Jeremy Barnicle, the VP of Marketing and Communications at Mercy Corps, one of Nau’s Partners For Change, sent us a dispatch from Nairobi with highlights from his trip to Zimbabwe. Here’s what he has to say:
“In the first photo, I am at a water treatment plant that serves the city of Mutare, which happens to be a sister city of Portland. Portland, the EU, and Mercy Corps came together to get the water treatment plant back online after years of disrepair. The guy in the blue is the plant superintendent and the other guy is the MC staffer who oversees it. The roughly 200K people of Mutare used to get untreated water and only three days a week. We worked with them to fix it and now they have clean water pretty much all the time. Interesting thing is that it’s the one place I’ve ever been in Africa that FELT like Portland: rain, mountains, fog, and evergreens. It was awesome.
The second photo shows what I do when I’m in the field: talk to people, get their stories, capture images. In this case, I’m visiting a beauty salon where some vulnerable women (the woman in the white is deaf) are getting vocational training so they can be self-sufficient. The woman, named Vimbai, will earn almost 10 times as much a month doing hair as she was as a seamstress, which was about all anyone would hire her to do before.”
Similar to this dispatch, the Mercy Corps blog has contributors from field staff all over the world.
Thank you Jeremy- and safe travels.
Har Mar Superstar played at an event in our SoHo store on Tuesday. Wednesday morning the emails and photo’s started pouring in from the crew in NYC about the party from the night before. He played again last night and I’m hoping he kept it PG-13 for our customers sake. Check this guy out:
Oregon Manifest is back again this year. From October 2 to November 8, Oregon Manifest will highlight the bike influence on culture, sustainability, and urban design. There’s something great in store for every type of bike lover: a national bike design challenge, an acclaimed Danish bike culture exhibit, two bike races, guest speakers, a cycling apparel fashion show, and a pop-up storefront Bike Union.
For the complete schedule of events, details, and what’s happening during the 6 bike-tastic weekends, visit www.oregonmanifest.com
We just launched our new Fall product line. The clouds were dark and the air was wet on my ride to work today. Dare I say it; there is a hint of fall in the air. What comes after the fall? Ski season, of course.
I thought August might be too early to watch ski movies until about 1:26 into the TGR flick. Hal came by my desk to ask me a question and stopped mid sentence- the two of us couldn’t take our eyes off the deep powder turns and face shots. For those of you also feeling withdrawal from the white stuff, here are a few previews to help ease your pain.
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Portlanders are totally obsessed with bikes. We drool over the creative features of other bikes while dreaming of our next one. We triple lock our bike sheds and hope we remember to lock the front door. It is no surprise that Portland recently spawned a new bike brand called “Globe” that will please everyone from the PDX fixie riders to the high-heel wearing businesswoman in Holland.
Looking through the Globe site I felt like Santa read my mind and came early this year. The bikes have chainguards to keep the grease off my pants, fenders for the rain, built in lights that are impossible to forget at home and a kickstand to keep it upright in front of the burrito stand. Some even have a rack that I can use to pile on my fruit from the farmers market along with the vintage lamp I picked up at the yard sale on my way home. Each bike is more than just a pretty colored frame… the grips, saddle, rims & fenders make the bike look like a piece of contemporary art.
I’m now officially obsessed with this particular bike. Oh yes, it will be mine.
A historic thing happened in Washington DC last week. The House of Representatives voted on the Waxman-Markey climate change bill. 44 Democrats voted against it, 8 Republicans voted for it and with only one “yay” to spare, the bill passed on Friday, June 26th with 219 votes.
I’ve been reading about the pro’s and con’s and why two Democratic Representatives from my home state of Oregon voted against it. Honestly I can’t say for sure if I’m entirely for or against it, but I do know this is a big deal. The health and well-being of our planet for future generations is dependent on legislation like this.
If you’re like me and didn’t take the time to educate yourself about the climate change bill before the House voted, here is a short list of resources I recommend reading to help navigate all the buzz.
This NYT article talks about who is for and against the bill and why.
Here is Grist’s light-hearted but informative take on it.
The Huffington Post talks about the flack the 8 lonely republicans are getting post “yay”.
Treehugger, my personal favorite, wrote a lot about the bill. Here are two are must-reads; “Everything You Need to Know” and “Green Groups Mustn’t Surrender When the Battle is Just Starting”.
Last week Tami and I were talking about an opportunity that seemed almost too good to be true. She used the phrase “never look a gift horse in the mouth”. Immediately after our conversation she sent me an email about the origin of this phrase, which is so commonly used and probably rarely understood. In all honesty, until I saw her email I thought the phrase was “never lick a gift horse in the mouth,” which made it even more difficult to comprehend the origin of the saying.
According to Trivia-Library.com, the lesson and story behind it is:
This proverb is based on the fact that a horse’s value is determined by his age, which, in turn, can be roughly determined by an examination of his teeth. The message conveyed is that a gift should be appreciated for the thought and spirit behind it, not according to its value. St. Jerome, who never accepted payment for his writings, first used the phrase in reply to his literary critics. His exact words: “Never inspect the teeth of a gift horse.”
I was giddy with excitement yesterday when Jamie sent me a link to Yakkay, a Danish company that makes bike helmets and stylish helmet covers.
Yakkay gets kudos from me for more than just the cute factor. The simple equation “hipster hat + dorky helmet” was staring us in the face for decades. I love that I no longer have to make a choice between function and fashion when putting something on my head. But then again, the concept sounds familiar so maybe I’m biased.
I can’t help but wonder, is the solution to the ever-so-flattering climbing harness staring us in the face too?
We had an Earth Day gathering a couple weeks ago and introduced what we call the “Willing Wall.” We asked our friends to answer a question; What are you willing to do to that will create positive change? Turns out, there is a direct relationship between what people are willing to do and how much organic vodka they consume. Here are a few of the PG-13 pledges for positive change:
I will do more local travel.
I will always use biodegradable doggie bags.
I will stop showering alone.
I will join a CSA.
I will drink more organic beer.
I will not take tissue paper when I shop.
I will release less methane.
I will plant some trees.
While these aren’t necessarily new mind blowing ideas, I like having the Willing Wall here in the office. It’s a nice visual connection between our small changes and the bigger community of people working toward the same goal and having fun along the way.
So the question is; what are YOU willing to do to create positive change this year?
During the last 3 years since we launched the Thought Kitchen, this is the 11th post that was either inspired by Worldchanging or about something they’re working on. Clearly, we love them and what they’re up to, so it’s no surprise someone else does too.
Worldchanging was challenged to raise $100,000 this spring. If they reach their goal, this mystery (and generous!) challenger will match it with an identical grant.
They’ve reached the home stretch and will launch a charitable auction on Ebay that will run from Friday, May 8th at 10am PDT through Friday, May 15th at 10am PDT on Worldchanging’s Ebay Giving Works Page. Items up for bid include conference tickets to six of the top ideas and design conferences, products from socially and environmentally responsible retailers, a nature inspired travel expedition, and a private walking tour of the California Academy of Sciences.
I can’t remember the last time I came across such positive and generous news about fundraising. It speaks loudly to the quality of the organization and of their idea’s that really are changing the world.