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Vision and Verb

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Featuring a sampling of our personal favorites in our latest gallery...

A reminder that ALL proceeds go to fund KIVA loans!

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Kiva - loans that change lives

Vision and Verb KIVA Loans:

6/6/2012 -   Kalinisa, Kenesh Village, Kyrgyzstan

6/6/2012 -   Lama, Jordan LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/12/2012 - Mujeres de Xeconjom Group, Guatemala LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/12/2012 - Nuevo Horizonte Group, Mexico LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/18/2012 - Miriam, Negev, Israel

6/18/2012 - Noem, Ang Snoul, Cambodia  LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/20/2012 - Phally, Takeo Province, Cambodia LOAN REPAID IN FULL

7/10/2012 - Carmel, Cadiz, Philippines LOAN REPAID IN FULL 

8/4/2012 -   Julia, Boane, Maputo, Mozambique LOAN REPAID IN FULL

8/4/2012 -   Khishigjargal, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

8/11/2012 - Miladys Dayana, Barranquilla, Colombia

9/23/2012 - Dugarmaa, Arhangai, Mongolia LOAN REPAID IN FULL

9/29/2012 - Divino Niño Jesus Group, Caaguazú, Paraguay LOAN REPAID IN FULL

9/29/2012 - Armando, Tonala, Mexico   LOAN REPAID IN FULL

10/17/2012 - Doraliza, Ica, Peru LOAN REPAID IN FULL

10/27/2012 - Sola, Bilasuvar, Azerbaijan LOAN REPAID IN FULL

11/27/2012 - Sergio, Huatusco, Mexico LOAN REPAID IN FULL

11/28/2012 - Sophie, Yaoundé, Cameroon LOAN REPAID IN FULL

12/29/2012 - Paradi De Dolval Group, Trou-du-Nord, Haiti

12/29/2012 - Makieu Andrew's Group, Kenema, Sierra Leone LOAN REPAID IN FULL

12/30/2012 - Alia, Wihdat, Jordan

1/1/2013 -     Prudence 3 Group, Brazzaville, Congo LOAN REPAID IN FULL

1/8/2013 -    Marcia De Jesús, El Sauce, Nicaragua

1/21/2013 -  Caroline, Toluca Lake, United States

2/5/2013 -    Diana Cecilia, Huaraz, Peru 99% REPAID (currency exchange loss)

2/20/2013 -  Lorna, Poblacion 3, Clarin, Misamis Occidental, Phillipines LOAN REPAID IN FULL

2/20/2013 - Kwamboka, Nyamira, Kenya

3/15/2013 - Halima, Malindi, Kenya LOAN REPAID IN FULL

3/15/2013 - Mwanaisha, Malindi, Kenya LOAN REPAID IN FULL

4/25/2013 - Leda Del Rosario, Managua, Nicaragu LOAN REPAID IN FULL

4/25/2013 - Seda, Ujanis village, Syuniq region, Armenia

5/15/2013 - Vilma, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines LOAN REPAID IN FULL

5/19/2013 - Teimuraz, Kutaisi, Georgia LOAN REPAID IN FULL

6/20/2013 - Leonora, Bogo, Cebu, Philippines

6/20/2013 - Sherry, Knoxville TN, United States

6/28/2013 - Zahava, Kiryat Ono, Israel

6/28/2013 - Ilkin, Azerbaijan

7/25/2013 - Sine, Albania

7/25/2013 - Luzdina, Pucallpa, Peru

7/25/2013 - Wossidji Iv Group, Warinibougou, Mali LOAN REPAID IN FULL

9/5/2013 -  Norma Carolina, Managua, Nicaragua

9/2/2013 -  Nubia Teresa, Montería, Colombia

9/22/2013 - Salina, Kapsabet, Kenya

9/29/2013 - Purevsuren, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

9/29/2013 - Sambath, Kampong Chhnang Province, Cambodia

10/1/2013 - Rinat, Beit Shemesh, Israel

11/3/2013 - Asiya, Ibanda, Uganda

11/3/2013 - Nafisakham, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

11/13/2013 - Harriet, Bombo Road, Uganda LOAN REPAID IN FULL

11/13/2013 - Elizabeth, Naivasha, Kenya

11/14/2013 - Sonia Antonieta, La Esperanza, Intibuca, Honduras

11/26/2013 - Lidia, Cochabamba, Bolivia

12/11/2013 - Teresa Aracely, Osicala, El Salvador

1/4/2014 - Queren Yined, Bogota, Columbia

1/4/2014 - Jorge Carlos, Cochabamba, Bolivia

1/9/2014 - Esther, Sanniquellie, Liberia

1/19/2014 - Sarim, Siem Reap, Cambodia

1/20/2014 - Betty, Kampala, Uganda

3/4/2014 - Hulkarkhon, Khujand, Tajikistan

3/4/2014 - Fenehas Jason, Hoima, Uganda

3/6/2014 - Maa Bastaren Group, MURIBAHAL, BALANGIR, ODISHA, India

4/10/2014 - Karine, Vanadzor, Armenia

4/10/2014 - Mona, Araara, Israel

4/10/2014 - Nermin, Kosova

4/10/2014 - Juana Patricia, El Salvador

4/17/2014 - Mentari Group, CILACAP, Indonesia

4/17/2014 - Analiza, Segatic Daku Misamis Occidental, Philippines

4/17/2014 - Shahnoz, Dushanbe, Tajikistan



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    Bionics and cyborgs

    A few years ago handicapped runners started to use new prostheses which looked like a curved thick metal sheet in a shape of a bird’s leg. The prostheses were flexible, enabled better spring and easier movement while running and the runners were achieving better times in races. Even discussions started whether these athletes could or should contest against the not handicapped ones. Surprisingly (or not), the not handicapped runners found such competition unfair, explaining that the prostheses have qualities human legs will never have and thus the handicapped runners would have great advantage over them.

