Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The first image is the silhouette of a woman who is sitting on a chair in the back of her blown-out house. The tsunami came in with such force, that it blasted out all the windows and the doors off their hinges and left a lot of open space in between. In this image, you can see the woman looking out, towards the she thinking about how her life has changed? Is she afraid? Is she in a place of peace and acceptance? Look into this picture and confirm your own truth. Ironic that the contrast of reds and blues is a nice representative of emotions; sadness versus anger, peace versus violence....The second image is of a kitchen, left in full view, as the remainder of the house was blown away. Looking closer, you can see normalcies like earthware, an electrical outlet, and a salvage of good bricks (possibly for future use...this is ALL the person has...) Let's take a moment and think about all we have; what do we need, and what can we comfortably live without? Let's be inspired to give to where the need is great....!

This is Karuna's niece. Karuna is a wonderful woman whom I took a cooking class under. She is a wonderful teacher, patiently guiding me through the basics of Sri Lankan cuisine. The food we cooked together was by far the best I've eaten in the whole island.

Here are some powerful images from Sri Lanka; a testament to the tsunami and the beautiful children who survived. This is R. Hasamka. He lost his mother and grandmother in the tsunami, but is blessed to be with his two other brothers and father, who are in Samagi Lama Pura (a Buddhist Village that is being constructed in an old tea plantation, safely in the mountains north of Galle'.) Precocious and curious at the same time, his charisma beams with such clarity that translation is not needed. He loved to have his picture taken and pose for our class exercises. I can see in his eyes, that his mother told him to be brave and stand tall, regardless of what life throws at him. The family sent me a picture of his mother---they share a striking resemblance. With your tireless efforts to share this blog with your friends and family and donations...children in Vietnam will benefit greatly from you.

The past couple of days have been challenging; fresh from my experiences in Sri Lanka (see pictures in next posting) it is difficult to see those in the Gulf Coast to encounter their "tsunami". Yes, countless lives have been changed; but they are in a country that has much resources to help them---and New Orleans will be back---maybe not tomorrow, but definitely the 'day after tomorrow'. Let's give a moment to reflect and send our positive energy to them. Please continue to give, whether its for them or in Vietnam. A little goes very far...The donations are still climbing upward. Please continue to spread the word about this blog and the cause it's for. Your help will be greatly measured. I want to give a special thanks to two people; Miss Patricia Ordonez, a wonderful up-and-coming fashion designer (yeah, she's got her site too! with a heart full of gold that can match any of your stylistic whims---and finally, to my mother, Tinker Rossi, who has taught me many valuable lessons about giving. It's because of her tireless efforts, that I am able to do my many achievements and share them with you today. Don't be afraid to give, for the positive effects it entails is far more powerful than an act of mother nature.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The donations continue to bubble upward. Today, I tended to my nesting instinct, and sanded the kitchen cabinets---marinating ideas for a couple upcoming fundraisers and a big proposal for a potential sponsor to be named soon. Took forever to clean the place up...but thanks to Alexandria, the kitchen is OPEN...I want to give a special thank you to Michael McElroy for his heartfelt generosity today, and to Tara Potterveld for opening a door that yielded a wealth of opportunities to benefit others.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Wow! Woke up this morning to two more donations. I did the calculations, and I am glad to announce that in one week the total has DOUBLED. We have now surpassed the first 1/20th of our goal. Let's keep the fire burning, and share the exciting news with all of your friends and family! A moment of thanks to Helen and David Darby, and Sofia Seitchik. Thank you so much for your time and generosity.

Hello again! Another great day---we got two more donations today and are inching closer to our goal! I want to give a deep thank you to Marti Converse and Margaret Arnold for their time and generosity. I had a great conversation with a good friend of mine who is well-connected---we are planning to host a party with some celebrities and society people. This event will give us large strides to reach our goal. I plan some additional events, like a burlesque show in mid-October and possibly another party. More details to follow about that....keep reading this blog and telling your friends about this project. For those who want to refresh themselves as to why I am doing this, read the previous blog entries below....

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Today was a productive day. Throughout this week, I have been feeling a full spectrum of emotions about this Vietnam fundraising expedition. Honestly, going to Vietnam to climb mountains like sheep and kayak in the bays with dolphins doesn't make me nervous....its the actual asking people for money that really jangles my nerves. I've never done anything of this scale before; raising at least five figures within two short months while training for a physically demanding expedition...not an easy feat.

