Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Same as my email from today, but just in case you didnt get it or want to read the details...
Hey wonderful people,
Wow, oh my goodness life is crazy! I cannot believe this. First, before I forget again, I need to get some logistical stuff out of the way. I will be moving from the house I'm living in Philly now to a place about ten minutes from here next Tuesday (15) night. Just moving my stuff in that night. Probably the first night that I'll stay there is next saturday or sunday. First, the reasons I'm moving…not the best place for me here emotionally, I'm working full-time so I can't work on their stuff, complete access to Filipino books, movies and music, to help out a friend, to see what its like to live by myself…. My blog, that I have not updated that recently and may not that soon cuz I'm so busy, but you could read for my other postings that I forgot to tell you about (my name change) is For those of you who don't know what that is, it is basically a journal that you can read on the internet. So you should read it cuz then you'll know what I've been up to and thinking.
So, I was offered the job on thursday of last week and i had to be there the next morning at 9am. So all day friday I just kept saying, I cant believe this, I'm so excited. Then I (and another co-worker) had to go to Washington DC the next morning for an all day meeting. It was a 3 hour ride there and another 3 back. I was planning on going to NYC (2 hours plus) from Philly late Saturday night but I realized how ridiculous that idea was so I cancelled. On Sunday I attempted to call my great aunt for the first time. She is my grandmother's sister, my dad's mom, who passed away before I was born. I just wanted to talk about my gramma and that side of my family and start to form a relationship with them. I left a message then felt very strange and sad afterward. Still haven't talked to her. So I went to work Monday, still no training, just kindof familiarizing myself with all that's going on and trying to figure out what my roles and tasks are in all that's happening and will happen. Then came home and tried to organize my room for moving. Tuesday was nearly full of meetings and phone/face-to-face meetings (conference calls) so I did not get much done at work. Got home and walked back out the door to another meeting with Eliseo, the Filipino guy who's apartment I'm subletting for the summer. We created "Philly Pinoy Teach" which is adapted from another program/curriculum. So, for the very shortened version of the 3 hour meeting/discussion/brainstorming session, the organization/program/WE will explore Filipino history and culture and do activity based workshops with youth where they will create community and expression among themselves. I can expand on that if you want me to. We'll be working on the specifics, curriculum this summer and the program will start in the fall.
Wednesday, today (at work) was like a surprise attack. I thought I only had 2 meetings, that turned into more but I did have a little more time to actually do things. Wow, this is getting long, I know you are tired of me already. Give me two more minutes.

My work website is Go to Locations, National Office, Peacebuilding Unit, Peacebuilding and Demilitarization (my area) but wander around all of this, it's fantastic!
So here's the deal - I'm combining/meshing a 9-5 business/corporate type layout job and activist/organizing work together into a bizarre world. It's interesting. There are rules, a publications, media, program, finances, blahblahblah department, etc. Cuz what I'm used to is, like 4 people having to coordinate all this and more and having little if any resources (MONEY, time, materials) to do the work we wanted to do. So it's like a whole new ballgame, yet not completely. Am I making any sense? So, the details, what the hell am I doing right?!?! Okay, so I don't know cuz I still havent hammered out all my jobs/roles/tasks, etc. But here is what I am involved in, where and when:
The National Hip Hop Convention in Newark, NJ on the 17-19th of June - no idea what my job(s) is but I know I'm going
The NNOMY (National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth) conference 25th-27 of June (philly)- helping with registration on Friday, helping get poets for the night event on Saturday and helping carry that open mic event out, housing
Eyes Wide Open Exhibit - July 2-4th - (on website) - bringing that to Philly, where we'll have it, getting speakers for the press conference, coordinating volunteers to help, setting it up and being there, how to represent the Iraqi lives lost, etc.
20th of July to first weekend in August (8th) Boston Social Forum, Active Arts Youth Conference and Democratic National Convention - all in Boston (plus others I probably wont be able to take part in like the UN mtg. in Geneva and a Filipino conference) - I am overflowing with events I'll be at/working on, I don't know what I'll be doing yet , but definitely I'll be doing stuff and be there
Republican National Convention August 27th?/30th? - Sept. 3rd - New York City - oh yeah, obviously I'm not going to these conventions to take part in them, but to take part in the organizing/protesting/conferencing/rallying/presenting issues such as the NYSPC (National Youth and Student Peace Coalition) convergence here, and possibly a Beats for Peace Concert

