blessed

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images
 

backwoods trails
scrambling over logs
ducking branches
scratching arms

grouse and partridge
mad flapping wings…
quiet, still
waiting
for danger to pass

underbrush clears
leaves crunch
between tall stately trees
reaching forever

golden hawks circle
(they always do)
clouds drift slowly
magic descends

i think of places
from where we’ve come
and what it took to get here —
we are blessed

 

i dreamed

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BLOG-Swing-Picture-300x225

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i dreamed

of blackberry kisses

stars that traced my shoulder

landscapes explored

places remembered

eyes of onyx, raven hair

trails in the moonlight

nights without number

days without care

.

there is a place

and you are there

a dog, two cats

some chickens in the yard

a swing for rocking

to watch the sunrise

 share a little shiver —

hold each other tighter

to soothe the morning chill

a new life starts

with us

.

Melting Stars

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Illustrator-tutorials-2012Aug-53 .

 

It was a soft October night —
quietly fell the snow,
flake by gentle flake —
making domes on fence posts,
on mailboxes,
tracing upturned branches
of waiting trees.

I know you heard me
on the porch
(you always do)
thought it was
a stirring of the breeze,
or moaning
of the boards
(you always do).

Drawn
to quiet times
knowing you are here,
I feel your peace
(alone)
and come to you.
You know I’m here,
can feel my warmth.

I see you smile.

Let us sit in silence.
Nestle
in my embrace.
Words
need not be spoken
as we watch the melting stars,
listen for the chorus
singing somewhere else.
This moment
all that matters —
quiet filled with you.

 

Summer of ’71 by Rebecca Branch

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51lYPVu7qgL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

http://ow.ly/KVnyi

Every page fascinating.

Reviewing “Summer of ’71, by Rebecca Branch, is like writing an account of a gourmet banquet where each course tastes better than the one previous. This book is: travelog, history, historical fiction, memoir and mind-blowing erotic romance.

The characters, Max and Molly, are both lovable and vulnerable. We experience events through both personalities. Molly, the stunning international fashion model, who has been used and abused, finds herself stranded and homeless in Rome.  She is offered accommodation as the house guest of Max, the seventeen year old, shy in sexual experience. He is a historian who, over the summer, guides her through the city of his Roman ancestors. The two grow to love and desire each other, but are hindered by past insecurities. Will this be simply a summer romance or will it develop into something more?

The sex is uninhibited, but not unkind. Always there is choice, consent, respect and dignity. Always there is equality of gender, sexual preference, race and class. These are big issues and it takes a big book to deal with them. Superb, in every way, this novel was written by a very skilled and intelligent author. I learned something on each fascinating page. I have already ordered the author’s second book, Great Caesar’s Ghost: A Time Travel Romance (Art Historian Super Heroes Book 2).

a new day

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bed1

recalled
the sweet scent
of your pillow,
of white flannel sheets
still warm where you lay

inhaled
auburn hair
kissed your neck —
familiar essence
to start a new day

embraced
before dressing
skin to skin —
soft curves fit snugly —
let’s return where we lay.

Goodreads Giveaway

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Enter to win

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image

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game

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“If a monk was physically attacked, the Buddha allowed him to strike back in self-defense, but never with the intention to kill.”

by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

.

3:9:11_6Dennis and his shiny motorcycle

.

when i was younger
i considered life a game.
i’d try anything once
for the experience.
there was nothing
i wouldn’t do
on a dare

that wasn’t a period
of great decisions.
they seemed
like good ideas
at the time —
seldom,
they were

now i’m concerned
with what i can accomplish
in the finite time ahead.
i don’t expect to die
in the near future
but the end
will come

each day i become
more of an activist
for the rights of all humans
and animals.
that’s a bit scary —
new territory for me.
i feel vulnerable
to attack

when i was younger
i said, and still say,
‘if your back’s against the wall
fight your best fight,
take your lumps —
the rest’ll take care
of itself’

there’s blood on the wall, blood on the floor,
some of it’s mine, but he spilled more.
got what I came for, took a lot of pain for.
watching my back, i leave by the side door.

.

The Overnighters

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Copied and pasted from:

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2015/02/24/the-overnighters/

On Netflix: ‘The Overnighters’ paints portrait of fractured American Dream

"The Overnighters" reassesses the American Dream. Photo courtesy of Drafthouse Films.

