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 1 
 on: July 22, 2014, 02:21:09 PM 
Started by Jill - Last post by Jill
Read 62189 times
Jill
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Having learned (and learned to love her insides) the tiny little bit about her that I have, I pretty much knew that Naomi Shihab Nye would have something to say about what’s been going on in Gaza.  She didn’t disappoint.

Naomi Shihab Nye: Two Poems

To Israel
Are you sleeping well?
What do you tell your children, studying history?
It was so evil, that people could herd us
and hurt us, steal our homes
and crush our children.
The whole world knows
how evil it was.
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Conundrum
My Jewish friends are kind and gentle.
Not one of them would harm another person
even if they didn’t know that person.
I would bet on this.
 
My Arab friends are kind and gentle.
Not one of them would harm another person
even if they didn’t know that person.
I would bet on this.
They might press you to drink 45 small cups
of coffee or tea but that would be the extent of it.
 
My Jewish friends have never taken my house,
my land, pressed me into a small cell, tortured me,
killed my parents, insulted my existence,
never once, not at all.  If I have a tree, they admire it.
They don’t cut it down. Their ancestors
may have done that to mine and my ancestors
may never have recovered, but we are new people
now, and should behave as such. Try, try again.
The American way.
 
They respect me as an equal.
I have never said they should not exist.
They have never tried to erase me.
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, Declan Galbraith's song, at least, the question it asks, both of which I’ve posted here before, they constantly come to mind.  That’s including right now, when the world feels, sometimes, very much too much with me, and I start to wonder whether the sky hasn’t really begun to fall, after all.  
Lyrics

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Somewhat Related:
I haven’t seen these films yet but very much want to.  Found out, this morning, that the first one, Heart of Jenin, is available, at least right now, for free online viewing:

Heart of Jenin

 
Cinema Jenin
http://www.cinemaforpeace-foundation.com/watch-cfp-movies/film-selection-israel-palestine/film-selection-israel-palestine


If anyone out there can help me locate, so I can purchase, DVDs of one or both of those films, as well as of the film, not related at all, Sweet Old Song, which, from the 5 minute trailer, looks absolutely lovely, I’d really be grateful.
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EDIT #1:  NOT RELATED IN THE LEAST, UNLESS….
It's All/ We're All Related.

When I was going to “teacher school,” I chose to focus my Master’s Field Project (or whatever it was called -- it was awhile ago) on Service Learning, the component of my Masters In Teaching program that for me felt the very most meaningful.  A friend and I had the great pleasure and learning of going around to various middle and high schools in and outside Seattle and interviewing, learning about, and exhilarating in the wonderful variety of service learning projects that creative teachers had designed to engage their students in their communities and the world.


Probably the most powerful of all the projects we studied was this truly brilliant one the purpose of which was to teach kids about homelessness.  I don’t remember a lot about it, but I do remember that along with working alongside people, including people who were homeless, in building homes for Habitat for Humanity, the kids in conjunction with their parents were to devise a much reduced family budget.  If I remember correctly, part of the project involved their families agreeing to live, for X-amount of time, strictly according to this very pared down budget, as though the income they had coming in was close to poverty level, where decisions needed to be made about trying to balance the imperatives of paying off mortgages, putting food on the table, paying doctors’ bills, etc.


What I remember most, though, and I remember this from having read some of the journals that had been kept by the kids, also as part of the project, was that they needed to interview a number of people who had become homeless and then, they needed to write regularly in that journal and finally, to reflect on what they had learned during the course of the semester.  


The insight that so many of them gained that was the most profound, and I’m imagining, the most enduring, was how similar so many of the people they’d interviewed were to their own parents and their parents' friends*, worlds apart from the somewhat denigrating stereotypes many of them and their families had had about “The Homeless,” at the start of the class project.


I just came across this short video, I’ve Built Robots, with an accompanying story that brought all that back to me.  It touched me, deeply.  


* The single biggest cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States isn't job loss or irresponsible use of credit.  It's medical expenses…. And although access to health insurance can help stave off medical debt, it doesn't solve the problem.  About 10 million insured Americans have medical bills they are unable to pay. The Harvard researchers found that three-quarters of the medical debtors they studied had health insurance….

