Below are the 25 most recent journal entries.
Enjoy a Cup of Coffee? Here is Coffee with a purpose. Check it out.
Excellence in Coffee
Most people will not associate the Republic of Rwanda with coffee, but it is in fact considered to be one of the finest in the world - after all, Africa is where the coffee bean originated. With volcanic soils, abundant rainfall and high altitude mountains, Rwanda has some of the best coffee-growing conditions in the world. But given this nation's recent history, your bag of aromatic Arabica Borbon coffee beans comes with many a bittersweet story to go with it.
Thirty thousand independent coffee growers climb the hills, tend the soil, and carry the beans on their shoulders down to cooperative village wash stations. The two best varieties of beans are separated, washed and meticulously tested for export. The destination is miles away in America. The villages are scarred by one of history's worst cases of genocide. Just over a decade ago nealry 1,000,000 people were slaughtered, but the pride of the dedicated and determined Rwandans has made a miracle happen. There is optimism in the air, and forgiveness and reconciliation can be felt throughout the land.
Reconciliation leaders in Rwanda are Bishop John Rucyahana and his wife Mrs. Harriet Rucyahana.
Bishop John was one of the first pastors to recognize the role community-owned coffee washstations were playing in bringing together coffee growers, genocide perpetrators and survivors.
Today in the hills of Bukonya, Bp. John's church has procurred and donated property for Land of a Thousand Hills to build a community coffee wash station for the local growers. Around the country, farmers who were once hiding in the coffee growing hills are now working alongside the same neighbors that once perscecuted them. They are working for coffee, working for reconciliation, working for progress!
Sales from Land of a Thousand Hills coffee in the US not only provide platforms for Rwandan coffee growers to forgive one another; but also bring together widows from the Twa, Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups.
Known as Inyakurama or Trinity, over 150 of these widows are working hard in their local community to restore their lives emotionally, spiritually and economically. Their hard work also allows them to receive Microfinance loans to start small businesses, which in many cases mean the difference between a sustainable life and death.
For the women of Inyakurama , the availability of microfinance loans from US sales of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee has made a significant difference in their lives and those of their families.
The loan recipients are often not only genocide widows, but also the adopted mothers of the tens of thousands of genocide orphans. In Rwandan culture, inheritances are typically passed to the male heirs in a family. Often brothers and uncles receive the little money or land that a wife in the West would expect to receive if she was left a widow.
In a developing country a microfinance loan of between $50 and $200 is an opportunity for a widow to not only provide for her family, but to become an entrepreneur.
To receive a loan, the women of Inyakurama must first fulfill a number of requirements:
Potential recipients must join a solidarity group, a small sub group within the greater Inyakurama association. Each member of a solidarity group that receives a loan is answerable to their peers, and collectively responsible for each others missed payments. Solidarity groups teach and assure accountability.
The loan must be approved by both the solidarity group and the greater Inyakurama association as a solid and profitable business idea.
Loan recipients must save 5% of their monthly profits from their new business.
Loan recipients must pay a small of interest on the loan to help fund the provision of future Inyakurama projects.
Initial loans must be paid back within 8 months and not exceed $200.
I know it is only a dollar but it is a start towards the right direction.
My mother buys the coffee from her church for $10. The Coffee is probably one of the best I have ever had. It has a really dark and earthy taste. I think this is a great alternative for Christmas or Birthday gifts.
Thank you Bukowski
"Women Shouldn't play soccer, they can't keep up with the balls." Mrs. Colby
Well the frogs sure are happy tonight. I can hear them singing from my bedroom window. I'm glad someone is happy about the rain. When the rain fills our yard and the water level rises above the level of our well we can not use our water. We can not take showers, not flush our toilets, or any reasonable hygienic water usage. This makes me not a happy camper. Our house being old and my family being Amish and out-dated I am some what used to this. Thanks to he Colby Family I had a nice shower followed by baklava and a cold glass of milk.