At once bold and unassuming, Jesse Moss’s documentary “The Overnighters,” now streaming on Netflix, delivers an unsettling exposé of the crippled American Dream. In the heart of the Great Plains, the rich petroleum deposits of Williston, North Dakota attract thousands of working-class men – month after month – from all conceivable corners of the country. Triggered by the state’s nearly decade-long and still ongoing oil boom, this influx of blue-collar laborers has disturbed the town for years. Immersing himself in the turmoil, Moss admirably captures a well-meaning pastor’s attempts to reconcile these homeless job seekers’ dreams of success with the established community’s concerns for safety and solidarity. Shortlisted for the Oscar’s Best Documentary Feature, the film is an exceptionally well-chronicled narrative of crushed fantasies, an account that is both heartbreaking and chilling.

In stark contrast to his neighbors, Pastor Jay Reinke understands the sacrifice made by the migrant men when they arrive on the doorsteps of his Concordia Lutheran Church. Escaping unemployment or hoping to find higher salaries, these individuals are also parting with family members and friends from back home; they are under incredibly intense emotional strain. In pursuit of a better future, they enter scarcely populated territories at the epicenter of a multi-billion dollar industry not known for its receptiveness to strangers. Given Williston’s inadequate infrastructure – the town is unable to support its ever expanding population – Pastor Jay opens an “overnighters” program, allowing the drifters to sleep on the floor of his church. Over time, these nightly lodgers begin to exasperate the congregation’s community. Untidy and scruffy, a few of these men bear dark secrets: some are low-level criminals, others are registered sex-offenders.

The beauty in “The Overnighters” lies in its ability to expound upon complex realities without ever needing to spoon-feed its message to the audience. Long, slow-paced shots of North Dakota’s ethereal prairies are juxtaposed with short, biting takes of men passed out in grimy trucks. A dilapidated RV, stationed in the church’s parking lot – which houses a jobless overnighter and recovering alcoholic – directly precedes an image of a three-floor mansion, only a couple of blocks down the road. “Little Miss Oil Country” parades around in a shiny car while frustrated overnighters make unsuccessful calls to prospective employers whose numbers they have written down on pieces of discarded cardboard.

Moss' documentary shows the lives of struggling workers. Photo courtesy of Drafthouse Films.

The dichotomy between Williston’s financial promise and the lives of its struggling workers is alarming. Yet Moss is never explicit about his ideological stance regarding the overnighter situation. Within a politically-charged arena that is begging for judgment, he chooses to remain silent. His presence in the town is merely observational. Even though Moss spent nearly six months living in Pastor Jay’s church during the film’s production, his own voice is never heard. Several talking head interviews transpire, yet Moss’s questions are never included, concealing his identity. His absence establishes a sense of objectivity in the film’s depiction of a flawed pursuit of American ideals, as viewers cannot attribute the events taking place to any single idiosyncratic frame of thought. In this regard, “The Overnighters” lends an otherwise invisible crowd of powerless individuals a fair share at being heard.

As an equitable confidant, Moss offers an alluring mixture of security and protection that encourages the men to be vulnerable and exposed in his vicinity. Even Pastor Jay utilizes the film project as a platform to expose his personal set of sins – notably during the feature’s final minutes – and to symbolically confirm his actual likeness to the visitors. Through visual juxtapositions of need and privilege, Moss creates a stunningly poignant portrait of a spurious system that is consistently failing its humble pursuers. Even so, who is to blame for the problems afflicting Williston? The community or Pastor Jay? The oil business or the weakened economy? The overnighters? Deftly and discretely, Moss leaves the judgment up to his viewers.

Contact Ena Alvarado at enaalva ‘at’ stanford.edu

If you wish to receive new articles related to On Netflix: ‘The Overnighters’ paints portrait of fractured American Dream enter your email address in the field below and subscribe:

About Ena Alvarado

Ena Alvarado hails from the boisterous city of Caracas, Venezuela. She is a hopelessly undecided freshman who enjoys reading literature and watching films as much as understanding science and studying math. Someday, Ena aspires to learn how to whistle, improve her current juggling skills, and compose a full-length music album. In the meantime, she finds solace in books and nutella crepes. Writing about documentaries and foreign cinema never hurts either.

