I WANT YOUR STORIES

stories

Stories are important.

Storytellers momentarily manifest a world filled with the artifacts of their experience, open for listeners to explore. As listeners, we enter these stories in exchange for our empathy —our effort to understand, to give compassion, or solidarity— because only through story can we experience the world beyond our own perspective.

Stories are the primary bond that holds us together. Shared experiences are treasured differently than occurrences experienced alone and storytelling welcomes listeners to enter, and forever take with them, an experience to make their own.

Tell me your stories.

I want your stories to feel, learn, love, and know you.

Listen to the first stories of this project below.

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Juxtaposition

jux·ta·po·si·tion [juhk-stuh-puh-zish-uhn] noun. - an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.

Our minds are wired to find associations, patterns, and connections between the things we observe, ourselves, and our environment. This is a simple, powerful, dangerous, and beautiful thing.

I shot these photos years ago, but thought I would bring them back to life.

Mt. Tamalpais State Park, CA

There is nothing like being in the company of these giants… and touching the clouds.

Weekend on the Rim of Africa

The Western Cape of South Africa is home to some very impressive mountains that stand as rocky monuments above the cape vineyards and farms. Connecting the Cederberg Mountains in the north to the Outeniqua Mountains in the south-east, the Rim of Africa trail has been born to lead hikers into this unfrequented mountain wilderness. Last weekend I followed the trail’s creators to witness part of the adventure of developing ‘a trail of no ordinary proportions’. Continue reading

“My HIV Promise is ….”

My HIV Promise

A blog for my fundraising efforts for the 2012 AIDS/Lifecycle that will live beyond the ride as an ongoing elicitation project asking “What is your promise to the fight to end the spread and stigma of HIV/AIDS?”. Continue reading

Gardens for Health International

GHI

Located outside of Rwanda’s capital city Kigali, Gardens for Health International partners with rural health clinics to equipt families facing malnutrition with seeds, livestock, and know-how for greater self-sufficiency. With their investment, over one thousand farmers now have the resources to feed themselves and their families in dignity. Continue reading

why i’m here

this trip to africa was all so i could come to ndera, rwanda. it’s just outside of the capital city kigali and but is just like most of rwanda– full of subsistence farmers that live in small rural communities. this is the land of a thousand hills with long and bumpy dirt roads and green plants everywhere. the rains that continue throughout the entire year make the earth extremely fertile– spit something out and in all likelihood it will grow– but when you go to a local health clinic and spend all day weighing 50 kids from the area with severe and moderate malnutrition you have to ask why is this happening and how can we stop it.

this is what the face of a child with malnutrition can look like. you would think all the children would just get thinner and thinner until their skin and bones– but you would be wrong. many times children actually start collecting fluid in their skin because their body can no longer hold it in the bloodstream (a condition nicknamed kwash). puffiness forms right under the eyes, the checks become rounded and the hair thins from the head. the tummy enlarges into a potbelly and the arms and legs become larger but with a skin that is pulled tight by all the fluid being collected. at first glance, the child can look healthy- making it hard for many people to notice. it’s the children with malnutrition that never develop kwash that are so striking to see- and let me tell you, when you see a seven month old baby that weighs six pounds, it’s hard not to start looking out to blame.

so how does this still happen? it starts with not eating enough and/or not eating enough of the right things but leads to issues of desperate poverty, education, access to land, local, national, and international politics, and flaws with how food aid works globally. all of these issues could be seen when we were at the clinic weighing and measuring the heights of the children to calculate their weight for height and weight for age measurements.

what got me was that this clinic had been reporting zero cases of malnutrition to fall in line with a new push to completely eradicate it from rwanda- which left many families and children hidden from aid for the sake of politics. to change this, brad had gone out to many villages himself to find them and tell them to come to get help. for the ones with severe malnutrition they get a fortified peanut butter called plumpy nut. for the moderate malnutrition cases, they should get a fortified corn and soy blend porridge (called csb) but because none of the supply has left the united states in a while they will get nothing.

and when the severe cases of malnutrition are healthy enough to be considered moderately malnourished, they will then get nothing. when production or trade of food aid from the united states doesn’t work out properly, people here will loose the little ground they have gained to have healthier children. this shows the dependency and sole reliance on handouts to solve global malnutrition.

and this is why food aid is broken. no more just giving out food assistance without realizing the true solution to this issue lives in the hands of the very families that can’t feed their children. let’s invest in them, believe in them, love and cherish them.

-tbk

Journey to Empowerment: Women After the Taliban

J2E

A book created in collaboration with Afghan Zareen Taj that tells the stories of many of the women and families that Zareen interviewed on her research trip to Afghanistan. This book does not display the women as merely victims of the oppression they endured, but as resilient survivors actively shaping their lives, communities, and country’s future. This acts as a timely message- about this vulnerable moment as they are still in need of support from the international community. Continue reading