Unlike a car or home purchase, sudden illness and the often exorbitant costs of treatment can’t be planned for….”

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-trumble-medical-bankruptcy-20140723-story.html

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EDIT #2: To the post that must seem like it’s never going to end.  

I just came across this pic I liked that I’m tacking on. I'd seen it before.  It accompanied an article that yes, is (more obviously) related. To be clear:  I’m Jewish if I’m anything at all, but much more than that, or maybe/probably, in large part, because of that, all of this stuff that seems like it’s been perpetually going on between Israel and Palestine hurts me tremendously inside.  I am so very well aware that there are two sides to it all, that there’s been plenty of right and plenty of wrong on both sides, (even if it feels like, at least, in recent history, there's been a whole lot more wrong on one side than on the other), but it remains incomprehensible to me how there could even arguably be any kind of moral justification for the treatment, isolation, prejudice, destruction, and punishment inflicted on so many pretty undeniably innocent civilians, so many of whom I feel certain want only to be able to live and have their families live decent, safe and peaceful lives, just as we want for ourselves.




 2 
 on: July 21, 2014, 07:23:37 AM 
Started by Amy-in-PHX - Last post by Amy-in-PHX
Read 57372 times
Amy-in-PHX
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Oh, so sad about Aness!  She seemed to start out so well.  I hope the baby is doing well. 
I have a few other Zoona loans, in which the businesses seem to have taken off - one is almost fully paid back ($24.46 repaid), and two others have fully repaid.
http://www.kiva.org/lend/413815

 3 
 on: July 21, 2014, 07:18:54 AM 
Started by Amy-in-PHX - Last post by Amy-in-PHX
Read 17036 times
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http://www.kiva.org/lend/726409 - Concentitas, $3425 to go, 3 days left.
(Featured borrower is a widow)

I will be lending to Concentidas Group, together with a couple of friends, about 2.5 hours from now. (8:00AM, Kiva time.) If you join us on Concentidas around that time, it will help make the loan visible to lenders who are not on teams, and get it funded.  (Between 7:30 and 8:30 would be most helpful if that's convenient.  But if not, of course a loan at any time will help!)

 4 
 on: July 21, 2014, 07:16:07 AM 
Started by Amy-in-PHX - Last post by Amy-in-PHX
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"He says his business has brought him respect and pride because now his family depends on him for help since he is the most successful one in his family. . . . His plans are to see his two children attend university, establish another shop, and improve some of his family's lives."
(So far, he's made 10 monthly payments on time, repaying 79% of his current loan.)  http://www.kiva.org/lend/600885 - BRAC Liberia loan.

 5 
 on: July 18, 2014, 10:02:26 PM 
Started by Amy-in-PHX - Last post by Amy-in-PHX
Read 17036 times
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Pro Mujer has nine loans set to expire in 5 days, on June 24th. Two of them have $500 and $1400 to go, and the other seven have over $3000 needed, apiece, if they are not to expire. Anyone want to help get some of these funded? Please lend and encourage other lenders to do so, too.  The nine will begin to get their red boxes in about 18 hours from now.  (I tried a link to Pro Mujer loans, sorted by expiring soon, but it would not work.  So here's a link sorted by Most Recent -- I assume everyone knows how to use the dropdown to change it to Expiring Soon -- Thanks!

http://www.kiva.org/lend?partner_id=59&status=fundRaising&sortBy=Most+Recent

 6 
 on: July 18, 2014, 10:24:21 AM 
Started by Jill - Last post by Jill
Read 19609 times
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Even though I couldn’t find it in a quick search, I’m almost certain that one of us (me or somebody else) posted here about the Alive Inside documentary, maybe last year or the year before.  Its so-called “official trailer” (see, below) made the rounds some time ago, and many of those of us who saw it were absolutely captivated and found ourselves wanting more more more.  Anyone who loves music and who believes that music, just like having beloved pets, can uplift, can comfort, and can often even improve health or “heal,” is likely to find pleasure in it, too.


Yesterday, I happened upon this newer and different trailer for it, which only strengthened my desire to see it.  I’d read in the interim that it had won the Audience Award at The Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.


