Eight years ago, the 1,500 residents of the Kenyan village of Lwala sold chicken and cattle to raise $900 in airfare so that one of their boys, Milton Ochieng, could enter Dartmouth College. Today, Ochieng is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Medical School and, along with his brother Fred—who followed him to both alma maters—he has repaid the favor by building a clinic in his home village. The brothers raised $150,000 for the clinic, which in its first year has seen 20,000 patients, most for free. “It makes you feel how great it is to be a doctor,” said Ochieng.
Using gallons of cherry-flavored Kool-Aid for ballast, Kent Couch this week flew 235 miles from Bend, Ore., to Cambridge, Idaho, in a makeshift aircraft consisting of 150 helium-filled balloons strapped to a garden chair. It was Couch’s third attempt at interstate travel using this particular mode of transportation; last year, he made it 193 miles but failed to cross the state line. “If I had the time and money, I’d do this every weekend,” said Couch, 48. “Things just look different from up there. You’re moving so slowly. The best thing is the peace, the serenity.”
Fifty-four years ago, Jan Zacharda lost her Ludington, Mich., high school ring in the depths of Lake Michigan. Last month, she got a call from Robert Savage, who had found it with a metal detector. Savage had actually discovered the ring 12 years ago, but couldn’t locate its owner; though Zacharda’s class year, 1955, was clear, the ring was stamped with the initials “J.P.” for “Jan Pedersen”—her maiden name. But Savage recently got hold of the Ludington yearbook for the class of ’55 and found only one name with the right initials. He then began calling all the area Pedersens until he found one who knew Jan. “It’s nice that there are some honest people out there still,” she said.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- America is doomed! (And other thoughts on our gloomy historical moment.)
- Your 2-year-old doesn't need to go to school
- 11 weeknight dinners you can make without a recipe
Subscribe to the Week