How is it that David Oliver Relin's obit was shoved innocuously in the 12/30/12 Sunday Oregonian? I had not heard of his suicide until today, yet he is such a notable figure in the Portland Metro Oregon area. His death hits home due to not only my page dedicated to Three Cups of Tea but that he died here, a half hour from where I live. And my husband knew his wife....
Perhaps with the looming fiscal cliff, and with all the other tragedies that have been happening, it just didn't get on the radar.
My sincere condolences to his family - it is a travesty in itself that this scandal has taken his life. Below is an excerpt from a recent posting that I thought worth sharing:
"An online obituary has a guest book filled with testaments to an eminently sane journalist who labored to make himself a benefit to the world. One friend remembered that Relin had been “a class act” even as a kid in summer camp. Another recalled him bringing a flower to his wife when she was teaching at Pubic School 183 in New York. Friends of his parents wrote of a young man who had “the head and the heart to bring elegance to the ordinary.”
I just last night celebrated the Khmer Heritage night with my friends from Cambodia, and Kilong posted on Facebook this morning that donors wrote checks for $500.00 or more for building schools in Cambodia.
Life can be heart breaking and equally heart warming all at the same time.
The recent controversy about the validity of Greg Mortenson's book "Three Cups of Tea" has given me pause - especially in light of my trip to Cambodia. I have charitable organizations similar to what he was attempting to do that are near and dear to my heart - and I am including the links below:
Both are registered as 501(c) 3's and are reputable, Portland, Oregon based charities. Please check their websites for upcoming fundraisers.
Golden Leaf supports the building of schools and additional supplies and food for the children of Cambodia. This organization was founded by Khmer Rouge survivor, Kilong Ung whose moving memoir of his survival in the killing fields inspired a group of us to go to Cambodia and open his first school in Battambang. The imagery of my trip is under the gallery "Cambodia Awakening." I will personally donate 20% of all proceeds from that Gallery to Goldenleaf.
Kukatonon is a local Children's African Dance Troupe that was founded by Rolia Manyongai-Jones, originally from Liberia, another remarkable individual from yet another war-torn country.
These are two of my favorite causes and I strongly encourage participation in the events and activities they promote.
I hope that whatever happens to Greg Mortenson's cause will not stop the funding and education of women in Pakistan - someone will need to carry the torch and he at least understands how important it is to provide education to the women of the world, and those efforts alone will endure what human frailties he may or may not have succumbed to.