The Bay Area Dispatch of Doom Vol. 15 (name change edition)

Hello friends,

I’ve taken to eating giant salads at around 5 or 6 PM each day. It allows me to go light on lunch and avoid going to bed feeling too full. My estimate is that each such salad has about ten servings of vegetables. I also use dangerous levels of turmeric and cumin. And yes, I’ve finally changed the name of the Dispatch of Doom. Until such a time as I find myself in a more permanent location for work (more on that later), this will remain the new title.

My life as a Faiths Act Fellow is drawing to a close here in the Bay Area, but not before we knock out a dozen more events and hold aYouth Leadership Summit at a conferencethat we’ve helped to organize. Next Sunday the 25th is World Malaria Day.We’ll be joining our voices with thousands of advocates and activists across the world to help eradicate deaths from malaria. The Fellowship terminates at the end of May. To be completely frank, I don’t think we can beat malaria by then, but I’ll do my best to make the deadline. :)

I’m a supporter of the religious response to issues of social inequity and global crisis, but the last year has totally changed my grasp of the scope of just what faith communities and individuals can do. I have a deeper sense of the potential of common action for the common good – if there’s one thing that people of faith have by the boatload, it’s hope. That incredible energy is something that I’d like to continue exploiting, in the most benign sense, of course. Which brings me to the main thrust of this Dispatch: your help.

I have two “asks” of you this time around. The first is that you swing over to the fundraising site that Hafsa and I set up: http://www.firstgiving.com/bayareamalaria and make a small gift towards the purchase of lifesaving bed nets. The money goes to Malaria No More at the end of May. $10 will buy a bed net that protects families from the mosquitoes that carry the disease. Also, until the end of May, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, will personally match every dollar (or pound, for that matter). That means two nets for the price of one. All the Fellows are working furiously to bankrupt him – join in on the fun!

The second ask is some help in extending my network. You all knew this message would come someday – consider this the formal announcement of my free agent status. I’ve been actively searching for employment since February, and I’ve had promising telephone interviews and more than a few rejection notices. I’m not discouraged (yet); I have many weeks before June 1st, and am still waiting for word on other applications. Click here to download a copy of my current resume as well as a sample cover letter that lists a few ideas about my direction in case you’re not all that familiar with my past (a few keywords: grant writing, writing/copyediting, social media, project management). I don’t want to abandon the interfaith sphere if at all possible, and I’m still very much interested in pursuing a career in international development and the nonprofit world in general. If you could pass my name along to possibly interested parties, I’d be eternally grateful. That was a lot easier than I thought it’d be.

So I bid you all adieu until my next report, which in an ideal world will still be called the Bay Area Dispatch of Doom (I love it out here), when I can hopefully talk about next steps as well as the successes of the Faiths Act Fellowship.

If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask. Cayenne pepper has astounding anti-inflammatory properties. A teaspoon a day if you can manage it will do great things. Also, eating an avocado by scooping it out with Wheat Thins is surprisingly tasty. And as always, keep up the good work.

N.B. Poetry break for this Dispatch will be “Postscript” by Seamus Heaney. Enjoy:

And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you’ll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.
From THE SPIRIT LEVEL (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996

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