Freedom from the Little Princes!

Thanks to all who helped take one of the suggested actions in support of “Little Princes” by Conor Grennan and to “free” my blog.

Cool people on “Little Princes,” Nepal and Conor

Isabelle’s What to Read Next blog – she was invited to an event by Conor’s publisher and met him

Joanne Brokaw encourages us to be like Conor and show up.

Joe Simpson’s amazing Nepal photo album on Facebook

Karen Duffy’s review in the Dayton Beach News-Journal:””Little Princes” is a tale of determination, courage and love that will not leave you unchanged.

Now back to your regular scheduled blogging….

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The 3 most sacred words a traveler can utter: “I’ll come back”

GDA-tibetanprocession

I was held hostage by Nepalese monks. The weapon they used against me was hospitality.

They forced four meals down me a day. The first time I tried to leave, they consulted their scrolls and decided that the date wasn’t a good one for departure.

I was blessed by a bulletproof monk and may or may not be bulletproof myself now. (Note: if I am bulletproof I’ve totally wasted my superpower not fighting crime.)

Khenpo Sange, the head lama, sat next to me on my flight from Bangkok to Nepal where I planned on trekking, but instead got a really infected foot and held hostage. Khenpo invited me to stay near the village of Pharping (south of…

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The Little Princes strike back

Day 3 of the Little Princes hostage crisis.  Between here and facebook and email and twitter about 40 of you have come to my rescue.  Now, how to find another 60 people to do one of the following and report back in the comments?

1) Buy little Princes from Better World Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, your local independent bookstore, or wherever. A portion of all sales go to support Next Generation Nepal;

2) Donate to Next Generation Nepal;

3) Like Next Generation Nepal and Little Princes both on facebook and then tell all of your friends about it;

4) Blog about Next Generation Nepal.

5) Ask your librarian to order Little Princes.

On Monday, the day Little Princes is released, I’m going to share why the book is so…

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Ask your librarian to get "Little Princes"

Librarian action figure

Dear Harriette,

I wanted to tell you about a book that I would love to see the library have – “Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal” by Conor Grennan. I hope it’s the next “Three Cups of Tea.” I’ve followed Conor’s blog for years now. Basically, he was traveling around the world and decided to volunteer at an orphanage in Nepal. When be realized many of the children were victims of human trafficking, he decided to do something about it.

If you’re cool like me, you are on a first name basis with your local librarian and have her email address. I shot…

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The Little Princes are holding my blog hostage

little princesI’m not sure I’ve ever been more excited about a book than Conor Grennan’s Little Princes, which comes out next week. I want to support it in every possible way I can and I hope you’ll help me.

Conor went to Nepal to volunteer at an orphanage. When he learned that many of the kids were trafficked, he decided to do something about it. He setup Next Generation Nepal that sought to reconnect trafficked children with their parents.

I’ve been following Conor’s blog, Conor’s Mildly Thrilling Tales, for years. We were both part of the BootsnAll blogging network when I stumbled upon him. Conor’s writing is hilarious and powerful, self-deprecating and…

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Who can defend payday lenders?

Payday Loan Place Window Graphics

Some jackwad with the not so subtle username of paydaylendingrep defended payday lenders in the comment thread of the editorial I mentioned yesterday. Here’s what he said:

To be clear, not all customers who use payday loans are in poverty. Research shows payday advance customers to be low to middle income, educated, working families, with most earning between $25,000 and $50,000 annually. The fact is that payday lenders provide short-term credit to a broad cross section of Americans because there is widespread demand for their financial services.

My response: Yes and a lot of people smoke crack so that must make it okay to be a crack…

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The most important poverty statistic: One

in the morning, while he waits for the coffee to be served

Last week I wrote an editorial about local poverty that appeared in the Muncie Star Press. The piece was in response to multiple editorials in the paper about poverty in Muncie, specifically the poverty stats that just came in from the 2010 census.

Muncie is home to Ball State University. Students account for about 1/4th of Muncie’s population, and since they don’t earn much they are essentially living at or below the national poverty level. Anyhow, everyone was arguing about what the numbers mean, how to factor in/out the students,…

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Mental Illness & the Tucson Shooting

I watched Jon Stewart deliver his scriptless take on the Tucson shooting (see below), nodding my head in agreement. But my friend Pat  stood up and walked out of her living room.

Why? Pat’s mom suffered from a mental illness and she can’t stand how loosely terms like “crazy,” “nutjob,” and “loon” are being thrown around to describe the shooter. Yes the Tucson shooting is a monumental tragedy, but what if the first tragedy was that Jared Loughner didn’t receive the help he should have? Few people are talking about that.

Pat wrote a wonderful editorial title “Get educated about mental Illness” for the Muncie Star Press that has made me look at this tragedy in a whole new way….

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This is My Normal

I can’t wait for the release of the blooper reel of the “This is My Normal” documentary shot by Wonderkind Studios & Rule29 for Life in Abundance. I ruined more than a few shots and it would probably be a Kelsey Blooper reel. You can see me getting my key grip on at 29 seconds (look at that form!).

But seriously, my time in Kenya with the gang that made this film was amazing. I’ll never forget it. I knew that if the documentary that resulted captured 1% of the vibe and energy and spirit of the slums it will change a little something in everyone who watches it. I think the film far exceeds this and I hope that you all get a chance to see it someday.

Here’s…

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