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To make a positive impact; one person at a time...
Energetic, enthusiastic, slightly exuberant, extroverted, positive-minded, upbeat, friendly, open-minded, easy-going, spontaneous, happy human. Though I may arrive on a Big Wheel wearing Fairy Wings, carrying a Free Hugs sign, there is also depth. And a passion for Connecting Cultures and Building Bridges Between. I enjoy being Absolutely ALIVE. Every day is an adventure waiting to happen! I am a firm believer in the goodness within and have experienced incredible kindness everywhere thus far. Currently I am a Storytelling Consultant at the World Bank and a Cause-Focused Professional Storyteller. Also a Literacy Advocate with the goal of connecting cultures through story. In September of 2005, I left fulltime employment (had worked as Children's Librarian, Cancer Researcher and Advocate for Women's Health), sold my home and most of my possessions and embarked on a journey volunteering in Belize, Central America. What began as a romance transformed into something else entirely. Since January of 2006, I've donated performances for 33,000 children & trained 800 teachers how to use their own stories in schools. Project went global June 2013 in Kenya. I've since taken it to Ghana and Haiti as well.
Traveling to Belize opened up the desire to see the world. a side trip to Guatemala where 4 days turned to 4 weeks has taught me that anything is possible. Since then I've traveled to Colombia, Peru, across western Europe on a Storytelling Tour and roadtripped across the US to Whistler BC. June 2013 I performed & collected Real People's Real life stories in Kenya, Ghana and Haiti, a dream come true. I love meeting people from all over the globe; their stories inspire me. I desire to learn more, to build bridges between & experience countries and cultures as deeply as possible. I enjoy dancing, cooking, eating traditional foods, learning local customs,talking till the wee hours of the morning, hearing YOUR Story. Free Hugs, blowing bubbles on subways.
Look, I don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say
that if you're alive you've got to flap your arms and legs, you've got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisy and colorfully, or you're not alive.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Recently relocated to DC area. Currently Host and co-host events.
2011-2014 hosted several events, Free Hugs worldwide, travel, meet ups.
2008-2011: Helped to organize all sorts of events in NYC and in other cities throughout the world for CS, mostly dance related and 30+ Free Hugs events. Showing folks around the city, esp off the beaten path and quirky spots. Helped to organize and participated in Couch Crash Feb. 09, August 10 and August 11. I also organize FREE HUGS around the world in every city I visit: most unusual so far, top of Mountain Machu Picchu, Peru! Spreading the word about CS, chatting with the new folks, attending lots of events in NYC and the world. Lots of hugs :-)
First time surfer Aug 2008 for couch crash NYC! It was GREAT! Surfed all over NYC before I moved there. Surfed all over Italy, Paris, and Colombia, Peru, New Orleans, San Fran, Belize and Europe. Host in NYC too, on occasion. I've had the pleasure of unofficial couch surfing in Belize where I have a volunteer project; when I travel to various villages; teachers, librarians or parents kindly host me so I can donate programs at their children's schools. I've been invited to local celebrations through unofficial couch surfing; learning how to make bollos for Day of the Dead, marching in Garifuna Settlement Day Parade, and more. A beautiful couch surfing experience in Guatemala before I knew of CS: I traveled to Guatemala for a holiday from volunteering in Belize. Three of the banks had just crashed and the one still open would not take my credit card to do a cash advance. Then Marion saw me, she walked over and asked why I was upset. I explained I couldn't get any cash and didn't know where I would stay that night and I didn't have enough funds to return to Belize. She very kindly took me to a friend's store, got me the cash advance and then offered her daughter's room to me for as long as I wished. Marion was a life saver! Now I strive to ^pay it forward^
being in the moment; whatever that moment holds! Dancing, theatre, eating interesting and unusual foods, wine, local history, storytelling, folktales, architecture, photography, blowing bubbles, swinging (playground not promiscuity!), skipping, socializing, people watching, running, free hugs, exploring off the beaten path, BEING ALIVE! Politics, current events, I do have quite a serious side too... involved in greyhound rescue, Amnesty International, being green and trying to leave the planet in slightly better shape than when I arrived.
Music, Movies, and Books
Across the Universe, Big Fish, Mr Magoriums Wonder Emporium, Seven Pounds, Pollack, Happenstance, Amelie, Star Dust, Je T'aime Paris, Rang De Basanti, Stranger Than Fiction, Water... also movies that make you think... too many to name here. Books: The Grinder, The Butterfly Hunter, Change Your Life Through Travel, the Kindness of Strangers, loads of travel narratives including Not So funny When It Happened, Sand in My Bra, and Bill Bryson, Def Poetry, The Camel Librarian, Eat, Pray, Love... . Music: latino beats; salsa, merengue, bachata, cumbia; punta rock, alternative, old school hip-hop and dance. Alicia Keyes, Andy Palacio, Anjelique Kidjo, Baz Lurmann, Beastie Boys, Ben Folds, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Big Audio Dynamite, Byron Lee, The Clash, Celia Cruz, The Cult, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Enigma, Enter the Haggis, Enya, Flight of the Conchord, Frank Zappa, Franz Ferdinand, Luis Fonsi, Indigo Girls, the Jam, Juanes, Justin T, The Killers, Led Zepplin, Lyle Lovett, Madonna, Mana, Matisyahu, Naughty by Nature, Nelly Furtado, Pink Floyd, Pink Martini, Queen, Raul Midon, R.E.M., Runa Pacha, Scissor Sisters, Shakira, Soca Boys, The Smiths, William Shatner, U2, XTC. I really enjoy music in which the performers exude joy; Bette Midler, Mika, Josh Groban, Jason Mraz, also music with lots of humor; B 52's, Hayseed Dixie, They Might be Giants, Pianosaurus, Southern Culture on the Skids, Weird Al (a friggin' genius!). I love to make "Positivity" and "Shiny Happy" Mixes; if interested let me know!
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
1st American invited to perform in Iran at the Kanoon Storytelling Festival. Bicycle safari in Kenya. Free Hugs on the top of Machu Picchu, Peru! "Sleeping" in a hammock on the beach in Tayrona Park Colombia, Walking nearly all night long through the streets of Antigua in Guatemala viewing all the alfombras created during Semana Santa, climbing the temples in Tikal and listening to the conversations between howler monkeys and macaws, marching in Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize, staying in a villa on the cliffside on Ischia Island with 8 other CSers over Easter Weekend, Pompeii!
Teach, Learn, Share
Storytelling and finding the story within yourself. Public speaking! Volunteering
What I Can Share with Hosts
Storytelling. Cooking. Dancing. Listening. Sharing experiences around the world!
Countries I’ve Visited
Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Countries I’ve Lived In
Belize, United States