May 8th : Ottawa launch of Day Moon Rising at Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave. Ottawa
May 12th : Poetry reading at the Japanese Embassy, Ottawa
May 20th : Poetry reading at Glendon College, Haiku Canada conference
June 16th : Launch of Day Moon Rising at the League of Canadian Poets AGM, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
July 2nd : Small book arts workshop, L’Academie De La Roche D’Hys, Vitteaux, France
July 21st : Poetry reading/ Book Arts display/ Gabriola Poetry festival, Gabriola Island, British Columbia
Click here to read more:
Tabitha is now raising funds for a new women’s hospital…named Nokor Tep (it will be right across the street from one of Somaly Mam’s shelters. Amazing how these two worlds are coming together. The women in the shelters will be able to access the medical support from the hospital.
March 26 2012
Dear friends and partners,
I wrote to you in February about the miracles for Nokor Tep Hospital. This Monday morning I look back on the six weeks that have passed – six weeks of amazing grace. Last Saturday morning we had our first 10 kilometer walkathon for the Nokor Tep Hospital here in Phnom Penh – 600 people walked that morning – many more gave support when they couldn’t walk.
How do I begin to tell you of the miracles that are happening? How do I explain to all of you the so many special moments? The offer of double matching funds started a snowball of support – so many of you came forward with support – I think what tickled my funny bone most was the support that Miriam got from so many of you – my response initially was – “what am I – chopped liver” – that got Miriam laughing – but it also made her compassionate – so many Cambodians gave out of their poverty – their tears trickling down their cheeks – they raised more than $30,000 dollars with their 10 cents and 25 cents- our entry fee was $15.00 US dollars so she asked – is it okay if I share some of my support so that some of them can walk? Of course it’s okay.
More than 300 Cambodians walked on Saturday – it was a magical time for them – they had never done such a thing – they walked through a small village – through farm lands with the smell of rice being harvested – trees laden with mangoes – aubergines deep with life. 300 foreigners walked with them – words of encouragement – words of laughter and near the end words of tiredness from many – others – is this it? We did it? You sure did. Villagers came out of their homes – dressed in their finery to wave at these strangers walking through their life.
At the end of the walk we all gathered together under a field of mango trees, we ate noodles together and cheered together – many received prizes for their efforts – others received hugs and congratulations – we will do it again – when is the next one – so many asked – our response – the end of next January. The three of us co-founders – Phavi, Sieng and myself had a chance to speak – when Phavi spoke – the silence was complete – she spoke of how this hospital would affect every woman in Cambodia and every man – husbands would have a way to care for their wives and their daughters. It can’t get any better.
Over the past weeks the enormity of the need for Nokor Tep Women’s hospital became so very clear – Sohka a woman in one of our villages is dying – the cancer that wrack her bones is slowly eating away at her body – when one of our staff spoke to her of the walkathon and the hospital she got up out of her bed – over the next two days she visited every house and talked of this vision – a neighboring woman who is dying from a blood disease joined her – these two women whose life is ebbing away shared of how their vision of their neighbors not having to go through what they are going through touched every heart – in two days they collected $223 dollars – Sohka herself gave $10 – she said to me – this is all I have – I will give more as soon as I have it. My tears were hard to hold – this woman of dignity and strength – this woman of courage and vision – this woman whose days on this earth are limited.
We raised a little over $140,000 through the walkathon – monies are still coming in. This week the three of us will travel to Singapore for the official Singapore Nokor Tep Foundation launch – they had a walkathon as well – their monies will be presented that night. Nokor Tep is becoming a reality.
My God is great – I am awed that He has allowed me this great privilege in life. My vision of the Wall of Caring is growing – 50,000 names to welcome each woman who comes through the hospital door is becoming a reality – to see your name on the wall just click on to this web page – if you don’t see it yet – it will be on soon. http://www.nokor-tep.net/Wall.html and http://www.nokor-tep.net/plaques.html
Thank you – each of you – for being a part of Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital.
(after Mary Oliver)
You do not have to be vigilant.
You do not have to be aware of every little sign.
You do not have to record the millions buried.
It is an insurmountable task.
You can’t set down the facts.
You can’t go ghost hunting
in the fields of mines.
You can’t even say
you have a stake in this harvest.
Whoever you are
know that the wild lotus
that blooms in the filth of ponds,
This poem was written to “give myself permission” to take on a subject so huge, so dark. The lotus is my intent. It becomes a symbol for many images in the collection: the young girl in the shelter, the woman who is raped to provide a cure for aids, the girls who “might be gathering lotus leaves/ in the ponds outside of town” on the day the Khmer Rouge march into Phnom Penh: April 17th, 1975.