March 25, 2007 at 7:06 am | Posted in Irene, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MDGs – Goal 7

March 25, 2007 at 6:20 am | Posted in Irene | 1 Comment

Lent is one of the seasons in the Christian calendar that provides us with the space to search our hearts and confess the things “we have done and the things we have failed to do……” (So we say in the BCP). In this post, I write on Tourism in relation to #Goal 7 of the MGDs (Environmental Sustainability).

Tourism is one of those issues capable of contributing to environmental un-sustainability. Based on well structured policies, tourism can not only sustain the environment as in nature but everything and all that depends on it.

Speaking of Kenya, tourism dates back to pre-independence days, as early as the 1930’s. The industry is a source of employment for over 138,000 segments in direct employment and 360,000 in indirect employment, as well as the largest contributor to Kenya’s economy and a major foreign exchange earner and source. But to the same country (to some communities if not all), tourism is destructive. The Maasai of Kenya knows all about the pros and cons of the industry. Often in the name of tourism development, the host communities suffer, the government looses and natural resources are degraded (More……)

Sustainable tourism leads to sustainable environment. Structures and polices that regards natural resources, wildlife, the host community and their resources, rich culture and future generations, the tourist and all stakeholders in the industry including the government supports sustainable environment. Responsible tourism is only realized when the mentioned persons are able to live harmoniously, in an interrelated way and benefit directly from tourism without injuring any the other.

Theologically, such a system can be supported and based on the principle of Shalom. Tourism raises the question of relationships – between people and people and between people and nature. The concept of shalom embraces the gifts of Justice, Peace and Integrity of creation in their mutual interrelation. It is about preventing, improving, correcting damage, restoring and motivating people be more aware and therefore care for rather than use up resources. Shalom is modelled in the ministry and teaching of Jesus Christ – in the fundamental perspectives of Isaiah 61:1-2/Luke 4:18-19.

Key to the principle is wholeness and unity with the end results of justice. The encounter calls for a new radical response from Gods people all over the world. Tourism then becomes an opportunity to bring humans, people and nature together – to enter the world of another, to welcome our guest with respect and to enhance the participation of the host community. Lack of respect for the other creates a hostile and dominating attitude which is translated into our dealing with nature. Shalom supports work towards justice, reconciliation, empowerment, sustainability and wholeness.

A Prayer (by a Maasai Elder)

“Father-Mother Earth, we pray thee at sunrise and sunset, that you may not abandon your sacred duty of sustaining our lives. The water that quenches our thirst, the air that we breathe, the trees that provide shade, and the animals that give us company, all make life real and creation complete. We the children of the Earth pray for wisdom that we in turn may be good custodians of these precious gifts to us and our unborn generations. For is we fail to safeguard these resources, man’s (sic) moral standing as the most intelligent animal will be questionable. Furthermore, if we fail Nature, we shall have failed ourselves and the generations that come after us. And the judgement will be harsh on us”

MDGs report 2006 from Irene Ayallo

March 21, 2007 at 7:58 am | Posted in Following up, Irene | Leave a comment

The weather here (NZ) is not making it any easier for me to pay my debt. I have to say I’m paying heavily for being away for 3 weeks. Lots of catching up to do with my thesis. However, TEAM gave me lots to think about in relation to MDGs. I found this report that could help us in evaluating where we are with the MDGs. Ooops, books calling again… will be back soon!

Millenium Development Goals Report 2006

Sharing Ourselves by Irene Ayallo

March 19, 2007 at 10:50 pm | Posted in Irene, The Way Home: Thursday, 15 March 2007 | Leave a comment

Irene Ayallo from Kenya and NZIt may have been confusing or even annoying for the listeners of Jesus in John 6:51-56 using a language they were very familiar with yet in a way they could not understand. They were familiar with the use of bread, flesh and blood and probably eaten or drunk of them but just as far as these were used in their world. Therefore when Jesus speaks of eating his body and drinking from his blood, he opens up a whole new world because for them ‘flesh’ was probably evil, corrupted, frail and carried with it a connotation of temporarily (at least from a dualistic perspective) while blood was a symbol of life. How then could God share and offer himself in this fragility? Hence they ask…. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”But I guess this is the sought of thing that happens when we encounter the world of another especially of the divine. We create new meanings of things we are familiar with so as to share into the world of the other yet remain in our worlds. Jesus listeners had to rethink of what ‘flesh’ and ‘blood’ meant if they were to understand and share in his world.In the world of sharing, ‘flesh’ comes to mean the human person in his/her totality and self. In feeding on the flesh and the body of Christ we get to share the totality and the self of Christ. It is reciprocal; Christ in his divinity shares and reveals himself in the human nature though not to be evaluated on that particular nature. Sharing opens up a space to experience the mystery of the other as we find our commonness, it becomes a humbling experience as we meet on a middle ground each time we encounter one another. It becomes a challenging experience as things that we are familiar with are questioned yet not removed from our worlds. Jesus reveals himself in flesh to encounter flesh; he does not change their being, their selves but adds something more that enables the divine and human to meet. When we totally share, our world never remains the same in each encounter.

How much then do we surrender to share in the otherness of the other whom we share so much in common in the unity of Christ? Is it a challenging, humbling and changing experience or we prefer to safely safeguard the world we are familiar with yet we often pray every time we come to the Lord’s table that;

“… we who share Christ’s body live with his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world…”

How then is this possible if we can not share ourselves with others?

Irene Ayallo from Kenya and New Zealand shares with us

March 17, 2007 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Irene, The Way Home: Thursday, 15 March 2007 | Leave a comment

Irene Ayallo from Kenya and NZMy name is Irene Ayallo, 26 year old – priest in the Anglican Church of Kenya, studying at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. I was invited to the TEAM conference as one of the Canterbury Scholars of 2002. My motivation for the conference is the fact it is no – longer an option for the Church to participate in the multifaceted issue of development, justice, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. Our beloved Anglican Church needed to come together to listen to one another, realise that we face common issues and work together towards effective mission. We need to develop theological reflections true to and based on concrete human situations.

The TEAM conference was to me evidence that the Church can still live with diversity. It was nice to listen to and share with people from different provinces, cultures and backgrounds. It was also an opportunity to critically examine and identify the missing ‘links’ and voices from within the communion. In his sermon at the opening Eucharist, the Most Rt. Rev. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke of the necessity of including all the voices in the music “… and if one voice is missing, the music could go wrong.”

Young people need to be involved in ministry. We are one voice that cannot afford to miss in mission. Simply because we have the potential, we only need to realize the hero in us and stand on the promises of God. My hope is that from the conference, the Church continues to invite and acknowledge the participation of everyone (the young, the old) as equal participants in the service to God and humanity.

I pray that the Church be more aware of her brokenness through the brokenness of her members, that she be aware of her ministry as breakable bread, and that we as her members be servants and have the grace to let others be our servants too….

And I met some really nice people!!!!!!!!!

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