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Virtual Ability, Inc. announces the third annual Mental Health Symposium to be held Saturday, April 26th, 7:00 am PDT/SLT to 5:00 pm PDT/SLT in Second Life®. The theme of this year’s conference is “Quality of Life.”

Virtual Ability Island

Virtual Ability Island

The World Health Organization defines quality of life as an individual’s “perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, standards and concerns.”

Quality of life is important to us all, but may be more difficult to attain for those with mental health issues. Overall quality of life is affected by psychological state, physical health, level of independence, social relationships, personal values and beliefs, and the relationship of all of these to the person’s environment.

Symposium presentations include (in alphabetical order):
•    Hillary Bogner, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, will offer insights from her research on depression among older adults.
•    Colleen Crary, Executive Director of Fearless Nation, Inc., will share lessons from adversity for creating a vibrant life.
•    Dick Dillon, CEO of Innovaision, LLC, shares surprising information about why some recovering addicts become “weller than well.”
•    Teresa Goddard, Senior Consultant with the Job Accommodation Network, will inform us about attaining employment equality through accommodation and self-advocacy.
•    Dr. Christine Karper and Michelle Stone, members of the American Counseling Association’s Cyber Task Force, will talk about the role of counseling and virtual service delivery.
•    Dr. Jacquelyn Ford Morie, University of Southern California, will describe the use of virtual worlds as healing spaces for veterans.
•    Dr. Nicolas Rüsch, of the University of Ulm, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, will explain the results of his research on well-being among persons at risk of psychosis, focusing particularly on shame and stigma.

Alice Krueger, president of Virtual Ability, Inc., stated: “I am pleased to see an increasing focus on quality of life in mental health care in recent years, since many persons with mental health diagnoses struggle with these issues. The Symposium’s international presenters are acknowledged experts in their fields. I will be interested to hear what they have to say on these important topics. Please join us on April 26 to learn more from a variety of exciting speakers!”

All sessions, done in voice and text simultaneously, will take place at The Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island within Second Life®:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/53/172/23

The full schedule of presentations is posted at http://www.virtualability.org/conferences/mh-symposium/mh-symposium-2014/.

The Sojourner Auditorium

The Sojourner Auditorium

About Virtual Ability, Inc.
Virtual Ability, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation based in Denver, Colorado, dedicated to enabling people with a wide range of disabilities by providing a supporting environment for them to enter and thrive in on-line virtual worlds like Second Life®.

For more information on Virtual Ability, Inc., including the benefits of virtual worlds for people with disabilities, please see http://www.VirtualAbility.org.

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Johnny Cash' boyhood home, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Johnny Cash’s boyhood home, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us today, Monday 31st March at 2pm at the Designing Worlds studio in Garden of Dreams for a special viewing party of today’s Designing Worlds show as visit a fascinating project at the University of Arkansas region that recreates Johnny Cash‘s boyhood home, as part of a broader look at the effects of the Depression in the state, and some of the routes from the rural poverty that began there.

The Dyess Colony, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Dyess Colony, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Painter Merriman, the well-known designer, has created many of the builds here, and he takes us through many of these as we explore a really fascinating social history project, learning not only about Johnny Cash’s boyhood home, but also about the New Deal community of Dyess and the Southern Tenant Farmers Union (which now houses the Southern Tenant Famers Museum).

The Sourthern Tenant Farmers Museum, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

You can read more about it on Painter’s own website.

But even better – you can join us at 2pm for a really fascinating show!

The cafe in the Dyess Colony,photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The cafe in the Dyess Colony,photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in to the web at 2pm SLT on Monday for a showing on Aview TV or on Treet – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – or on the Designing Worlds blog – our very own version of the iPlayer!

Bedroom in Johnny Cash's boyhood home, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Bedroom in Johnny Cash’s boyhood home, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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Passage by Ama Avro

Passage by Ama Avro

The Freedom Project is a 2D/3D Art & Film Event organized jointly by the University of Western Australia, along with members of the Virtual Ability Group, and the Centre for ME/CFS and Other Invisible Illnesses Group in Second Life.  Residents have created an artwork or a film/machinima or in fact a personal story on the theme of ‘Freedom’, showing how virtual worlds have in some way helped them or those around them.