Work is getting better. I was wrong when i said I have 3 months of training. But honestly serving isn't as difficult as I though it would be.... I just need to get over my nervousness and gain some confidence in what I'm doing. I am very happy to report that I have not dropped or broken anything yet. I am very pleased to be getting paid generously for my hard work. It's about damn time.
I went to visit my sister the other day... to check out her belly. I started crying when she showed me the ultra sound pictures. It's really happening... I am actually becoming an aunt. I couldn't wish for anything better to happen to my life right now. I am so excited and happy for my sister and her husband. Shit I don't know if I can wait the 5 months left.. I know I have to, but the anticipation is killing me.
Things are going well for the most part. I am keeping busy and trying to spend time with friends when i can. I might have Friday Night off.. so if anyone would like to hang out just let me know.. ::Cough:: ::Cough:: Christin Boswel.
I actually found some great pictures of people when i was sorting through some of my old photos. I kind of would like to write and send people pictures so if you would like to leave me your address and I'll send you a card. Anyone... I'm in a writing mood.
what do you think?
Jesus, it's almost friday and yet another week has gone by in a blur. With school and my new job I have no time to think. I am working a lot which is good because that equals money, which equals a savings, which equals a place of my own at some point in the future. I miss having meaningful relationships in my life. I know that may be a harsh thing to say but I'm sick and tired of not having valid time with people I love and enjoy. I miss Michael. I'll be honest we dont nearly spend enough time together. If we are together we are talking about work or school or some other stessful topic. I can't remember the last time we were romantic. I'm not blaming anyone in partiular it's just hard to set aside time for just us. I miss him a lot. I feel like a broken record but it's true. For the first time we both have jobs that we enjoy and are actually making money so I should be happy... but I would rather an adventure with just the two of us. We used to be good at that. This sunday we are going to try and go to dinner... we shall see.
I know I'm rambling.. that all I have in me.
I hope everyone is having a good week.. if not.. try and have a good weekend.
Love to all.
So I can now take a sigh of relief. I am now working at the Oceanside Country Club as a server. I'm happy to have a new job and it looks like it will be a good one. I just can't stand the first day anxiety of everything. The awkwardness of having to follow someone around when you know they would rather you not. I will actually be training for 3 months before I start serving but I'll be getting paid the same. I hope everything works out. I would really like to have a good job for a change.
Labor day weekend was quiet the adventure, thanks to Steel Reserve, a trip to Deland and a Frat party. Heh, it's nice to experience something different for a change.
Eh, off to some homework.
I currently have this overwhelming feeling of despair and uselessness. I believe it is due to my state of unemployment unfortunately I don’t feel a sense of self worth if I’m not working full time and making a bit of money. My diminishing bank account doesn’t help either, as I’m sure the bills will not stop when my account runs dry. Every day I have a feeling that over takes any thought process. I can feel my face grow warmer and my eyes begin to dampen… yet I refuse to cry. For a couple of months I have wondered if I’m depressed. I have always thought of depression as a cop out. I have always told others if you are depressed than you are the only one that can fix the problem. But I will admit it is hard to define and prescribe a solution when you are in a constant state of panic. On top of unemployment I have yet to declare a major. Yes, that is right I have been attending DBCC for a little over 2 years. Yes, I am almost finished with a couple of electives to go. But I have no idea what University I would like to attend or if I can afford to go when I do decide. For me college is like jumping off of a giant platform and not knowing if there are giant piranhas at the bottom or a safety net. I am too scared to leap. I am afraid or both possibilities. Nonetheless the life changing steps I wanted to take a while ago aren’t going so well. Yes, I did quit the job that I hated for months and yes; I am spending more time on myself, trying to discover the real Sarah Vinall (pfft) I still find myself unhappy. I know there is more to life than this. I wonder if I’m the only one going through this mess.
