
Having lived in New Zealand for a total of three years, it pained me to see the distress this earthquake has caused. Less than six months prior, the same city suffered from another earthquake and the town was only just beginning to rebuild itself and its confidence.
I spent time further south in a city called Dunedin, a gorgeous city, filled with beautiful views, kind people and a port which invites anyone and everyone to visit the charming town. I had been there with my then boyfriend, a New Zealander who had moved to Melbourne for new opportunities. We met, fell in love and it was time to meet his family. When we decided to move to Dunedin, we had left everything behind to start a new life. I had already left home and had also moved to Sydney. My life of adventure was well on its way! Looking for work was easy, I had plenty of hospitality experience, so I joined the team at ‘The Reef Seafood Restaurant’ where I was the supervisor. I grew to love Dunedin. It’s people, it’s streets and even it’s weather (picture Seattle rain and its skies times 10!!).
Well, jump forward a good 13-14 years and that relationship did not work out, although we still stay in touch. I had taken several trips to Christchurch. I am a secret wine buff (oops, secret’s out!) so I enjoyed taking road trips to wineries in and around the Christchurch area. Many of you have probably even tried some of the wines!!
As you can see from the map, there are many wine regions in New Zealand and Christchurch is a popular one in Canterbury.
I still get online and look for photos and video of the earthquake, as I find it hard to believe that many of the places that I have been through are destroyed. Reports indicate that aftershocks are still disrupting many parts of the city, delaying the return of up to 1/3 of its residents.
LELA has chosen Christchurch as her cause for the month of March, and we will be donating 100% of her donations to the Red Cross in Christchurch, as we know they have feet on the ground over there. We’d like to thank all donors as this cause holds a special place in my heart.
For those who are lucky enough to ever get to New Zealand, you’ll get to enjoy the beauty of its people, its food, its cities and its wine, because anyone who goes to New Zealand and DOESN’T try a glass of Sauvignon Blanc should be locked up! 😉
I’d also like to send all our hopes and prayers to victims of the Japan earthquake. We are working towards making Lela in April for Japan, but as our planet cries out for help, we cross our fingers that no more earthquakes shake our world and leave others in need.