Freedom of Creativity by Barry Richez

Freedom of Creativity by Barry Richez

The organisers invite you to feel free to come visit and take in all the wonderful creations anytime at the UWA Virtual Gallery.

FREEDOM PROJECT CREATIONS (Name, Artist Location, Artwork, SLURL for artwork)
Alysabelle Resident  (Eastern USA) -    My story (text)

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/67/71/248

Ama Avro (Strasbourg, France) -  Passage

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/100/71/248

Bamboo Barnes (Osaka, Japan) -  Cold lights

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/80/47/248

Bamboo Barnes (Osaka, Japan) – Show me the place

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/73/46/248

Barbie Alchemi/Fran Serenade/Draxtor Despres  (USA) -  We Can Learn & Grow & Heal Together  (Machinima/Film)

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/229/45/234

http://uwainsl.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/freedom-project-submission-we-can-learn.html?showComment=1390661852530

Barry Richez (Toulouse, France) – Freedom of Creativity

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/194/113/248

iSkye Silverweb (Green Bay, Wisconsin,  USA) – Speechless Freedom

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/186/29/248

Jesse Keyes  (Dawsonville, Georgia, USA) -   The Time Machine

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/35/46/248

The Time Machine - Jesse Keyes

The Time Machine – Jesse Keyes

Johnny Lane (Salem, Missouri, USA)  -   Eat Soon

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/99/103/248

Johnny Lane   (Salem, Missouri, USA)  – Japanese Macaque

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/98/91/248

Johnny Lane (Salem, Missouri, USA)  – The Calm Dreamer

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/110/93/248

Johnny Lane (Salem, Missouri, USA)  – Vincent’s Mountains

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/109/104/248

Krystali Rabeni (Blackpool, England) -  A Helping Hand

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/24/84/248

Mathilde Vhargon (England) – Dancing With Impediments

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/52/58/248

Megadeus  (Tampa Bay Area, Florida, USA) – Mental Prison

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/15/59/248

Miranda [p3n3lop3] (Perth, AUstralia) -  Dance in Stasis

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/38/59/248

Miso Susanowa  (Ohio, USA) – Big Winter

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/166/111/248

Misprint Thursday (USA) – Goodnight Lights

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/210/73/248

Pale Illusion  (Berlin, Germany) – GID (Gender identity disorder)

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/125/79/248

ParkArt Collaborative (Multiple Locations) – ParkArt Gallery (Multimedia)
- DB Bailey (Tennessee, USA)
- SolasNaGealai
- Brenda Brody
-Tray Rivera
- Barbie Alchemi/Fran Serenade (USA)

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/205/41/248

Roc Furse (Den Bosch,  Netherlands)   – Escape

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/143/114/248

Roiben Sweetwater  (North Georgia, USA) – Alice

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/152/76/248

Roiben Sweetwater  (North Georgia, USA) – The Many Sides Of Me

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/145/76/248

Roman Godde (Canada/North Carolina, USA) -  Beauty In Darkness

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/78/56/248

Roman Godde  (Canada/North Carolina, USA) – Silent Night

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/69/57/248

Ronin1 Shippe (New Mexico, USA) – Elephant With Flower

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/178/89/248

Ronin1 Shippe (Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA) – Coyote

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/189/89/248

Ronin1 Shippe (Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA) – Orange Planes

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/191/77/248

Ronin1 Shippe (Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA) – Three Musicians

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/180/76/248

Cyberwings by Willothewisp

Cyberwings by Willothewisp

Roxie Marten (Detroit, Michigan, USA) – Gaze Upon The World

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/222/32/248

Secret Rage (Dallas, Texas, USA) – I Choose Freedom

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/133/51/248

Sheba Blitz (Northern Rivers, NSW) – Circle of Freedom

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/45/17/248

Slatan Dryke (Milan, Italy) – Yonder

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/71/24/248

Starheart Erdhein (Kaua’i, Hawaii, USA) -  Mandala Dance (machinima)

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/64/80/248

http://uwainsl.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/freedom-project-machinima-submission.html

Talia Sunsong  (Berkeley, California, USA) – Freedom Flight

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/173/53/248

Tarquin Evermore (Kansas, USA) – Lotus of Enlightenment

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/143/103/248

Traskin Snakeankle (Northern California, USA) – Lifeline

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/14/104/248

Wally (Souteast USA)  -  Sky Populus

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/53/49/248

Willo (Tasmania, Australia)  – Cyberwings

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/19/26/248

Xia  Firethorn (Warwickshire, UK) – My Body is a Cage

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UWA/43/81/248

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The auction for various Second Life personalities, going on for Feed a Smile, organised by the Mad Pea group is coming to a highly successful end at the Mad City.

