cute little video reminder to keep on keepin’ on :)

<--click it!

I’m learning to code, let me know how I can make these things better! :)

"Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls bloom."

Marcel Proust

It took a few of those staggered curious glances two strangers make before he actually started the conversation.
"From where you came?" he questioned me in Hinglish, eyes twinkling. The shy friend glanced fondly at him. 
"The US." They both looked like Father Christmas personalities to me, one rotund and jolly, the other stately and quietly loving.
"Ah, we like the US. Congratulations for President Obama! Good man!" he exclaimed.
And then, &#8220;Goodbye!&#8221; as I reached my stop. His friend smiled.

It took a few of those staggered curious glances two strangers make before he actually started the conversation.

"From where you came?" he questioned me in Hinglish, eyes twinkling. The shy friend glanced fondly at him. 

"The US." They both looked like Father Christmas personalities to me, one rotund and jolly, the other stately and quietly loving.

"Ah, we like the US. Congratulations for President Obama! Good man!" he exclaimed.

And then, “Goodbye!” as I reached my stop. His friend smiled.

This is a descriptive cover of a pen-pal letter I exchanged with the teacher of my 6th class&#8217;s pen pals. My mind still has too hard of a hard time wrapping itself around the past 10 months in India to be coherent&#8230;this picture, however, is self explanatory.)

This is a descriptive cover of a pen-pal letter I exchanged with the teacher of my 6th class’s pen pals. My mind still has too hard of a hard time wrapping itself around the past 10 months in India to be coherent…this picture, however, is self explanatory.)

"&#8230;ecosystems and social systems are dynamic and inextricably linked."

climateadaptation:

What is Resilience? is a nifty, free, 20page, visual ebook overview defining resilience. It’s free, and published by the researchers at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. (Free ebook is free.)
Resilience is the capacity of a system, be it an individual, a forest, a city or an economy, to deal with change and continue to develop. It is about the capacity to use shocks and disturbances like a financial crisis or climate change to spur renewal and innovative thinking.
This publication presents the major strands within resilience thinking and social-ecological research. It describes the profound imprint we humans have had on nature and ideas on how to deal with the resulting challenges.
The publication is based on three scientific articles that were prepared for the 3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium on global sustainability, which took place in Stockholm in May 2011. The articles were later published in the scientific journal Ambio. They represent a mix of necessary actions and exciting planetary opportunities. They also illustrate how we can use the growing insights into the many challenges we are facing by starting to work with the processes of the biosphere instead of against them.
Chapter One describes in detail the complex interdependencies between people and ecosystems. It highlights the fact that there are virtually no ecosystems that are not shaped by people and no people without the need for ecosystems and the services they provide. Too many of us seem to have disconnected ourselves from Nature. A shift in thinking will create exciting opportunities for us to continue to develop and thrive for generations to come.
Chapter Two takes us through the tremendous acceleration of human enterprise, especially since World War II. This acceleration is pushing the Earth dangerously close to its boundaries, to the extent that abrupt environmental change cannot be excluded. Furthermore, it has led scientists to argue that the current geological period should be labelled the ‘Antropocene’ – the Age of Man.
Chapter Three highlights the fascinating paradox that the innovative capacity that has put us in the current environmental predicament can also be used to push us out of it. It introduces the term social-ecological innovation, which essentially strives to find innovative ways to reconnect with the biosphere and stay within planetary boundaries.
Enjoy! :)

"…ecosystems and social systems are dynamic and inextricably linked."

climateadaptation:

What is Resilience? is a nifty, free, 20page, visual ebook overview defining resilience. It’s free, and published by the researchers at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. (Free ebook is free.)

Resilience is the capacity of a system, be it an individual, a forest, a city or an economy, to deal with change and continue to develop. It is about the capacity to use shocks and disturbances like a financial crisis or climate change to spur renewal and innovative thinking.

This publication presents the major strands within resilience thinking and social-ecological research. It describes the profound imprint we humans have had on nature and ideas on how to deal with the resulting challenges.

The publication is based on three scientific articles that were prepared for the 3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium on global sustainability, which took place in Stockholm in May 2011. The articles were later published in the scientific journal Ambio. They represent a mix of necessary actions and exciting planetary opportunities. They also illustrate how we can use the growing insights into the many challenges we are facing by starting to work with the processes of the biosphere instead of against them.

Chapter One describes in detail the complex interdependencies between people and ecosystems. It highlights the fact that there are virtually no ecosystems that are not shaped by people and no people without the need for ecosystems and the services they provide. Too many of us seem to have disconnected ourselves from Nature. A shift in thinking will create exciting opportunities for us to continue to develop and thrive for generations to come.

Chapter Two takes us through the tremendous acceleration of human enterprise, especially since World War II. This acceleration is pushing the Earth dangerously close to its boundaries, to the extent that abrupt environmental change cannot be excluded. Furthermore, it has led scientists to argue that the current geological period should be labelled the ‘Antropocene’ – the Age of Man.

Chapter Three highlights the fascinating paradox that the innovative capacity that has put us in the current environmental predicament can also be used to push us out of it. It introduces the term social-ecological innovation, which essentially strives to find innovative ways to reconnect with the biosphere and stay within planetary boundaries.

Enjoy! :)

teachersworldwide:

Worldwide, 250 million primary school age children are not learning the basics – even though almost half of them are in school. Studies in several countries have shown that many children spend two or three years in school without learning to read a single word. That is why the 2013-14 EFA Global Monitoring Report will focus on recruiting and training effective teachers, who are vital to overcoming the learning gap and providing equitable education for all.
(via Every child needs a good teacher, especially in the early grades | World Education Blog)
Also see here.

teachersworldwide:

Worldwide, 250 million primary school age children are not learning the basics – even though almost half of them are in school. Studies in several countries have shown that many children spend two or three years in school without learning to read a single word. That is why the 2013-14 EFA Global Monitoring Report will focus on recruiting and training effective teachers, who are vital to overcoming the learning gap and providing equitable education for all.

