On January 5, 2015 we set the ashes of my mother, Muriel Crowe adrift at sea. It’s over 5 years since she died and I think about her and miss her every day. Mom was a strong and courageous woman: a communist at the height of McCarthyism, a white single mother of a black child in the 1950s and a fierce anti-facist, trade unionist and civil rights activist. My earliest memories are of picket lines, protest rallies and poker games (where the talk was more about politics than cards). Almost until the end of her life she read the paper daily and kept abreast (and appalled by) the state of the world. We shared a love of reading, the ocean and swimming.
She was my first and finest example of living life on your own terms. I’m so grateful that she’s my mother! This quote was read at her memorial service.
Chiang Rai is known for its colorful edifices. Our lovely group of 10 set off from Chiang Mai to explore the Blue and White Temples and the Black House. We left at 6 am for the 4 hour drive to Chiang Rai in a comfortable air conditioned van. Our driver, Pituk, was friendly and helpful. We made one stop half way there at a local hot springs. There we had a restroom break and were able to purchase some local fruits, goodies and clothes.
Today BOLT walked and ran for women’s rights and other social justice issues. It was a wonderful experience at beautiful Huey Tueng Tao Lake in Chiang Mai with over 800 people!
The event was sponsored by BABSEACLE. According to their website “BABSEACLE collaborates globally in the development of justice education and access to justice initiatives while simultaneously fostering generations of pro bono minded champions. BABSEACLE’s mission is to help establish, strengthen and support Access to Justice and Rule of Law in Asia and globally through justice education, including a core focus on legal ethics, professional responsibility and pro bono awareness raising.”
We hope you enjoy these photos of what we saw on this lovely morning!
Early in November I got an email from GirlTrek.org. They inspired me to start a new tradition, right here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Today, Friday, November 29 we gathered at a local park and got our walks/runs on. It was a wonderful way to work off our big Thanksgiving meals, talk and get to know each other better. The Brothers and Sisters of Chiang Mai were well represented! From Northern and Southern California; Louisville, KY; Washington, DC; Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Philadelphia, PA, the Cayman Islands; Eritrea; Little Rock, AK; and Lampang, Thailand we showed up and out!
Hope you enjoy the pictures from this glorious day and of these amazing folks!
I first heard about Girl Trek back in 2010. These 2 sisters were on the radio talking about how we, Black women, are dying! Dying from hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and stress. They had a simple message: walking can save us.
In their own words: “GirlTrek is not a fitnesss organization, this is a campaign for healing. This is not recreation. This is a lifestyle. We walk to heal our bodies, inspire our families, and to reclaim the streets of our neighborhoods. We believe in the discipline and power of walking to transform our lives, enliven our communities, and restore our humanity.”
Inspired, I signed up right after and committed to daily walks. I also formed a Girl Trek team in the Los Angeles area and encouraged other sisters to walk for wellness.
Girl Trek is in fire! The organization has grown in leaps and bounds. They are now the largest public health nonprofit for African-American women and girls in the United States!
There are over 10,000 women walking with Girl Trek. Oprah is a sponsor, they’ve been written up in Essence, Ebony and have been on CNN.
Harriet Tubman is an inspiration for the Girl Trek movement. Their motto is “If Harriet could walk herself to freedom, we can walk ourselves to better health!”
Kathy and I participated in and completed their 100 mile challenge and are in their “Harriet Hall of Fame”. We received beautiful t shirts as gifts from Girl Trek!
I’m currently excited about the Girl Trek 30 Day Challenge: Walks and Acts of Service to Honor Harriet Tubman. I’m doing the challenge with my bestie and it’s great to share daily about how we met the daily challenge goals.
I hope this post will encourage you to check out Girl Trek, join and spread the word. #weareharriet
To honor the 94 Birthday of Thich Nhat Hanh we traveled to the south of Thailand. It was a wonderful and spiritually rewarding experience!
Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, founder of the Plum Village Tradition. He is a leader in the engaged Buddhism movement and a teacher in the practice of mindfulness.
Thay (teacher) as he is affectionately known established many retreat centers the world over. He spent most of his life at Plum Village in France. Sadly, he had a stroke and is no longer able to speak. He has returned to his birthplace in Hue, Vietnam to live out his days.
The retreat center we went to is the Thai Plum Village. For 3 days we enjoyed various types of meditation; remembrances of Thay by the nuns and monks; talks on mindfulness; periods of noble silence and meditation walks.
ur accomodations were in simple and clean dormatory style rooms. We were served three delicious vegan meals a day.
The center is in a lovely part of Thailand, surrounded by national park land. To get there it was an 11 hour bus trip to Bangkok and then a 3 hour ride to the center. We will definitely take a plane from Chiang Mai to Bangkok next time. The long bus ride was less than comfortable.
Despite the difficult trip there, Kathy and I are making plans to visit again soon. We highly recommend Thai Plum Village for those looking for an experience in mindfulness. If you art not in Thailand, remember, there are centers the world over.