Change Yourself…Change The World.


Here We Go!!!!
January 13, 2011, 4:19 pm
Filed under: USA



Oh Boy
January 12, 2011, 12:22 am
Filed under: USA

Dear friends,

Apologies for not updating this blog in a month. There will be updates soon. And by soon, I mean a grand update, mostly concerning THIS:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Details soon,

Brittany

 



The Best Day Ever
December 9, 2010, 1:24 am
Filed under: Plain Mary Jane, USA

Dear friends,

Some days are just so perfect that you have to write about them. I know that I haven’t been doing the best job keeping up on this blog; every time I come home I just get so caught up in life that all of my good intentions to write on here are usually thwarted. But today was such a great day that I felt the urge to write about it. So here I write.

I am currently in New York- I came up here for a few days with my parents. My Dad had business meetings and invited me to come, and I jumped at the opportunity to relive the life here a little bit and see a lot of friends. Being back in New York has been amazing. And today is just a small snippet of what I’ve done, but I decided to share just today.

I slept soundly for the first time in a few weeks (it takes awhile to REALLY get over the jet lag) and woke up feeling generally refreshed at about 10 AM. I ate a huge brunch in the hotel we’re staying at, and then jumped into a cab to go visit Acumen Fund, one of my most favorite organizations in the world. Having worked there for a few months, I was really excited to catch up with some of the employees and hear how they’re doing, and it was really fantastic to see everyone again. Once you’re part of the community, being at Acumen Fund is a little bit like being with family, and it was truly wonderful to head back into their office like the good old days. I’m really hoping that in the long future, I get an MBA at NYU, and I’m not going to say that Acumen Fund being in the general vicinity doesn’t influence this desire just a little bit.

After leaving Acumen Fund with five gifts of “The Blue Sweater” books under my arm (speaking of which, any of you world changers hankering to learn more about Acumen Fund? “The Blue Sweater” is the reason why I fell in love with the organization in the first place!), I headed across the street and walked through the Chelsea Market, one of my favorite places in the city, and then went to B&H Photography, the best multimedia store in the universe. I needed to get my UV filter replaced on my camera, and it was more than a little intoxicating walking through the store and eyeing all of the lenses and SLRs on display. A sweet Jewish SLR expert gave me a new UV filter and suggested a photography repair shop across the street to repair my new one. When I arrived at the repair shop, a warm and friendly woman in a Christmas sweater repaired my camera for free, while telling me about how life is about being nice to strangers.

On an elated high, I then made my way to the Rubin Museum, my favorite museum in New York that features Tibetan paintings and sculptures. After a plate of Tibetan momos, sweet chai, and a perusal through the New York Times, I wandered into the gift shop for a few select Christmas presents, where I struck up a conversation with a Tibetan lady (yes, in Tibetan). She was extremely pleased I had spent so much time in Dharamsala, and gave me a beautiful Tibetan mug.

Back at the hotel, I met up with my parents for tea, and then took off to the Lower East side for a drink with a friend and fellow Acumen Fund lover, Adam. I regaled him with my stories as a Kiva fellow, and he told me about his amazing venture Tagai, a mentorship program for recently immigrated high school students. Afterwards, I walked over to the Catchafire office to meet two of my good friends Emily and Sam. I knew Sam when I was in Thailand from the CRC program, and to be able to see him in New York and hang out with his awesome girlfriend Emily was really significant for me, since I barely get to see my friends I’ve met abroad. We went out to a Peruvian restaurant and chilled over a pitcher of Sangria and a long feast of chicken and seafood.

Finally, I ended the night in Brooklyn, celebrating Sarah’s 22nd birthday, my friend who lived in the same dorm as me when I was in New York. Being back there and on such a momentous occasion was really the icing on the cake to such a wonderful day. I took a cab back to Manhattan and ended up chatting with the cab driver the entire way back, who’s Ghanaian. I sang him a few Ghanaian songs I knew, and he told me all about how he came to the US.

You may think that this post doesn’t have a lot of rhyme or reason being on a website about my travels, but it really does. I am shaped by what I have seen and experienced, and it follows me wherever I go; whether by seeing great friends I’ve met while traveling, by being able to break cultural barriers with lovely strangers, and by the way I see myself react and respond to people today. One thing I’ve really learned through traveling is that if you put your love and happiness out there in the universe, happiness and love will come back to you in droves.

Everything about this day was incredibly lovely and lucky, and it also makes me feel happy because this exact day last year I found out some really devastating news that made this last year hard for me in a lot of ways. I feel that this beautiful day was healing in a way, and a premonition for the next year to come: full of love, friendship, and more travels and adventures.

I love my life, my friends, my family, my travels. I am the luckiest person in the world.

Much love,

Brittany



Back Home
November 29, 2010, 11:42 pm
Filed under: USA

Dear friends,

Woah. I am suddenly back in the United States. In the course of a week, I’ve flown into New Jersey, had a massive Thanksgiving feast with my entire extended family, and flew back down to Florida to resume living in relative bliss. I’ve unpacked all of my things from Africa and Asia, played with my dogs until we were all exhausted, shoveled so much raw vegetables and pasta into my mouth that I feel like a god of the ages, schooled both of my sisters on Super Mario countless times, and set a schedule for what I’m going to be doing home for the next two months: studying Economics and Finance, lots of Bikram Yoga and running, and plenty of time set aside to do work for iShop4Microfinance.