Luke: 10 NIV

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Who is my neighbor? How may I help?
 
f3827a8168e4e01d66216a8bcb11a58e
 

Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two

1) After this the Lord appointed seventy-twoa others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
2) He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
3) Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
4) Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5) “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’
6) If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.
7) Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8) “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you.
9) Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
10) But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,
11) ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’
12) I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13) “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14) But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
15) And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.
16) “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17) The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18) He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19) I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
20) However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
21) At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
22) “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23) Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

 
The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25) On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26) “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27) He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’c ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
28) “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29) But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30) In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
31) A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32) So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33) But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34) He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.
35) The next day he took out two denariie and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36) “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37) The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

 
At the Home of Martha and Mary

38) As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
39) She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41) “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,
42) but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
 

MOMENT

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Invasive meningococcal disease
(IMD) caused by N. meningitidis
is relatively uncommon, but the
consequences can be devastating.
Even when treated in an otherwise
healthy person IMD can be fatal
within 48 h. Case-fatality rates
exceed 10%, and up to 20% of
survivors sustain permanent sequelae,
including neurologic complications,
loss of limbs, hearing loss, and paralysis…

.

disease3

.

recently

i was hospitalized, diagnosed and treated

for a disease (long story).

.

my doctor now tells me

i didn’t have that disease —

he doesn’t know what i had

.

the good news —  the treatment was successful

i am cured

.

what I had may have been

a minor strain of a virus

transmitted, in the same manner as a cold or the flu

*glares accusingly at co-workers, gym members

and bus riders*

.

i was healthy one moment

the next moment i could have been

an unfortunate statistic.

what i learned —

LIVE IN THE MOMENT

.

she chose me

.

Abby-Beach-Oct2005.

when i was a boy,

Spot,

a black and white Cocker Spaniel

chose me.

she looked like the dog

in our grade one readers

“Run, Spot, run!”

.

she was a stray

wandering around our neighborhood

looking for a home

there were other people she could have chosen

but, she chose me

our family adopted her.

it changed my life.

i  had a friend

.

in winter

she refused to go outdoors

in freezing temperatures

she peed and pooped on our basement floor

with a shovel, my dad would pick up after her

once a week he would spray the floor

with the garden hose

.

Spot left us

like Peter Pan

when we stopped believing in her

.

when i walk through the woods

i imagine her, beyond the next bend,

chasing butterflies

or being chased by rabbits —

she’s with me

always

,

misunderstood

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imgres-3

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I look past the pain,

mist of misunderstanding,

seeking the path to go home.

a voice I keep hearing,

a nightingale’s song,

in a branch high above me,

as I lie on the ground.

fare thee well my beloved,

my angel, my dream,

 for you are the beauty

who I’ve never seen,

 the words left unspoken,

the kisses unkissed,

so much of forever

we’ve missed.

.

old age

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images

i’ve come to accept

that i’m old

i’m not 68 years young

i enjoy Senior Citizen benefits

discounts and meal portions

but i’m not a member of some Golden Age club

whose members spend their days

playing cards

or sitting in deck chairs

on a Florida beach

.

i’m not retired

that will only come

when i’m too feeble

(mentally and physical)

to be compensated

for anything worthwhile

my body

(skin, organs and joints)

is wearing out — nothing drastic

that medication won’t attenuate

inevitable

.

statistics indicate

that i can expect to see

twelve more years

hopefully, enough time

to organize and donate

that for which i want to be remembered

and erase from my hard drive

those incriminating words

i wish to take to my grave.

for whatever ensues

bring it on

i’m ready

.

Michael Daube – CITTA

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75_MICHAELDAUBE_PMcMullan_PMcMag_060111-675x450

A RENAISSANCE MAN

A Conversation with Michael Daube

By Shaun Mader

June 2011

Copied and pasted from:  http://ow.ly/J9Ra

Speaking with Michael Daube, one gets a sense that his parents never handed him the rulebook for life.  And if they did, he was clearly infused with the notion that the rules arWe are their only access to health care. In India, we focus on Orissa. This is the poorest state of India and home to many of the country’s “tribals.” In the village of Juanga, we have a hospital that treats around 1,000 patients a month. The hospital has the only surgical facility within a radius of 40 kilometers.

SM: You’ve told me the story about CITTA’s inception moment before.  If I remember correctly, it started with a little garbage picking. Care to elaborate on that?

MD: Being an artist, with a strong interest in anthropology and archeology I traveled to many remote areas of the world studying and experiencing different cultures. After a trip to India for a year, I returned home to open an art studio in Jersey City. While I was looking for sculpture materials in a dumpster, I found a David Hockney portrait of Ozzie Clark and decided to sell it and take the proceeds and build a hospital in the region from which I just returned. The area was in desperate need of basic health care. It’s just grown from there! Now we have a full board and regular meetings here in New York City. Dr. Christopher Barley is the President and one of the main forces in sustaining the organizations efforts.

SM: What were some of the initial issues when you first started working in these countries? How have the issues changed as you’ve grown and spread into multiple areas?

