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DRUM!

Divine Rhythms of Universal Music (DRUM) – an amazing show featuring drum styles from various cultures – African, Native American, Japanese and Latin.  An impressive combination of coordinated  actions and sound, it was incredibly enjoyable!  Thanks very much to the DRUM group for helping us See and Hear One World!

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I was just informed that PeaceFest has made the Destination Guide on Second Life’s page:

http://secondlife.com/destination/peacefest-2010

Check it out!  “Like” it, and share it through Facebook, etc.

Also – we’d also like to thank the very kind folks at AviewTV who are providing video recording / streaming services for PeaceFest 2010.  THANK YOU, AviewTV!!  You are helping us help many others!  For more about AviewTV, please see their website.

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PeaceFest starts!

You can imagine the number of communications and the amount of preparation that goes into putting THIS LIST of events together!  We’re thrilled to start PeaceFest today – and what better way than with a live interview with our friends in Kigali Rwanda (technology permitting!) .  I will record the conversation and will post a link here later for those that can’t be there.  For those in Second Life, we’ll be here (SLURL) for the interview.  Come ask your questions!

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YES!  At long last an update here : )

The Peace Train board met today for a first round of discussions related to the benefiting organizations for PeaceFest 2010.  We’re well on the way to determining those – we know there will be 3, they will be small non-profits positioned around the globe, and that very likely one will be on the African continent, one in India and one in central or south America.  Stay tuned!

WE are also looking for connections far and wide to various groups or interested parties who would like to collaborate with us in this effort.  We are looking beyond the Second Life events, to real life events that would coincide with the online work.  Ideas are blossoming.

Yes, it’s a lot of work. Yes, it’s terribly rewarding.

I received an email, unsolicited, from a former recipient of PeaceFest funding.  Mind you, our contributions are relatively small, but in the scheme of things, and for small organizations, they mean a lot.  The leader in question, a Rwandan, expressed her gratitude for the *connections* made as a result of PeaceFest;  her group has been visited twice by representatives from an american university.

Progress.  Hope.

In the interim since PeaceFest 09, there have been a number of events:  the 16 Days Against Violence campaign last November, the interview and concert for children in Sudan in March of this year, and most recently the Project Tents for Haiti campaign that resulted in funding for 2 Shelterboxes for victims of natural disasters!  We have been busy….

And now it’s time to focus on PeaceFest.

Planning is being tracked at the wiki.  We will be overhauling this blog, as we do each year, to re-brand it for PeaceFest 2010.  Come be part of the action!  Email or comment here – we are listening.  We need your help!  Check out our list of opportunities

Peace  –

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Dr. Robin Teigland of the Stockholm School of Economics has had an article published in the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, and it is all about our work in Peace Train and the PeaceFest event!  The title of the article is Born Virtuals and Avapreneurship: A case study of achieving successful outcomes in Peace Train – a Second Life organization.

I hope you take the opportunity to read it – it’s an interesting academic, research-based perspective on what we have all directly experienced; the good parts and the difficult parts of organizing a completely virtual endeavor.

Onward!

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Thinking back on PeaceFest 09 and the other work Peace Train and its supporters did over 2009 brings a smile.  It was a hectic time at the end of PF 09, and the Fall was full of action.  I’m currently taking time off of work and so have some moments to reflect, and there are some things that stand out:

  • Photos from PeaceFest 09:  Allison, Medora, Artemisia and others contributed to a pool of photos on Flickr from the 3 days of PeaceFest.  REALLY neat to see the map photo and the closeups of the artists and others…  you can see that set of images here.
  • 16 Days of Activism:  I was personally honored to be asked to moderate two panel discussions featuring leaders from around the world – women leaders who are making positive change happen.  Siri Vita provided real-time translation from Spanish to English for one of the panelists.
  • Earth Week happened in April, and recently Paolo Rouselot and friends invited Peace Train and Four Bridges to provide a display on their One Climate sim in November.  Something I sometimes take for granted about this method of work is that it is very ‘green’ as they say; no travel for anyone, and yet everyone gets together…
  • Another interview with Prinny and Connye – the descendants of the Monticello family (Jefferson and Heming).  STILL makes me smile thinking about how the ideals we share about our common humanity and reconciling old wrongs have become so very real for these great people.
  • The unstoppable Siri Vita and her (ongoing!) work helping the folks in Iran get the word out, organizing and running Organizing for America meetings in SL for US health care reform, and the events for PeaceFest she, Tonks, and others put together.
  • Gwenette and the Ga-Go Concert.  I think I may have to make up new words for the English language to describe that.  AND there is a new concert being planned for February!
  • Conversations with people from around the world – learning about their great work, and becoming a much more connected person myself, benefitting from first-hand accounts of things. 

The moon is going to be full tomorrow night; it is New Year’s Eve in the US.  Peace Train work will continue steadily into 2010:  my personal hope is to expand the number of events we host and support, to increase the number of core team members, and to raise the donations to increase impact.  Feels achievable to me.

Thanks to all of you who have contributed and who continue to help us develop the ideas and events, and build the bridges across the world – bridges of help and understanding.  Best wishes (for those celebrating) for a happy and healthy New Year!

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Update:  well this is better than last year’s timeline!!   Last year it took us MONTHS to get the banking thing sorted out – getting Linden dollars out of Second Life into a PayPal account (after having to set that up) and then getting PayPal connected to a bank account for our new non-profit.  SO.

  • Peace Direct:  The Escuela Project:  US $495.00
  • The Zion Project (for child soldiers):  US $495.00
  • The Edith Benson Babies Home:  US $550.00

Explanation:  the EBBH got an additional donation specifically to cover the wire transfer fees (of 50+ dollars).

Reflection:  On Friday of last week I left work temporarily for a quick stroll uptown.  The bank that holds Peace Train’s account has a prominent building there.  The sun was out, and warm, but the humidity was down!

I entered the bank and was greeted by the attending bank workers; I sat down at the desk opposite an older gentleman.  He inquired as to my needs, and I was only too happy to share more details than he probably expected or needed to know!

Sending the contributions of so many people from PeaceFest 09 to the Edith Benson Babies Home by wire transfer – it was a joy I hope in some way anyone reading this will imagine and experience with me.  The monetary donation, the result of months of work in sourcing and coordinating all the live events, and the kindnesses of so many contributors, I – ME – I was the one who had the privilege of making the final step happen in creating the real impact from the virtual endeavors.  I signed the papers with one name that represented all of you.

Thank you all.  You made my day.  I hope this little story made yours.

For those interested in learning more or doing more with Peace Train, please contact us.

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