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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Learn from India: A personal learning journey

by Aerin Dunford December 23, 2013

“A ‘learning-exchange’ was taking place all the time as the boundaries of age, culture and socio-economic background simply vanished in the process of our mutual friendship.”

 – Vipul Shaha

A little over a year ago, Vipul Shaha was living in the United States and had just completed a degree in educational psychology from Harvard. In the eyes of many, the world was his oyster—filled with opportunities to start changing things for better. Yet Vipul himself was not so sure about this. Despite his desire to be constantly learning about “‘cutting-edge’ theories and innovative models in education,” he had a sense that his learning edges were to be found elsewhere. So he decided to embark on a self-directed “Year On” adventure in his native country of India.

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Giftitale: restoring a soft hope that magic is possible

by Aerin Dunford November 22, 2013

Not so many moons ago, in a land that bridges East and West, modern and ancient, 40 great souls travelled for days and nights from all corners of the globe—from Palestine and Canada, Brazil and Australia, India and the U.S., Nigeria, Mexico and many more—to gather in Anatolia (Turkey). This remarkable encounter was called Giftival: a meeting, festival, inquiry and commemoration of the practice of gift culture. If you will indulge me, dear readers, I’d like to spin a tale for you of a magical moment I lived during our days in Istanbul.

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Reclaiming myself in community

by Tuesday Ryan-Hart September 30, 2013

Early in August, Deborah Frieze and I gathered together with 20 of our friends for an experiment. We called it “Village Week,” and our idea was to bring together folks whom we dearly loved for a week of play, learning, good conversation and rest.

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Leaving Utopia: A Glimpse of How the World Could Be

by Deborah Frieze April 16, 2013

A little over a year ago, I made my first visit to Järna, Sweden, home of the Youth Initiative Program (YIP), a one-year social entrepreneur learning program for 18-25 year olds. As I was preparing to depart, one of the YIPpies stopped by my room to ask me how I felt about my visit. It was then that I spoke the lyrics to what would become the first song I ever wrote when I said, “I feel like I’m packing to leave utopia.”

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Restoring the flow of abundance at Kufunda

by Deborah Frieze January 17, 2013

Last week, I spent a few days at Kufunda Learning Village in Zimbabwe. Here are just a few of the many activities that were going on:

In the herb lab, Patricia and Enock are blending tincture of Artemisia with lemon juice and raw honey to help a neighbor who is suffering from chronic asthma. They will provide a month’s supply of this remedy for free. Patricia dreams of opening an herbal clinic in town where she would work four days a week so she could spend the fifth at the Kufunda clinic and keep it free.

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Meditation on the merits of doing nothing

by Deborah Frieze January 7, 2013

It is my tenth day in Mozambique, and the wind is howling through our thatched home. Rain poured in sideways through the night, dampening our beds and pooling on the concrete floor. Fifty feet away, three teenage boys are bailing out their fishing dhow, hoping to spare it from the sunken fate of its neighbor—though both boats will be dry enough in a few hours when the tide goes out.

I’ve been visiting Mozambique with Jackie Cahi, a friend from Kufunda Learning Village, and her family. I flew out to Harare, Zimbabwe, on Christmas Day, and we departed the morning after I arrived, driving 12 hours overland to Vilankulo, a small town on Mozambique’s south coast.

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More Evidence That We Walk Outs Need Each Other

by Deborah Frieze August 23, 2012

Last week, I participated in my first Tweet Chat. This was a four-hour, pre-arranged Twitter session using the hashtag #wowochat to link tweets together in a virtual conversation. Fellow Walk Out Walk On-er Aerin Dunford and I decided to co-host an inquiry among Walk Outs involved in learning and education. Our invitation was this:

Many educators unsatisfied with our current school systems are walking out of institutions and limiting beliefs about what’s possible. These brave folks are walking on to create new learning spaces outside of formal educational infrastructure; to challenge attachment to grades, diplomas and degrees; and to convene breakthrough conversations.

During this Tweet Chat, we’ll explore questions like:

  • What has compelled you to walk out of mainstream education?
  • How do you integrate your fears as you step into the unknown?
  • What are you called to walk on to now in your life?
  • Is it possible to create the new without engaging dominant institutions?

 

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Criminalization of friendship: Have we gone so far?

by Deborah Frieze September 23, 2011

I’m sitting in a café in Copenhagen thinking about friendship. I’m here because a dear friend of mine asked me to show up, and I said yes. It has been three years since my last visit, and during that time, her father passed away. So I’m here now despite being in the middle of a book tour that has me away from home through to Thanksgiving. Even so, this was a good decision.

I’ve been learning quite a bit about friendship lately. In the last few Walk Out Walk On workshops, the Intervention to Friendship distinction has been the most provocative and revelatory, and it’s got me wondering what it is that makes friendship—the dearest nourishment to our hearts and souls—so threatening to our professional lives.

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Isn’t this evidence that humans are by nature compassionate, caring and generous?

by Deborah Frieze March 19, 2011

Yesterday, a friend forwarded an email that she had received from someone in Sendai, Japan. It was an intimate and moving portrait of survival there—a story no doubt many of us our hearing these days. I was particularly struck by these few lines:

Utterly amazingly where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, “Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another.”…

I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help.

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