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Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhoea.  
2006 United Nations Human Development Report  

Need a hand? - February 22nd, 2009

I mentioned in our last update that we’ve had a hard time finding silly ways to help people.  We’ve tried to do a few things, but are constantly hampered by the belief that we must be mental.  When I tried to wash people’s windows, they freaked out.  When we reply to ads on craigslist, we get ignored.  When Wade and I handed out gift certificates, people refused to take them. 

Yesterday, I stopped to help someone having car problems on the highway.  At least, I assume they were having car problems as they were sitting on the side of the highway with their hazard lights on.  I pulled over and approached the vehicle to see if I could help.  Perhaps I’m not the friendliest looking person around, but I’m certainly less intimidating than I used to be.  Personally, I don’t think there’s much intimidating about a balding guy in an Audi at 3pm in Ottawa. 

As I approached, I could see that she was on her phone.  I’m fairly certain that she noticed me as I had just parked in front of her and walked straight up to her window.  I stood there for an awkward ten seconds or so, baffled.  This woman just sat there, ignoring me.  She kept yapping on the phone and spent some time looking for something in her glove box.  At this point, I suppose I should have taken the hint and just slunk away to my car.  I was a bit bemused however, and was curious to see what she would say.  I didn’t have to wait long.

I guess that she was upset at my intruding on her phone call.  I’m not sure.  She finally rolled her window down half an inch and told me “I’m fine” in an exasperated voice.  She promptly returned to her conversation; no doubt involving the creepy guy harassing her on the side of the highway.  I just laughed and went back to my car.  I have a feeling that if it were still -30 here she might have been a bit more receptive.

I can understand a woman being nervous about some random stranger helping her out.  I can assure you that this woman wasn’t nervous.  She was just rude.  Maybe it’s the general selfishness out there, the paranoia, or maybe it’s the cell phones.  We just don’t seem to be open to taking help from other people any more. 

So, I’m going to throw it out there one more time.  If you need a hand with something, send me a message.  I don’t care if you need help moving furniture, baking cookies, or talking to your children about sex.  I’ll help if I think I can.  Well, maybe not with that last one.  That’s what the internet is for.

If there’s something that you could use some help with, drop us a line and I’ll see what we can do.  We don’t have any money, but we do have time, a few skills, and the willingness to help.  You’re supporting us, I think the least we can do is the same.  Don’t be shy, you might be surprised.





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