MD: The beginning was very difficult as we were upsetting old systems. In Orissa, there was a wealthy family every 3-4 villages’ distance. They usually made their money by lending to the rest of the poor locals in exchange for labor or land. Even for 10 cent’s worth of medicines, people would sign away their life to slavery and lose their land. Wouldn’t you do the same if your child had an ear infection that could lead to death? So, providing free health services definitely upset the wealthy local families controlling the area and we had bombs placed in the road and had to take alternate routes out of the area frequently to keep from being confronted by bandits. Also, no roads and heavy monsoons led to their own set of difficulties. I remember carrying an 85 year old elder on my back out of the region to get him to the city to sign the Trust documents, as he was a board member.

Shaun Mader: CITTA has projects spread throughout India and Nepal. Could you give me an overview of CITTA’s mission and how that’s translated into some of these projects?

Michael Daube: CITTA focuses efforts on remote or marginalized populations that lack basic infrastructure and opportunities. We help build and support hospitals/schools/women’s cooperatives in the most remote and poverty stricken regions of developing countries where we work. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. We focus our efforts in the poorest and most remote District of Nepal, Humla. We have a hospital in the capital city of Simikot situated deep in the Himalayas. There are no wheels or roads in the district! The population is cut off for a large part of the year due to intense snowfall. We are their We are their only access to health care. In India, we focus on Orissa. This is the poorest state of India and home to many of the country’s “tribals.” In the village of Juanga, we have a hospital that treats around 1,000 patients a month. The hospital has the only surgical facility within a radius of 40 kilometers.

SM: You’ve told me the story about CITTA’s inception moment before.  If I remember correctly, it started with a little garbage picking. Care to elaborate on that?

MD: Being an artist, with a strong interest in anthropology and archeology I traveled to many remote areas of the world studying and experiencing different cultures. After a trip to India for a year, I returned home to open an art studio in Jersey City. While I was looking for sculpture materials in a dumpster, I found a David Hockney portrait of Ozzie Clark and decided to sell it and take the proceeds and build a hospital in the region from which I just returned. The area was in desperate need of basic health care. It’s just grown from there! Now we have a full board and regular meetings here in New York City. Dr. Christopher Barley is the President and one of the main forces in sustaining the organizations efforts.

SM: What were some of the initial issues when you first started working in these countries? How have the issues changed as you’ve grown and spread into multiple areas?

MD: The beginning was very difficult as we were upsetting old systems. In Orissa, there was a wealthy family every 3-4 villages’ distance. They usually made their money by lending to the rest of the poor locals in exchange for labor or land. Even for 10 cent’s worth of medicines, people would sign away their life to slavery and lose their land. Wouldn’t you do the same if your child had an ear infection that could lead to death? So, providing free health services definitely upset the wealthy local families controlling the area and we had bombs placed in the road and had to take alternate routes out of the area frequently to keep from being confronted by bandits. Also, no roads and heavy monsoons led to their own set of difficulties. I remember carrying an 85 year old elder on my back out of the region to get him to the city to sign the Trust documents, as he was a board member.

SM: I think the idea of sustainability has become common language amongst the aid community, but still poses a challenge when it comes to achieving it. What are some of the competing factors and do you see trends emerging that may change the traditional models of how aid is delivered?

MD: I agree with the idea of sustainability. But when you provide services to the poorest regions, sometimes you can’t even ask them for school fees of 20 cents a month, if they only eat one meal a day consisting of basically rice and potatoes! But we have developed a women’s cooperative in Bhaktipur, Nepal, that rescues women from vulnerable situations. It’s been quite a  success. They have had clients like J.Crew, Anthropologie, Donna Karan, Golfini della Nonna, Lucy Barnes, and Kate Spade. We are always looking for more clients!

SM: Many of your projects are located in very poor areas with little or no infrastructure.  I’m sure this must force one to be very resourceful and improvise with what is available Are there instances that have surprised you or forced you to look at the situation differently because of this?

MD: Each region has its different materials for building as well as unique political environments. We not only have to deal with hard-to-traverse mountains, monsoon-muddied jungles and barren deserts; but in building, politics can also be a big factor. When we made the hospital in Humla, Nepal, the Maoist conflict was in full swing and we were forced to pay the rebels and the government to bring wood and stone from the forests. Our clever “cowboy” builder sat around all day and slowly pulled the fiber fill from his tattered jacket and spun it into a woven rope! This way he could pull the wood across the river at a non-bridge site and bypass the revenue greedy forces fighting each other. That was definitely thinking out of the box!

SM: In light of the 3 Cups of Tea where donors found their funds being misused, what kinds of pressures does that put on you when your work happens in areas few are able or willing to personally go themselves?

