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The Agenda…

30.12.2008 in Uncategorized

Hello everyone!
One day left to go and Susan and I are bouncing off the walls! Very excited!
Just wanted to post a brief outline of what our days are expected to be like. As you can see it varies from teaching English and facilitating art workshops to construction and painting. Should be a ton of fun and teach us alot.
So here’s the deal…

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Getting ready to go!

28.12.2008 in Uncategorized

Soon, we will be leaving for Kolkata, India, to work with the women and children! We are so very excited and full of anticipation!

We will be sharing our hearts and love with the women and children, connecting with them, learning from them and sharing our gifts and talents with them. We will be painting colorful murals on the walls of the little children’s school room. We will perform puppet shows for the children and will give them the funny homemade sock puppets you helped us make. I am sewing a puppet theater out of a children’s printed bed sheet and will hang that in one corner of their school room to use for puppet shows. We will be teaching the women and children wax resist watercolor painting techniques and they will be creating beautiful pictures which they can write stories and poetry about. We will be teaching photography workshops to the young women. Our photography theme will be "Everyday life in India, through my eyes".

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India….come along with us!

28.12.2008 in Uncategorized

Well here we are…only 3 days away! The reality of it all is starting to set in and the excitement level is getting higher and higher. It really hit me at Target the other night and I literally starting dancing in the aisle. I know I’ve said it a million times, but I wanted to thank everyone for their incredible support. It’s been amazing to see how people have responded completely on their own and re enforces what I already know…the people of The Body Shop are the best in the world! :)

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Welcome to My Crazy World

23.12.2008 in Uncategorized

This is my first blog ever and I am pretty excited to be joining the 21st century at last.  Next week, on Jan. 31st, I will be leading a group of 12 volunteers to India to provide services (therapeutic arts, economic empowerment, etc ) to women and teens who are survivors of modern day slavery, and to children who are growing up in red light areas or government shelters.  So this seemed like a great time to start blogging and sharing my experiences and feelings.  Visiting red light areas full of children and enslaved young women obviously brings up a lot of painful feelings.  But I wouldn’t want it any other way, because it was my feelings of despair and outrage upon learning about modern slavery that led me to launch The Emancipation Network.  And, it is the feelings of love and inspiration that I get from working with our creative, courageous, entrepreneurial survivors, that keeps me going and fills me with whirling dervish energy to help them.

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Intro to this blog and your friendly but argumentative blogger

23.12.2008 in Uncategorized

Well, I had to start blogging sometime. Several times in my life I’ve tried to start a journal or diary, and I’ve never got past a few days before giving up. I think this is because one of the ways I learn the most is from getting into discussions so I seemed to be programmed more to get into arguments (constructive ones mostly) than to want to publish my thoughts. So make this easy on me and comment so I can get a discussion going!

As a context to this blog its probably worth explaining a bit about how we work here at TEN.

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Family Visit

28.11.2008 in Uncategorized

November 13, 2008

Well after a year of living in Kolkata, my family has finally come to visit. My mother, two aunts, and two friends arrived last week in Delhi. We toured Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur and Mumbai for ten days, then flew to Kolkata. After ten days of what I call the "American Princess Tour," we’re finally back in my comfort zone of Kolkata.

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Festival of Lights, at whose expense?

26.11.2008 in Uncategorized

October 28, 2008

Today is Diwali, the festival of lights, perhaps the single most celebrated day in India. The mythological origin of Diwali is to celebrate the return of the Rama, his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana after a war in which he killed the demon Ravana. It was getting dark, so people along the way lit oil lamps to light their way. So Diwali is a festival symbolising the destruction of evil forces.

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Survivor Wedding

26.11.2008 in Uncategorized

October 22, 2008

Sometimes people say that being in India makes them feel "alive." I imagine they mean that it’s an overload of senses, that each experience is an adventure, and that each good thing is invaluable. But I didn’t quite have that same feeling of "being alive" until today. I had the honor of attending a wedding of four survivors.

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My bag is made of garbage

29.10.2008 in Uncategorized

October 17, 2008

Sarah arrived this week to see the Destiny center and to visit some of TEN’s other partners in India. Our newest partner is Darpana, an art institute in Gujurat that instructs students from across India, and in fact around the world, in classical Karnatika style. They also use the art forms, such as theatre and painting, to teach rural villages about social issues like HIV/AIDS and gender equality. Their recent project is to purchase plastic bags from the slums (thus providing some form of income for garbage-pickers), and to employ women from rural villages to weave these plastic bags.

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New Clothes for Lakshmi Puja

27.10.2008 in Uncategorized

October 14, 2008

Yesterday one of our donors, Swapna and Roy, came to Destiny to distribute some salwar suits and saris to our artisans. This was such a lovely gift for the women, since tomorrow is Lakshmi Puja and we are all going to celebrate at Smarita’s house. Swapna has helped in the past by translating a video for TEN, and was visiting Kolkata for the Puja season. The women were truly grateful, since most of them prefer to save their money so they can move out of the shelter home.

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