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Introducing myself and my journal: Zaftig Meydele

About Me:
Graduated in 2009 with a degree in molecular biology from Reed College -- a quirky, academically sadistic liberal arts school in Portland, Oregon, United States of A.

Then I went to Africa (Ghana) for two months of volunteer work with Unite For Sight (UFS)...and during this time I stumbled upon another pet project: women's empowerment! The UFS volunteer-coordinator in Ghana founded a co-op of 140 women who produce Shea butter at a mass-production level -- which is fabulous except that unfortunately, they're not getting fair-trade prices from their current buyers. So, right now I'm investigating how to break into Western markets for them while working to extend the other aspect of the leader's work: sex-ed, family planning, and distribution of contraceptives in rural areas where women have 6-10 children each.

So, there's that. You can see photos of that project here:

Three weeks after getting home from Africa, spontaneously I decided to sell my car and use the ching to go to Buenos Aires, were currently I'm residing (11-13-2009). I wanted to get fluent in Spanish so I can do the Monabiphot International Master's Program in Biophotonics and Nanotechnology ( starting September 2010, where semesters are spent consecutively in Paris, Madrid, Poland and back to Paris (with the possibility of Israel or Taiwan during the final semester, it seems). So far I'm loving it here in Buenos Aires, and my Spanish has improved dramatically.

Right now I'm working with a cognitive neuroscience lab and volunteering with Voluntario Global, a growing NGO, through which I'm teaching English and tutoring chemistry to women from La Boca neighborhood, an impoverished and violence-ridden area of Buenos Aires.

I suppose my current life dilemma is figuring out how to simultaneously continue developing all my passions: molecular neuroscience in a cognitive framework, travel and foreign languages, and the various social entrepreneurship ventures I've become involved with. I think the rate-limiting step will be learning how to make pretty webpages (have started learning XHTML and CSS) to communicate my project ideas and connect & collaborate with like-minded people all over the globe. Distance should be no barrier to action.


Mwierenga's picture


Welcome Celia!
Do you have time to breathe too? Just joking. Welcome! You undoubtedly have amazing stories to share!

I'm sure you will find this to be an amazing community of women and a perfect place to connect with like-minded people all over the globe. I invite you to explore the Resource Exchange section where you might find people to connect with for the Shea butter enterprise.

Also, I'd like to direct you to the My Story page on PulseWire. There is an opportunity to have your story published in the next magazine. The theme for submissions is "land". What personal connection do you have to land? To find out more about the program details, check out the My Story page on PulseWire:

Enjoy your time in Buenos Aires and learning the beautiful Spanish language!
And welcome again!

Celia Gellman's picture

Thank you for the warm

Thank you for the warm welcome! I can't wait to check out the Resource Exchange section. I love this site - it's amazing!
- Celia

Maria Howe's picture


Hello! Welcome to Pulsewire!

It's exciting to have you here and to learn a bit about you. We all get a little more empowered when more voices join the choir! Please feel free to share your thoughts, stories and encouragement . Hopefully you enjoy becoming a part of this global community.

Your journey sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing your good works. You are quite the inspiration for all of us. I look forward to seeing more of you online and hearing more of your voice.

Listen. Engage. Have Fun! (Sounds like you know how to do all of that!)

Best Wishes,

michellee's picture



Hello and welcome to PulseWire! World Pulse recently published an article about women's fair trade that you might find helpful for your project. It sounds like you have a lot going on and a lot to share with our community. I look forward to hearing more from you, and don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about PulseWire.


World Pulse Technology Associate

jadefrank's picture


Hi Celia,

Welcome to PulseWire!

We are thrilled to have you as a new member in our thriving community of women who are lifting their voices in the name of empowerment and connecting across borders to make positive change for women everywhere!

I encourage you to use your journal as a place to introduce yourself, your work and your passions to the PulseWire community. Think of your journal as a blog, where you can speak your mind and reach an audience of over 3000 women and supporters of women's initiatives. Check out what others are writing about in Voices Rising. I think that you will find PulseWire to be an exciting place to garner support, make connections and share your story!

Do you know Maria Cuellar? She is an Intern here at World Pulse, a graduate of Reed and has also volunteered in the past for Unite for Sight.

Warm regards,

Online Community Manager
World Pulse

Celia Gellman's picture

Hi! Yes, Maria Cuellar

Hi! Yes, Maria Cuellar introduced me to both Unite For Sight and World Pulse! She's amazing.
I also know Ellie Angelova, another Reedie who I think works with World Pulse in Portland too.
Cheers! This should be excellent.

(Thank you Maria, Michelle and Fatima as well for the little introductory welcome-replies. ;-)

Fatima Waziri's picture

Hey there! Welcome to

Hey there! Welcome to PulseWire!

Its so exciting having you with us, I am sure you will have a fun time with your new online friends. I know that you will find this to be a positive experience and I encourage you to take advantage of the numerous resources and features available through our vibrant online community.

Welcome again to our global community and I look forward to hearing more from you here on PulseWire!


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