" In this life we cannot do
Great things. We can only do small things with great love."

Mother Teresa

Sunday, October 17, 2010

So Proud!

I am so proud of Traveling Postcards! We are growing and emerging into an amazing resource that provides tools for accessing full self expression, the sharing of deep and compassionate wisdom between women all over the world, and the ability to shift patterns of repression into action for social change. So much progress has been made over the last several months and I am pleased to share one such story from a woman who has recently become a new friend and colleague. Consodyne Buzabo is a brilliantly talented artist who is deeply committed to bringing joy, education and healing through the arts to her community and to her country.

Conso is from Uganda
and has recently moved to California to join JFK University's Masters in Transformative Arts program. She shares her story of participating with Traveling Postcards in hopes of inspiring you to take action in your own community and to let you know that finding voice through creative action can have lasting and profound effects.

Soon the new postcards from both the Ugandan children and from the Marin Catholic High School students who responded to their cards will be coming to this Blog and to the Traveling Postcards website. see preview: video

Here is Conso's story:

I am a Ugandan and proud to be a part of that little landlocked country affectionately called the “Pearl of Africa”. As a society we are a proud people trying, like any other, to do the best we can, survive the way we know how. I can’t say why we consider emotions weak and a distraction or why it is hard for us to give or accept a compliment. Maybe it’s because we are society whose history has taught to be wary of visitors bringing gifts or new ideas. Maybe it’s because of what we have done to each other and what has been done to u
s or even our experiences. Whatever the reason, we are a community that has seen grief and pain and learnt to buck up and move on as that is the way life is. No one person is special, we all have the same story and experiences and the best way to survive is keep your head down and don’t rock the boat, even when you feel like the boat is sinking.

I had no idea what to expect when I went to ask the children in the In Movement program to make Traveling Postcards. Personally, making my own postcard was one of the hardest things to do. How do I let out feelings that I have been taught to keep silent? How do I encourage someone who is hurting when it
does not come naturally? For many of these children silence has been their refuge, their best friend. For many of them thinking about the pain, violence, grief and nightmares the women in Congo are facing would be facing their own personal nightmares. So how could I ask these children to do what I myself was finding hard to do?
I was completely
In Movement, a non profit organization that began in Uganda in 2003 has a simple mission. They believe that the expressive arts are a very powerful tool of empowerment for youth, unlocking vast potential for personal growth and
transformation. By encouraging creative risk-taking in safe, supportive and empowering settings, they are planting seeds that can assist youth in helping to transform their society, and lead happier, healthier, and more satisfying lives.
In other words they provide a safe place for the children to express themselves, learn who they uniquely are and be proud of them selves.
Many of the children who were a part of the Traveling Postcards project are students who have been part of the In movement program for a few years and so are more in open to expressing themselves freely among strangers than the average Ugandan child. Because they have been appreciated and been told that they are special and unique, they were able to pass this on.
Many of them had n
ever made a postcard before or even received one but they were eager to pass on the message that they have received; one of inspiration and hope. It did not matter if the was artistic or aesthetic. All that mattered was that someone somewhere would know they were loved.
The card making was a success the children wanted to make a second one of their own for the women and guardians in their lives, to let them know that they care for them.
Am still in the process of making my own traveling postcard, and slowly it is taking shape and am not afraid anymore that is isn’t symmetrical, colorful or perfect but I hope that whoever receives it will know one thing… I see you. I appreciate you. I love. I care.
And hopefully the women who receive the children’s cards will know this too.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lisa's Story

I asked Lisa if she wouldn’t mind sharing her story with you in this Blog posting. Her story is both inspirational and universal. It is a story of awareness, overcoming fear and realizing great potential. It is a story of one woman looking for a way to help others and in doing so, connecting to her greatest source of wisdom. It is also the story of one woman’s experience of Traveling Postcards.

It is my hope that through Traveling Postcards women will find their voice and stand together with small gestures from their hearts and hands, and offer healing and empowerment to women all over the world. Thank you Lisa for your bravery and for your commitment to serving women through such a profound and personal story.

“You asked if I would share my story with others because you thought my story might help them. Yes, I am happy to serve others in that way.

As I mentioned to you during our conversation, I had been looking for some type of community service to get involved in for some time now. However I was having difficulty figuring out what to do. For some reason, I thought I had to do something huge and it had to have a major impact on my community or the world. This thought then made me think that what had to be done was too big, too overwhelming for me to do, and that I would just be paralyzed with fear and abandon the idea. Thus, I never got involved in anything at all.

I’m not sure how I found Traveling Postcards online but suffice it to say, I believe it’s God’s will. The quotation by Mother Teresa that you have posted on your home page “In this life we cannot do great things; we can only do small things with great love.” resonated with me. In fact it was an “Aha moment” for me. What a powerful realization! Doing something very small with great love and how great the impact of that small deed could be.

Despite the fact that I really wanted to make the postcard, it took me some time to actually make one. My self-doubt, perfectionism, fear of not being good enough prevented me from making the card. I thought for weeks about the card…what it should look like, how I would decorate it, what it should say. I thought about all the supplies that I would get to make the card. I kept looking at the cards you had posted on the website to get ideas. The more I looked at those cards , the more discouraged I got and thought any card that I made would not be as beautiful or wouldn’t have a good enough message.