MD: When the general public’s attention falls on one character to symbolize “giving” it gets a little dicey. When 3 Cups of Tea became a bestseller, I felt Greg Mortenson wanted to capitalize on getting his message out while the attention was on him. He did a lot of footwork and talks. In doing so, he became even more iconic and I feel lost touch with the activities that he was actually preaching about. Many people came to trust him as the ultimate source of dedication and charitable giving in the farthest parts of the world. It all seemed to spiral out of control. Generating so much funding and attention just seemed to require more of his attention to the lack of focusing on his ground work. It’s difficult to manage projects in remote regions. It requires a lot of attention, patience and creative thinking to dodge all the obstacles that come your way.

I think having such a small budget as we do, and having such an incredible output in the regions we work in, should be something we pull to the forefront of our message. None of our programs have ever diminished or closed. They only grow and become more productive. I think in the future, organizations like CITTA have to make sure people connect more with this information, maybe through increased volunteer programs? Donors will be more skeptical in the future I’m sure.

SM: I know from personal experience that international aid organizations often have administrative costs that result in a low percentage of donated money reaching the people most in need. With your organization’s projects being in such remote areas, how do you deal with those issues?

MD: It’s very difficult making giving to remote communities sexy to donors. Especially when you have so much social focus and attention on places like Africa. You have Bono and Oprah jumping into a “red” convertible to raise funds for Africa. This has a lot of pull in the public. But this also comes with a high price to get the message out. Look at the overhead recently exposed at Madonna’s Raising Malawi foundation: they spent over 3 million dollars before even dropping a brick for a school! We are in the process of opening 3 new schools this year in the northwest of Nepal. It is a district that is so poor and remote that 10,000 dollars will fund those three schools annually! Though it’s difficult to fundraise 10,000 dollars without getting the word out. Especially when you see someone putting 1.5 Million into advertising their mission, and getting 3 million back! I don’t know the answer, other than we try to move slowly, in small increments, to maintain a low budget and stability in the projects as well as making sure almost all the funds reach where they are meant to.

SM: When you travel to these areas what would be a typical trip to one of the project’s locations in Nepal be?

MD: I usually land in Kathmandu after seeing the projects in India. It’s much cooler there and always a relief when I arrive. After meeting at our office and contacting local government and other agents I need to communicate with, I make plans to go to the hospital in Humla in the northwest of Nepal. It’s the most remote and poorest District in the country. When I plan a trip to Humla there are so many factors to consider: climate (they get up to 13 ft. of snow in the winter and no flights can travel there), political situation (Maoist rebel movements often hampered travel in the past), etc. The only way to get to the region is by flight. There are no roads in the District! First flight is from Kathmandu to Nepalganj, a city on the southwestern part of Nepal. It’s on the Indian border, flat landscape, and usually very hot. We make our way to a hotel, usually a not-so-charming small cement room. From there we wait to see if we can secure tickets to Simikot, the capitol of Humla. At the small cement bunker looking airport in Nepalganj, there is usually chaos! Flights are often delayed or cancelled due to weather and high winds over the Himalayas. Many locals are backed-up due to cancellations and are all vying for tickets as well. After lots of negotiating and waiting, we clear tickets and make our way through security.

The flights are usually small 15 seat aircrafts filled with locals. It’s a very colorful sight to see: Tibetan-looking local women with large nose rings, some breast-feeding, eating, men screaming and moving about staring out of the windows, most flying for the only time in their lives. The view as you leave the flat terrain and enter the deep Himalayas makes it a dramatic flight! It’s only 45 minute to reach Simikot. When you near the city, the flight makes a plunge to meet the dirt runway. You can actually see goats out the front window as you make the decent!

The flight pulls into the airport like a taxi, spinning around at the end, coming to a stop then throwing all the supplies and luggage on the ground like bales of hay. I’m usually greeted by some staff that help me carry supplies to the hospital. After reaching the hospital, we drink warm water from thermoses and eat dahl and rice, and sometimes Tibetan bread dishes like kapsi. Sleeping there is difficult the first few days due to the altitude. I wake up frequently at night breathing deeply trying to pull air into my lungs. After meetings and discussing the project for a few days it’s just as difficult to leave. The winds might pick up and no flights will land for days or weeks!

Michael Daube is a NYC based artist who founded and is the Executive Director of CITTA. He is also the subject of an upcoming documentary titled, Way of Life.

