Blogathon: #19 – The People I Know

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Earlier I had posted a tribute to my WorldSmart August 2005 crew for our one-year anniversary. My crew consists of some of the most amazing people I have ever known; people with dreams, with ambitions, with goals. Here’s a sampling.

Katie is an aspiring performer and filmmaker based in California. She’s very vocal about women’s rights – she had been involved in a book project, “Women in Shadow and Light”, about women who survived rape and domestic abuse. She’s also constantly updating us on her new adventures in showbiz and entertainment. During our tour she filmed us all for a documentary she was making. She manages to pack so much into so little time – singing, production for MTV, women’s rights work, SKG work, and loads more. She’ll be running a marathon for charity soon – I don’t have the link with me now but I’ll share it when I get it.

Elizabeth defines the word “traveller”. This half-Italian half-English lady spent most of her educational life travelling – before coming on Up With People she was in Spain for her Masters. After Up With People she was accepted into the Peace Boat as an English/Spanish teacher, and travelled all over the Southern Hemisphere with people from all over the world, exploring cultures and sharing her knowledge. She would regularly send us updates from her diary that she kept while on the boat – her writings have the spirit of a gypsy, contemplating her travels, seeing the magic that lies behind every step and turn. I don’t think she’ll stop travelling and I hope she never does.

Eston came into Up With People fresh out of MIT with plans for opening a leadership school in his native Kenya. He was quite the funny guy, with his ideas and his way of interacting with people. After Up With People he worked in the World Bank for a while, but a day or two ago he just wrote to us saying that he’s started work on his dream. Now this is a guy with passion.

Myoungshin was full of ideas and plans during our Up With People tour. He and Eston started Project Kaizen, which aimed to analyze Up With People’s strengths and weaknesses – their findings led to some of the changes that affect Up With People today. He was constantly analysing, relating our experiences to what’s going on in the world, giving ideas on how we can make a difference. He’s worked as a peacekeeper in the UN and is now there working on leadership programs. I think he can take over the world if he wanted to!

Bally is the upcoming Prime Minister of Great Britain. Mark my words, she will be. She took no nonsense and looked for the real story behind everything; she wasn’t prepared to take things at face value. She’s very honest; if there’s something she’s not happy about, she’ll say it, but she’ll also say it if there’s something she’s quite happy with. She was a video intern during our tour and was always seen with a camera; she definitely made us all look good on film! She’s very trustworthy and fair; I’m sure that when she gets her Politics career started (that is what she’s interested in) she will be a hit with her constituents.

Jessica is the human personification of sunshine. Literally. She GLOWS no matter what the situation. Even when she’s sad she’s shining. She’s the only person I know who can make a migraine sound happy. She has the purest soul of anyone I know. She’s willing to help out and reach out to someone in trouble. She’s never judgemental of anybody; she regards everyone as beautiful in their own right. She turns rainclouds into rainbows. She sees the best in every situation and doesn’t let anything get her down. She’s an AMAZING singer, and she loves working with kids; during the program she had an epiphany to take up music therapy. I’m sure she’ll shine!

There are so many amazing stories of the people in my crew; perhaps I’ll share more if I have the time. They rock!

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