Evolving Consciousness as a Human Right

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” So begins the United Nations document The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Twenty two years ago I was faced with sexual slavery for the first time.  It was on a water testing trip with my high school to the Amazon basin and we were passed on the river by barges heading to supply the people looking for gold.  One of the supplies that barges carried were girls my age.  I was 14 at the time and that event made an impression on me.  One of my goals in life would become to create a world in which slavery couldn’t couldn’t exist. (Not to mention the practice of dumping mercury into the water to retrieve gold isn’t the best idea for the environment.)

Continue reading “Evolving Consciousness as a Human Right”

Sustainable Village Life

A two hour drive from Wote in the Makueni district of Kenya lies the village of Ngomano.  The last 9 miles of the trip to the village center takes a four-wheel drive vehicle and nerves of steel.  Not only are you sharing the single lane road with goats, sheep, cattle and people heading to get water, but what is used as a road is often deeply rutted and washed out.  Hold on to your stomach for this bumpy ride.

Just before you arrive at the village center of Ngomano a small side road to the left takes you a hundred yards to The Clay International School.  This school was developed by PEI Kenya as an innovative way to teach, and in order to create a sustainable community. Continue reading “Sustainable Village Life”

(Facebook) breaking up is hard to do…

My ‘friends’ on Facebook include colleagues, former students, family, friends, people I met once and though were cool, et cetera.  They are the people I know some very well and other not.  Consequentially, I tend to keep my page and information to what I wouldn’t mind the public knowing even though my information is only visible to ‘friends.’

When I decided to change my status to ‘In a relationship with…’ I was thrilled to be in the beginning of a new relationship.  Happy and in love, I had no problem sharing this information with my Facebook friends via social media.

I had never felt upset changing something I had publicly posted, until it the breakup.  The relationship crashed with little warning and one of the first things I had to confront was the change my public status.  It was so early on that the last time anything had been said, I was happy.  UGH!  I don’t want to have to publicly dump myself!  But I certainly wanted to be the one in control of the process and get to it before he could.

My first line of attack, I decided to go from ‘In a relationship’ to ‘Single’ and immediately erased the update so that I could keep my hurt as private as possible.  Then I realized that I could just make the relationship section go away and not have to say single by setting the status to (blank) so I went in to make that change.

Instead of the desired quiet and solitude I started getting comments like  “Congrats! Who’s the new person in your life?” or “Ooh do tell!”  It was then that I realized that when I changed my status from Single to nothing at all, Facebook sent out something to my friends saying that I was no longer single, which they interpreted to mean that I was in a relationship.  In a panic that my private breakup was getting very public I erased the update as soon as I could.  Fortunately, this quickly made additional well wishers go away.

I was ready to get over it on my own, which is what I wanted in the first place, and then every time I logged in the feed from my ex’s page would pop up.  His friends kept saying how sorry they were to hear.  They assumed he had been dumped and were comforting him.  It made me want to scream “He dumped me!  He shouldn’t get condolences for being an idiot!!”  but I held back.  Post after post.  They wondered if I had worn crocs (a major fashion faux pas to him.)  Everything I had tried to avoid in erasing my status update was still in my face.  If we were no longer friends I could have turned away by unfriending him, but I didn’t.

In the end I coped by hiding his updates and erasing the update that said I was no longer single.

If you too want to have an extremely private, public break-up here’s what you have to do:

How to hide the jerk’s updates (don’t worry this can be undone in the case you make the mistake of getting back together)

1) To the right of an update from the the person who you are trying to block there is a box that appears that when you scroll over it.

2) Click on the word ‘Hide’ and then again on ‘Hide (person’s name)’

How to change your relationship status so that none but a Facebook stalker might know.

1) Go to the box on your profile on the left that says ‘Information and click on the pencil in the right corner.

2) Go down to and click on ‘Edit Information’

3) Under Relationship status change the line to be blank.  This will hid your relationsip status in the Information portion of your profile.

4) Finish editing/ save changes

5) Go to your profile and next to the update that touts your new realtionship status a ‘remove’ button will appear to the right when scrolled over  (just like the ‘Hide’ feature). Click on it.

Now go buy some fair trade chocolate, read a good book or go for a hike and move on.  He/she wasn’t worth your time in the first place!