Thursday, February 5, 2009

Re-entry and Rising to Action

Hey there Fellow Travelers on the Adventures in Hope,

Back in the ol’ USA, and the overriding sentiment is gratitude. Returning home from a developing country always gives way to immense realizations about the wonderful things we have here. I am thankful for the open arms and inspiration I have here in the U.S. I am also thankful to Nora, friends, and women in Peru who continue to make me a more loving and humble person.

This week I hit the ground running; the business of nonprofit doesn’t stop for anything. Nothing does in our culture I suppose. The amazing DHF volunteer team had rounded up their own inspiration to prepare for our February event…for those of you in Austin, we hope you can physically join us. For those of you who are connected to this blog from afar, if you feel inspired to join in on the collective effort, we welcome you.

Our next event is confirmed for Thursday February 26, 2009 at The Great Outdoors from 7pm-9:30pm: This amazing garden center is perfect for our theme, “Planting Seeds of Hope.” The purpose of the event is to ignite Hope for the women we work with—and to collectively raise $6000 to fund the “Hope House”—the development center for women to cultivate their entrepreneurial passions in Peru. The team of volunteers has imagined up innovative fun for guests to be as connected as possible to the Hope House. You’ll have the map of the center, you’ll enjoy video footage walking you through the center, and we’ll introduce you further to the classes and the women. Of course, everything will be accented with food, drinks, and good Austin music. Invites will go out next Monday the 9th; I am really proud to now have the opportunity to connect some of what Nora and I worked on in January to the brilliant people on the north side of the equator. If you’re not in Austin and you want to be part of the fabric of Hope House, just write to me at or visit

On another note, I wanted to share with you all a video clip that was created by Producer Lyn Graft of Club E Network. The video footage about DiscoverHope is from an annual entrepreneurs’ conference we have here in Austin, RISE Austin. Lyn asked me the question: ‘What is the most difficult thing about being an entrepreneur?” Here is the video he made of my answer (and he named it himself!): option=com_seyret&Itemid=276&task=videodirectlink&id=283

For those of you who live in Austin, the RISE conference is from March 2-5 and is absolutely inspiring. For 3.5 days, nearly 1000 entrepreneurs share with one another their expertise from multiple industries and backgrounds and connect with each other as well as members of the academic, financial, non-profit, and government sectors. You can attend as many “classes” as you want during the week, and it’s absolutely free. I’ll once again host a session on March 4 from 12-1:30 on “How to Start a Nonprofit.” If you’re looking to get connected, find a job, learn specialized information, you should be here! Check it out at

Finally, in Nora’s fashion of honoring her Dad, I am going to end this one by honoring my brother Mike, who is an LT Colonel Emergency Medicine Doctor who got called back to Iraq for the second time with 18 months left of service after 20 something years. He leaves in a week or so, and it’s just a reminder to me of how life delivers unexpected twists and turns through all the things we do and are. Life moves on many levels, we work, we play, we hurt, we wonder, we love, we... I honor him for the work he does “repairing the broken” and I am sure words can’t describe the emotion in that.

Some great words from him he once gave to me: So much of everything is fleeting, gone and only remembered in our own ways…ways we perceived what we said, what we saw, all the things we did, have done, and those great things someday I know we will do together…someday…we will be long, funny, happy, sad, and beautiful books and stories that intertwine and seem familiar through love and friendship. These and “us” will live on in all those we have touched, through our children, not yet born; through people listening to our words and music. I hope you continue to genuinely touch people in the way that you do now…with beauty, love, and yet a true empathy for some of the thick and tragic sadness that exists in all of our worlds and in each one of us, and in each one of “we.”

To genuine empathy. MM

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