Feed a Smile Auction

Feed a Smile Auction

What’s up for auction? Some people are offering their company – but many of whom are offering their skill sets (as Saffia and Logan Ellsmere – better known as Mr Biggins- are doing) to those fortunate to win them.  For example, you could have a portrait taken by Strawberry Singh, a pair of boots by Cutea Benelli, or work on a collaborative 2D artwork with Taralyn Gravois.

The aim is to raise L$1.2 million and at the time of writing, over 870,000 has been raised (as you can see from the picture). With luck the target should be met as the auction will end with a Live Auction event running all today!

The schedule is as follows:

7:00 AM Pre-event Party Live Entertainer: Sunshine Szavanna
8:00 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Milk Chan (kattington resident)
8:15 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Pooky Amsterdam
8:30 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Draxtor Despres
8:45 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Arduenn Schwartzman
9:00 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Abramelin Wolfe
9:15 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Aeonix Aeon (Will Burns)
9:30 AM Live Entertainer: Starrfish Ohmai
10:00 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Harter Fall

Auction Poster

Auction Poster

10:15 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Saffia Widdershins
11:30 AM Live Entertainer: Shannon Oherlihy
11:00 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Flufee McFluff
11:15 AM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Mr. Biggins (Logan Ellsmere)
11:30 AM Live Entertainer: KatRose Serendipity and Denny Mac
12:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Kiana Writer
12:30 PM Live Entertainer: Kess Crystal
1:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Kess Crystal
1:15 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Bryn Oh
1:30 PM Live Entertainer: Jean Munro
2:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Victor1st Mornington
2:15 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Betty Tureaud
2:30 PM Live Entertainer: Twostep Spiritweaver
3:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Sean (bluesean yiyuan)
3:15 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Noma Falta
3:30 PM Live Entertainer: Chandra Deed
4:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: naxosloon
4:15 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Jaimy Hancroft
4:30 PM Live Entertainer: Marky Helstein
5:00 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: TBA
5:15 PM SL Celebrity Auctioned: Kehl Razor
5:30 PM Live Entertainer: TerryLynn Melody
6:00 PM Live Entertainer: NeoMaximus Brandenburg
6:30 PM Live Entertainer: OneSummer Oh
7:00 PM Live Entertainer: Grace McDunnough

Feed a Smile
You can see more about the Live and Learn in Kenya International charity here (the charity behind Feed a Smile) – and there is a Drax Files show all about the charity here. You can also visit the Feed a Smile region in Second Life.

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Auction Poster

Auction Poster

At the moment, there is an auction going on for Feed a Smile, organised by the Mad Pea group (the people behind all those fabulous games) at the Mad City.  What’s up for auction is various Second Life personalities, some of whom are offering their company – but many of whom are offering their skill sets to those fortunate to win them.  For example, you could have a portrait taken by Strawberry Singh, a pair of boots by Cutea Benelli, work on a collaborative 2D artwork with Taralyn Gravois or a photography lesson with Ziki Questi, or a variety of options from Victor1st Mornington – including converting a basic prim home into mesh.

Also up for auction is me (Saffia) and – under his avatar name of Logan Ellsmere, none other than the the redoubtable Mr Biggins.  What will you get for a successful bid on either of us?

Mr Biggins up for sale!

Mr Biggins up for sale!

Mr Biggins is offering:

The winner will be able to nominate a building in New Babbage to be featured in a Designing Worlds show, or make a contribution to the script, or appear as a character (or possibly all three!).
Please note that these shows tend to be Christmas specials – so it might be a little time before you can take full advantage of your prize – although we will try to do one earlier!

And if you win the auction for Saffia?

I would help them promote their favourite place in Second Life, either through an article in Prim Perfect or with a Designing Worlds show, depending on what they would like to feature!

Saffia up for sale!

Saffia up for sale!

So if your bid for me is successful, you could have a Designing Worlds show (or a Prim Perfect article) about your favourite place or your organisation, or your business!

