Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Any spare change?

I just got an e-mail from the orphanage that I visited this summer in Cambodia. I feel completely broken hearted because I look at the photos and remember the joy I felt while I was there. The orphanage runs completely off of donations and the kids have to live there no matter what because there is no where else for them to go. 

Each one of the children gets one of the lockers on the left
that is the entirety of their worldly possessions
They make most of their money form donations from
their dancing and now the performance area is flooded

There were recent storms; much like those we have experienced here and the orphanage was flooded. When I was there this summer it was very difficult for me to leave because of the spirit of the children was inspiring. I know that no one has extra money laying around but it really pains me that I don't know how to do more for these kids. The children at this orphanage live in conditions that we would consider completely substandard at best yet to them were paradise.This is not an organization the gets money form any "parent" group; they operate on 100% donations.

  • $32.00 is 50kg of rice which means a full day of rice for the 70 children who live there
  • $117.00 is 3 full meals per 70 children per day
Honestly if you are feeling extra kookie and have boat load of money you can donate it to me and I'll fly over there and stay for as long as my money will last to help rebuild everything they have lost. If you have any suggestions on how I can raise money to get me back there to help please let me know because it would be a 100% volunteer experience, but 100% worth it. In everything I have done in my life nothing has inspired me as much as being with those young people and seeing there hope in what from the outside looks like a hopeless situation. If you can help at all please please please go to the web site and donate. Orphanage Website

This summer this was their performance area.
I can't imagine how long it will take them to
raise the money to fix this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

They are my letters and I'll do what I want to!

When I was about eight I saw an episode of What Would You Do? on Nickelodeon. It was a challenge show that always had audience participation. I remember that I saw a large group of girls wearing letters of a different language on matching t- shirts and they looked so happy. I knew I wanted to know what that group was.  I thought maybe it was like adult Girl Scouts or something like that. When Marc Summers finally went to this group of girls the one he interviewed said, “these are my sorority sisters”. I don’t remember anything else about that show; not a single episode, and I was an avid watcher! The idea of a bond of sisterhood between women who aren’t related sticks with me to this day.
In college I had to do ethnography for my advanced writing requirement. I had to pick a culture and learn about their rituals, language and characteristics. This project came at the same time that I accepted my bid to join Alpha Phi. I was very open with the sisters and let them know that my interest and desire to be in A-Phi was not motivated by my ethnography. I told my friends in Center for Women’s Concerns and LGBA that I was only doing it for the ethnography.
Why was I so afraid to tell people that I wanted to be in a sorority? What story do Greek letters tell without saying a word? I am a natural “joiner” and lifetime Girl Scout. I love to be active and thrive in an environment that combines friendship, unity and fun. I am very philanthropic and love to get my friends involved in what I’m involved in. I scream “sorority girl”.
So what made me so scared to tell my parents I wanted to join? Why was I uncomfortable when I told my best friend that after I pledged I would be an Alpha Phi? Why do I continue to feel that I need to explain myself when someone learns that I am a member of a Greek organization?  It is because not everyone who wears their letters wears them with the respect that I do. I did not learn to respect Alpha Phi when I felt nervous about not knowing enough. I respect Alpha Phi because I now understand that I am part of a life - long adventure.
The same letters that sparked my interest so many years ago still spark a bit of anxiety in me and it is because of what women and men do in “honor” of those letters. When I think of my Alpha Phi founders and the courage they must have had to go to university in the 1870’s I wear my badge with honor. When I think of the thousands of women who have been helped by The Alpha Phi Foundation I proudly wear my sorority jacket. When I learn of a community organization that has experienced success because Alpha Phi’s volunteered their time to help I am eager to display my AF letters on my car, water bottle or favorite pen.
I want every little girl to see Greek letters and want to join a sorority. I want every young woman to go to university and fall in love with her organization so much that she wants every female she meets to become one of her sisters. I want every adult woman I know and meet to know what she can expect of me because I am an Alpha Phi. She can expect a friend, philanthropist, advocate and person of genuine moral character. She can expect to find a woman who has made mistakes and learned from them; a woman who hasn’t always embraced the true meaning of the letters Alpha and Phi. She can expect to find a woman who lives each day by the values that her sorority founders set out for her over a century ago. She can find a woman who believes that a woman deserves every opportunity her male counterpart may receive. She can find a woman who believes in her fraternity; a woman who believes in Alpha Phi. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The reverend is in

Well, I would bet just about anything that i'm one of the last people my family and friends thought would ever become an ordained minister but i did it. With the help of a little friend I call the internet I am now Reverend Cassie E. Andrews! I can't really get on board with religion but I can get on board with love and the right of any individual who is in love to be able to celebrate that with any type of ceremony they wish. One of my very best friends recently became engaged and it just felt like a cool gift for them. There is certainly no pressure on them to have me actually perform their wedding but hey it's thoughtful none the less!
Here is my deal:
The Universal Life Church has only two tenets:
To promote freedom of religion
To do that which is right
The Universal Life Church Monastery has recorded your application for ordination. It has been entered into the International Database of the Ministry of the Church, whose numbers total millions worldwide.
As a member of the Universal Life Church you are granted the ability to:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Battle o' Plattsburgh

My Saturday morning routine involves a trip to the farmers market, co-op and Koffee Kat. While the over sized leather couch in the back of the cafe doesn't fit aesthetically it makes a perfect reading spot to deter one from the bitter coffee and art that would make Deloris Umbridge giddy. Yesterday I was treated to an addition to my day by the celebration of the Battle of Plattsburgh. I have lived in Plattsburgh for the better part of a decade and yet never ventured downtown for this epic event. I really have never known what it was about at all so with a little help from the Internet and some leaflets handed out by girls in old timey dresses (who I am told were my good friends Lauren and Stacey when they were younger) I got my education. In a nutshell the red coats retreated because the hearty men of Plattburgh were also great seamen and drove those limey bastard back to Canada. I found the parade a humorous tribute to this battle since the majority of the performers were kilt clad and playing bagpipes. Maybe it's our way of saying thank you.. I don't know.
Regardless it was a very nice parade that raised a surprising amount of patriotism in me. As the men and women in uniform marched down the street the spectators stood and cheered while they clapped their hands around the small American flags that they waved proudly. It was very hometown and very emotional. I got a little misty myself as I watched and became part of the display of respect. 
The Eagle still soars

Perhaps they wanted the battle to go a different way

Didn't even got to see this in Scotland

Union Jack in place of the stars? WTF

We really love the UK!

Taco Kilt?

Friday, September 9, 2011

My daily life

Being back in Plattsburgh feels great. I was so nervous about coming back and being in a place that I left in such a negative frame of mind. My daily life is going well and I really like my internship a lot. I will actually get to start seeing clients next week so I am very excited about that. I'm not going to lie this blog is mainly for Lizzy because I promised her photos of my apartment and such. I bought myself a new camera since my completely died last week and I love the panoramic feature. Here are some shots of my life.
My internship clinic in Ward Hall

Hawkins Pond outside of my office

Hawkins Hall the building next to mine

My walk to work

My house


Dining room

Living room

Front entrance to my house

My lovely bedroom

Gotta have my Pez