Tag Archives: poverty

How do I put a Sexy Red Dress on Poverty?

I do not have a good elevator speech. I know I don’t.

According to elevatorspeech.com, “Executives who can’t clearly explain what they do and why anyone should care in the first 30 seconds miss out — on sales, on funding, on alliances … on business.”

And businessweek says, “One of the most important things a businessperson can do—especially an owner or someone who is involved in sales—is learn how to speak about their business to others. Being able to sum up unique aspects of your service or product in a way that excites others should be a fundamental skill. Yet many executives pay little attention to the continuing development of “the elevator pitch”—the quick, succinct summation of what your company makes or does. Continue reading How do I put a Sexy Red Dress on Poverty?

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“Is it Better or Worse to know ME?”

Having put considerable thought into it: I am still unsure if it is better or worse to know ME.

I have returned from the Philippines. And already I feel like my research will add to the existing discussion on healthcare in the Philippines, and for third world countries in general. I also believe my research will establish a solid foundation for my PhD dissertation. Everyone probably feels that at some point. If my research actually contributes something is still hard to know until I reach the finish line. First step: I must type out and analyze the 100+ interviews I did in the Philippines.

If you have never done transcription before, it is simultaneously an interesting and painful process. Not as interesting or painful as seeing a dentist perform your root canal live via a ceiling mounted widescreen television… but still interesting and painful. The painful sensation in transcription is similar to sitting in a dentist chair. In a dentist chair, sometimes the dentist will hit a nerve or another tender spot in your mouth… and there really is no warning. You go from sitting in a tedious position with your mouth open… to sudden pain, and then back to sitting in a tedious position… wondering when the next painful moment will happen. Continue reading “Is it Better or Worse to know ME?”

Today I Fly to the USA! My Philippines Adventure

Today I fly to the USA
Why am I leaving!?

Yes, I must leave the Philippines. I hope to return in 18 months to do my sociology PhD focusing on poverty and healthcare. In the meantime I will finish my masters, teach, take more incredibly hard yet interesting classes, check out the Irish Rovers when they come to Seattle in November… and train for a marathon. Plus feed my chickens. In addition to all that I am married. So, you know… not too busy for a graduate student! Oh, and one week after I get back to the USA I am flying to Ohio and Kentucky to visit friends and family.

As for my flight. I left Manila, Philippines at 9:35 a.m. today… Tuesday, August 21st. And I will arrive in San Fransisco, California (USA) at 9:20 a.m. … today, Tuesday August 21st.

I’m not even using Dr. Emmett Brown’s 1981 DeLorean DMC-12. If you comprehend that reference you are SUPER-COOL!!

Green Eggs, Adoption, and some Ham in the Philippines

Green Eggs, Adoption, and some Ham in the Philippines by IshIsm.com
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

In the Philippines I have seen a lot of children who are struggling toward an impoverished future because of the extreme poverty of their parents. I myself grew up very poor in the United States. So poor that some winters I lived in a house with no power with my mother. In addition, I was in a foster home and nearly adopted when I was 11-ish. That was in the 1980s. Today in the United States, if social services discovered the same conditions I was living in… a child will most likely be put in a long-term foster home or adopted.

However, adoption in the United States is different than adoption in other countries. Adopting a child in the United States may mean having a child with emotional disorders from parental abuse. It could mean adopting a child with birth defects from maternal drug abuse. Adopting in other countries reminds me of what I stereotypically think of adoption… taking in an orphan. However, there is a long list of reasons why an international child can be an orphan which can cause emotional issues that do not involve the death of parents. In Uganda, many mothers abandon their children from a previous marriage when they got remarried because the new husband only wants to take care of HIS children.

Anyway, my wife and I are staying with a wonderful family in the Philippines while I do my research on poverty and health care. One of the cool things about this family is their commitment to adoption. I am honestly unsure how many children they have adopted over the years, but I am guessing it is 8 or 9 (I lost count). It is something the father in the family strongly believes in because he grew up an orphan in the Philippines.

Well, adoption is something I have always been interested in because of how I grew up. I have already started collecting Dr. Seuss books to read to my children some day. I have great memories of Dr. Seuss books despite how hard growing up was for me. Green Eggs and Ham is the book that inspired my love of reading. However, the point is… whether I have biological children or adopted, I want to read to them. And I don’t want to read to them from an ipad. I want to read to them from a book. With paper. And whether it is The Sneetches, Green Eggs and Ham, the Lorax, or another story… Dr. Seuss is something I want to share with my kids.

Hearing this man in the Philippines talk about the children he has adopted, and the extreme poverty they were living in before, rekindles my spirit to adopt. Adopting any child is probably going to be emotionally challenging. How will I handle a child if he/she has behavioral issues from parental abuse? These are things I think about when I consider adopting. Do I have an incorrect stereotype when I think adopting a child in the U.S. most likely means adopting a child with behavioral issues?

Adopting right now might be crazy because I am in grad school working on my thesis… but someday sooner rather than later I hope to open my home up to adoption. My main limitation is finances.

Sunday we met a family who has “pseudo-adopted” 6 beautiful little girls. I am still learning how things work in the Philippines, but pseudo-adoption is the best term I can think of to describe it. This family feeds, clothes, and provides shelter for 6 girls who have mothers … but the mothers need financial help. So, we have seen two different types of “adoption” in the Philippines. I guess the pseudo-adoption could be considered similar to sponsoring a child… but how many sponsored children do you know of that “live” in the home of the sponsor? Seeing these 6 beautiful little girls who were “pseudo-adopted” reinforced my desire to adopt.

Well, this post is starting to ramble… so I will finish with some ham. The Philippines has no Home Owners Association. Personally I hate HOAs. Where is this going? Keep reading.

My wife and I have stayed with two different host families. This past Sunday, we returned from spending the weekend with the second host family (the ones who pseudo-adopted the 6 girls). And the neighbors were having a wake. In the Philippines, our host told us a wake can go from 6 p.m. to midnight… and sometimes longer. Well, the neighbors had at least a 24-hour wake. And at 3 a.m. the neighbors decided to slaughter a pig. And then they slaughtered a second pig at 5 a.m. I am not sure if this was for the people at the wake, or perhaps in preparation for a large dinner sometime in the evening… but my wife and I definitely noticed when the two pigs were slaughtered at 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.

If you have never heard a pig being slaughtered, it sounded similar to what I imagine a poltergeist would sound like… wailing, screeching, for several minutes. This may be the only time in my life I wanted an HOA, because by my estimate we were within 30 feet of the screeching and wailing pigs. Before coming to the Philippines I never imagined I would add “not being woken up by the poltergeist-like sounds of pigs being slaughtered” to my list of reasons that I miss the USA.

Well, that is all for now. I am exhausted because the slaughtering of the pigs really disrupted my sleep pattern. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!