When I saw that it finally is going to be shown for public consumption in the movie theaters, I was really pleased.  Because of what I thought was the timing, I also was hopeful I’d be able to see it when I go visit my friend who founded the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music. It for sure looks to be a film a person would want to share with someone they cared about, particularly for the fun there'll be getting to talk about it, and about the wonders of music, afterwards.  But then I did a little more googling and found this:

When It’s Showing Where


ALIVE INSIDE - “Official” Trailer That Many Of Us Saw Quite Awhile Ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWn4JB2YLU

http://musicandmemory.org/
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EDIT: Those small (life-sustaining, great pleasure-giving) joys in life….

I’d sent these links this morning to one of the new friends that I’d so tremendouslyhappily made during my trip to Africa this past May.  I just now got an email response from her:

I think I mentioned to you that my m-in law is in a long term care facility (nursing home). She is a trained classical ( ------ ) musician, won awards and was a highly sought-after teacher. Anyway her dementia has got to the point where she is irritable and even violent and I was just telling the family that we have to introduce music back into her life.  

I will now share this with everyone….”


My guess is that most of us, baby boomers and others, will think of people, whether older than we are or not, and whether stricken with a form of dementia, a stroke or in some other way, debilitated, for whom we’ll be hoping that maybe music can be an answer, at the very least, that it can be a comfort.  There sure seems to be nothing to be lost by trying it, and so very very much (hope) to gain.

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EDIT #2: MUSIC THERAPY

Another friend’s son, who, apparently is something of a musical prodigy, being still a kid, and by far, the youngest member of his community’s symphony orchestra, has expressed a desire (which of course I loved hearing) to go into music therapy as his college major and (at least, his current) career choice.  So, I sent them the following links, some or all of which I've posted in different places at different times, here.  If anyone has any others they’d be willing to share, Will, his mom, and I would be really happy to learn about them.

MusicianCorps Health and Wellness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EzL7WT-NjQ
 
Musicians Without Borders
http://www.musicianswithoutborders.org/
 
MusicianCorps
http://www.musiciancorps.org/
 
Musequality
http://www.musequality.org/webmuse/musequality/index.php
 
Serviceartist.net
http://serviceartist.net/




 7 
 on: July 17, 2014, 08:45:34 PM 
Started by Diane R - Last post by Diane R
Read 57372 times
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Gorgeous mom and baby!  I hope the business takes off.

Sadly, Aness, who I believe was the first Zoona client in Zambia to be funded on Kiva, "...has closed business and is no longer trading". Her loan defaulted today, roughly 60% repaid.

--Diane.

 8 
 on: July 17, 2014, 09:29:35 AM 
Started by Amy-in-PHX - Last post by Amy-in-PHX
Read 57372 times
Amy-in-PHX
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http://www.kiva.org/lend/592186
I made this loan a year ago.  It was the borrower's first loan, and she planned to buy a broaster for making chicken.  (At the time, she was 25, married, and raising 2 small children.)  I got a nice update a couple days ago (translation via Google translate), about her progress.  (I'm thinking the car was purchased with profits of the original business, though the language barrier makes it unclear.  Nice to know the family has a second income stream, anyway.) 

Quote
Aurora says her loan invested in improving her fast food snackbar, and start a new business; she bought a car to work as radiotaxi. She is happy with the enterprises being undertaken in her life and is grateful for the help received.

 9 
 on: July 17, 2014, 12:38:45 AM 
Started by Amy-in-PHX - Last post by Amy-in-PHX
Read 57372 times
Amy-in-PHX
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Here is a really nice success story piece about an Al Majmoua borrower.

http://www.womensworldbanking.org/news/blog/microfinance-true-stories-mouneh-moolah/

 10 
 on: July 16, 2014, 11:11:36 AM 
Started by Amy-in-PHX - Last post by Amy-in-PHX
Read 17036 times
Amy-in-PHX
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http://www.kiva.org/lend/718133
This loan from Pro Mujer is set to expire tomorrow morning.  It may be OK, if enough people with shiny new credits use the expiring soon sort to search for Credit Day loans.  But it would be a good idea for Pro Mujer fans to check in the morning and see how it's going -- the loan may need help to fund.  Pro Mujer had several loans expire during this current credit cycle.   Cry
Currently 22 hours, $1975 to go

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