I have been dreaming a lot about pregnancy lately. NOT MINE necessarily… but I have been having a lot of nurturing dreams. My sister is expecting and I have been waiting for years to hear this wonderful news. I think my dreams are putting into detail what kind of Aunt I want to be. If only we could quicken the pace of Mother Nature. 7 or so months to go and I don’t know if I can wait that long. I want to protect, love, and spoil this kid all I can.
I started to attend the local democratic meetings. Well last night was my first one and it was lets just say interesting. I was the youngest person there by at least 50 years. I shook the hand of a woman at the welcome table and was afraid that I might break her. Everyone argued about what they saw fit for discussion. I have hopes of attending the State convention if the election isn’t moved up. Florida must not be shafted again.
Well shit. That’s about all I’ve got to ramble about.
I always have trouble with this one...
10 ways to Keep That Back-to-school "fresh start" Enthusiasm All Semester
The next couple of weeks will bring many students back to school. This time is bittersweet for many. There is the foreboding of classes and homework balanced with the enthusiasm of a fresh start. What if you could keep that "fresh start" feeling all semester long?
Here are the top 10 ways to keep your enthusiasm high after returning to school:
Get your books early - One of the most hectic times of each college school year is that crazy few days in the college bookstore before the semester starts. Who needs it. Get your books early. If your professors haven't posted them online, call the bookstore and see if they have a list. If still no luck, give your professor a polite e-mail stating you'd like to get your books early so you can prepare for the class. Ask which books you need to buy.
Skim and review before class starts - Review is one of your best weapons against challenging exams. Since you have your books early, spend a few hours skimming and reviewing each one. Familiarize yourself with the table of contents, summaries, bolded text and sidebars. Get the edge.
Do not change your diet - eating more or less can change your concentration, energy level and ability to stay alert. Presuming you are satisfied with your current mental chemistry, avoid changing your diet. P.S. Studies show 75% of college freshmen put on 7lbs their first semester – keep lean and mean.
Decide your main goal - Do you want straight A's, B's ? Before you can get anywhere you have to know where you are going beforehand. Choose before the semester starts what grades you want and write it down. By putting it in writing, you are setting an agreement with yourself - after that, all you need to do is not break that agreement. ;)
Decide why you want to make A's in your classes - why do you want to be a good student? Write up a list of reasons and then hang them in a prominent location in your living quarters. When the going gets tough and you don't feel like studying or going to class, review this list. Add to it if you can. Reasons are what keep enthusiasm high.
Keep your exercise program going – Hopefully, since you are reading this blog, you have adopted an exercise program. Going to class is no excuse to stop. Stick with it for increased self-esteem, concentration and enthusiasm for learning.
Sit in the front row - Studies have shown sitting in the front row is an easy way to improve your grades. Why? You hear better, you have more interaction with the professors and there is no possible way to doze if you are in the front row. So choose the front row and win.
Reward yourself after small accomplishments - When you get an assignment or test deadline, right then and there, decide on a reward for completing it successfully. I am not saying you have to get an A. Instead a small reward for simply getting through. Some ideas: A new video game, a toy, tee shirt, DVD. Pick something just for you and do not buy it until you finish your assignment. The fun reward will carry you through to the finish line.
Make a habit of studying at the same time every day - Humans function better at different times. When do you study the best? Early morning, afternoon or evening? Work on finding that out and then make a pact that you'll study at that time every day. This works because 1 you'll be in your zone naturally and you will be developing a habit of high quality study at that time of day.
Get enough sleep - Staying up late at night watching TV, goofing off or drinking might be fun at the time, but leads to excessive tiredness during classes. It's tough to be enthusiastic if you are dead tired. So pick a time your fun and serious side can agree on, then stick to it. Set a reminder on your cellphone or computer if you need to. Just get some sleep you look tired.
Please oh please!
Why can't i just have this?
I don't have to pay insurance.
It is adventurous.
In my price range(not really)but the best I have found.
And great on gas!
If anyone knows anyone with a motorbike and they are wanting to sell it.. let me know.
It's a busy city in my head
New York City was wonderful, but I am a true southern girl.