MadPea are hoping to raise over a million Linden through the auction. All week you can bid on the boards, and the event will finish on Saturday with a live auction and a day of entertainment! So come along and place your bid on the board!

The auction in progress

The auction in progress

Feed a Smile
You can see more about the Live and Learn in Kenya International charity here (the charity behind Feed a Smile) – and there is a Drax Files show all about the charity here. You can also visit the Feed a Smile region in Second Life.

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Don't miss the information kiosks at One Billion Rising!

Don’t miss the information kiosks at One Billion Rising!

When you arrive at One Billion Rising, you will see Information Kiosks on each region.

These contain information about One Billion Rising worldwide, and about organisations that are working to end violence against and abuse of women.

You will also find information about how to deal with abusive situations that affect either you, or people you know – including how to deal with cyber stalking.

And we are very proud to have copies of the Newbie Woman’s SL Survival Kit, first written in 2009 and specially updated in time for this event.

So make sure you collect information from the kiosk at One Billion Rising!

And you might notice that the people in this picture are wearing the OBR jacket and teeshirt for women, and one of the three styles of male tee-shirts, We’ll be telling you how to get the teeshirt – and the OBR bear – shortly!

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cropped-obr2014.pngYou are invited to our special press day on Thursday 13th February.

There will be three sessions where you can talk to organisers of the event and others involved too:
10am
2pm
4pm

Between those times, you will be free to explore the regions and see the art installations.

If you would like to attend the press day, complete this form: http://bit.ly/1gnielw

On February 14, 2013, for 24 hours starting at midnight Pacific Standard Time, Second Life residents will join with activists around the world in a spectacular 24-hour event for ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE, a very special day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.

The Second Life event will feature a four-region stage where 200 people can dance together, surrounded by an area of art installations, poetry events and informational exhibits. A variety of performers will play and perform over the 24-hour period, enabling people all over the world to attend this virtual event no matter their timezone. The regions will have a General maturity rating to allow all residents an opportunity to participate. Pictures are welcome on the event’s Flickr group.

ONE BILLION RISING began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On February 14, 2014, men and women in Second Life will join activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and people across the world to Rise, Dance, and Release as a show of unity, individual strength, and the need for change.

The objective of the event is to raise awareness, not to raise funds; however, information about real-world organisations will be available for those wishing to donate.

One Billion Rising in Second Life is sponsored by: Cheeky Pea; The Domineaux Effect; Dutchie; Flash Dancers; Heart Garden Centre; The Loft; Lyrical B!zarre Templates; MadPea; MANDALA; Maven Homes; MESHWORX; Park Place; Prime; RTeaseCast; Ruca Tease Fashions; Spargel and Shine.

In-kind sponsors are: CaLLie CLine; Fruit Islands; KittyCatS!; Liv-Glam; Style by Kira; Sway’s;and Prim Perfect Publications.

The four regions have been named for the four core elements chosen as the focus of this years global event, One Billion Rising.
OBR Rise
OBR Dance
OBR Release
OBR Justice

You can find them on the map – and even see the work that is going on to build the stage and install the art!

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One Billion Rising Poetry flyer

One Billion Rising Poetry flyer

This year at One Billion Rising for Justice in Second Life, we will be hosting two Poetry events where Second Life poets can come and share their work.

Organised by Jilly Kidd, poets will be able to come together in the special arena for 2D Art on the One Billing Rising regions at 8.00am and 3.00pm SLT.

This is a new addition to the art created by Second Life artists, the music and dance supplied by Second Life musicians and DJs, for the full twenty-four hours of Friday February 14th.

We’ll see you there!

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Hello everyone!

I want to start by sharing this brilliant video of people dancing across the world for One Billion Rising in 2013.

In Second Life, we are working behind the scenes at the moment to get everything ready for One Billion Rising for Justice in Second Life.

The four regions that will make up our stage area have been arranged with Fruit Islands, and will be delivered next weekend. Then we’ll be getting to work on terraforming them while the stage is built (by Victor1st Mornington, who built the stage for us last year). The artists will move in shortly after to set up their installations and this year, in addition to individual installations, there will also be galleries for 2D and 3D work.

OBR in SL Logo 2014

OBR in SL Logo 2014

Not only that, but there will also be poetry sessions in one of the galleries at several points during the day where people can listen, read and share with each other.

