Sustainable Living

Somedays I just forget to take pictures….

Kevin had an all-hands meeting at his work today.  I don’t know the details of it, but it sounds as if half the company is being let go.  The CEO said at the rate that they’re going, the company will run out of money by December 2013.  Everyone who is staying needs to come up with new product ideas to help get sales higher.  Kevin was supposed to come to JYG at Santa Inez today, but he didn’t think it would be a good idea to leave right after such a harsh announcement.  He will probably need to start working on side projects more now.

I had a great day with some Junior Youth in the neighborhood.  Aaron came and we took three girls and a a boy over to our house.  We read from Breezes of Confirmation and talked about what a world would look like when we prefer others before ourselves.  I think I want to plan an activity for next week that will involve students to come up with how they should respond in certain situations if 1) they prefer themselves over others, 2)they treat each other equally and 3) they prefer others over themselves.

There was also an art project that I saw from some friends on facebook in a neighborhood called Summit in Pasadena.  It involved making a paper-mache globe and writing on it:

Ye were created to show love to one another…”
(Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 138)

Little events in the daily life of the neighborhood make it so enjoyable to live and work here.  We took the junior youth to the local grocery store to treat the group in honor of a member’s birthday, and there I came across four children from my children’s class.  Three of them related and one there separately.  They were so excited to see me and I offered to buy everyone a little treat at the store.  This consisted of either ice cream or hot cheetos (which I have very sad feelings hout).  I think the people at La Hacienda were confused as to why all these kids were surrounding the cash register, but it was such a nice moment.

I’ll leave you with the one picture that I took from today.  It is of Nike, a dog from my doggy daycare business.



Making A Living

We both decided that the growth of the core activities, and of our relationships with our neighborhood was a very important aspect of living in this neighborhood.  Kevin has so many wonderful qualities, including being an amazing programmer and leader in his field.  Because his work takes him out of the neighborhood more than he likes, we agreed that it would be best for me to work from home so that I can build these relationships everyday.

This allows me to run a paper-company from my home (as well as several other random means of income).  Initially the desire for the paper company was to work with mothers of small children who could not otherwise find work.  I still aspire to do this, but I found doing that very difficult for several reasons.  One reason was that my Spanish around crafting topics was not strong enough to correctly teach them and give them expectations.  This left me with more work than initial, and no income from the products they created, just costs.  Another was that we wanted to work with women who were already involved in a lot of community building exercises with us.  The spiritual and material dimensions of existence are connected, mutually reinforcing, and indeed reflected in one another.  The point of this was so that they saw the purpose of making money as to improve their families and their communities, instead of just themselves.  Of course I think that most women think this way in general, so this just requires more work on my part to engage women more often.  But since I am so new at running a business myself, I need to get my bearings before any large projects with more women can start.

Until then, the kids from the neighborhood are learning a lot of craft skills when they come-over.  Since they speak English, instructing them is actually a lot easier and the work I get is much higher because of this improved communication.  Perhaps over time they can begin working with other women.  I can’t wait to see how this little business evolves.