Friday, November 20, 2009

Back to the Roots - images of my 2009 fall

My welcome back to the USA - - Beautiful Idaho August

Some QT with my girls in Denver

A perfect week with my grandparents on the ranch in Arizona

These pictures of my grandma making a pie are now some of my most prized possessions - simply priceless.

A Father-Daughter trip to Yellowstone National Park

And the Grand Tetons

Harvest in Idaho

A weekend with Victor

Meeting my brother's future in-laws

A freak snow storm the first week of October

Trailing the Sheep with Mama in Ketchum

Family Reunion in Las Vegas

And coming out 10 dollars ahead!

A beautiful reunion in San Diego

Doing yard work for possibly the first time ever..

I am SO Thankful for this
wonderful, unexpected season
of rest and reconnections with my roots.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What 26 Looks Like.

On my birthday, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. The clerk stared at my I.D. for an inappropriate amount of time, looking at me, then the I.D., then back at me...

Thinking she was wondering why I had a Texas driver's license, I started to explain that I hadn't lived in Idaho for a while.

She interrupted me, saying, "No... no.. its just that you hide it SO WELL!"

"Hide my I.D.?" I said, confused.

"No, your age! You look so much younger! GREAT JOB!"

And I thought - wow.... so this is what we've come to.

All aside, I had a wonderful birthday.
Turning 26 never felt so good.

The pizza tradition continued. My parents started celebrating my birthday with pizza waaaaay back. My birthday seemed to ALWAYS fall on a basketball game day, from about 5th grade through my senior year, and my parents would always deliver pizza for the whole team. When I left for college, they continued the tradition. Over the years, they've had pizza delivered to a hotel room in California, a classroom in Sevilla, Spain, my dorm room at Rice in Houston, two classrooms in two schools that I taught in in the gheeeeeettto in Houston, my house in Denver during the middle of grad school finals, and a pizza party for my friends in Grahamstown, South Africa. This year I got to eat it with them at the Pizza Hut in Burley.

My aunt Donna and uncle Richard came over for a fabulous dinner with lots of my favorites. It was so warm and fabulous.

The menu was rather extravagant, and complete with a VERY strong drink my dad invented for the occasion...
And for dessert - Creme Brulee!
Dad torched it to carmelize the sugar, and I was convinced the house was going to blow up..

It was delicious, and a beautiful beginning to what I am sure will be an incredible year.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A reflection on 25.

  • My 25th year began in Grahamstown South Africa surrounded by so many loved ones...
  • Shortly thereafter, I finished my master's thesis,
  • Went on an incredible trip to islands off the coast of Kenya and Tanzania,
  • Flew to Idaho for Christmas and got promptly thrown into sub-zero weather up in Sun Valley for a family bonding session,
  • Visited Houston for a quick luncheon with all of my loved ones and a presentation to the Rotary District who funded my year in South Africa,
  • Went to Jerusalem for 3 months to participate in a Special Program on Human Rights, where I got detained, got angry, and had my whole heart swallowed up by the situation,
  • Visited Jordan and Egypt,
  • Returned to Denver to finish my last quarter of graduate school,
  • Went to Nairobi, Kenya for 3 months to conduct research in the largest slum in Africa where I walked through human feces almost every single day and had my flight home canceled due to terrorist threats,
  • Returned to Idaho in one piece,
  • White water rafted Hells Canyon,
  • Visited my grandparent's ranch in Arizona where I learned how to bake a pie and got to listen to more Fox News than any one human should ever have to,
  • Snuggled with my loved ones and presented our findings about the slum to our funders in Denver,
  • Took a Father/Daughter special trip to Yellowstone,
  • Reconnected with beloved family at a reunion in Las Vegas,
  • Accompanied of one of my dearest friends to his sister's wedding in San Diego,
  • Picked pecans right from the trees in El Paso and heard Victor present about his hot shot new job,
  • Became an excellent phone answerer and sub-par label maker at Fletcher Law Office,
  • And got to hang out with my parents, lay low and breathe for the first time in a really long time in Burley Idaho.
So overall - it was amazing, exhausting, overwhelming, love-filled, drama-filled, gratitude-filled, ball buster of a year. I am certainly still processing everything that happened..

26 has a lot to live up to.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tonight, I watched Iron Jawed Angels.

My friend Jen brought this over to the "Palm House" when I lived there with Elisa back in the day. It sat on on top of our television for months, but we never found the time to watch it.

I watched it tonight and it blew me away.

Thank you Jen, for introducing it to me all those years ago, and letting us keep it unwatched for all of those months.

Its part of the story about how women fought for the right to vote. I think everyone in America should watch it.

Teachers, it would be fabulous to show in your class room (there is one scene you will need to fast forward through, so screen it first).

I'm all pumped up and ready to go.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Today is World Habitat Day 2009!

After spending a summer in the largest slum in Africa, I have a deep appreciation for the issues of urban planning, which is the theme of this year's World Habitat Day.

"The United Nations has designated the first Monday in October every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of human settlements and the basic right to adequate shelter for all. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat."
- taken from HUD

Check out this website - this is some of the more beautiful work I've ever seen pertaining to urban slums. If you click on Kibera on the map, you can see where I spent my summer.


happy world habitat day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I recommend - An Imperfect Offering

An Imperfect Offering: Dispatches from the Medical Frontline

by James Orbinski

the former head of MSF (Doctors without Borders)

I think this is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in medicine or humanitarian work.


does anyone know how to get that "authentication required" box to quit popping up?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Golden Rule

Baha'i Faith,
and Taoism

all share a common ethic:

I wonder, if for one day, all of the followers of

followed the golden rule...

what would happen?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Speak it, Jewel.

I have this theory that if we're told we're bad

Then that's the only idea we'll ever have
But maybe if we are surrounded in beauty
Someday we will become what we see
'Cause anyone can start a conflict
it's harder yet to disregard it
I'd rather see the world from another angle

We are everyday angels

Be careful with me

'cause I'd like to stay that way.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009