Showing posts from October, 2009

Because we can

Five years ago, I met photographer Tony Deifell in Chicago at a face to face gathering of an online community we both belonged to. Tony challenged participants with a simple question: Why Do You Do What You Do? Today the amazing WDYDWYD project continues to provoke thoughtful responses through artistic expression from around the world, and my own answer continues to be the same: I see that I can, so I must.
At that same conference, I also met a dynamic young woman named Theresa Williamson, who works in Brazil to help local communities in Rio identify and share solutions that work, to improve lives in that city's infamous Flavelas (squatter communities). I don't claim to know the deeper personal reasons why Theresa does what she does, but she does it tirelessly, and with obvious passion. Right now she and her friends at Catalytic Communities need just a tiny bit of help to do something really important. I see that I can ask you to help, so I must...
In the lead up to the 2016…

My Money Madness

I've had a really odd relationship with money since a pivotal moment that occurred when I was 13 years years old. After watching The Money Fix yesterday (highly recommended!), I found myself sharing that story with my 13 year old son, and thought it also worth sharing here.
I had just graduated Valedictorian of my junior high school, when a neighbor - who was also a close family "friend" - took it upon herself to let me know that I would probably never go to college. Yes, of course she knew that I'd always been very smart and done well in school, but it was important for me to face facts: I would not be able to go to college because my parents just wouldn't be able to afford it. I shouldn't get my hopes up to high.
I remember the smallest details of that moment: where we were standing, what she was wearing, and how her face tried to show me a gentle smile. More than anything, though, I remember the personal decision that I made at the time, in unforgettable…

10 simple ways my family fights climate change

Since moving back to Brussels earlier this year, I've been intrigued by local attitudes toward climate change, and our responsibilities as human beings to change our behaviors where we can. The Belgian government does a lot to make it possible for everyone to play a role. Belgians love their luxuries, however, and many ordinary folk I've talked to feel content to let the government be the only one who makes an effort.
Some friends have even told me they believe that "going green" is just another excuse to get people to consume more industrial goods - ie, that we are now told to replace every appliance we have with greener versions is just another push for increased consumerism. But there are also many, like me, who take their own responsibility to fight climate change pretty seriously. In fact, moving to a new country and creating a new life has provided opportunities for my family to develop some new habits (and continue some old ones) that I feel pretty good abou…

The lost tribes of my wwworld

In spite of reconnecting with so very many old friends and family through social media of late, there are gaps in this virtual re-creation of my life's journey. Whole countries of people I lived with have failed to resurface in my facebook stream. How do I find those who've been lost from my tribes?

I've never been great with names, and the older I get the more I realize what a sad handicap that is... especially when you travel as much as I have. When I lived in Switzerland (both times) I was young and "fun" and honestly didn't pay much attention to peoples' last names. Today there are people I'd love to look up, whom I'd love to see again, but "Marco in Switzerland" just doesn't work well in an online people search.

The second time I moved to Switzerland was when I decided to start going by "Christina" - it's my name, but until then I'd been called "Tina" by everyone who knew me. As luck would have it, in G…