LINKS:

CITTA Official Site

WAY OF LIFE Official Site

Michael Daube by Shaun Mader

Written by Shaun Mader

Edited by Tyler Malone

Photography by Shaun Mader

Design by Marie Havens

Captions:

Cover/Page 1:

Michael Daube, NYC, May 2011, Photography by Shaun Mader

Page 2:

Michael Daube, NYC, May 2011, Photography by Shaun Mader

– See more at: http://pmc-mag.com/2011/06/michael-daube/?full=content#sthash.0ViNXkee.dpuf

Brave Miss World

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This story was copied and pasted from the following website http://ow.ly/J9Xr4

I take no credit for the content. My sincere admiration and love goes to Linor Abargil for her years of counseling and fighting against the cowardly, violent and sometimes deadly crime of rape. Love and support also goes to my many friends who have been victims and bear the lifelong scars of rape.

Linor’s Story

I was 18 years old when I became Miss Israel in March of 1998, and was sent to represent my country in the Miss World Competition. A month and a half before the contest, while I was modeling in Italy, I was brutally raped by an Israeli travel agent, and in November of that year, the world saw me cry onstage in the Seychelles Islands when I was crowned Miss World.

Immediately after the rape I called my mother, and with her support I went to the police station and the hospital in Rome to report the crime and undergo a medical exam. When I returned to Israel, we were asked to keep the matter quiet in order not to deter the rapist from coming to Israel where Israeli police, in co-operation with Italian authorities, were waiting to apprehend him.

Those weeks of silence were particularly hard on me in view of the upcoming Miss World pageant. I was scared to leave home and did not want to go. But with my mother’s encouragement, I did agree to represent my country. After being crowned Miss World, the story of my rape was uncovered by the Italian press. The next day the affair was reported in the international media, and overnight I became the face of rape victims around the world.

Fortunately, the rapist failed to read the headlines and was arrested at the Tel-Aviv airport when he tried to return to Israel. While I was trying to recover from the trauma of the rape, I faced a trial that generated extensive press coverage. During the trial, I had to relive the events, and face the rapist’s denials. I advised other women not to be afraid of reporting their rapes, and to seek punishment for the perpetrators. As a result, there was an increase in the rate of rape victims reporting the crime in Israel.

After the trial ended in October of 1999 with the conviction and imprisonment of the rapist, I stopped talking about the rape publicly. I had to figure out how to heal. I found it helpful to study drama and to I sought rehabilitation through introspection and therapy.

Upon finishing my drama studies, I started working in theater in Tel Aviv. I was cast in “The Blue Room”, in the role played by Nicole Kidman in London and New York.

In 2006, I got married to an NBA player Sarunas Jasikevius, and moved to Los Angeles. The marriage didn’t work out and we divorced after a year. I returned to Israel and enrolled in law school. I hope to use my law degree to represent women who are victims of sexual violence. In 2008 I launched this website and started speaking out about rape. In August of 2010, I got married to Oron Kalfon, who is my partner, my friend and my true love. With his support and the support of my family, I have been documenting my journey and in the film I tell my own story, without shame, as I reach out to other women around the world, encouraging them to tell theirs.

– Linor

How It Began

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GFAH final 2

 

Author: http://ow.ly/AD39S
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2010

How It Began

My lungs ached, as frost hung in the bitterly cold December morning air, making breathing difficult. I trudged in the falling snow toward the building where I work, in one of the city’s grey, concrete, office tower canyons. I dodged other pedestrians, also trying to get to work on time, I noticed a woman seated cross-legged on the sidewalk with her back against a building wall. A snow-covered Buddha, wrapped in a sleeping bag, shivering in the below freezing temperature. I guessed her to be in her forties. Everything about her seemed round. She had the most angelic face, sparkling blue eyes and a beautiful smile. A cap was upturned in front of her. I thought, There but for the grace of God go I. Her smile and blue eyes haunted me all day.

In the past I’ve been unemployed, my wife and I were unable to pay our mortgage and other bills, we went through bankruptcy, lost our house, my truck. Being in my fifties, my prospects looked dim. It could have been me, on the sidewalk, in her place.

I was told not to give money to panhandlers because they’ll just spend it on booze. I thought to myself, What should I do, if anything? What would you do? I asked for advice from a friend who has worked with homeless people. She said, ‘The woman is probably hungry. Why don’t you ask her if she’d like a breakfast sandwich and maybe a coffee?’

That sounded reasonable, so the next day I asked, “Are you hungry? Would you like some breakfast, perhaps a coffee?”
“That would be nice,” she replied.

When I brought her a sandwich and coffee she said to me, “Thank you so much, sir. You’re so kind. Bless you.” I truly felt blessed.

