Cheers and Bed Bugs

I’m up in the air again. I can’t get my work to load, so I am doing something else with my time up here above the North Atlantic – I’m talking to you. I’ve been up in the air a lot lately, and now I’m on my way back to Uganda. I was just there two weeks ago with some work friends rehabbing a safe house for women fleeing domestic violence. What was a cement block of a room, walls smudged with old handprints, cracked and cob-webby, is now a sanctuary with bunk beds, clean sheets, toys, real plants and…

Let yourself be moved

I got my first tattoo last year. I have this rule, a 6 month rule. If I’ve chosen the design and the placement and held those unchanged for 6 months, I’ll get the tattoo. This is the only one to survive so far.  “Awake.” I hand-wrote the word a few hundred times before I settled on the one I liked most. I brought the paper with me to the tattoo parlor. In ten minutes, I was scarred.  “Awake” was my Peace Corps word. Two years of loving that experience, fearing it, missing my family, missing home, digging in my heals,…

It’s time to do the work of love.

If you’re wondering what to do right now… if you’re thinking, I don’t know what world I woke up in… if you’re dazed an confused, it’s time to focus. We have work to do. Whoever you voted for, the pain felt in this election is universal. It is not equal, it is not felt in the same ways, but it is felt by every single one of us. We have work to do. Reach out to someone right now. You (yes, YOU) know someone who is afraid, full of worry about the years to come. Text them, call them, meet…

I needed some white flowers

“This is the smell of being lost in the woods,” he said. “That’s when you know you’re really alone. You know what I mean? When you know no one is coming to get you. Here. It’s freesia.” He puffed lightly trying to blow his long hair from his mouth. His hair was thin, but it seemed sweet to me that he cared enough to color it brown and grow it down to his shoulders. “This one is almost gone.” He held up a withering flower. “But it smells so nice.” He shoved it into the vase. He was so high….

Waking up these days

My morning routine starts on my phone. I know they say this is bad for you. People say that the smart phone is a brick sinking us to the bottom of the ocean or something. But not for me.  “I even quit taking coffee,” Arafa said. Arafa is my ARC teammate in Sudan. “I prefer learning from the group and writing to them.”  “Me, too,” I said.  My morning starts on my phone looking at a Whatsapp group. “Good morning, Changemakers!” says an Aftab, ARC Intern in Pakistan. “Good morning,” replies Deborah, the HR Manager in Uganda. “Good morning dear…