>When MySpace is No Longer the Right Place

>Today I took the time to delete all pictures and information on my personal MySpace page, and then I made the ‘ultimate’ move…I closed my account. Removing the pictures was a tad bit time consuming only because there were several in a few of my albums that I wanted to save on my computer. Other than that it was as simple as clicking “delete album” and confirming twice that I was sure I wanted to proceed with the process. Deleting the messages in my mailbox also took awhile, but it was worth it in the end. I still can’t believe I had messages dating back to February 2006, that’s ridiculous!

Some people totally understand why I would want to delete my account. For those of you who want insight let me share….

Just like certain people and things in my past…I am no longer in need of that account. When I first got my account circa 2004 it was fun, exciting, and a great way to get in touch with family and friends. It was also a pretty decent way to connect professionally, especially in the music business. I enjoyed adding pictures, graphics, and updating my music on my profile. By the end of 2006 my space felt invaded and MySpace was no longer fun. I switched my account to “private”. By the time 2009 rolled around I began using my account less and eventually not at all…last summer I abandoned ship for smoother sailing elsewhere. For me it has been a constant reminder of a Natasha from a different time, a different mindset, and with different priorities. 

The vibe felt like ‘then’ and not like ‘now’. 

I have learned a great deal about the drama of this digital social world, hence the reason I am very selective as to who I add now as a FaceBook “friend” -old friends and associates from elementary all the way through college, and a handful of people that I have met in some way over the past year. I’m not on these sites to date, be flirted with, or see how many people I can get as “friends”. People who want to connect with me on a professional level can find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, my blog, or one of my websites. There is no reason for them to read or see personal things about me. I’m not saying FaceBook and Twitter are drama-free, what I’m saying is I have structured my account to by-pass the missteps I had with MySpace…and most importantly, my accounts have no ties to something or someone from a closed chapter in my book of life. 

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that MySpace is a great site for entertainers, athletes, fan sites, teens and kids (when monitored), and the like. For the rest of us, especially those of us desiring a semblance of calm and not mania, it can be a disturbing place to try and coexist. For those of you die-hard MySpace fans, more power to you. Enjoy the ride.

Thanks for the good times MySpace!


Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.  

>Still having issues posting my Zimbabwe Part 2 piece

>Due to the limitations of my iPad and my laptop having a mind of its own; I am having difficulty posting part two of my Zimbabwe piece. Hopefully something gives in (not me) before Monday. Until then I have other interesting posts to share between now and then that I’m sure you will enjoy. I am also reviewing the feedback concerning my vocabulary word and axiom of the day….and I haven’t forgotten that we must pick back up on the series focused on organization and clutter control for the home, home office, etc.

This is bound to be a very interesting summer and I look forward to sharing pieces of it with all of you. Now let me run so that I can finish this book I was slated to complete weeks ago, but put on the back burner because my school work, and professional and personal commitments were taking up too much of my time and energy. I have until July 12th to get as much leisure reading in as possible…starting now!

Enjoy your Saturday everyone!


>Briefing on Mother Africa: Women of Zimbabwe- Part One

>Briefing on Mother Africa: Women of Zimbabwe- Part One

Thought-provoking news surfacing this week within the continent of Africa; if you have felt a disconnect this is now the time to reconnect and become a part of the pulse that makes Africa- home- and a reason why we should work towards making sure that both the diaspora and the nest are taken care of….


There is finally an opportunity for women to have a say, let their voices be heard, and help shape Zimbabwe’s constitution, but there are several problems looming; the two largest being:

1. The majority of Zimbabwean women have not been informed about their newly envisioned right to help re-structure the constitution. There has not been a massive, collective effort to publicize and educate on the issue- leaving the women of Zimbabwe basically in the same position they were in before this week.

2. The majority of women have no clue what the constitution is, how it is made up, and how their concerns for women’s rights can be translated into the writings of the constitution. According to Lydia Thembo when interviewed by Inter Press Service News Agency reporter, Ignatius Banda, “There are obviously many things I would like addressed that affects us women, for example, issues to do with inheritance laws. But I have no clue how to do this. I only know about voting during elections – that’s all.”

Let me simply say that these two issues of concern are the most pressing for resolution because without informing women of their right to participate in the process and being educated on the entire scope of the process (and the full measure of their roles) then there will still be exclusion and not inclusion. Banda reported that of the 120 cabinet seats, only four are filled by women. Yet, protocol demands that by 2015 there is to be an equal number of men and women serving- that is five short years from now.

Rejoice Timire, of the Disabled Women Support Organization told Banda that, “At the moment women in parliament are too few to make any meaningful change,” which simply means that without a grassroots effort to inform and educate the masses of Zimbabwean women of the rights, the meaning, impact, and influence of the constitution and their roles in framing it, the country will fall short of reaching the 2015 benchmark. I fear, as many of the women interviewed by Banda, that if something is not done immediately to counter the lack of action taken to get submissions from women, this will simply be fluff or as Banda so aptly referenced, “window dressing”.

Because women in Zimbabwe are so out of the loop in both the private and public sector, they have been left at a major disadvantage politically, economically, socially, and spiritually. When you strip someone of their natural born rights, before they even know they were entitled to them, to re-write the wrongs, you must skillfully and willfully inform them of their rights as humans, citizens, and specifically in this case, as women.

