Eight eager foreign students from the New School arrived in Pune, wide-eyed yet uncertain about what we were there to see. The decision to take the trip came after a week of site visits with slum communities in Mumbai who work with the National Slum Dwellers Federation (the Federation) on savings, sanitation, and relocation.

While meeting with Jockin Arputham, he emphatically told us that “everything began in Pune; you cannot start your work here until you see Pune.”

The four of us are documenting the informal mechanisms by which knowledge is transferred from current Federation community leaders in Mumbai to younger generations.

Our goal in Pune, aside from understanding its importance within the Federation, was to sneak in a couple of questions about knowledge transfer during our whirlwind 36-hour stay.

The organization’s process of knowledge transfer has many layers. The leaders formulate the enumeration survey questions by spending time in communities and reflecting on their own experiences: “We live in slums; these are the questions we come across in our daily lives.”

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Five things I’ve been thinking a lot about:

1) Wanderlust: it’s really beneficial to work/live in a different city if you suffer from wanderlust [definition: a very strong or irresistible impulse to travel] because you’re constantly surrounded by new people, new places, and new things to do. Living in the city [Toronto] for the summer allows me to reconnect with people I wouldn’t otherwise see often, try different restaurants, shop at different stores, and go different places.

I can ride the subway wherever I want [although, I don’t, because I’ve become one of those pretentious people that one goes where I can walk to. I ain’t paying $3 to go 5 blocks!] and pretty much do whatever I want. haha. It’s fun! [I should write about all the places I’ve been so far…]

I love searching places on Yelp, in particular, looking for local desserts, cafes, and eateries to try out and enjoy.

this city is now my oyster!

2) Working with men: in the past, I have written about my personal conviction not to have male friends; not to build intimate relationships with men through shared experience, memory making, whatever with the opposite sex out of respect for my future husband. anyways. That might all sound sketchy or foolish. You can read the post here.

The fact is that “breaking up” with my guy friends was not an easy or welcomed thing. but I did it coz I could see that that was something God was placing on my heart. since then I have rejected all notions of really being friends with guys, and have a heightened sensitivity to it. How strange, then, it is to find myself in a work environment where the people I work most closely with, the ones whom I have hit it off best with, are guys.Read More →

I’ve driven an automatic vehicle three times in my life, one of them was today. I sat in the driver’s seat and took a few moments to look at the levers and remembering how they worked. When I was a farmer, in another life, I bought a one-ton truck to take my lambs to market and bring home one-ton bags of barley.

The first time I drove it I spent at least ten minutes trying to get the key out of the ignition before realizing I had to put it in park. Today, after momentarily panicking when I couldn’t find the clutch, I managed to back it out of my employer’s driveway and drive off. I had to keep reminding myself there were no gears and it was OK to keep my foot on the accelerator although I still felt a flutter of dread in my stomach every time I drove up to a stop sign or red light.

I was more than glad to get rid of it, get back in my own vehicle and head off to the post office. I was expecting to pick up a returned priority express letter I had sent to my son in Vancouver. Was Canada post unable to deliver it? It wasn’t there.Read More →

Wow. Can I just exclaim how crazy things have been lately? But not in a bad way or anything. Things are just falling into place. And I like it. As you already know, I move on to my new studio apartment (that will have a renovated bathroom and new kitchen ceiling tiles — woot!).

I have decided to go ahead and go with John to Traverse City as planned the first week of  September as well. Because I think it’s the last hurrah that we both need. Or something like that.

The subject of me moving has been a very sensitive subject for the two of us and we don’t talk about it much…But he’d have to be completely blind to not notice that I’ve been making preparations for said move.

I bought a giant area rug for the main living/bedroom. In sage green.  My bedding is pink and sage green. Totally cute. Anyway….
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Yet again, Christine Kane hits home with her recent newsletter talking about steps to decluttering and the excuses we use to keep clutter in our lives.  This got me thinking how business owners often do the same thing with their business.

With Spring officially only a few weeks away I thought I’d provide some excuses business owners use to keep clutter in their business and what you need to do about it.

Excuse #1 – I can’t stand work with this client!

If you wake up in the morning dreading the client call, meeting or project with a particular client that is difficult to work with it’s time to reassess and deal with it.  If you truly can’t stand to work with them, if they repeat patterns that you’ve had discussions about, or they’re not listening to your advice that they are paying you for then ditch ‘em!  Yes! Toss them to curb (mind you, you probably want to be a bit nicer than that when you do).Read More →

Life in the slums is one of unique characteristics. These characteristics directly inspire the housing typologies that arise within a slum. The distinct creations that derive from Dharavi and slums around India are solely based on its inhabitants; everyone is an architectural designer.

Every settlement has unique social, cultural, and architectural characteristics influenced by the composition, history, and nature of the settlement.

Realizing that every settlement is different, we are obliged to visit different locations to understand the particularities that exist in the ecologies of the urban slum.

Our visit to Pune, on 15th and 16th June 2015, exposed us to two distinct projects under the BSUP (Basic Services for Urban Poor) program under JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission).

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Unfortunately, people leave school every year without any A Level qualifications. They may then go on to do a number of different things with their lives before thinking of returning to education.

Many distance learning A Level qualifications have an online element in that you can liaise with your individual tutor via email as well as using forums to discuss your course with others who are doing the same one.

In the rest of this article we’ll look at some of the groups of people who decide to have a second go at achieving the A Level qualifications they want.

  • High achievers

It’s not just people who have already left school that choose to do online qualifications. Younger school pupils with an obvious talent in a particular subject may decide to fast-track their learning to gain their qualifications earlier than their peers.

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Well, I’m on yet another mission to find a great church this coming up weekend. I tried out one for awhile and it was just…too big. I haven’t had the time (because of working most Sunday evenings) or chance to go to their group for people my age. It’s become very frustrating.

Maybe I’ll find something smaller…there are a few churches that have mostly younger folks in the congregation. Goodness…I’m not really younger anymore. 26 in a little over a week. Scary.

Anyhow…some time before that, I was trying the Catholic thing. Don’t even ask me why. I wasn’t raised Catholic; quite the opposite, really. My brother, though, converted at some point to Messianic Judaism and I guess I was just looking to get involved in something..Kind of similar? Ok,not the same, but I must admit that some of their traditions…

The Catholic ones, of course…that get passed on from family to family is all kind of appealing. But yeah, I had gotten this free book through the internet and gone to St. Thomas Moore here in Kalamazoo.
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