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Good, night

May

07

Posted by on May 7, 2009 | 8 comments

The movement is mechanical and routine, one whose repetitions could be calculated if any point would be served in doing so.  There's not.  Water fills the carafe to just over eight cups, an unnecessarily-bleached filter is nested into place, and I scoop two of the four heaping measures when I realize I have to open a new bag of coffee.  Dunkin Donuts, always, for us there is no other. 

When I unseal the bag, I'm gifted with aroma that never ceases to delight me.  Its scent stirs Pavlovian response, nudging familiarity and comfort, even though I won't enjoy this cup until morning.  Inhaling is almost as delicious as a sip.

I do this for my husband, who leaves each morning before I've rubbed the sleep from my eyes.  It's a simple act of service, nothing special, but it's intentioned–it speaks "I love you" in my absence. 

Tonight as I went through the motions, that scent captured me.  Though sleepy, I opened my eyes and thought about what I was doing this time a week ago; I wasn't preparing coffee for the next day…I was 8,400 miles and a world away from home, in a place where my nightly routine doesn't even make sense.

I hit a wall this week.  Though swirling thoughts cloud my mind, in spite of a thousand stories wanting to be told, I needed rest…distance…perspective.  I want to tell these stories well, even if it takes me a while to process my experience…to honor those whose lives have now touched mine.

I mentally prepared to face poverty of unimaginable breadth and depth in India; but I was unprepared for so much more than that.  The expectation was that I would come back a changed person, but really, I just feel like myself. 

Which seems wrong.

Shutting down is self preservation, but I hate I've been rude in the process, online and off.  I so appreciate your kind emails, comments, calls and even tweets, and honestly I think it's downright tacky to have been so unresponsive. 

So…setting our coffee maker so it'll be ready in the morning…taking a few minutes to arrange thought on a page…it's me, settling down. 

Waking up…

Smelling coffee…

I wonder if this scent will linger until morning.

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Fire in hand

May

05

Posted by on May 5, 2009 | 14 comments

Compassion International karate kid Bricks on fire, karate chopped
Compassion child karate demonstration
Compassion International karate demonstration with fire
Girl karate chopping bricks on fire with hand

Kolkata, India, April 2009.  She's not learning karate for kicks; she's learning it to defend herself.  On first glance in the last picture, it looks like she's wearing a ring; it's actually a glowing ember.  Compassion International's holistic approach to child development is all about providing for the spiritual, economic, emotional, and in this case, physical, needs of the children they serve.  What that looks like differs from country to country, project to project.

Please read more about our India trip and click here for video footage on YouTube.

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Typos, schmypos

May

05

Posted by on May 5, 2009 | 13 comments

This morning as I'm sipping My Precious–a steaming cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee, the thing I missed most last week after my husband and kids–I'm also drinking a companion cup of Bittersweet.

One of my oldest and most entertaining blogging buds decided to write about me today and I'm afraid I might sound a wee bit OC. 

You wanna know what kind of friend I am?  I'm the one who will tell you you've got a Texas-size wad of spinach between your teeth before you go out in public; I'm the one who discreetly hands you a tissue when you've got neon sign-flashing bats in the cave; and, even if you're a complete stranger?  If I noticed you've forgotten to zip up, I'll whisper or motion or DO SOMETHING to let you know, 'cause at the core of my being I'm all about my fellow (wo)man. 

I've got your back and your front.

It's only logical this would translate to writing as well. 

I started reading Confessions of a Pioneer Woman shortly after she discovered what a "blog thingy" was, back when she professed her undying love for me and told me she "loved waking up with me every morning…."  It was always clear Ree was touched had a gift, and when her readership exploded, sometimes if I noticed excessive egregious an occasional typo, I'd email her to let her know; I couldn't have my waking-up-every-morning-together partner lookin' like an illiterate!

Ummm…yeah…that's it….

Anyways, last Fall Marlboro Man and their girls went with Compassion International to the Dominican Republic, on a trip similar to the one I took last week.  They saw how Compassion's work makes a difference in the children's lives it touches, and not only the sponsored child, but his or her family as well.  Marlboro Man's posts prompted hundreds of people to sponsor children in need–to me, the greatest use of the written word, to benefit others.

Compassion children India That's why she's talkin' about me behind my back today…not just to trash-talk about my typo-corrective tendencies  to pay me back for the grammar police emails hold hands and stroll down bloggerly memory lane, but to spotlight Compassion International and its amazing, life-changing work.

So…for those of you "meeting" me for the first time, really, truly, I'm not a typo nazi (though I've been known to be a one-woman freak show).  I'm holding tightly to the adage "There's no such thing as bad press," thankful for Ree's post about Compassion International and our trip, especially if you're learning about it for the first time! (And as a blogger, I hope this won't be your first and last visit to Pensieve… subscribe and I'll be more than happy to fill your inbox or reader regularly đŸ˜‰ )

I hope you'll consider sponsoring a child of your own; you'll find as you invest in that relationship, your financial contribution and letters are reciprocated with love and appreciation and a life changed for the better because of your generosity.

{Thanks, Ree…I owe ya! đŸ˜‰ }

Photo credit:  Keely via Compassion's Flickr site

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Here and there…

May

04

Posted by on May 4, 2009 | 3 comments

I suppose it's no surprise that a piece of me is still in Kolkata…

DSC_2405

…but I'm kind of surprised with a thousand stories left to tell, today I've had few words. 

I suppose that will come with time, but for now, thank you for investing the time to read my experience here and around b-town as well as our team of Compassion bloggers for India.  Hundreds of kids have been sponsored over the past few weeks; if you're one of Compassion's newest sponsors, thank you!  Seeing the difference people just like you are making in the lives of children has filled my heart to overflowing.  For the record?  It's never too late to sponsor a child–now is as good of time as any ;)!

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Revelation

May

01

Posted by on May 1, 2009 | 9 comments

I'm standing in the shower while a perpetual army of water soldiers fights off the day's sweat and filth and emotion when I notice the shelf in front of me.  I mentally tick off seven miniature bottles whose purpose is to clean, condition, soften and fragrance the top of my head to the bottom of my feet..when I lose it.

It's the second time today the tear dam burst when I didn't even know there was a crack in the dike. 

DSC_2484

I've seen things this week I shouldn't have.

I've seen things this week I shouldn't have because they just shouldn't "be" to begin with.

{Click to continue reading one of my favorite posts of the week, with heartfelt thanks to my dear friend Shannon for allowing me to extend the reach of my voice at Rocks in My Dryer.}

To all of you who've followed our trip and/or stumbled onto Pensieve from my team mates' sites, thank you for your encouragement, support and prayers this week; I am humbly grateful.  I hope you'll subscribe to my feed, request emails and/or follow me in Twitter so we can keep the story going…:)

~ xo,

Robin

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Date night

Apr

30

Posted by on Apr 30, 2009 | 3 comments

The Compassion Bloggers' India team will host a live chat with video feed Thursday night (tonight for y'all, tomorrow for us!) at 10:00 p.m. CST.  If you're interested in what's been happening "in between the lines", please make plans to join us!

Click here to get.chur.chat.on:  :  http://mogulus.com/withoutwaxlive

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