This has become a morning routine for the past four years. The woman (I’ll call Joy) and I have become friends. Often I’ll sit with her on the sidewalk. We sometimes meet her companions in the park. They have become my closest friends. I think of them as angels. My life has become much richer for the experience.

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UNIVERSAL EQUALITY

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In the past two weeks
I’ve had a lot of time to think
about important and unimportant things (long story).

I have come to some very basic conclusions
as is my right and obligation.
They may seem obvious to some.
To others they may seem inflammatory.
Deal with it —
say what you want on your own page.

I believe that as humans
we deserve:
UNIVERSAL EQUALITY IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE,
UNIVERSAL ACCESS: TO FOOD, WATER, SHELTER,
MEDICAL TREATMENT AND AVAILABILITY OF MEDICATION,
UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION,
UNIVERSAL FREEDOM OF CHOICE OVER OUR OWN BODIES,
UNIVERSAL FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT,
FREEDOM OF SPEECH,
DEMOCRACY.

These are big issues
that have repercussions in news events
around the world.
I haven’t worked out all the details, yet,
but I have seen a lot of headlines on television
in print media and on the internet.

On our planet
we must eradicate (as much is humanly possible,
as opposed to what is economically viable)
HUNGER
DISEASE
VIOLENCE
HOMELESSNESS
BIGOTRY
WAR
(and others too numerous
to mention).

My neighbor:
MUST NOT starve while I eat,
MUST NOT die of illness while I have access to a cure,
MUST NOT BE CONFINED BY NATIONAL BORDERS
if his life, health, or opportunities
are at risk,
MUST HAVE universal access to the best education
in order to best express his natural abilities,
MUST HAVE equal access to meaningful, rewarding and satisfying employment,
MUST HAVE the freedom to make their own life choices;
these choices MUST NOT be dictated by GOVERNMENT
RELIGION, SOCIETY or self-proclaimed MAJORITIES.
LYNCH MOB DEMOCRACY MUST BE ELIMINATED.

In short, I AM my brother’s keeper.
I WILL treat him as I would prefer to be treated.
I WILL NOT be the cause of abuse,
whether physical, verbal, mental or emotional.
I WILL live my life
according to the best of my potential.

‘NUFF SAID (for now)…

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We’re All the Same

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evolution

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I’m not an expert geneticist.
I’m not an expert in anything,
but, I read a lot.
I watch documentaries on television.
I have my own ideas.

This is what I’ve come to believe:
Around 500 B.C, Hanno the Navigator,
a Carthaginian explorer,
with sixty fifty-oared ships
visited the Galápagos Islands.
Hanno and his crew discovered gorillas
and gorillas discovered them.
Although the sailors could not make peaceful contact
with these creatures,
they considered them to be
related to humans.

Geneticists now believe
that archaic Homo Sapiens evolved
to anatomically modern humans
solely in Africa
between 200,000 and 60,000 years ago.
We all share a common DNA.
We are all one family.

Families have differences
They argue a lot.
Some of them move away and refuse to talk
to other siblings.
That’s natural,
it happens all the time.

We are all the same.
We seek happiness
and an end to
suffering.

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LOVE

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in seas of swirling wheat,
aloud with a chorus of crickets,
i waited and listened…

in radiant prairie sun,
my skin tanned in tones of copper,
i stood in awe…

exiting a copse of sumacs,
a raven flapped — his raspy squawk
beckoned me to follow…

to the emerald peace of the ever-changing forest
where spirits played and danced
i came for you…

within the intimacy of our warm embrace
you conferred, upon my lips, consecration with the sweetest kiss —
i became LOVE

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WE MUST ACT

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THERE ARE MANY BILLIONS

OF PEOPLE WHO OPPOSE

VIOLENCE, BIGOTRY AND HATRED.

(I’m shouting because this is important)

OUR VOICE ISN’T BEING HEARD

OUR SILENCE, INACTION AND APATHY

CONDONES THE STATUS QUO.

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WE MUST ACT,

IN OUR DAILY LIVES,

ACCORDING TO OUR CAPACITY.

WE CAN EACH SHOW KINDNESS

HUMILITY AND COMPASSION

TO FELLOW HUMANS.

We are all the same —

we seek happiness

and an end to

suffering.

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DELIRIUM

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BLINDING PAIN

DELIRIUM

BLACKNESS

YELLOW COATS, FLASHING LIGHTS

QUESTIONS

FLOATING

BUMPING ALONG TWISTED CORRIDORS

CONVEYOR BELT INTO WHITE TUBE

WHIRRING

BRIGHT LIGHTS

LOOK UP, LOOK DOWN, LOOK SIDEWAYS

CAN YOU FEEL THIS?

