Author Archives: newmaya

Welcome to Iraq

We reach Erbil in time for a suicide bomb attack near the headquarters of Iraqi Kurdish security services, not far from here we land. By the time we deplane at three in the afternoon, the airport has been put on lock down, dozens of police and army vehicles swarm the entrance, no cars are entering […]

Posted in Conferences | 1 Response

Dead Sea Bound

In the desert there is space, there is expanse and infinity that stretches beyond the present into whatever past we connect ourselves to or future we push towards. It is a feeling of expanding and contracting at the same time that I release a deep sigh of relief while staring out the passenger car window. […]

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Please Vote for our SXSW 2014 Panel: Storytelling for Social Change

We have begun to take control of own narratives, telling our stories using whatever tool and digital means is available to us. We have not only begun to tell our stories, but we’ve connected them to others’ stories being told simultaneously around the world. That act of storytelling interconnects us – creating an imaginary and […]

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The Days My Voice Disappeared

August 28, 2013 In Ramallah, I lose my voice. It is the second time in my life this had happened. The first time I was getting our stolen laptops back in Guatemala, but I’ll leave that story for later. Suffice it to say this time around, it wasn’t a surprise. When I first arrived at […]

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The Return from Tel Aviv

September 1, 2013 I do not like to watch Tel Aviv disappear from above – the Mediterranean Sea coastline a small strip of white that barely holds us from the immensity of blue that continues as we head west on the plane. I raise the window to watch it disappear until my eyes cannot take […]

Posted in Conferences, Thoughts | 2 Responses

Back to the Holy Land

August 26, 2013 Last night I slept sitting up and today I floated in the Dead Sea. Knowing what I’m up against, I sleep the entire trip from Newark to Tel Aviv, no movies, no studying, just food and sleep. The crying babies are mere whispers in my Ambien-induced stupor. It is my second time […]

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La Pura Vida as a State of Being

February 20, 2013 To live in Costa Rica is “la pura vida” – a common dicho or saying that literally means “pure life” or “all life”. It’s a newer dicho, having become popular in the past fifteen years after it was coined by the Mexican comedian Antonio Espino y Mora, known as Clavillazo who used […]

Posted in Team Guate | 1 Response

The Universal Hipster

Februry 16, 2013 My new friends are hipsters, Costa Rican hipsters, in the part of town called Escalante where businesses mix with residences and people come out of industrial looking buildings with dark glasses, old Vans or flip flops, sagging skinny jeans and holding cigarettes while they double lock their doors. Of course, I know […]

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On the Road from Honduras to Costa Rica

February 14, 2013 We’re headed south through Nicaragua and the land gets dryer – bramble and brush with large patches of black where the grass has been burned away. The sunlight is different here, it’s more direct with a soft, but relentless quality like the light of memories that imprints itself in the back of […]

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What I learned over Chinese Food in Honduras

February 9, 2013 The Chinese food in Honduras is to die for, such that I’ve come to think of the national dish as some variation of chop suey. The baleada, forget it, it’s the plate of fried rice we all crowd around under the bright lights of a flat screen television blasting the re-run of […]

Posted in Team Guate | 3 Responses

What’s Happening in Honduras

February 2, 2013 It is Saturday morning in Tegucigalpa and I do the unthinkable: I decide to walk a few blocks in the middle of the day. I live up the hill from the Presidential House on Juan Pablo II, an area heavily patrolled by police and security guards pouring out from the big hotel […]

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A Sewing Machine for Madgalena

We headed West for Magdalena. We knew it would be a rough ride when we had to get three nails taken out of two tires. We pulled into the nearest pinchazo on the Inter-American.  Crouched between towers of new tires we listened to the Olympic games over the radio. One hour later we were back […]

Posted in Guatemala | 1 Response

The Way We Do Things Here

August 15, 2012 They almost lynched a man in my callejon this week. I had just returned from walking the dog, when I turned into our alley and saw a big circle of men surrounding something or someone in the center.  I opened the door and let the dog into the house. This would be […]

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TechCamp 2012

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Dawning Accidents

I hit two cops on a motorcycle with our V6 Toyota Tundra on Monday morning just as the sun rose turning the sky magenta. Kofy, the fearless German Shepherd now always by my side, bolted upright from his usual fetal position in the passenger seat – his ears were two upside cones on amber alert.  […]

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Our Rainy Twilight

June 22, 2012 When the rains come it’s hard to imagine a time when there was anything but the rain – the mid-afternoon antediluvian waters that carry you into a timeless state of waiting and expectation. Entropy quicken: roads crack, sinkholes open, houses tumble down cliffs, buses collide, and people race to take cover under […]

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En Este Día

In 1982 she came back, for me, for all of us. I was five-years-old and living in La Limonada, a section of Guatemala where you have to make, sell, get lemonade any way you can to survive. We lived in a one-room shack, five of us, with a dirt floor and two small beds that […]

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Border Runnings

It is our last run to the border, to La Mesilla, the border with Mexico which is six hours from Guatemala City. Five military checkpoints and countless speed bumps later we are in Comitan checking our email at an Internet cafe and waiting for the requisite hour to pass before Brad and I can get […]

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The Type Machine

From Jerusalem I bring back an old manual typewriter in a half torn case that cracks open the leather spine during all the security checks. Random people stare at it with familiarity or confusion, the security guards click on the keys and laugh with each other in Hebrew. Then I trek it across Jerusalem, Tel […]

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Wearing my trousers rolled

Predictability – it was a term I associated with boredom, with the unimaginative, the fearful, the ones who clutched to stability like a shawl of mediocrity. It was the haven of those who shunned the arbitrary and the changing nature of all things; the unexpected and unavoidable truth of our existence. It was the ditch […]

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