Running for a Good Cause

One week from tomorrow on February 2nd, I will have been in South Africa for exactly one year. It's hard to believe that it's already been a year, and still I am learning so much and gaining so much from this experience. And plenty of new experiences are yet to come.

One of these is the Longtom Marathon--actually a half- and an ultra-marathon. Though I'd love to tell you that my running has improved so dramatically that I'll be running the ultra, I'm going with the much more attainable half, 21.2km. The marathon takes place on March 27 in Sabie, Mpumalanga Province, not too far from Kruger Park. It starts at the top of the Longtom Pass and goes downhill most of the way into Lydenburg. You may remember seeing pictures from my trip to Blyde River Canyon. Longtom Pass is in the same region as the canyon. Longtom is a major annual event for Peace Corps volunteers. It will be a lot of fun for all of us to get together in one a place. Its rare that so many of us, somewhere around 70, are able to get together.

In addition to having a good time though, the main reason for taking part is to support the KLM foundation. The organization was founded by two PCVs (Peace Corps volunteers) who served here in South Africa a few years ago. They decided to use the Longtom Marathon as a fundraiser to provide the financial means for a worthy, needy child to attend an excellent independent high school in Mpumalanga called Uplands College. It's a great opportunity to bring great educational opportunity to a child who will become a leader in the future of this country. The children they choose for this opportunity are very carefully selected through a four-tier application process. In the seven years that KLM has been fundraising through Longtom, seven children have been chosen and are all excelling. You can read more about the work of the KLM foundation at www.klm-foundation.org.

But why share all this with you? I am asking for your support. Please give what you can; any amount is appreciated. Even if you can only give $5, it is much needed. Of course, larger donations are welcome too :) And your donation is tax-deductible. So please go to the KLM website to make a donation, just click on the 'donate' photo. Make sure to put my name in the white box where it asks for the Longtom runner you want to sponsor.

The online donation is preferable, but if you need to mail in a check, please make it payable to "Kgwale Le Mollo (US)" and send it to:

KLM Foundation (US)
c/o Bowen Hsu
461 So. Bonita Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91107

Please make sure to include a note that your donation is on my behalf.

Thank you for your support, and especially for supporting the child who is chosen next year to attend Uplands College. I'll be sure to put up a post after the race, and let you know how everything went.