The Latest

Media Mission | 7 Countries 7 Stories: Niger
Would you like to be chief?
After meeting chief Louche of Bande, I certainly would.  The latests from the world tour, here. 
(The three little charmers you see above, I met while visiting chief Louche. They spoiled me with giggles.)
Sep 15, 2014 / 1 note

Media Mission | 7 Countries 7 Stories: Niger

Would you like to be chief?

After meeting chief Louche of Bande, I certainly would.  The latests from the world tour, here

(The three little charmers you see above, I met while visiting chief Louche. They spoiled me with giggles.)

Sep 15, 2014 / 1 note

Reflections | In Search of Grace.

A day will come when you will be stirred by unexpected events.

A part of you will die and you will begin to search for the elixir to bring this part of your back to life. You will seek this elixir in friends, lovers, enemies, books, religion, foreign countries, heroes, songs, rituals and jobs. But no matter where you look, the treasure will evade you.

All will seem lost.

You will lose all hope that this magic potion even exists. It will be the darkest of nights, and the promise of certain death will lead you to the abyss of despair. But, staring into the abyss, you will begin to see the dim light of your own illumined soul.

Your radiance will transform the abyss itself into the elusive elixir of life. And for the first time you will realize that all the while…it was your own light that you were searching for.

-Mastin Kipp.

Sep 2, 2014 / 1 note

Media Mission | First Takes

While visiting Minnesota this past week, I made plans to collaborate with the talented Irv Briscoe of VON91.

I was asked to shoot a 3 minute PSA-style video documenting my recent media mission with UNFPA: highlights, lessons learned, challenges faced and people I met.

We did one take.

I remember that right after we finished the take, Irv asked if we should do a second run—to which I quickly disagreed. For me, there’s real perspective in the rawness of a first take.

There’s beauty in stuttering, nervous laughs and being long winded when it comes to a topic you are very passionate about. For once in my life, I prefer not to write anything down and to just speak from the heart.

What an honor it is to see the world through the eyes of a midwife or local nurse! How courageous men are when they stand up for the women in their villages, and the inspiration from a traditional chief eloquently explaining the importance of prenatal care is enough to last a lifetime.

So yeah, first takes it is.

A special thank you to my counterpart, Ms. Davee Ek for directing, supporting and walking me through camera time.

Potraits by Irv Briscoe and candids by Davee Ek.

Media Mission | 7 Countries 7 Stories: Sierra Leone
Just a new piece from my recent media mission with UNFPA. 
My expert editor decided that we’d start in Africa…and so here we are.  Really enjoyed going over the information for this one, looking at photos etc.
Sierra Leone is a beautiful country, complicated in many ways…some of which I’m still trying to understand.
More to come, my friends.
Aug 26, 2014 / 2 notes

Media Mission | 7 Countries 7 Stories: Sierra Leone

Just a new piece from my recent media mission with UNFPA. 

My expert editor decided that we’d start in Africa…and so here we are.  Really enjoyed going over the information for this one, looking at photos etc.

Sierra Leone is a beautiful country, complicated in many ways…some of which I’m still trying to understand.

More to come, my friends.

Reading | Tonight I Can WriteTonight I can write the saddest lines.Write, for example, “The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.”The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.Tonight I can write the saddest lines.I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.How could one not have loved her great still eyes.Tonight I can write the saddest lines.To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.-Pablo Neruda

Photo by Vanly Lorkuangming
Aug 24, 2014 / 2 notes

Reading | Tonight I Can Write

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, “The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.”

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

-Pablo Neruda

Photo by Vanly Lorkuangming

Aug 19, 2014

On Fashion | Erin Fetherston & Go Pro

What do you get when you give the fabulous folks at Seventh House a Go Pro camera on the day of an Erin Fetherston Resort 2015 lookbook shoot?

Pure magic.

I am shamelessly counting down the days to NYFW. 

Enjoy and re-share.

Video courtesy of Seventh House and edited by ODD

Media Mission | Haiti
I’m wrapping up my first story from the #7Countries7Stories series on reproductive health and family planning.
I’m overwhelmed (in a great way) by the amount of information I gathered and the types of conversations I was able to have. A very huge thank you to the former Representative for going out of his way to grant me access where needed.
I shot the above photo in the village of Jean Denis were a few guys where swimming in a nearby canal on a hot Wednesday afternoon.
Aug 19, 2014 / 2 notes

Media Mission | Haiti

I’m wrapping up my first story from the #7Countries7Stories series on reproductive health and family planning.