But there’s still plenty of things to talk about on the blog. There are a lot of pictures of Kenya, Indonesia, and Thailand that I haven’t yet put up, and I’m excited to speak more to some of those experiences. So stay tuned guys!

Much love,

Brittany



Roselight Designs
November 10, 2010, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Indonesia, Pictures Post, USA

Dear friends,

Bali has continued to be a lovely dream, full of delicious foods, warm weather, greenery farther than the eye can see, special time with my Mama- and a visit from my Aunt Jodi!


My Mom and Aunt Jodi

Aunt Jodi lives in Australia, so I barely ever get to see her- in fact, I’ve only seen her once in the United States, when she came for a celebration of her father’s passing. Previously, I’ve only really known Aunt Jodi through the beautiful jewelry she makes that she graciously sends us for special occasions. For my high school graduation, I got an absolutely stunning handmade necklace from her that I wear all of the time.

So it was a really special treat to spend so much wonderful time with her, but even more of a treat because she brought along some of her amazing jewelry! I thought it would be worthwhile showcasing some pictures on here, since they are so beautiful.

Pictures of Roselight Designs



Next Phase Of My Life In One Word: Awesome.
July 16, 2010, 7:44 pm
Filed under: USA

Hi friends!

I know some of you have been waiting with bated breath to hear of news about how training for the Kiva Fellows program went, and I’m sorry I haven’t written sooner. This past week has been SO INTENSE, but in the best way possible! In my last post I talked a bit about how I was taking a step into the next phase in my life. Forget step, I was shoved into the pool! But (metaphorically speaking), learning ‘to swim’ with Kiva has been a challenging task- but I don’t think any other group could have made it more interesting, fun, and absolutely magnificent. I am astounded by the caliber and intelligence of all of the other fellows, and the Kiva fellow staff are phenomenal. I have never felt so well taken care of and, and I feel very proud to be welcomed with open arms into the ‘Kiva’ family.

So basically what I’m trying to say here is, Kiva is one of the coolest organizations in the world, the staff are amazing, the fellows are unbelievable, and you should either apply to be a fellow or lend to them!

So now that I’ve made that announcement, ALL things related to my Kiva fellowship from this point on will be on the Kiva Fellows Blog– yes, I’ll let you know on here when I’ve posted!

So quite suddenly the training is over, and I’ll be heading off to New York tomorrow before EGYPT! on Tuesday. I absolutely can’t wait to start the traveling again. My skin is just ITCHING for bed bug bites, my hair is PLEADING for dry and brittleness, my muscles are just ACHING to lug a huge and heavy suitcase throughout Africa- and my soul- my lonely soul is pining for that special ‘worldly travel’ part of me that I’ve been longing for months and months to reunite with, to pop out and say hello again.

More updates soon friends! Expect at least one more post before Egypt.
Much love,
Brittany



Happy 4th of July!
July 4, 2010, 9:27 am
Filed under: USA

Happy 4th of July, everyone! It is so nice to be in the United States, and at home, for this holiday. Last year I was in Bangladesh. I find that I appreciate US holidays so much more now that I’ve traveled abroad. I’ve been around so many different cultures and holidays and rituals in the past two years that when an American one rolls around I can happily think ‘this one is MINE.’

For those of you that read this blog that aren’t American, 4th of July, or Independence Day, is a day where we celebrate our sovereignty from Great Britain and the adoption of our ‘Declaration of Independence,’ which was signed on July 4th, 1776. It’s a day where we commemorate ‘all things American’- we wave American flags, have American flag themed plates and cups and decorations- usually family or friends get together for a big cook-out, which can comprise of American food like hot dogs, hamburgers, and chips– usually Americans then go and see a 4th of July parade, where they camp out on lawn chairs and watch people walking by dressed up in Independence Day attire- and then finally at night time, people gather in hordes (usually on lawns) to watch spectacular fireworks, all over the United States.

And so today, my family is going all out, true American style. I’m so happy that I’m home with family for the 4th of July- just like old times. All four of my brother and sisters are home; my parents are grilling hot dogs, cheeseburgers, sausage peppers and onions (a family recipe- yes, my parents will not be eating these as they are vegan, they also made rice and black beans), brie and guacamole and chips– we are all having friends over for a big cook-out, followed by a few hours of comatose lounging while we digest everything- and then off to the beach to see fireworks.

I am proud to be American today. Let the celebrations commence!

Much love and happy 4th,
Brittany



Home Is Where the Heart Is
June 29, 2010, 9:06 pm
Filed under: Plain Mary Jane, USA


My home when I’m not traveling



How I Got Lucky (And She Got Me)
June 25, 2010, 9:59 am
Filed under: India, USA

Dear friends,

It’s story time again!

Few people realize that I actually have a dog that I brought home from India. I found her in India at the beginning of my travels, decided on the spot to take her home with me- then had a harrowing adventure of actually GETTING her to the United States- and now, two years later, Lucky is currently lying on my bedroom floor, stretched out on the carpet and growling at dustballs.

Whenever I (or my parents) tell people that I brought home a ‘dog from India,’ the first question they usually ask is, ‘How in the hell did you accomplish THAT?’ And so my friends, I give you the story of Lucky.


Lucky March 2008

Click here for the Story