Thursday, March 24, 2016
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Friday, March 11, 2016
Ten years ago this week, I went to Afghanistan on a delegation to learn about women after the fall of the Taliban and learned about the many components of rebuilding a civil society after years of war. What I saw there profoundly affected me. The passionate people I met who fought for education for girls and a justice system for woman and promoting human rights for all wowed me.
The cross cultural experience was deep and powerful. Afghan hospitality meant we were welcomed and embraced. We were invited to people's homes and met high level women like Army generals and local women in the villages. We met advocates and sat for tea with neighbors in our guest house's neighborhood and heard about hopes a dreams for a better life. We sat across from Taliban elders (which we learned really just meant most people in any leadership position at that time. Not necessarily the evil men we heard about on tv) and heard of the indignities our military subjected them to and learned first hand the difference between winning hearts and minds and making real lifetime enemies. But what was amazing is these men were willing to sit at the table with a group of American women and share their stories and ask for our help to get their friends and family members out of Guantanamo and Bagram. The press makes things seem so black and white, but in person things are so much more nuanced and gray and human.
I believe deeply in the power of experiential learning and that trip changed me forever. I left a piece of my heart in Afghanistan. I think about the people I met all the time and hope that there is a better future for them and that society can get beyond the cycles of war.
Sunday, March 06, 2016
My family has been visiting Water Island, a small residential island off the coast of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands for over 50 years. Originally my grandmother and grandfather lived there and now my parents continue to return each winter. It had been a while since I had been back and it felt great to be there. While some things have changed, its still a small, sweet, traditional island where families return year after year.
Click HERE to see more pictures of Water Island