- I disliked the lack of trees and grass.
- I disliked the lack of personal space.
- I disliked the lack of breeze.
- I disliked the lack of sweet tea and fried chicken.
When I got home I immediately went to Hampton's for some good comfort food.
I did like New York for the culture, great food, interesting things to do and CENTRAL PARK!
Next vacation... i want to head out west.. Midwest.. hike, camp, bike. Enjoy the national parks while they are still there.
I am currently unemployed and loving it. The lack of money is inconvenience but there are ways around it. It will be nice not contributing to society for a while. BTW.. We are having a Garage Sale this Friday. If anyone needs money and has something to sell come on over and put your name on it. We all need money for text book and are selling our measly belongings. Come and partake.
Over all I have had a good summer with some great people. And i am looking forward to more adventures.
Fuck Fox News.
By not voting, we are killing ourselves. By not participating in the political process we allow those corrupt individuals in power to erode our liberties unchecked.
I get high on you.
So life has its down times and it certainly is followed by good times. I said I needed some change in my life.. well my hair color is the same and this time I made some actual changes. I quit my job. I wrote a letter to people I needed to address. I am taking classes I actually enjoy. I am not worried about other people's definition of what I should do with my life yet I am taking my sweet time. I've started swimming every day and might get my figure back. I stopped eating meat again. I feel like meat weighs me down... and vegetarian dishes are CHEEP! yay for no money.
Tampa this weekend.
I leave for New York next week.
I seriously love everyone in my life.
I'm going to stall on getting a job. So until then I want adventures.
Ever have trouble understanding global warming?
Watch these videos on Npr.org they are very helpful.
I was born in the wrong era and musically got shafted.
how i long to be in that crowd.
Funniest thing i've seen today
I like the Chinese Joke. Heh, Just Kidding.
Writer's Block: Random Acts of Kindness
What is one of the nicest things you've ever done for another person?
my grandmother past away yesterday morning and it really hasn’t set in until now.
fourteen years ago she has a portion of her lung removed from lung cancer.
for as long as i can remember she had skin cancer.
she had been in and out of hospital for the last six years.
had pneumonia twelve times.
no wonder she always had something to complain about.
and everyone in the family, including myself always believed that her ailments kept my perfectly healthy grandfather from living his life. curse the old women! my father would say after every conversation. but over the past two days i have finally realized that even though she might have been a little judgmental at times and ask you what you weighed every time you saw her, she was still the love of my grandfathers life for 62 years of his and her life. and even though for the past ten years of their lives together were spent at the doctors office and the local diner. that was still his ruteen and it saddens me to see my grandfather breaking down every twenty minutes.
life in general has been depressing lately. i honestly think i might put my two weeks in at work. i just got a raise two months ago but am no longer motivated to work as hard as i did before. i just hate when corporate jackoffs come into work and pretend that your entire life is serving burritos in a colored shirt. give me a fucking break. i haven't decided where i might work. but it's that time again, when i feel like a drastic change in my life and hopefully i wont puss out this time and just change my hair color.
I’m high right now, which is why i am babling. listening to mogwai and letting my subconscious being write for me. i need to move out of my life for a few moments. experience something drastically different than i've been experiencing for the last twenty years of my life.
i don't want to wake up and be THIRTY. Yikes!
I’m on this unbelievable mental trip most of the time now. not pot induced yet, religion, science, society as a whole boggles the mind. i just like to sit and think about theories of how human existence came about. what are we doing here? what is the purpose of everything.
i recommend everyone to get this album. my favorite song is track 16 on the first disk. if you have it put it on that track and you'll understand exactly how i feel right now.
holy shit... i have wireless internet!
goodbye dial up hello npr.org everyday.
i hate the rain.
a bottle of wine and fireworks wait for me tonight. <3
life is looking up.
so it looks as though i will finally be going to New York city in early August.
