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Tea From The Top of My Soapbox

20.02.2010 in Uncategorized

Hi Everyone

 

So my jet lag has passed.  I’ve had a date night with my husband – Misaki sushi!  I’ve planned a night out with friends.  I’ve enjoyed winter school vacation with my family and several hours of afternoon cuddling with my babies.  And while I’d love to extend the doting and atta-girls from friends and loved ones, I’m ready to publicly admit that I’m "back in action" after my seventeen day trip to India.  And lucky for me, part of that action is keeping up with this blog as requested by TEN founders, John and Sarah.  An opportunity to regularly share my perspective – that of an everyday, suburban mother of five, household executive, modern day abolishionist, women’s rights activist, writer of the divine in the ordinary, community leader and life loving student of the journey.  And while I’m lovin’ how all thisl sounds on paper, please note life’s never as easy as I say it is.  Motherhood, womanhood, and freedom fighting is all pretty humbling work, so we just gotta start somewhere.  Right here is as good a place as any…

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Where Do We Go From Here?

15.02.2010 in Uncategorized

Hi Everyone

I’ve arrived home safely from Kolkata and it’s great to back with my family.  But I wanted to do a final blog with some final thoughts on the trip and openly process the road ahead and how we all can contribute to making change for the girls and young women that I"ve met.  Additionally, I just want to express how truly grateful I am to all that rallied around my family to make this trip possible.  To those that donated so that I could travel with TEN, made a meal for my family, took the kids for a playdate, called to check in, sent me letters and emails of prayers and support, and anyone that has decided to open their hearts and minds to the cause, I love you.  I know it’s hard to understand, but this trip was a dream come true.  And it truly took a village to make it happen.  Thank you.

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The Company I’m Keeping

09.02.2010 in Uncategorized

Hi Everyone

 

After just returning from our heavenly weekend holiday in Darjeeling, I’m feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work.  We watched the sunrise across the Himalayas, toured Tibetan Monestaries, had roadside tea in Nepal, and toured a breathtaking, 1,000 acre tea garden.  It was wonderful to have some down time, be a tourist, and linger over fresh pasteries and endless pots of Darjeeling teas in a cooler, cleaner enviornment.

 

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Volunteers connect with Kolkata’s trafficking survivors

09.02.2010 in Uncategorized

Last week, a group of 8 volunteers from America came to Kolkata. They were from around the US, but had been preparing for this trip for months. The youngest of the group, a senior in highschool, fundraised enough money to pay for the entire trip and to make a donation to our Destiny center! Talk about motivation!

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Two Nights in Kathmandu

09.02.2010 in Uncategorized

 If you’re old enough to be alive during the 1980s and groove to the eclectic tunes of that decade, you’ve probably heard Murray Head’s smash pop hit One Night in Bangkok and its unmistakable lyrics…“ no comment

Up, Down, and back Up again.

08.02.2010 in Uncategorized

Okay, since my last posting I have had a heat rash, swollen joints, and a fairly bad case of diarhhea.  Ya, I know, not pretty.  But, after a much needed 12+ hours of rest, and a bathroom, I was slowly back on track.  I did discover one thing though, that I was never going to eat Indian food again….which was kind of tricky, since I still had 9 days left in the country.  Fortunately, though, we were hours away from our much anticipated side trip to Darjeeling, the tea capital of India, near the Nepal border, where I assumed more western style food, as well as a more Asi

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Social Ventures Employing Survivors – This is Not Charity

07.02.2010 in Uncategorized

When thinking of social ventures like Destiny Center, Freeset, or Sari Bari, it might be tempting to think of them along the same lines as charity.  I not only believe this is incorrect, but also that this perception among some customer segments inhibits the success of these ventures.  If the quality of the products is very poor, then the case could be made that buying these products is an act of charity. 

 

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Three Stories You Should Hear About

07.02.2010 in Uncategorized

In Calcutta (or rather Kolkata as it’s usually spelled nowadays) there are three young women from the US who have each done something extraordinary.  I hope more people can hear about what they’ve done and gain inspiration from their stories.  Let me start off by noting that Kolkata is not an easy place to live for most people used to life in the US or other Western countries.  The reason for this is that the public services, air quality, general living conditions, and the culture are very different from what most of us in the western part of the world have grown accusto

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Calcutta Nights

06.02.2010 in Uncategorized

Most of the overt prostitution in Calcutta occur in the evening in the red light districts where women actually line up along the street for passers by, like some sort of commodity that can be picked over, chosen, used, and abused.  It might be tempting to think that the women want to be there since they`re standing out there without a gun to their head.  But the gun in this situation is behind the scenes in the physical violence, coercion, and desperation that holds these women hostage to a brothel owner/madam.

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A Tree grows in Calcutta

06.02.2010 in Uncategorized

It is hard to find words for everything I feel and all the wonderful and inspiring things that have happened this week. At the same time, it has sometimes been overwhelming, and some moments have been difficult to bear.  Most of the girls and children that we have been working with for the past few years are thriving – making a success out of lives that they could never have imagined – but there are a few that we have lost, or that in dire peril, and it is hard to come face to face with that reality.  We are doing everything in our power to intervene and help these individuals, and I am grateful to have the chance to try, but working on this issue, in this underworld, there are huge challenges.

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