Love answers 6

“In our travels, we’ve seen extraordinary acts of love in the harshest conditions- stories that break your heart and fill them at the same time.”

Excerpts from Chatelaine Feb. 2014, written by Craig and Marc Kielburger.

Pakistani brick-maker  Photo credit

Craig writes, “I discovered the meaning of true love on my first trip to Pakistan. I met a woman making bricks at a kiln. For 12 hours a day, she inhaled coal fumes and wrecked her back to earn two to three dollars. She never saw that money though, because she was paying off a debt – her husband’s. You see, the man she loved had become too sick to work, so she took his place until his debt was paid. It was an extraordinary act of love…”

rugmark-factoryIndian carpet factory  photo credit

Marc shares, “I was in northern India with an organization that fought child slavery, where I saw a group of fathers on a hunger strike. Their children were held as indentured labourers at a local carpet factory. These dads were clearly enduring incredible physical hardship. They told us, however, that their children were suffering worse conditions inside the factory. Some days later, the dads won. Their children were rescued, and as we watched the emotional family reunions, it was hard to tell who was more emaciated – the kids who had survived months of bonded labour or the fathers who starved themselves to free them.

Dadaab refugee camp. Photo credit

Craig writes, “Three years ago, I visited Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, in northern Kenya. A farmer arrived at the camp with his eight-year-old son, but refused to release the boy from his embrace. The father explained quietly that he had lost two years worth of crops, then set out on foot with his wife and four children to find respite. Along the way, food was scarce, and despite their begging, one child and then the other starved to death. The devastated father was forced to bury three children in shallow graves by the side of the road. Then his wife died, also from hunger, He was so stricken by grief and emaciated that he wanted to lie down in the dirt and die too. But he had one child still remaining, a child he could save if he just made it to Dadaab. So he picked up his son and struggled forward. That boy lived because his father’s love and determination trumped starvation and fatigue.

The Keilburger brothers founded Free The Children and Me to We. Buy your Valentine’s Day card (and other socially conscious gifts) at Me to We and support safe water, food & health projects in third world villages.

Mid-East chickpea soup recipe

An easy vegetable soup with chickpeas and a fresh taste (garlic, lemon, parsley, mint- typical Mid-East combo) that will brighten your taste-buds and make promises about spring.

chickpea soup with yogurt & mint

chickpea soup with yogurt & mint

Nothing easier than just throwing it all in a pot (medium sized):

26 oz can of chickpeas or use dried- 1 1/2 cups after soaking

1 litre of broth (water and bouillon is fine)

any combo of chopped fresh veggies- cauliflower, zucchini, onion, carrot, celery, kale…

3 chopped tomatoes

4 or 5 large cloves of garlic, sliced thinly (Think of it as a vegetable.)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1-2 teaspoon turmeric (anti-inflammatory)

salt to taste

chili sauce or powder to taste, optional

Bring to boil for a few minutes and then simmer until veggies are cooked to your preference.

Now the magic- Just before serving add:

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 bunch chopped parsley

2 green onions, sliced thinly

Serve with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle generously with dried mint.

Fancy cooks can prepare the yogurt ahead of time with generous amounts of dried or fresh mint, salt and raw crushed garlic to taste.

This soup will have you holding the bowl with both hands, drawing the scent in deeply and giving thanks.

Girls who Skip- How to make a crowd funding campaign video for Indigogo or Kickstarter

Girls Who Skip- How to make a crowd funding campaign video

Video practice fun- click to see blooper

A friend who writes scripts for Warner Bros told me right off the bat: A campaign video should be short, engaging, informative, short, a clear call to action…did I mention short? “Whatever you do,” he said, “don’t preach. Make it entertaining.” People like to send a smile to their friends.

One page of script-style writing = one minute of footage. (Script style is centred, double-spaced, speaker’s name gets a full line, and stage directions are included.)

I wrote what I wanted to say and it came out to 4 minutes. I cut it and pared it down to less to than 2. I like writing that way (I’m a poet at heart.) The leaner writing becomes, the more powerful it gets.

Khaled Hosseini (The Kiterunner) said in an interview that he starts writing with an image in his head. He builds the characters and story out of that image-he started an entire novel that way. I started with a thought- that we can’t know the future- and it led to the image of picking apart a daisy.

I hired a young videographer, piled together a bunch of appropriate images, bought a big box of popsicles and invited my friend’s children over. I didn’t overlearn the script. I figured if my guests had fun, my stomach might forget the anxiety swirling within, and I might have fun too.

And I did! The fun translated onto the footage: mission accomplished. (My video)

Pick apart a daisy;

wish upon a star.

Love me, leave me;

tell me who you are!

Read my tealeaves;

search my palm.

Tell me, tell me,

tell me do!

Gaze into a crystal,

pour over tarot cards.

Doctor, lawyer, tribal chief,

bring me joy or bring me grief.

Pick apart a daisy;

wish upon a star.

Love me, leave me;

tell me who you are!

-Laurie Fraser

"For love is as perennial as the grass."

“For love is as perennial as the grass.”

Community Kitchen

Community Kitchen

Literacy 3 class made stone soup.

Eman brought onions.

Ling:  lemon.

Anisah:  carrots.

Hamed:  lentils.

Others:  celery, mushrooms,

tofu, tomato, parsley, pasta,

spices I couldn’t translate.

I brought 2 huge pots,

plenty of take-home containers.

I taught food words, cooking words,

“community kitchen”.

It turned out pretty good-

one Asian, one Middle-Eastern.

After lunch, the pots were empty;

the take-home containers were empty.

“Where is the soup?” I asked.

“Will you take soup home for your family tonight?”

“Finished!” They laughed.

“Why finished?”

“Free! Students eat.”

They’d given it away.

“150 students?” I asked.

“Yes. Students happy lunch free school today!”

Pleased proud Literacy 3

taught me “community”.


-Laurie Fraser