I’m overwhelmed (in a great way) by the amount of information I gathered and the types of conversations I was able to have. A very huge thank you to the former Representative for going out of his way to grant me access where needed.

I shot the above photo in the village of Jean Denis were a few guys where swimming in a nearby canal on a hot Wednesday afternoon.

Aug 14, 2014 / 1 note

A Word or Two | These Streets

Life is better with a Bastile soundtrack especially when you’re getting an update, no?

Photos

-Our very beautiful United Nations Secretariat building after a long day in the office.

-After 8 weeks of not updating my Style Diary - a lady is beyond excited to outwear her wardrobe. Cheers to red heels and comfortable pants!

-A #TBT from Lao. Just minutes before I interviewed the Minister of Health about reproductive health, education and investments post MDGs. (Photo by Micka Peirer)

-Visiting young women who are part of the Teenage Mothers Club in Tokeh, Sierra Leone - feature to come soon!

Links

Please check out the Society of Environmental Journalists who will put on their 24th annual conference (Sept. 2 - 7th, 2014) in New Orleans.  Yours truly will be present to take part in workshops, learn from others and trade experiences. This year’s theme is “Risk and Resilience” and will look at climate change and population dynamics in the 21st Century. I’m really excited to take tours of the city, to learn about cultural heritage/context and to see the impact of a post-disaster society, right here in our own backyard.

-A TED Talk to celebrate me completing my very first commission for the United Nations Population Fund.  A written feature that I agonized over for days, I finally did sit somewhere quiet, focus…and tell the story. I will update when the report comes out in a month or so. Please forgive me, but I’m incredibly proud of myself and will surely celebrate with some bubbly this evening - pending friends approval (hey Johnny, say YES!).

Aug 11, 2014 / 1 note

Face to Face | HuffPost Live

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind weekend in regards to Family Planning and Reproductive Health.

I’ve found myself spending hours answering emails from people all over the country about contraceptive use and about the relationship between health, economic development and education.

I couldn’t be more thrilled - this is exactly what I intended when I wrote the piece.

The folks at Huffington liked it so much that they invited me to be a guest on their live show Friday morning.  I do my best to explain my work and the recent trip/story in the video above (skip to 8:28).

Enjoy.  Educate.  Spread the knowledge.

(I’ll be working from home today filing two more stories…we’ll see what reactions they receive!)

A Word or Two | OblivionAfter an email exchange with someone who inspires me greatly, I decided to share a rather personal story.In an email, I talked about my journey to Ethiopia and how I was inspired to start planning for my family.  To reflect on past mistakes, to see how far I’ve come and just where I wanted to go.  Well, I’m not so sure he thought I was explaining all that - but in my mind I was.I’m sitting in the office listening to Oblivion by Bastille and shaking with fear.  A part of me feels brave, but another part of me feels unsure of what I’ve just done.
Putting this story out there to the world is very terrifying.  I wasn’t terrified when I first sent the story in an email to the said gentleman…but I am today.Why?Because I left the part about my personal experience with pregnancy out of the original email.  Those are things you don’t tell people, right?  Something about his response inspired me to revisit the story, tell the whole truth and share it.So, thank you.  You know who you are.
Read the story here: Why I traveled to Ethiopia to Get my Birth Control
Aug 7, 2014 / 1 note

A Word or Two | Oblivion

After an email exchange with someone who inspires me greatly, I decided to share a rather personal story.

In an email, I talked about my journey to Ethiopia and how I was inspired to start planning for my family.  To reflect on past mistakes, to see how far I’ve come and just where I wanted to go.  Well, I’m not so sure he thought I was explaining all that - but in my mind I was.

I’m sitting in the office listening to Oblivion by Bastille and shaking with fear.  A part of me feels brave, but another part of me feels unsure of what I’ve just done.

Putting this story out there to the world is very terrifying.  I wasn’t terrified when I first sent the story in an email to the said gentleman…but I am today.

Why?

Because I left the part about my personal experience with pregnancy out of the original email.  Those are things you don’t tell people, right?  Something about his response inspired me to revisit the story, tell the whole truth and share it.

So, thank you.  You know who you are.

Read the story here: Why I traveled to Ethiopia to Get my Birth Control