Support My Service Trip to Westeros

I'm not usually one to get involved in world affairs, but lately I've been feeling convicted to do so.  The world has always been a dark place, but some places are even darker than others, and I've been  looking into where I could best be a blessing to those in need. I did some research on the internet, and at last I determined where I should go.

And that's why I'm proud to announce my service trip to Westeros. I know people can get overwhelmed by long paragraphs of text, so I've decided to do the rest of this in FAQ form.

Q: Where is Westeros?

A: I'm having trouble finding it on a map, but the "West" part makes me think it's somewhere in Europe, which is nice because I can follow up the service trip with a tour of Venice and Tuscany.

Q: What other destinations did you consider?

A: At first I thought about visiting the great country of Africa. It's a classic short-term service destination, where I could take photos with smiling orphans to put on my Instagram and my online dating profile.

I also thought about digging a well in Belize, but I worried about embarrassing myself because I didn't take Spanish in high school.

Q: Why did you eventually pick Westeros?

I've heard people talking about it for years, and there are tons of articles about it online -- sites like The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes... you name it, they cover it, so it must be a really big deal.

Q: What will you be doing there?

A: As far as I know, I'm the first volunteer to take a service trip to Westeros, so I'll be working to develop it as a missions field. Specifically, I'll be interviewing people to see what they need most. Aloe? Winter coats? Ipecac?

My main goal, though, regards human narrative. A great man (Gandhi, perhaps?) said that one person's death is a tragedy, but one million is a statistic. That's exactly why no one is doing anything about Westeros. I tried to read the official account of how they got into this mess, but I was overwhelmed by all the names.

Because we feel more empathy when it's an individual, I'll be looking for that ideal story to share. I'll find the right person, and then I'll make sure they stay alive to tell their tale.

Q: How will you be funding the trip?

A: I'm looking into a GoFundMe campaign, where you can donate to the service and/or tour part of my trip. Although the service is more important (of course), the tour will give me experiences and memories to last a lifetime.

Q: How can I support this trip without giving you actual money?

A: Thoughts and prayers are always appreciated!

Don't Be a Cyclops

Despite his famed cunning, Odysseus could be remarkably foolhardy. Sure, he escaped peril after peril on his voyage home, but he hemorrhaged crew members in the process.

In all of this, Odysseus was the very essence of compassion.

In fact, he was often the one who got them into trouble in the first place.

Such was the case when they reached the land of the Cyclops.

Odysseus' crew had no real need to investigate this locale.

When they reached the cave belonging to Polyphemus, the massive size of the tools set off alarm bells in everyone but the leader.

Polyphemus' return went exactly as one might expect.

Odysseus quickly formulated a plan.

At Polyphemus' howls of pain, the other Cyclopes came running.

Then some Cyclopes tended to Polyphemus' wound while others rounded up Odysseus' crew.

Just kidding.

Literature is full of examples to emulate. The Cyclopes are not one of them.

"Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you."
  -- attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola, quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2834