AFRICA CLICKS Wisdom Exchange TV

Yesterday I posted on a couple traveling and working in Africa. Suzanne Stevens and her husband Michael Gingerich. Mike is my nephew.

. PLease note the correction to the foundation addy!

Their project is Wisdom Exchange TV and they are looking for subscribers to the site which is free.

I am posting their letter in it’s entirety below. Please enjoy, subscribe, and pass on!

Jumbo Chris

As you know my husband, Mike Gingerich, and I are travelling through Africa for the next year interviewing women leaders for Wisdom Exchange TV, amongst other philanthropic initiatives.

This is a pioneering initiative that not only are we excited about, but we believe will provide some fundamental leadership lessons for inspiring and already achieved women leaders.

Women are the change agents of Africa, and with higher education they can change many of the injustices that are done to women in the developing world.

We are asking you to subscribe to Wisdom Exchange TV and share the site with your friends. The subscription is FREE, and we will just inform you when a new episode is upload (by the way, this is quite the process in Kenya due to limited bandwidth).

The reason we are asking,

1. You will gain insight and perspective into Women from a huge continent.

2. You will also be assisting in helping us create awareness of the site, which will assist in gaining sponsorship for Africa Business Women Connected Summit taking place in Ethiopia in 2013 – promoting international trade.

The more people who subscribe, the more compelling to sponsors, the bigger impact we can make on women in Africa.

3. You will also help create awareness for the Ignite Excellence Foundation (www.igniteexcellencefoundation.org), where Mike and I are presently handing out three scholarships for under-graduates and post-graduates to invest in women leadership.

The belief is, the more women in leadership the more women will own land, be able to get passports, and will not be violated.

Please go to http://www.wisdomexchangetv.com and subscribe.

We appreciate your support and we look forward to hearing your updates on facebook, linked-in and via email.

Sincerely,

Suzanne F Stevens

Chief Edge Optimizer

Ignite Excellence Group of Initiatives

suzannefstevens@igniteexcellence.com

info@wisdomexchangetv.com

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Ignite Excellence Inc. 33 Bloor St. E. Suite 900 Toronto, Ontario M4W 3H1 Canada +1 (519) 488-7141

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Michael, Suzanne, Africa..Help!

Michael, Suzanne and Africa..Help!

If you could do one thing in your life that would make a difference to the world..what would it be?

While you ponder the possibilities I’d like to tell you about a couple who decided to do just that. 

Suzanne F. Stevens is a world leader in leadership.  She is a leader in optimizing.  World wide.  You really need to look at suzannefstevens.com to understand.  

Her husband, Michael K. Gingerich has been a successful business man who has joined the cause.  He not only believes in The Cause but has devoted this year..maybe more, to a world shaking idea.  Now really when was the last time your world was shaken?

They both have given up life as we know it.  Sold their home, gave away possessions for the adventure of a lifetime.

My request of you who follow me, who are new to this site, or perhaps found me through some weird tag, please check them out.

suzannefstevens.com

http://www.igniteexcellance.org

youmewe.ca

Linked-in – http://www.linkedin.com/in/suzannefstevens

FaceBook – – http://on.fb.me/eEPF9T

YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/suzannefstevens

Twitter – http://twitter.com/SuzanneFStevens

 Please step forward..and. Lord I know I know there are many causes out there…but just take a look..if for no other reason than burning bridges asks this,

Things My Mother Said…Long Ago

Things My Mother Said…long ago

My Mom died in 1983.  We weren’t very close for a lot of reasons I guess,but since she has gone I have come to realize what a remarkable person she was.
And every day I tell her.  Things come back.  Things I did not see or understand back then.  There is lot to say on that but today is all about actual words from her.

She said:

In the morning we close the blinds on this side of the house and in the afternoon on this side.  No such thing as air conditioning then.  1954

Some day people won’t need money.  People will just use a card.  For the life of me I could not figure this one out.  It was long before the concept of debit. 1958

Someday a woman won’t need a man to have a baby. 1957.  Since I did not know the facts of life I wasn’t sure what this meant except I knew there were Mommies and Daddies and they had children.  I could not conceive why a Mommy would have children without a Daddy.

Life is hard. You have to work.  All of us learned a great work ethic from our folks. I started working at fourteen, through high school and nursing.  It is who I am.