it's about time for an adventure. i want to be so frugal with my money but i also want an experience of a life time. has anyone gone before and if so do you recommend some inexpensive things to do? i can't wait. it will be a very welcomed vacation.
my folks leave today for Seattle. i hope they have a good time. my parent's work so hard and it's good to see them enjoying some time together. i wish i could go...
despite a resent fluctuation in moods life is actually looking up.
summer is calling
sometimes i regret past actions so much
but i guess all of it is a part of learning and i am perhaps stronger from it
but there is still that overwhelming sence of regret that wont fade
i always think of what if?
i guess it's time to get over that nonsense
i look at my life now and i am so grateful for what i have
things are really about to change over the next few months
i'm looking forward to even more learning experiences and perhaps i will learn not to regret
this summer is a time of relaxation and reading. does anyone have any books to recommend? as of right now i'm going to read the Tao Te Ching and God is a Verb.
i would like to have the feeling of utter release... freedom. perhaps after today. I have one final. then summer has begun.
PLEASE STOP USING PLASTIC BAGS
SustainableAnswers is a non profit organization that advocates for sustainability in communities throughout the world. We help organizations and individuals use sustainable development to achieve economic growth, ecological balance and social progress. In order to raise funds and awareness we have created this store which showcases one of our very important campaigns; to reduce and eliminate the excessive usage of plastic shopping bags.
Experts estimate that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed and discarded annually worldwide—more than a million per minute. Designed for single use, plastic bags are notorious for becoming litter that fouls the landscape in nearly every geographic region from deep ocean waters to remote Antarctica. According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone from being rare in the late 1980s and early 1990s to being almost everywhere in Antarctica. More than just unsightly, they are a death trap for tens of thousands of marine mammals every year that mistake the floating bags for food. The World Wildlife Fund gives us some insight stating, "more than 100,000 whales, seals, turtles, and birds die every year as a result of plastic bags."
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. Of those, approximately 100 billion are plastic shopping bags, which cost retailers about $4 billion annually. Of those 100 billion shopping bags Americans throw away nearly every single one of them. Worldwide, only 0.6 percent of plastic bags are recycled. In the United States the percentage is even lower. Plastic bags take up less space in a landfill then traditional paper bags, however, many of these bags never make it to landfills; instead, they go airborne after they are discarded—getting caught in fences, trees, even the throats of birds, and clogging gutters, sewers, and waterways. Plastic bags aren’t biodegradable. Instead they undergo through a process called photodegradation—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic particles. Other types of plastic bags include UV-degradable bags that are easy to design and produce. Manufacturers have also made biodegradable (also called oxo-degradable) versions, many using a TDPA additive to speed up the breakdown of plastic into small parts. This is not a solution, however, because these small particles of oil based plastic are toxic to animal populations that confuse them for food -- especially marine life. Breaking the bags into small parts only makes the problem less visible, since these small parts still take upwards of an additional 1,000 years to biodegrade.
There is no shortage of research linking plastic bags and global warming as the bags release carbon dioxide and methane in landfills. Oxo-degradable (biodegradable) bags are also problematic as they release their carbon more quickly into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming at a faster rate than normal plastic bags. The production of plastic bags consume millions of gallons of oil that could be used for fuel and heating.
Paper bags, which many people consider a better alternative to plastic bags, carry their own set of environmental problems. But if you decline to use both paper and plastic bags, then how do you get your groceries/shopping home? The answer, according to many environmentalists, is high-quality reusable shopping bags made of materials that don't harm the environment during production and don't need to be discarded after each use.
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i hate my life right now.
i have a 3,000 words paper due tomorrow morning that i'm just now starting. fuck.fuck.fuck.
i have a lab practical tomorrow and a sociology test that i have yet to study for. awesome.
my party sucked.
i want to thank everybody who was uninvited for coming.awesome.thanks.
i ended up spending way too much money.
i ended up cleaning the entire weekend and not relaxing one bit.
michael ross colby and i have been dating for 3 years on this day. wow. <3