Then one day, at my ladies book club meeting, we got to discussing how we wished we could help other women around the world and the subject about the women in the Congo and the atrocities they were experiencing came up. Everyone kept on saying what can we do? So I mentioned Traveling Postcards to my group. I shared with them that each one of them could make a postcard with a message of love, hope and encouragement to be sent to the City of Joy which was being built for the women of the Congo. My sharing this really touched a couple of my friends who emailed me the next morning telling me how my passionate share the evening before was inspiring and that they appreciated it. These messages of love and support from my friends somehow gave me the courage to make my first postcard. I just used whatever I could find around the house and made it. The poem I wrote was something I had written when I first thought about making the postcard. It came straight from my heart full of great love.

When I looked at the postcard I made , I started to criticize myself and started the whole process of obsessing about how it wasn’t good enough. I knew that if I didn’t mail it right away, I would end up ripping it up. So before I could change my mind, I sent it off to you. Mailing that first postcard to you was one of the most difficult things I had to do. A few days later , I went on your website and saw my postcard and the note I sent with it posted on your blog. Wow! That was an amazing moment for me. I t made me cry. My postcard looked so lovely and the message on it very touching. It made me feel so good about myself.

You asked me why I made the card, what compelled me to make it despite my fears, my lack of self worth, my perfectionism. I made it because I wanted to be of service. That desire superseded my fears. I realized that even if it was something very small, even if it was for only one person, I wanted to be of service. Something I forgot to tell you about is that the words of encouragement from my girlfriends also catalyzed my intention into action. Kind loving words are so powerful.

The most amazing thing about making the postcard is that I gained so much by serving another. I felt empowered. I gained self-worth. I created something beautiful for someone and put a lot of love into it. Hopefully it would diminish some of her pain and give her hope knowing another cared about her. I learned an important lesson when I put that card in the mail. I learned to trust and let go. I had to trust that the card was going to be good enough and had to let go of my fears. “

Saturday, July 24, 2010

From Niger

I would like to dedicate this blog to Annette Frost who has been working with the Peace Corps in Niamey, Niger for the last two years. She is my cousin’s oldest daughter and doesn’t really know me that well, but enthusiastically agreed to create Traveling Postcards with her community. She has been living in West Africa since 2008 and has a fabulous blog chronicling her work. http://thisispeacecorpsinniger.blogspot.com/ We have been getting to know each other primarily through Face book (and me reading her blog)! Here is a little of her story and please note how incredibly impressed and in awe I am of this strong, intelligent and beautiful woman and the work she is doing. I am also so proud to have received 24 handmade postcards from the young women in her village. The cards are cut from cardboard and covered with beautiful African fabric. Each card has an expression of hope and support for the women of the Congo. Traveling Postcards is eager to collect women’s voices from all over the world. Cards that are received will be collected, archived, exhibited and then given away. If you know of anyone working to empower women in their communities, please tell them about Traveling Postcards and the opportunity to share their wisdom with women all over the world!

From Annette:

“I run group de jeune femmes in my village and we basically discuss ways in which poor rural women can help themselves when they are not being offered outside assistance. My girls are all unmarried students between age 15-18. Many still do not have great writing skills. I tried to translate some of what was written on the backs of the cards. We used the resources available to us in a project aimed to make people realize that they are never alone in their suffering, and that there are woman all over the world experiencing all sorts of hardship. Niger has been ranked at times the world's poorest country, and most hard to live in on the UN index. These girls know essentially this and it is helpful to know they aren't the only ones. When I asked what they thought some of the hardships American women faced were, they laughed and said Americans don't know hardship. We took the time to talk about all sorts of woman all over the world and the struggles they face, and what women can do to help themselves stay above these struggles. After that we made these postcards to send a message of continuing strength and support to the women of Congo, and as a message of unity among African women.

Hope they arrive safely. Cheers, Annette.”

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


It is with great sadness that I learned of Eve Ensler’s cancer, but I have great faith in her resiliency. Eve is an extraordinary woman who will continue to be a force of compassionate action for women all over the world. We are all better off from her years of selfless work and she continues to motivate me to try and heal the suffering of so many women the best way I know how. ..as an artist.

I would like to reach out to all women and encourage you to share the wisdom in your hearts. Traveling Postcards is offering you an opportunity to make a difference in the world by simply expressing your hard earned knowledge in a card. Your life experiences matter. We are working towards gathering your voices…all of them! We want to exhibit your thoughts and your wisdom in a collective showing of creative strength. All Traveling Postcards that are received will be archived and placed on our website.

Over the next several years we will be traveling and exhibiting your work so that everyone can see what we know to be true and powerful…our collective wisdom as women. Please make a card either individually or with a favorite group of friends and send them to me. I will care for them all.

I will keep you updated on the changes and growing movement of Traveling Postcards and I encourage you to contact me with your ideas , your experiences and the wisdom in your heart. Thank you

For those of you who want more insights from Eve Ensler please click on this link. The Guardian

Friday, May 7, 2010


Traveling Postcards has the profound pleasure to announce that within the last several months, we have received over 100 new cards! These handmade cards will travel to the women and girls who will be living in the City of Joy in Bukavu. It is with so much gratitude that I have received each and every card and it is with that same love, compassion and commitment to healing that these cards will be received.

I have word that the City of Joy will open either late this year or early 2011. Until then, I will gladly continue to accept cards for the women in Congo. It is my hope that by connecting to our sisters all over the world through creative action, we have connected from our hearts and our actions will ease suffering. What is the most loving thing we can do right now? Take care of yourself, slow down, build deeper relationships with those you love, and find a way to open your heart.

Traveling Postcards and the commitment to bringing awareness and healing to women whose life experiences demand humanitarian action will create a new chapter in creative action beginning in June! Stay tuned and as usual I welcome new ideas and new destinations for creative healing. In the meantime look to the to the website for continuous postings of the new and beautiful artwork that is streaming in! Please add your voice!

With gratitude…