Friday, March 1, 2013

My Friends Are Awesome Part II

So a few years ago I highlighted some of my friends who are doing unusual, courageous and interesting things. I thought I'd take a break from the usual and do a new one. This has become increasingly difficult given that a) I keep meeting amazing new people and b) My friends keep getting more awesome. But here goes.

Tree House Rock
My friend and photographer/educator extraordinaire David is going on his third year in the mountains of Colorado as the program director at Sanborn, where, among other things, he is devising a nature-focused curriculum for local students. As much as I miss his online presence -- especially beautiful photos of his journeys -- his ability to integrate the land into his life, mind and reading is inspiring.

Liberating Land in Liberia

My film-watching partner Gaurav, also known as Masala Justice, is working in Liberia to help local communities keep their land while large firms are taking over. Even knowing his challenges, I find his move to Liberia both fearless and inspiring, with the added benefit of humanizing an issue that I know so little about. Next week he's at a summit in Uganda that he helped organize to bring stakeholders together for action.

Bikes Without Borders

When I met Arunesh in Chandigarh I knew he would be friends because he had a dreadlock embedded in his hair and he liked pastries and yoga. An interface designer by trade, he has redefined the idea of traveling for me by biking in Kashmir and through the Himalayas. He also makes videos, apps and helps out with this awesome start-up TravelMafia.

Buddha-Love In Bangladesh

Tania and I bonded over a mind numbing class in grad school and were quickly kindred. After graduating through the documentary program at Columbia she flew straight to Bangladesh without a real plan, but with a lot of ideas. Now she's helping produce for Al Jazeera, taking beautiful pictures and bringing Dhaka alive through her soulful, humanist lens.

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