Possible "free" times - weekends of July 9th and 16th, August 6th?, 13th, 20th - this means that I'm hoping someone can come visit or I can go home. Though going home will definitely be sometime soon after August 25 because that is the day that my amazing new niece is "supposed" to enter the air breathing world. Maybe I'll be able to come home before, maybe not. It depends on work and money and whatever else. But PLEASE come visit! Even if it is not one of those weekends, that's cool as long as you don't mind tagging along and getting a taste of my world. Some of you may already be planning on attending this stuff, so make sure you let me know you'll be where I am and give me your digits!

LAST THINGS I PROMISE! So yeah, I'm busy and overwhelmed as hell. But it's beautiful and good for me. I am a little lonely out here in Philly I will admit. Angelo is bumming around Europe right now with Dave and Taran. Outside of work, I'm working on projects that I'm excited about such as: Philly Pinoy Teach, a Political Artists Collective, the UN Indigenous Youth stuff, etc. Also, poetry, the great weather, reading Kahlil Gibran, new people, journaling, babies, and thinking of you all fills my heart and life.
With overflowing love, and thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Hello loves,
so, in my wanderings and wonderings and worries i have found and been given the opportunity to plant some seeds in a beautiful field. I have a position with American Friends Service Committee as the "Peace Education Fellow." I am so happy and excited to be able to do what my heart drives me to do. I can do it with the help and guidance of others, I can focus on it, I can feed myself from it, I can learn and teach and I can love in this position. I am masaya-saya. Some translation of that is really, truly happy. It's taken time, doubt, moving, pain, trust, faith and love, and finally i am here. Thank you all for your hearts and friendship and love. Please know that I carry you with me always. I'd love to hear from you and maybe I'll even be able to visit you as this job requires some travel, though mostly just in the US. Call me! 215-743-4884 or 989-621-1934.

NEW YORKERS - i want to come visit soon! i will. maybe this weekend or maybe the weekend after, we'll see. i miss you!

the company i'll be working for/with: The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization which includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the Quaker belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.

(here is some of the job description) - Peacebuilding and Demilitarization Program staff develop peace education curricula, conduct trainings and workshops; develop resource materials on peacebuilding issues and concerns, do media outreach and communications work, engage in coalition building and support grassroots awareness-raising and organizing efforts with aim of (1) understanding the root causes of war and violence; (2) exploring peaceful alternative to war and violence; (3) building awareness on immediate peacebuilding issues and concerns such as: nuclear weapons and missile defense system, small arms proliferation; socio-economic, political and environmental impacts of military bases, etc.; overall effect of military spending on national budgets and its social consequences; the use of economic sanctions as weapon of war; the role of defense corporations and the military-industrial complex on the lives of people both inside and outside the U.S. (4) strengthening youth involvement in peace-building work; (5) supporting and building a new peace movement in response to the widening war proposed by the U.S. government.
1. Act as a liaison between AFSC and various national youth and student peace coalitions, including but not limited to the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition (NYSPC).
2. Assist staff in developing and conducting trainings using the "Building a Culture of Peace" resource/curriculum with youth and those working with youth.
3. Respond to inquiries from the public on peace education issues.
4. Develop resources on peacebuilding and demilitarization; especially materials geared to youth audiences.
5. Do outreach to schools, community youth organizations and youth advocacy organizations, including but not limited to Quaker youth organizations.
6. Assist staff in coordinating national initiatives and projects relating to college campuses.
7. Assist staff in planning program's web site and developing content that will attract, inform and motivate youth.
8. Provide support to special projects, such as publications, campaigns, mobilizations and workshops, as needed, including but not limited to Beats for Peace.
9. Assist with the administrative tasks of the program - typing, word processing, data entry, and filing - in accordance with program needs.