Don’t look at me in that tone of voice young lady!  I could never figure out how she knew what I was thinking.  So much for the poker face.

Life isn’t fair.  Get over it. I didn’t know if I believed this one for a long time.

This woman worked in a factory most of her life raising five of us.  My Dad was super and I idolized him.  But it wasn’t until I grew up that I realized what she gave, what she sacrificed to raise us and how hard it must have been.

She was Super Woman.

RIP Esther Byers Jenkins Gingerich.  For you have earned your rest and are still adored by all of us here.

When Heaven Becomes Hell or Something Like That

When Heaven Becomes Hell or Something Like That

I have always had an addictive personality I think. Put more positively I guess I would have to say I am passionate. That sounds better!

As a child I read and read and read and that is one passion that remains today.  Back then it was the dreaded Uncle Arthur’s bedtime stories previously mentioned in No! No! Please No More Bedtime Stories!, Trixie Belden, anything by Pearl S. Buck..well the list is endless.

Lately I have blogged on some of my current favs which includes Stephenie Meyer and the whole Twilight thing.  The first I even knew about this series was the six o’clock news sometime ago, which showed a bunch of tweenies lined up to see the first movie.  The minute vampires were mentioned I shut the set off and muttered at great length to myself about the disgusting situation of the world and it’s youth and how no good could come out of the downward spiral society was on.  

That Christmas my daughter-in-law gave me…yup..the first Twilight book.  

So came my Cullen passion and it has not abated.  I have every book including The Short life of Bree Tanner.  I have on my desk top the leaked copy of Midnight Sun which Meyer posted since it was already out there and chose not to finish.  The books are filled with anticipation, mystery and myth.  Her character development is intense and in depth. The set has been a reread again and again seeking out what was said before that hinted at something explained two novels later.

Now my last two weekends have been reading marathons, barely poking my head out of the book, never mind the door.  So today I took myself in hand and sternly made myself go for a walk.  Fresh air – well as fresh as it can be – no books, no iPad, just a good old fashioned walk. No coffee shop because that meant reading and sipping.

I ended up at a mall, and not being a shopper I still entered and practiced the art of browsing, like normal people do, and bookstores were not allowed.  I strolled the whole mall and decided I needed something from Wal-Mart.

For the life of me I can’t remember what it was because as soon as I stepped in the door something unknown took over and stupefied me, and forced me, I swear, to approach a large table with BOOKS.  I could see it coming and reached way down deep, where pure grit resides, to prepare myself.  Why I could handle this.  I would look but not touch.  I would be master of  these insane urges for words, stories, poems, toilet cleaning instructions, anything.

Then I muttered a groan of agony mixed with a liberal dose of the ecstatic.  Before me lay the twilight saga: the official illustrated guide.  The first fifty-five pages are all about how Meyer came to write the story.  A total of five hundred and forty-three pages of history and detail of every character in the series.  I mean EVERY character!

I forced myself to visit my aunt for tea as planned, even though the book in the bag sang to me like a siren.  I forced myself to visit with my sister this evening,  when she arrived as invited, thinking please please just let me look at it. I even made time to read your blogs but now! Now as midnight approaches I am free to look.  

I have made myself promise it would be just a wee peek and I have every confidence that in a short time I can put it down, close the cover, have a normal night sleep, rise in the morning at a decent hour, clean my house, perhaps solve a world problem or two and then treat myself to this delicious demon of addiction.  I am sure I can.  I am. Sure.

You-will-never-touch-our-children-again!!

Wizard

So screamed Mrs. Weasley as she took out the evil Bellatrix.  Yup I have spent another weekend lost in a story.

 
This time it was a reread of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  A reread of six hundred and seven pages that I just could not put down.  Again.  J.K. Rowling does have a way with words.
 
So at almost 1 a.m. I am ready to call it a day.
Regardless of your opinion of Wizards et al any story where right overcomes wrong is exhilarating.
 
What I like about Rowling is that her characters are not perfect – not black and white.  The best have a dark side to overcome and the worst have a chance at redemption.  And who you think is good is often not and vice versa.  And no one lives a life without some regret.
 
Now I wonder what I should read in bed to fall asleep?
I think I so have to get a life. 
Dancing would be nice. 

