So I wrote this blog posting earlier today... because I can't blog from work, I emailed it to myself to post this evening...
I wish for more ‘news’ stories like this: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/10/05/malawi.wind.boy/index.html where a 14 year old boy in Africa has the vision and drive to power his poor, draught affected village with wind power from windmills built from scraps of a junkyard, made with a screwdriver built from a corn cob and metal that ultimately supplies enough electricity and water for his entire village! What a truly wonderful story. Wow, what a kid. Seriously, 14 years old, he worked hard because he had a vision, his village-mates called him names, even his family thought he was crazy. He had to drop of out of school because his family, farmers who had no crops because there was no rain or water, could not afford his tuition of $80/year. That's amazing.
Gosh, I wish to hear news stories that are less about violence across the oceans and in our back yards and more about hope, drive and love. I wish for a news channel to actually do reporting to find GOOD news, not news that sensationalizes mistakes made or weird creepy humans. I wish for a world where those weird creepy humans do not exist or a website that provides news without mentioning them. Call it ignorance, call it living in a bubble, call it what you want, I wish either those people and things don’t exist or that I didn’t have to hear about them.
So I come home, check my email and waddya know? I get a polite little email from www.goodreads.com suggesting a book I might enjoy. It's called The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating currents of Electricity and Hope I KID YOU NOT! It is the exact story I wrote about earlier today! Yes, and it's a book. And for those of you who know the books I love, this is right up my alley- takes place in Africa (or China), person down on their luck, finds someone or something to live for and has a pleasant ending!
What I want to know is, how did they do that? How did Goodreads know how much I loved this story on CNN.com today? Just amazing.
Here's a synopsis of the book (don't worry, Bookclub, I won't choose this one but I can't wait to read it myself):
William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, Africa, a country plagued by AIDS and poverty. Like most people in his village, his family subsisted on the meager crops they could grow, living without the luxuries—consider necessities in the West—of electricity or running water. Already living on the edge, the situation became dire when, in 2002, Malawi experienced the worst famine in 50 years. Struggling to survive, 14-year-old William was forced to drop out of school because his family could not afford the $80-a-year tuition. Though he was not in a classroom, William continued to think, learn—and dream. Armed with curiosity, determination, and a library book he discovered in a nearby library, he embarked on a daring plan—to build a windmill that could bring his family the electricity only two percent of Malawians could afford. Using scrap metal, tractor parts, and blue-gum trees, William forged a crude yet working windmill, an unlikely hand-built contraption that would successfully power four light bulbs and two radios in his family’s compound. Soon, news of his invention spread, attracting interest and offers of help from around the world. Not only did William return to school but he and was offered the opportunity to visit wind farms in the United States, much like the ones he hopes to build across Africa. A moving tale of one boy’s struggle to create a better life, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is William’s amazing story—a journey that offers hope for the lives of other Africans—and the whole world, irrefutably demonstrating that one individual can make a difference.