30 March 2010

a woman's worth

[M]arket liberalization and stabilization programs are the functional equivalent of "low-intensity warfare, except instead of soldiers dying there are children, instead of millions of wounded there are millions of unemployed, instead of destruction of bridges there is tearing down of factories, schools, hospitals and entire economies"
~ Luis Ignacio Silva
(West Africa 28 August, 1993; cited in "Gender Equity and Women Empowerment in Africa" )

What happens when women are educated and empowered?

revolutionary change

I posted about the Girl Effect in a previous post about the importance of women in development. Last night I was reading an article that reinforced for me the incredible horrors of poverty in the developing world and especially the disparity between genders. The importance of educating women to the well-being of families, communities and nations is unbelievable!

Did you know:

Women are 6x as productive as men in an hour's work
Educated women farmers in Kenya increase productivity by 24%
1-3 years of education for mothers decreases infant mortality by 15%
The child of a Zambian mother with basic education has a 25% greater chance of survival
African women provide 80% of the labor for subsistence production

women still account for 64% of illiterate adults--only 89 women can read for every 100 men
in 2006, the gender wage gap was 30-40% in some countries
70% of the world's poor are females
"in no society do women fare as well as men in political and economic opportunities"

So the question is:
what are we going to do about it?

photo taken in Guatemala 2009
all statistics cited from
Geo-JaJa et al (2009). "Gender Equity and Women Empowerment in Africa: The Education and Economic Nexus." Race, Ethnicity and Gender in Education

28 March 2010

A way back into love. . .

I'm in love with this movie, this song, Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant, and every word of the lyrics!

A way back into love from "music and lyrics"

I've been living with a shadow overhead
I've been sleeping with a cloud above my bed
I've been lonely for so long
Trapped in the past, I just can't seem to move on

I've been hiding all my hopes and dreams away
Just in case I ever need em again someday
I've been setting aside time
To clear a little space in the corners of my mind

All I want to do is find a way back into love
I can't make it through without a way back into love
Oh oh oh

I've been watching but the stars refuse to shine
I've been searching but I just don't see the signs
I know that it's out there
There's got to be something for my soul somewhere

I've been looking for someone to shed some light
Not somebody just to get me through the night

I could use some direction
And I'm open to your suggestions

All I want to do is find a way back into love
I can't make it through without a way back into love
And if I open my heart again
I guess I'm hoping you'll be there for me in the end

There are moments when I don't know if it's real
Or if anybody feels the way I feel
I need inspiration
Not just another negotiation

All I want to do is find a way back into love
I can't make it through without a way back into love
And if I open my heart to you
I'm hoping you'll show me what to do
And if you help me to start again
You know that I'll be there for you in the end

27 March 2010

I love love

I have the best friends EVER! And no one could ask for a better roommate than mine!

She makes a pretty hott date too :)

thanks Holly

25 March 2010

del ano pasado

I left my heart in Bolivia...

Guatemala . . .


So I am getting antsy again- it's the travel bug. My roommate Rachel says it's the warm weather that does it, but for me it's something else. It's a kind of fear or nervousness; an anxiety that creeps up on me; the constant hand of time reminding me that with every passing day, every moment, I'm getting closer to the end...
the end of my days at BYU
the end of an incredible five years
the end of life in park place 2
the end of studying
and not studying
the end of plans
the end of knowing what to expect in the next
the end of a kind of freedom
from adulthood
or responsibility
and maybe even
the inevitable end of my life.
And I'm not ready yet!
there is still so much to see...

18 March 2010

que sera

Right now I want to...

run through the sprinklers with warm grass tickling the soles of my
bare feet
blow bubbles that reflect prisms in the sunlight
dive into a bright blue pool and relish the slight chill of the water
against my skin in contrast to the scalding surrounding air
skip two months ahead and pretend that it will bring me paradise
fall back in time and be five years old in my backyard
and know that everything in the world will be okay
if I can just stay in this moment a little longer.

15 March 2010


One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar.
- Helen Keller.

14 March 2010

don't fool yourself

Thank you Rilo Kiley for this wonderful song. . .

09 March 2010


I love this song and the message--although I think I listened to it 100x before I realized what it was saying. Gorgeous.

08 March 2010

More Adventurous

I'm a new fan of G.K. Chesterton

"Some consider such romantic views of flood or fire slightly lacking in reality. But really this romantic view of such inconveniences is quite as practical as the other. The true optimist who sees in such things an opportunity for enjoyment is quite as logical and much more sensible than the ordinary "indignant Ratepayer" who sees in them an opportunity for grumbling. . . . An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience only an adventure wrongly considered."

from On Running After One's Hat

***read this lovely essay (and many more) on Quotidiana.org

04 March 2010

Are we human or are we dancer?

Pay my respects to grace and virtue
Send my condolences to good

Give my regards to soul and romance,

They always did the best they could

And so long to devotion

You taught me everything I know

Wave goodbye

Wish me well..
You've gotta let me go

- Human, the killers

I've been listening to this song over and over today (I'm not even sure why this song, really) and I've been wondering...

I believe in a Heavenly Father who loves us and has a plan for His children on earth. And part of that faith is that life doesn't end when we die. I know that we go on, all of us, and we have hope of life that not only lasts for eternity, but is full of grace and beauty and peace and joy and creation and love and family and divinity.
I know this.

So I just wonder, why is it still so hard to let go?

This week I found out that an amazing man--Gary Bryner--has decided to end his battle with cancer and turn his life over to the Savior. His faith and courage inspire me. He has taught me so much about what it is to love the people of the world and to truly turn your life over to service. I will always be grateful for the light and goodness that he has shared with me over the past year, and with so many others throughout his life. I do not know how much longer he has, though I know it isn't long, but I know that he will leave the world a better place for the life he has lived.

Is there anything greater that can be said of a human life?

03 March 2010

This one goes out to the ones I love

Today it rained.
And I wanted to complain until my friend said
"it's just enough to clear the air a little"
and I realized,
sometimes we need a little rain

. . . and a few tears . . .

just to clear the air

and afterward, with purified vision, we will start to see everything that was covered with the dust of daily life.

So today I am grateful for rain and for everything that has been made clean.