We are pulling together a great line up of popular live musicians and DJs, and are currently organising the streams, once more generously donated by Lusch Audio.

We will be holding workshops all over next weekend for people who would like to work as volunteers at the event. Thank you to all those who have filled in our form – and if you haven’t, but would like to help with the event, you can sign up here!

Teeshirts and posters will be available shortly – we will let you know where you can obtain them inworld so that you can help to spread the word!

Once again, there will be information kiosks on all four regions, telling you about One Billion Rising and about organisations that are working for justice for women across the globe. If you know any organisation that you think we should feature, let us know. The kiosks will also include information and advice for women who might find themselves or those they love trapped in abusive situations.

One Billion Rising for Justice is about raising awareness of global issues through an event that combines giving information with a day of art, music, poetry and dance. We do not raise funds at the event, but suggest that people who want to donate find out more at the kiosks and then select which organisations they would like to donate too.

Additional links:
Our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Billion-Rising/493344827375934
Our Second Life Group: One Billion Rising
Our Twitter Stream: https://twitter.com/OBRinSL
Our Flickr Group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/2169739@N23/
Main One Billion Rising for Justice page: http://www.onebillionrising.org/

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Elephants at Patron this Christmas!

Elephants at Patron this Christmas!

There is something very special happening at Eliza Wierwight’s fabulous store PATRON this Christmas.  Some more, I mean, than Eliza setting out her gorgeous Christmas trees, objets d’art and decorations (and champagne for the thirsty shopper).

This year there will be elephants too.

Get your elepphantine Christmas topiary at Patron!

Get your elepphantine Christmas topiary at Patron!

This year Eliza will be the offical contract to act on behalf of the Save the Elephant Foundation in Second Life.  To raise money for the Foundation, Eliza is  releasing at PATRON the cutest Christmas Tree Topiary in the form of a baby Elephant (the design was approved by SEF). The aim of the fundraising is to sponsor 35 Elephants at the Elephant Nature Park … well, actually 34, as Eliza and her son are sponsoring the first elephant themselves! When YOU buy it 100% proceeds will be going to “SaveElephantFoundation Resident”  (driven by Eliza for now) and as each Elephant is sponsored in totality she will be making announcements via my Group and Subscribers – and we’ll report them here too!

I have long known Eliza loves elephants. When she designed our beautiful pavilion for the Second Life Christmas Expo in 2011, there were elephants on the roof of our dacha-style build. Neither of us were entuirely sure why – “They just felt right,” Eliza said to me – and I had to agree.

Prim Perfect at the Christmas Expo - designed and photographedby Eliza Wierwright

Prim Perfect Pavilion at the Christmas Expo 2011, created by Eliza Wierwight. With elephants.

So why did she decide to get involved in this charity?

Let Eliza take up the story …

Every year in so many ways Second Life citizens as  Community share so many wonderful opportunities to support brilliant Charitable Organizations out there making significant positive impacts in people’s lives. I’ve had the privilege more times than I can recount  via my Avatar Eliza Wierwight and  my business  PATRON to support  so many over the years.

Now I digress momentarily, an -almost- elephants tale. By Eliza.

Recently,  my son and I debated watching a movie together. Due to the hours I spend working in front of a screen about the last thing I really want to do for recreation is sit in front of another one (though to be honest I love my work and in some genuine  ways it has aspects of recreation about it). However, as we’ve just relocated far across Australia and he was missing his usual social circle I agreed providing we could both find something we’d  equally enjoy. He was more than content with the prospect,  so we cruised something to download and settled on “How I Became an Elephant”. He really likes Elephants, I like documentaries, win/win.

What I was unaware of when I sat next to my son that day was that I was  about to get a sincere education dispelling all the romantic myths I had in my head about experiences with Elephants over my lifetime. I discovered a group of insightful people and a plight that so got under my skin I was unable to chalk it up  to merely ‘interesting and informative’ then  move on with my life. If you’ve seen this documentary already then perhaps what I’m sharing has already resonated to  you. If you haven’t may I please recommend it.

[Huge respect  to Juliette West - I never initiated something so profound at her tender age, incredible young woman. and all those at  Rattle the Cage Productions]

A few days straggled past, life is always busy but I just couldn’t get these Elephants out of my head. Having coffee at day break, waiting for the caffeine to shake hands with my brain cells, reading emails and I find myself in Google looking for a more direct source information regarding the Elephant Sanctuary I’d viewed earlier in the week.