It's taken a measure of courage on my part---I took a good few weeks to decide if I wanted to do this...Yes, I know I have the challenge of trying to reach my goal in 8 mere weeks...but which will it be? Sitting in front of the evening news, stewing about how everything is wrong with the world---or getting off my doughy ass and being proactive, doing something---even if it affects just one person?

I am discovering the gift of allowing my inner fire to push forth instead of letting that little secretary in the back of my head saying "...there's always next've got too much on your plate...will raising 20,000 really FIX the world...?" rule my actions. I've always had a fancy to make living a rich experience, even if my bank account clearly points in the other direction. I've been blessed with so many wonderful friends who provide moral support and direction throughout this amazing, complicated journey. As I open this new chapter, and share it with you, I will be mentioning them, and their contributions...

I officially started fundraising on Friday, August 12th. In the two weeks since, there have been some contributors; I want to give a moment of thanks (in chronological order) to them for selflessly participating so eagerly. Pablo Aviles, Frank Dattolo, Debra Cole, Deborah Jaffe, Rebecca McGinnis, Ines Powell, Joe Brent, Cathy Newman, and Andrew Greene---thank you for your quick response and heartfelt support.

To my other friends who have expressed moral support: Jade, Carmen King, Jenny Perlis, Jackie Roth, David Leigh, Marina Lutz, Ellen Roth, George McDaniel, David Mensah, Temi Rose, Tiger Martina, J9 Mayring, Arlene Zacarias, Hillary and Alex Baack, Marti Converse, Alexandria Wailes, Erik Etzwiler and importantly, Steven Alexander and Kate Breen---thank you for making me smile and feel even more galvanized to keep pressing on with this exciting project.

I will be mentioning more friends and posting pictures as this process carries even further....please tell all your friends, family, corporate scions and other connections about this project!

Well---my TrekAsia blog is now officially up and running. Hopefully I can keep my wits sharp so my words can percolate and tickle your synapses to a caffeinated state! I will start off by a brief introduction as to why I am doing this---in which most you have already read in my recently emailed sponsor letter.
Recently, I returned from a month-long journey in Sri Lanka, in which I provided art therapy to the tsunami orphans who lost their parents in the disaster. I was amazed at how profoundly they were affected by a simple touch, deep embrace or a small kit of art materials.

With this in mind, I am taking the opportunity to go to Vietnam in October and visit the children whose families have been ravaged by AIDS. Someone very dear to me informed me that they contracted HIV this past spring. This person has drawn upon great inner strength and focused on sustaining positive energy that is truly inspiring to me and many others. However, this person is fortunate to have access to varied services for medical needs and other forms of assistance. In Vietnam, these resources are scarce, and those who are living with HIV/AIDS have little access to just see a doctor or afford medicines, let alone move forward with their lives.

The UN has designated Vietnam as being on the cusp of an epidemic. Right now, about 250,000 Vietnamese are infected, and in four short years, this number is expected to quadruple to 1 million. Half of them are innocent women.

You and me, we can become part of a team to help make an impact on this virus, and prevent the global epidemic from continuing in Asia.

To focus on the expanding AIDS crisis and to raise much-needed funds, I have decided to participate in Trek Asia—a challenging 10-day trek through northern Vietnam. I am asking you to support my efforts and the urgent work of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), with generous donations that will help me match my current goal of $20,000.

Not only will this help pay for more doctors to work in the Vietnamese region, this money will ensure that top-quality cocktail medicines go to the victims who need them to survive. If 1,000 people donated the equal amount of a nice bottle of wine, I can reach my goal!

I am participating in Trek Asia for my dear friends and most importantly, to help those most at risk. I cannot do it alone; I need your financial and moral support. You can donate using the enclosed form or visiting amfAR’s online home for the trek—

I will be thinking of all of you when I am in Vietnam, and channeling all your energy to to stop this insidious disease.

Warmly yours,


Friday, August 26, 2005

Yay! This is my first posting. I am so excited to finally start on my blog for this TrekAsia project. I have many things I want to say, and I will continue my entry for today. I just want to confirm that this gets posted!