The Masters and Harry Potter

WizardryThe Ball
 
 
 
 
 

The Masters and Harry Potter
 
I wonder where the golfers are? I am a passionate golfer. No, I must correct that – I am passionate about golf. Not overly good but love the game, playing and watching. I think golf is the only sport I watch on TV on a regular basis. It would probably do my game some good if I watched women, but it is the men I most enjoy. Take that how you will.
 
This year’s Masters was one of the most exciting, sit on the edge of your seat, I have seen. Every year is exciting but this one more so. The game and the leads can change in the blink of an eye.
 
It almost looked like Tiger might pull out of his slump, but he just didn’t make it although he is still a crowd favorite. At one point I think there were ten players as co-lead. Then a nice young South African Charl Schwartzel took the day. I expected to see some blogs on it but did not.
 
Then yesterday the movie, The Deathly Hallows part 1 came out on cable. I missed it when it hit the theaters so made a little party of pizza and wine and Harry. Special thanks to my sister who had already seen it twice for joining me and pretending it was her first time!
 
So thanks to that green jacket and the wizarding world I have had a pretty good week!

What I Lack….

What I Lack

This was the only choice for me in this challenge.  Mostly because what I lack is so overwhelming.  It all comes down to one thing.  And that one thing is the source of all lackness.

If we lack confidence it is because of IT.
If we lack money it is because of IT.
If we lack happiness it is because of IT.
If we lack beauty it is because of IT.
If we lack peace within it is because of IT.
If we lack wisdom it is because of IT.

I have had IT sporadically but because it comes and goes and I can never hang on to IT I seek IT.  But obviously not with fervor or I would have IT all the time.
I love IT when I have IT.  I hate IT when I don’t.
When I don’t have IT I can never figure a way to get IT.
IT just seems to show up and I revel in the wonderfulness.

Nuts…..if only I could figure IT out?
You can’t beat Willpower!

The Woman on the Train and What is Wrong with Enlightenment

Peace

The Woman on the Train and What is Wrong with Enlightenment

Last year I travelled to Toronto by train every day for three days. The first morning I chatted with a woman, not the one in the title, but a very nice gal who was a teacher doing some work for the Ministry of Education.  She was fascinating and we clicked.  Going home that evening I saw her again at the train station and we picked up our conversation from the morning.  This went on each of the three days.

When I got to the station at the end of the third day I did not see my friend right away so chatted with a pleasant woman while we waited for the boarding call.  The woman said she had been to a hospital in the city for an appointment.  I didn’t pry into her health issues and she talked a bit about her life.  There was something very strange about her, an aura, a radiating peace.  She appeared to be smiling even when she wasn’t, speaking softly but with great power and at the same time seeming amazingly humble.  I was in awe just looking at her and could not understand why.  I felt for some reason I was in the presence of greatness but could not give it definition.

I spotted my friend further down the queue and knew she would be looking for me so I excused myself even though I did not want to move.  Shaking my head in puzzlement I went to join my friend.

On the train this strange woman was sitting by herself in one of those sets of seats where four face each other.  I asked if we could join her.  We three chatted about nothing in particular.  Then this strange woman looked at me -into me-and told me her story quietly.  And all else ceased to exist.

She said her appointment had been to assess her status.  She said that her mother and two sisters had died of cardiomyopathy (a deadly heart condition).  It was genetic.  I whispered to her, “And you have it too?”
She nodded.  The only cure was a heart transplant but it could not be done until a certain point had been reached in her condition.  I knew from experience that often when patients reached that point their condition often worsened and they died before a heart came available.  And still she radiated joy and incredible peace.

My friend and I got off the train before that woman’s stop.  As we walked away, my friend asked if this condition was serious.  I told her that the woman is walking with death.

I think of her often and feel I was blessed to have been in her company.

Enlightenment – and finding it has been on my mind for a long time. I have read some things that made sense but I also read a book on enlightenment that just didn’t feel right.  It calls for us to wake up in the the morning and start jumping and yelling YES! YES!  It says that to be financially rich have friends gather around and shower us with money, literally. It said a few things that perplexed me.  It might come to your mind that I am frequently perplexed.

But then the thought came to me recently………the woman on the train was true enlightenment.  She was one with God, the universe or whatever our centre is.  No yelling.  No jumping.  Just incredible peace and joy and love and gentleness and humility.