(via Every child needs a good teacher, especially in the early grades | World Education Blog)

Also see here.

thisbigcity:

hautepop:

via cibelle:

Transparent Business Coffee Shop #newtrend?! #hunt;darton cafe on Lower Clapton road

I like this. There’s lots of talk about “transparency” vis-a-vis the “social business”, which is mostly just jargon but here it is in action.
I also think it’s likely to be good business sense - it brings the customer into the workings of the business and you can see how buying your coffee helps them. There’s also a motive to return, to see how they’re doing next week. (Well, if you’re a data wonk like me!) The British love an underdog, so while takings are pretty tiddly like this, I think it’ll make people feel more involved in the business.
Sorry, did I say ‘business’? I meant ‘experience’. Not just a cafe, also an “interactive art installation”. Oh Hackney…

All encompassing hosts Hunt &amp; Darton expose the inner workings of their business by presenting everything as art – from the public display of their bank balance to the lovingly handpicked charity shop crockery.

Well, know thy customer…
Still, I do wish twee and ironic gourmet coffee wasn’t a Thing.

Interesting. London coffee shop presents a breakdown of all their outgoings, profit margins etc. Transparency? Apparently it’s art.

SUPER transparency

thisbigcity:

hautepop:

via cibelle:

Transparent Business Coffee Shop #newtrend?! #hunt;darton cafe on Lower Clapton road

I like this. There’s lots of talk about “transparency” vis-a-vis the “social business”, which is mostly just jargon but here it is in action.

I also think it’s likely to be good business sense - it brings the customer into the workings of the business and you can see how buying your coffee helps them. There’s also a motive to return, to see how they’re doing next week. (Well, if you’re a data wonk like me!) The British love an underdog, so while takings are pretty tiddly like this, I think it’ll make people feel more involved in the business.

Sorry, did I say ‘business’? I meant ‘experience’. Not just a cafe, also an “interactive art installation”. Oh Hackney…

All encompassing hosts Hunt & Darton expose the inner workings of their business by presenting everything as art – from the public display of their bank balance to the lovingly handpicked charity shop crockery.

Well, know thy customer…

Still, I do wish twee and ironic gourmet coffee wasn’t a Thing.

Interesting. London coffee shop presents a breakdown of all their outgoings, profit margins etc. Transparency? Apparently it’s art.

SUPER transparency

simple gifts

I recently reached Mumbai after wrapping up my place-based work in Hyderabad. So many differences exist: all the roads (and SIDEWALKS!) I traverse here generally boast beautiful, smooth brick or concrete pavement when the uneven dirt roadsides of Hyderabad destroyed most of my close-toed shoes before they blackened my flip-flopped feet. I no longer get angry negotiating down exorbitant estimations of auto drivers, because the autos and taxis of Mumbai abide by strict meter enforcement(!). While foreigners in Hyderabad draw long stares and extra-special treatment from locals, Mumbai’s large expat community ensures less staring and a more offhand attitude between locals and outsiders.

With the intermittent discoveries of Mumbai’s existing conveniences that I no longer take for granted, I should be- and am- very happy with the comfort. The past nine months in Hyderabad have definitely not been easy.  Low fellow stipends and undiscriminating power cuts ensured that my housemates and I dipped our feet into the experience of living in conditions that worked against us. I will never miss the eve-teasing, lack of agency, and heightened sense of fear that many females experience here (though this exists in Mumbai, too). I can’t wait to feel that my hair is not falling out and my body is losing years of its life from pollution and questionable water quality. 

At the same time, my emotions overwhelm me in cycles as I come to terms with not seeing people or experiencing specific situations again. In the last few months here, I tried to identify and best appreciate the idiosyncrasies of my life in Hyderabad that will not happen for a long time (or perhaps ever again)- I will miss the freely given hellos and handshakes from neighbors and vendors on my street, unbidden and generous sharing of one’s personal meals and belongings, unsolicited help at every turn, comfortable and unconditional self-love, and the resulting unreserved curiosity and openness of heart that allow even complete strangers to bestow their most radiant smile and vigorous wave when they pass you on the street. In the open, cosmopolitan refinement of Mumbai, I find myself missing the rawness and honesty of my time working alongside people who rarely venture past the borders of their neighborhood. 

It was in the dwellings of my students and teachers and the low-cost private schools of Hyderabad that I had to learn to venture boldly outside of the rigid structures of my compartmentalized life. Not only has daily life forced me to adapt quickly to unexpected occurrences to avoid the tire of undue stress, but have shown me the interconnectedness of their (and my) personal, spiritual, and professional lives. I will leave India the most patient version of myself. I will also probably leave India the most unprofessional version of myself. Perhaps that’s okay.

I guess all the rambling boils down to this: in Mumbai, I am experiencing India on my terms; in Hyderabad, I experienced India on India’s terms— thankfully, the people I came to know have made it one of the most enriching personal experiences of my existence so far. I left school with a Shirdi Sai Baba statue, a sari, and some bangles, but the best thing given to me by these wonderful individuals whom I will never forget is the magic of appreciating the simplest gifts of life. 

the luckiest

I think the most beautiful moments in my life so far aren’t necessarily facilitated by having more or less in resources or familiarity, but in those sacred and spontaneous moments of candidness where we have understood and appreciated the best of those in front of us.

More later, I hope.