November 17, 2010
I am thrilled to be a mentor with the Voices of Our Future program. My interest in making connections with people from other cultures started when I was a child when relatives, visiting after their adventures in far corners of the globe, inspired in me a longing to see the world for myself. I started traveling on my own at age 18 and have visited, lived and worked in other countries. Rather than 'packing in all the sites' I have always preferred settling in and getting to know the local chai, coffee, or tea shop, making friends in my community, and sharing laughter and food.
I have always had an interest in working with people from other cultures which led me to teach at a rural school in Bomet, Kenya in 1986. I then completed a Master’s Degree in International Administration at the School for International Training in 1989 which included courses in cross-cultural communications, completed an internship at World Learning, and taught English as a Second Language at the International Institute (an organization that resettles refugees from political hotspots from around the world) in both Boston, Massachusetts and Manchester, New Hampshire.
I am currently on the board of the Himalayan Education Foundation, an organization that supports a school in the Chaukori District of the Indian Himalayas, where, in collaboration with our Indian partners, the Foundation tries to address the fundamental needs of the people of the remote villages of the Indian Himalayas. I am also a supporter and appreciator of the arts, believe music can change the world, and am very involved in The MacDowell Colony, the oldest artist colony in the US located in Peterborough, NH. I love listening to and learning music from around the world and, over the course of my life, have sung in a variety of large and small ensembles.
I am married and a mother of four children. As my four children become more independent, I have become increasingly interested in women’s issues around the world and was particularly inspired by the book, Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. I am a good listener, empathetic, and have fostered lifelong, strong, female relationships so, whether it is one of my children, a good friend or relative, or my multitude of young adult nieces, I often give a loving, supportive and listening ear as they each navigate the complexities of growing up, find their unique role in the world or, in the case of my peers, explore the myriad possibilities of middle age.