Monday, 5 January 2015

My Challenge for 2015

Thanks to my cousin, I have a new challenge for this year.
Probably one of the first that is not an every-day-post kind of thing.
It has nothing to do with sports. (Unfortunately. My body could use a bit of movement)

This time, it's a reading challenge.
I consider myself quite the bookworm, and I'm ashamed to admit I haven't really been reading much lately. Of course, time spent on study, internship or work (or avoiding all three) have been hogging my main energy levels. Up until now. Because I need a "new" (old)  hobby.
Something other than lurking on social media and browsing randomly to waste time.
I'm also picking up painting again, but that's a different story.

For now, here's the list.
I saw it on my cousin's timeline, and couldn't resist pulling a Barney.
(ie: +gasp+  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! )

The "official" challenge has no rules.
But when I joined this, we made a (motivational) group.
Our only rule? Max of boxes you can tick per book are 3. (I know some of my books could tick of 5 - 8 easily.) This way it stays a challenge.

The "Banned Book" is a bit of a catch, because there are no books banned by the state in the Netherlands. That was different some time ago, so we bent that 'rule' to encompass 'banned at some point in recent history'.

I wouldn't be me, if I hadn't already started. We're already on day 5 of the new year, after all.
I just finished "Dreams of Joy", by Lisa See.
An incredibly deep and moving story, on a very idealistic yet dangerous and difficult time in Red China. My eyes have been opened to another part of history I always took for granted.

The Gypsy

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Building a School with a Guitar

Once upon a time, on an island far, far away, there lived a happy community.
A community that was thriving, living in a sunny and beautiful place.
People would get up, really early, and head out to the sea.
To fish. Because their main income and food relied on these fish.

But then came big fishing companies.
They drained the seas of fish.
Now the fishermen of the island barely catch enough to feed themselves, let alone have anything left to sell and live off.

This village? Tasajera. Belonging to the only country I didn't visit on my backpacking trip through Central America in 2012: El Salvador.
The population? 1,846 inhabitants.
The story? A true one, sadly.

Suzanne, a dear friend of mine, went there last summer.
She joined EMANA (Energia huMANA = Human Energy), a non-profit initiative that helps out sustainable development of the village, San Rafael Tasajera. Their focus is on educating the people of the village, so that they have a chance and survive.

Suzanne decided she was going to use her guitar.
* Music cheers people up.
* All money goes to EMANA, so they can use the money to build an actual school in Tasajera.
* She's happy because everyone's happy.

Here's how she's doing it:  (Hint: It's a vlog!)

My goal? To have this story be heard. To have this story spread.
Because I found that I couldn't sit there, hear the story, smile and do nothing.
So instead of my original "First Blogpost of the Year", which is going to have to wait, this gets that title. This is my (first) contribution to Tasajera. Perhaps more will follow. Any ideas are welcome.

In the meantime, I'm supporting Suus fullheartedly.
Great job, chica!

The Gypsy