I settled on “Save the Elephant Organisation/Foundation”  having cross referenced facts I had retained from the earlier viewing. My son wakes  up, blunders  out to our family room still half asleep,  an incredible sunrise has developed at this point into  an exquisite day, I’m  still cruising the SEF website store. So I greet my son and ask him,  “Hey darling, good morning, want to buy lunch for some elephants today ?”  He smiles (probably thinks here she goes again, he likes my eccentricities though,  bless him), a little Paypal interaction on both our behalf’s  and it was a done deal. We had a brilliant day after that, it felt so grass roots proactive, I felt good. I usually feel good, this was a different kind of good, this was satisfying. I didn’t part with a kings ransom to do this and after all it’s just a a single meal for each of the two elephants we committed to,  but as I said,  it felt good, it felt honest, it felt practical.

I am not going to wax lyrical about the people involved in this Organization, they already have my hugest respect. While I sit fairly comfortable in my home they are out there putting everything on the line to save and rehabilitate these incredible creatures. If you do nothing else after reading this then I implore you to at least take the 5 mins and 22 seconds to acquaint yourself with Sangduan “Lek” Chailert. This woman and her work is nothing short of a masterpiece.

[Biography for her presentation to US congress in 2010]

To continue, I came across a significant life challenge recently (don’t we all), one of those kinds where you have to decide whether to engage in a toxic situation and feed into the insanity or have the wisdom to  gracefully as possible move forward. I decided on the wise approach  but it left me with this intense emotive energy that genuinely required direction. Why not direct the adrenaline of something negative which I had at best the only control over  to remove myself from and turn it into a genuine  positive, then the Elephant’s plight returned to me……

Dr Jane Goodall endorses “How I Became and Elephant” (warning disturbing content included)

Sat back, mused a few ideas then emailed  Save The Elephant Organization with the proposal that  I would like to  engage the Second Life Community via my Business to sponsor all 35 Elephants at the Elephant Nature Park (and perhaps Surin as well  down the line). now  I’ve never directly wrangled a new Charitable Organization from the ground up in Second LIfe & it took a few weeks of emails going back and forth explaining my passion  & respect for their endeavors, my goals and the  real stretch which is having people feel comfortable that this would all take place in the context of the ‘gaming Industry’.  Okay Second Life is special,  we already know this, it’s not atypical ‘gaming’ but there has to be a tangible point of reference in these matters. It was also important to me that they understood that my actions on their behalf would  combine two main factors, that I’d be a good Ambassador for their work as well as provide an accountable and  completely transparent progression of funds raised.

Still with me ? Officially as of today, and with much pride,  I have an official  contract to act on behalf of SEF in Second Life  and I couldn’t feel more privileged to have earned  their trust in this matter. In the next 24 hours I’ll be releasing at PATRON the cutest Christmas Tree Topiary in the form of a baby Elephant ( the design was approved by SEF). When YOU buy it 100% proceeds will be going to “SaveElephantFoundation Resident”  (driven by me for now) and as each Elephant is sponsored in totality I’ll be making announcements via my Group and Subscribers.

If there is any question to whether I put my money where my mouth is, my son and I are sponsoring outright the first of the 35 her name is Mae Bua Loy.

Meet MaeBuaLoy

Meet MaeBuaLoy

Born in 1965m=, her name means ‘Floating Lotus’ and she was rescued from the Surin province in 2008. Mae Bua Loy’s first job was in illegal logging. Her back right leg was broken during this time, and since she was unable to do heavy labor, she was used for street-begging. Sadly, she was used in a ‘breeding program’, and at one point was kept chained continuously for 3 months and forcibly mounted 29 times. She didn’t become pregnant, so her owner decided to get rid of her. At the park, she’s found a best friend in Mae Boon Ma.

Save the Elephant Foundation
http://www.saveelephant.org
Save the Elephant Foundation is a Thai non–profit organization dedicated to providing care and assistance to Thailand’s captive elephant population through a multifaceted approach involving local community outreach, rescue and rehabilitation programs, and educational ecotourism operations. You can learn more about it on the website – and at PATRON.

Elephants enjoying the Patron Fountains!

Elephants enjoying the Patron Fountains!

 

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