HOW ABOUT THIS?

IS IT THE SAME ON THE RIGHT SIDE

AS ON THE LEFT?

SHARP PAIN IN ARM

 HYPODERMIC NEEDLE PUNCTURES —

BLOOD

sleep…

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Woodland Shrine

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shrine

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In a sacred, woodland shrine

I sat with spirits

of another age —

braves, elders and chiefs

at the summer hunting ground.

of the Mississauga tribe

(A nomadic people,

some of them moved south

to join the Cherokee.)

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I asked nothing of them

but, vowed to respect the sanctity of their land

and tribal customs.

Observing my open, lonely heart

they bade me follow them

to a clearing

I’d never before seen.

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Standing there

was a beautiful princess

with eyes of onyx and raven hair.

Long grass swayed

silver in the moonlight

Her fingers brushed the tips of the blades.

We talked —

she bade me follow.

I have followed ever since.

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Trust Conquers All

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trust

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… on occasion

— from the corner of my eye —

I glimpse my reflection,

that alter being

who harbors all my fears;

questions the unquestionable;

tears at trust

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Trust

mediates the differences,

binds the gaps,

holds everything together,

pushes us to believe

we can conquer all obstacles

so love can heal

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Desperation Drive

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Just kicking stones, down a long dirt road — nothing much to do.
Got my Stetson and my ridin’ boots — soles are worn clear through.
Leaving heartache, going nowhere fast, more dead than alive.
At daybreak, feet are pointing to, Desperation Drive.

When you’re down and out, in a hard luck place, no stars shine at night;
I’ve been looking down, such a long, long time, just can’t see the light.
Haven’t got a cent, haven’t got a friend, no will to survive;
That’s the reason why, I’m heading for, Desperation Drive.

Venezuela vowed she loved me true, caught the midnight train;
She took my money, left my broken heart, lying in the rain.
Got to leave this place, got to hitch a ride, out on highway five;
If they ask me where, I’m going, I’ll say,  “Desperation Drive.”

I miss that woman, she’s on my mind, the breeze still sighs her name;
She’s mean and evil, but my lonely heart, loves her just the same.
On the waterfront I’ll check the bars and every lowdown dive;
If she’s not there, I’ll rent a place on, Desperation Drive.

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Baggage

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url

 

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I’ll admit

that I’m a result

of all the decisions I’ve made in the past;

all the people who have influenced me,

in a positive or a negative way:

my loves, my breakups, my disappointments.

Without them, I wouldn’t be me

but, I don’t carry them on my back

they don’t define who I am now.

I create myself

from moment to moment;

otherwise,

what is the point of living?

The past is faded, imprecise memories —

people who are no longer what they seemed to be —

a view from a faulty lens.

I have baggage —

everyone does.

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Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

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latest

She was long and lovely from ‘way down south,
she had blood on her hands, blood on her mouth.
She’d got voodoo spells and incantations.
She lived on one of those big plantations.
Had she done something bad? Well, I don’t know.
She went by the name of Marie Laveau.

She had golden skin and curly black hair,
down near the bayou you could find her there,
with her big old snake wrapped ’round and ’round,
it was party time when the sun went down.
Cauldron would bubble and naked they’d dance,
potions concocted, ’round the fire she’d prance.

She had a mojo hand, a black cat bone —
wouldn’t want her to catch you all alone.
There were stories told of the men she’d hexed;
husband Jacques unaware that he’d be next,
he just disappeared, he never returned —
just ashes left and the incense she burned.

Stroll though the graveyard down near Bayou Street
upon St. John’s Eve when the spirits meet.
There on her tomb is perched a big black crow
masking the spirit of Marie Laveau.
She leads the rites and the ritual scene,
forever known as the the Voodoo Queen.

marie

Photo by Samantha Corfield
Tomb of Marie Laveau
St. Louis Cemetary #1
New Orleans

Marie Laveau lived from 1794 to 1881 on North Rampart Street, New Orleans. When requested, she used the Voodoo religion’s magical powers to control one’s enemies, lovers and acquaintances.

The type of music I have in mind for this has twanging guitars and a heavy drum beat reminiscent of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song, “Down on the Bayou” or the Colin James song “Voodoo Thing”

Guide

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compass

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I’ve searched for a guide

throughout my life —

too many questions,

too few answers,

so much to hide.

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Now I’m old —

there’s pain in my joints.

I follow my heart —

don’t need a road map

to know which way

the compass points.

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