I don’t know if I will ever see that kind of thing again.  I just know that for a short time I was closer to purity than I have ever been.  And I am humbled.

Now What Did I do with That Body?

Yes I lost a body. Well I didn’t exactly lose it myself. I just didn’t know where it was.
 
A few decades ago (I love being old enough to talk in decades), I was an evening supervisor of a hospital. It was a great job. In those days staffing was stabilized and when we were busy we worked like crazy. When things slowed down so did we. Nowadays as soon as there is a dip in activity nurses are redirected so they always function at peak levels. There is no restorative period and this leads to exhaustion, depression and a general dissatisfaction.
The only exception to this is still critical care areas where the one to one ratio still exists.
 
Most of the employees were happy then, regardless of what went on in their personal lives, and the evening shift in particular seemed that way. My job was to make rounds, act as a resource, teach and mentor. It was a pleasure to go to work!
 
We had a procedure, of course, for when a patient died. The doctor was called in to pronounce, the nurses contacted the family and confirmed arrangements such as which funeral home.
 
One evening a family doctor was called for such an event. He was an old country doc from a little village outside the city, and most of his patients were of his generation. These were people he took on when a fresh new GP forty years previously. And they all aged together. And they were friends.
 
He phoned the family and promised to stop by their house on the way home. He also told me he wanted to get the funeral home details. It was a sad time as he was also grieving a friend, but it also was heart warming and I agreed.
 
About an hour later I got a call from switchboard saying the funeral home staff had arrived to pick up the deceased. About an hour after that they called again to inform me the death certificate had been left behind. So I head up to the floor to ask the nurse the name off the Home. She didn’t know and neither did other staff or switchboard or the orderlies or the gardener. There was no gardener. But no one knew.
 
One cannot proceed with a funeral without a certificate. One cannot proceed with anything!
 
Well I’m figuring I am a pretty smart cookie. After all I am the boss. Think Chris. Think. So I pull out the yellow pages and start calling funeral homes. After the first dozen calls I realized two things: this wasn’t going to be so easy, and the ever kind compassionate soft voiced Directors of such establishments aren’t so pleasant when the business isn’t theirs.
 
Finally I completed the list with no success. I tried outside the city – no luck.
I tried calling the doc but he wasn’t home and did not carry a pager.
 
There was only one call left to make and it had to be done carefully and tactfully.
 
I called the family.
 
Introducing myself I gave my condolences and talked about things that the patient had said during his hospitalization and asked where he would be resting. They were so glad for my call and after a chat gave the info I needed.
 
It was a Home forty miles away!
 
Everything got done. And I learned that when a family does not come to hospital following the death of a loved one, to give them a call. It was a rough way to discover that the care we deliver goes beyond the confines of any hospital.

I Have a Dream…I mean..

Mr. Shatner

I Have a Dream….. I mean ….

I had a dream. And it is unusual for me to remember my dreams and I realized that in the deepest dark of night. So I argued with myself about waking up just a little to write it down. It took a bit of persuading as I like my slumbers and hate disturbing them but finally I convinced myself.

This is what I wrote verbatim….
I had a
dream
bombs
Melbourne St.
William Shatner
Armaey. (don’t even ask..I have no idea)
tears
unknown
son
funygSOL
daughter
Jane
Allens
Mum
(arrow drawn to the word) secrecy
drive way
driveway
u were a nurse right?
did you ever have to take care of soldiers in the fields
by taking your clothes off

I am not sure I will write down anything again whilst in the land of nod. The worst of it is I remember dreaming of other things that were more interesting but I simply would not listen to me when I needed to get up again to write it down.

AND the dream was going quite well with a very nice looking chap when all of a sudden I looked up and he had turned into a lecherous William Shatner who wanted to talk me into disrobing!

Nuts. Could have been the cold I had, or the soup or even the licorice. All I know is that the man of my dreams evolved into one not so much of my dreams.

Have you ever tried writing down midnight thoughts and actually been able to read them the next day? Or, since I am seeking info, how many dream of Mr. Shatner? Not that that is a bad thing. I quite like him as an actor. He does do lechery very well.
 

There are no facts, only interpretations. – Friedrich Nietzsche. The truth I think that validates everything you have to say.

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