    A few weeks ago I was reminded of that dilemma when I was listening to an interview with a man who lost his hand in an accident and got a high-tech bionic prosthesis. A prosthesis that not only replaced the lost hand but offered skills his human hand would never be capable of.

    Obviously, technology advantaged those people over “common people” in a certain way. Yet there is nothing to be envied as those are stories of people who had a nasty accident, went through a bad illness or were born physically disabled. The prostheses help them to live as normal life as possible which is their purpose and a remarkable achievement. As a “bonus” the people were given certain advantage but the advantage was actually just a side effect lacking general usefulness and was received at the cost of the loss. Would anyone want to sacrifice a part of their bodies to get a technical advantage instead? Under usual conditions, I doubt it.

    But think of another case. Once I watched a presentation of a man who was born colour-blind and could see only in shades of grey. Nowadays he wears a small apparatus on his head that scans colour frequencies in front of him and sends them into a chip implanted at the back of his head. The colour frequencies are transformed into audio frequencies there and he can hear the colours in the form of tones. Obviously not individual ones most of the time but their combinations. Thus he hears music of pictures, faces, food and on the contrary, music causes him to see colours. Is it surprising that he started painting what he hears? He even decided to widen the range of colours he can identify into the infrared and ultraviolet spectrums and can hear colours people cannot see.

    Although the human brain is a smart tool and can suppress something here or accent something else there, going through the process of getting used to the tones and their combinations and learning to identify them must have been tough. And yet the man says that it was worth the effort. It brought new and unexpected perspectives to his life. He feels enriched and encourages people to extend their sensual perception by using technology as part of their bodies.

    And here I started wondering. Would anyone not disabled want to put their health at risk by implanting electronic artificial objects into their bodies to get that kind of advantage? I am not the one but we humans have many faces and expectations and I know that the right answer to that question is “yes”. People always experimented with their bodies and minds in pursuit of new experiences and possibilities. Also, it has already been suggested that subcutaneous chips might be used for storing one’s data in a universal ID one would have with them all the time. But how much bionic or cyborg-like a person should become? Or should be allowed to become?

    In my opinion, implantation of various types of chips seems almost certain in not that far away future. And when it comes to survival, the future may require measures unconceivable now as people may need every advantage available. But for the time being, I am happy that there is still the option for everybody to make that decision.




    Considering its weightlessness... of late - it's been weighing heavily. How we measure and record it. How we name it - by the hour...the minute...the day...the month and often the year. How it can fly much too quickly...and how it can stop and stand perfectly still.

    The clock ticking. The calendar page turning. The seasons changing. The years passing from one to the next.

    And yet - we are all marking time. It confines and defines us. It demands and commands of us. It dictates how we spend our precious days.

    But - what is it this notion about the importance of time? Why is it that we try so hard to quantify and qualify that which is so indefinable...so impalpable...so beyond our control?

    To deny its importance would be to deny the importance of water and light and air. Time clearly exists - but how and where and why?

    I breathe in...and I breathe out. Time is passing. If I breathe slowly...will time slow too?

    These days - it seems - I'm looking back with a wistful longing and nostalgia...while at the same time looking forwards to all that's exciting and new. Somewhere here - in the middle of there - I find myself suspended. In one moment - I'm holding much too tight...in the next I'm letting everything go.

    And the wheels are churning and turning. I can't quite catch-up. Time doesn't stop. Not for me...not for anyone. Not for yesterday...and certainly not for tomorrow.

    I breathe in.

    I am here. Now. In this moment. In this real time.

    I can't touch it. I can't measure or weigh it. I can't see or hear or taste it. And yet - I can feel it.

    Somewhere in this indeterminate in-between - it somehow exists. I find myself suspended precariously between what was and what will be.

    Perhaps it is all in my mind.

    It will come. It will go. It always passes.

    I breathe out.

    I'm still here. In this moment. The only time is this time and just this...is this time.



    In search of the feminine

    The city of Rome is a masculine environment. The might of the Basillicas of both Ancient Rome and Vatican Rome, the heroic figures in the sculptures of the Piazza Navonna and the Trevi Fountain. The strong backs of suited men drinking espressos at cafe counters in the early morning. Rome has a magnificent male energy which I'm sure is soaked up in litres by the beautiful sallow skinned male population of Italy.

     So I went looking for the feminine.  

    And I couldn't resist the beauty, the softness and the quietly subsumed presence of the feminine, always there under the surface. It's in the beauty of the young women riding bicycles through the narrow streets; in the clusters of religious women on their way in and out of churches; in the many images of the Madonna reverentially adorned with lighted candles and spring flowers and in the amazonian women represented in the mosaics of the Colosseum. 

    Maybe the prominence of the masculine is all about looking back, while the influence of the feminine belongs to the world of the future? A world we are yet to fully imagine, where all that is now hidden is revealed. A world where managing the delicate balancing act between the comfort zones of quiet knowledge, with the public world of engagement and power, will become second nature?

    Just before we left Rome, on our last legs from another meandering hike through the streets, we sat admiring sculptures of four women holding up a beautiful fountain. Unlike many of the androgenous angels, they were female for sure!  And I couldn't take my eyes off them; their resilience, their quiet endurance, their unassailable beauty. 

    Today as I look out at this Irish Spring, I know why we rest so easily in the reflections of water splashing in the puddles of April showers; why we will sit and meditate for hours on a drift of daffodils; why we are not always ready to take on the patriarchy at full tilt; how we are going about it all in a more knowing and quiet way.

    And as a girl threw her coin in the Trevi Fountain and made a wish, I wondered if she knew all that too?