tiaramerchgirl: (Default)
I don't know when we suddenly had the habit of having "the-future-of-WorldSmart" talks just before our Whisks.

Yesterday Tommy Spaulding, CEO of WorldSmart/Up With People, came to see us to do just that. It got rather passionate and heated and there are still many things left unsaid. It was a talk much needed, but perhaps the timing was rather unfortunate. Nina especially was drained since the Celebrations (a.k.a. Whisks) have been a bone of contention with all the WorldSmart crew (mainly that no one had clued them in on it) - poor girl.

Where is everyone?! Our audience gets smaller and smaller, even though the auditoriums get bigger and bigger. People, please come...it really boosts our morale when we have at least a reasonably-filled audience space.

I managed to talk to Bob about the issues I had with the program, about not being sure where I stand amongst the rest. It was quite an interesting talk...he told me that I was one of the most appreciated people in the program, that I was known for being reliable and energetic and the person to go to when there is a project. He told me not to worry so much about making people uncomfortable (i.e. don't compare myself to Parker, which I was doing for a while) but yet told me that there are ways to change if need be and I have all the tools to do that. That was really refreshing and I'm glad I got to talk to someone about it, especially someone who is fair and just and still compassionate. Thanks Bob.

Neshat bought me a pencil from the Grand Canyon (I didn't go because I was resting) because I saved her a seat on the bus all the time. Reuben gave me a hug and said "thanks for everything". Nina and JC were talking about the new Whisk Programs (YAY!) and how I had provided the kick and inspiration for them - then Eston chimed in with applause and said "Go Tiara!". That was cool.

One piece of advice to all: Never, NEVER say you speak for a group of people ever. Especially if the group is so diverse.

Hey people!
(Hey what?)
Hey people!
(Hey what?)
Let me see you get funky!
(No way!)
Let me see you get down!
(OK!)
D-O-W-N, D-O-W-N
D-O-W-N, that's the way to get down!

Owls?

Sep. 2nd, 2005 08:18 pm
tiaramerchgirl: (Default)
At 6:30 PM today, a very BRIGHT evening, there was an owl in our backyard.

A large horned owl that just sat on the bird pool and stared at everything around us.

Nothing disturbed him. Not the flash of light meant to deter birds, not the flashes from the camera, not people, not loud overhead planes. He just sat there, watching.

He knew we were watching him and he watched us back. He did move around to the post box and a palm tree, but he was not disturbed by anything. Even when we were taking photos of him, he didn't budge. It's like he was waiting to be watched, to be photographed.

He seemed to respond to Lilith, and the name "Mystery". He definitely was a mystery. My host family have been here 14 years and they've never seen an owl this close. I've never seen an owl this close. And on this time of day too! And so undisturbed!

I wonder what he was doing there. He certainly is a mystery.

Odd.
tiaramerchgirl: (Default)
I'm not sure where I stand with the rest of the people on this program.

I've been hearing all sorts of contradictory things. On the one hand, people apparently like me for my initiative and energy and for being on top of things. On the other hand, people are apparently keeping their distance from me because I'm loud and I stink. Or something. To the point that when someone says they're my roommate, the answer is "I'm sorry".

People think I'm not sincere when I say I want to change. That I'm all talk just for attention. Thing is, I am sincere. But I don't know HOW I should change. It's probably something really simple but I'm not getting it.

I know I'm needy and an attention-seeker. But when I stop myself I end up being anti-social. I don't know where the balance is. I try to do my best and I mean well, but I keep messing up anyway. I can't even speak up when someone else makes me uncomfortable because that makes me a hypocrite. I'm a freakin' walking faux pas.

What am I doing wrong? What am I not getting? Why am I so stupid and disliked?

I wish I had someone in the program I could talk to about this, but they're either too busy or just don't want time for me. Sigh.

Phoenix

Aug. 30th, 2005 10:08 pm
tiaramerchgirl: (Default)
I was partway through writing this entry but I closed the wrong window instead. Argh.

We are in Phoenix, Arizona. It's way too hot here and I'm feeling a bit sick. I'm starting to wish I did advance work in San Diego instead. How the heck our Swedish Peder survived Phoenix for an extra week I don't know.

We don't really have much time spent in the facilities this time round since we're doing so many projects. Our main facility is a house next to a church - empty and unused. Nina kept cracking jokes about renting the place. We had a cool welcoming package - frisbees, pencils, maps, and a fortune-teller-style schedule (which confused some people at first).

I got paired up with Joyce and we're staying with a family of radical-ish Christian Democrats - well, that's the best way to describe them. Those of you reading this who are Democrats (or at least not Republican) would find them interesting (we certainly have quite intriguing conversations on politics). We're staying in a retirement community ages away from anywhere - a contrast to the past two cities where everything was close by.

We've done a few community service projects already - and all on the same day. First we were at the Thomas J Pappas school for homeless children, and some of us were assigned to classes. Oh my god CHAOS. They were fun, but sometimes it's hard to even get their attention. It was funny when they were guessing stuff about me and they all thought I had a car and was married...har...

That afternoon we set up our mini World Expo at the same school. Our booth was the "Rest Of Asia" booth - Nanu was there writing names in Nepali while I started writing names in Jawi and letting people try on the baju kurung. That dress needs a dryclean one of these days.

There are quite a few "incriminating" photos - Reuben in my baju kurung; us doing the Chicken Dance multiple times; me, Tom, Peder, and Gaby doing a "group hug" while squeezing a giant blowup globe between ourselves to let the air out; Tom and Celle doing the same...if any of those show up at the Whisks people are going to die...

We then went to the UMOM centre for homeless families and were split into groups. My group did cooking (yay!) - we prepared dinner for the residents (macaroni that ran away from us many times, meat sauce, fruit salad, pudding) and for ourselves (cornbread, barbequed & friend chicken, potato scallops - the only thing we didn't cook, salad). It came out quite well actually! We also did quite a lot of envelope suffing and it was amazing how fast they all went once we had more people working together.

Internet acces is kinda sparse here, and this week is really tiring, so I may not update as much. I'm partly looking forward to moving on, if only because the weather and I don't get along. But I know I got to give this place a chance.

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