Be The Best.

Water, Rachel, Africa and Life


It’s time to get going.

That’s more a statement to me than to anyone else.

I heard this story on the news last night and it’s a story that must be told and retold.

It’s an awesome BE THE BEST story.

Rachel, a nine year old girl from the Seattle area, wanted to make a difference.

Instead of birthday presents she wanted people to give the gift of water to others.

With the help of her Mom, she  launched a donation page.

These are her own words from the page:

On June 12th 2011, I’m turning 9. I found out that millions of people don’t live to see their 5th birthday. And why? Because they didn’t have access to clean, safe water so I’m celebrating my birthday like never before. I’m asking from everyone I know to donate to my campaign instead of gifts for my birthday. Every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund freshwater projects in developing nations. Even better, every dollar is “proved” when the projects are complete, and photos and GPS coordinates are posted using Google Earth. My goal is to raise $300 by my birthday, June 12, 2011. Please consider helping me.

Thank you so much!!!

Shockingly, sadly, unexplainedly, and without warning her life on earth ended in a terrible car crash just last week.

Our hearts are with her family and knowing some of what their journey will be like, we have an invisible bond with these people and stand by them as they march forward.

Social media can be a brutal place.

It can also be an amazing place.

I think you can guess what happened.  Rachel had got within $80 of her $300 goal on her birthday.  She was determined to raise more money this coming year.

Know what the total is tonight?

$685,110….and growing every minute!!!

Now that is amazing.

I know this.

That money is saving countless lives by providing clean water in Africa.

The act of giving is not only helping African families, but it is providing Rachel’s family with an unbelievable boost of support and love as people across the globe stand with them.


Here’s the link to her donation page if you want to check it out.  Great vid about the water situation which was an eye opener for me as well.

Seattle Times story.

Be The Best.

Wakeboards, Waterskiis, and Be The Best.

On a recent Okanagan jaunt, Ingrid and I spent a few days with our good friends Mark and Vickie.

From joining us at the hospital on that life changing evening of March 25, Mark and Vickie have been beside us on every step of this journey.  Words will never be enough to express our ongoing gratitude for our friendship.

And as a broader message, we continue to feel our larger family of support even now.  Of course summer brings a different ‘vibe’ as people (including us!) go on vacations and take in the beauty of BC and beyond and recharge the batteries.  But we still feel the support as we connect at lacrosse games, summer bbq’s, on-line, and even little things like seeing the Blog stats let’s me know that people are still connecting with us and it is appreciated!

But back to wakeboards and waterskiis…

What would summer in BC be like without some sort of water activity?  In the video below I want you to see a few things.  Of course, there is just the summer fun of getting out there, but there’s a lot more going on.  Eric is learning the sport of wakeboarding.  He was attempting 360’s which are doing a full rotation in the air.  He wipes out.  Then tries again.  Then wipes out.  Then tries again.  What was cool about this (besides the wipeout footage!!) was his discussions with his Dad after getting back into the boat.  ‘I could try this.’  ‘I could try that.’  ‘I’m going to get some lessons.’  One thing he didn’t say was ‘I quit’.  ‘I’m not doing that again’, or whatever.

You’ll also see Emily rockin along on her waterskiis.  She’s zooming over the wake like it’s soft butter.  She’s got a lot of drive and determination and it was cool to see her handle a long ski session with the poise of a pro.

The last thing I want you to notice is at the end of the video.  Eric takes a big jump and lands it after some great air time.  I’ve slowed the vid so you can see the grin on his face as he lands the jump and feels the accomplishment of learning something new.  As for the 360?  He’ll get there.  Eric and Emily have the Be The Best attitude, so it’s just a matter of hard work and practice!

PS: To see any video larger, click on the button in lower right corner of vid (the one with 4 arrows) and you can watch in full screen.  This video is also shot in HD (high def).  Click on button that says 360p with an ^.  You can then adjust to 720p for HD action.  (Hey listen…I taught my 70 something year old mom to program her PVR this week.  If she can learn that, you can do this…!  🙂  Later)

Be The Best.

Water and life.

Guichon Creek on the BCIT campus. May 17, 2010.

At lunch today I decided to take a short walk only minutes from my Burnaby office.  Just behind the hum and drone of Willingdon Ave, there is a magical little path that takes you along Guichon Creek which flows through the BCIT property.  That creek has been amazingly restored by Mark Angelo, BCIT colleagues and students.  Mark is the Chair of the Rivers Institute at BCIT and Founder of World Rivers Day.  In any event, hearing that water today and being transported into that natural setting just steps from the urban sprawl was energy needed at the right time.

Chris turns 16. Jan 14, 2009.

I was going to do something different tonight for the blog, but I came across this picture of Chris when he turned 16 on January 14, 2009.  I couldn’t stop looking at it.  I miss him so much.   Here’s the most bizarre thing.  It hadn’t rained here all night and just as I was staring at the picture, a rain shower pounded down for a couple of minutes and then was gone.  Now I realize it rains all the time here in the Vancouver area!  I get it.  But that burst of rain tonight brought the same feeling that the sound of the stream brought today at lunchtime.  Water is so integral to our lives and for whatever reason we’ve always loved the sound of water from the waves of Hawaii to the surf of Oregon and California or the gentle tides of White Rock.

Water brings life.  When I hear it, I think of Chris and the amazing life he lived.  Love ya kid.