Zimbabwean Women’s Movement vs. the Chartered Course Within the U.S.

Zimbabwean women can learn a lot about women’s suffrage, the struggles against the status quo, the risks of internal fighting, and the need to be inclusive, from the women of the United States. When we look to the United States and the Women’s Rights (Women’s Suffrage) Movement it was not merely a handful of women who stayed within their small circle discussing their right to be included as “equals” to men, or their rights to have the constitution amended to include the right of women to vote- they made it a massive campaign that grew into a movement that made it possible on August 26, 1920 to amend the constitution. Now this did not come easy. Tomorrow read part two of this series as I share the history of women’s suffrage in the U.S. and highlight lessons for the women of Zimbabwe.

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.


Banda, Ignatius “A Chance For Women’s Voices to be Heard” retrieved from http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=51916j

>Nice quotes sent as one text (prayer) by Carman

>Life is short so love carelessly.

If you get hurt remember what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

What was meant to be will always find its way.

Love your haters they are your biggest fans.

Kiss with your eyes closed because the best things in life are unseen.

Remember every minute you spend unhappy is 60 seconds of happiness you will never get back.

Everything happens for a reason
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

>Sharing Pieces of Mother Africa with the Diaspora

>I have wanted to share information about various countries within Africa with the diaspora for some time now…today is the day…Let me share highlights on three countries (states), Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa.


Part of my roots come from this country…on my mother’s side of the family. I look forward to the day when my feet touch ground here. My curiosity keeps this researching queen focused on the latest happenings throughout Ethiopia. I hope my findings encourage you to learn about this country and others throughout Mother Africa. 

We may hear stories about larger cities and villages within Ethiopia…many of us know the name Addis Ababa, but how many of us know about the village and people of Abreha we Atsebeha? The village of Abreha we Atsebeha, in northern Ethiopia, about 45km from Mekele, (capital of the Tigray region) is confident that in another 10 years they will not need food aid, according to their chairman, Gebremichael Giday. 

It took 10 years for this village to see a rise in the water table allowing them the chance to dig shallow wells for irrigation.  They learned the process with the help of Managing Environmental Resources to Enable Transitions to More Sustainable Livelihoods,  also known by the acronym, MERET, meaning “land” in Amharic, the local language. MERET is a program developed by the World Food Programme (WFP) and implemented by the government. 

According to IRIN humanitarian news and analysis, “MERET provided Giday with the opportunity to learn about cross-breeding techniques and obtain new seeds for quick-growing varieties of maize. Since then he has cross-bred mangoes with apples – a delicacy that fetches good money in the markets of the national capital, Addis Ababa – and has introduced many new vegetables to the villagers.” They have grown as a people whose only food source was cereal, and now they have an abundant supply of fruits, vegetables, and money to purchase necessities. 

There are more than 5 million Ethiopians in need of food aid each year, but many do not support the idea of accepting aid as a form of charity or welfare…they don’t want a handout they want a hand up…many argue that there is a risk of dependency on aid (as seen in many countries, especially the U.S.) and sources such as MERET would be viable if they were providing the watershed management resources through loans and not aid. 

Without funding MERET may not be sustainable. Many donors would rather give cash, some preferring to donate to another food-for-work program with a watershed management component,  Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP). In order for MERET to survive they will need to raise $21.3 million US (33,000mt of food) to provide food-for-work incentives to up to 610,000 people. In order to avoid a major pipeline break in 2010, WFP spokewoman Judith Schuler told IRIN that they “urgently need $12.6 million.” Schuler also responded to the concern of aid dependency by saying that participants are only on aid the first three months in the program where they get 3kg of maize per day; preventing possible aid dependency.

Can MERET be the solution for all of Ethiopia? Can participants learn farming trades in order to be self-sufficient enough where no aid is needed throughout the entire country? Is there potential to reverse the effects of the 1984 famine that killed more men, women, and children than our memory will allow us to recall? I will continue following the efforts of MERET, the growth of  Abreha we Atsebeha, and how the rest of Ethiopia responds to MERET’s progress.


In addition to the World Cup taking place in South Africa, this country can be proud of launching an effort to educate all children through the 1Goal Campaign. BusinessDay reported today that 1Goal has partnered with President Jacob Zuma and Fifa president Sepp Blatter to make educating all of South Africa’s youth a top priority starting now; with the ultimate goal, that all children worldwide are enrolled in schools by the next World Cup in Brazil. July 7th 1Goal is holding a summit with world leaders to create a road map for this campaign.
The Global Campaign for Education, yesterday highlighted that 72-million children worldwide did not attend school, and half of them lived in Africa. Within South Africa, a new survey shows that 3.4% of the country’s children are not in school, and in the 16-18 age group the numbers show 9.8% of youth not in school, South African Democratic Teachers Union president Thobile Ntola said in an interview with BusinessDay. This campaign has the potential of bridging the gap between all nations of the world, so that all of our children are afforded the opportunity to live a fruitful life as educated producers in this competitive game we call life.  

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (also known as the DRC and the DR Congo)

I have been following this African state for many years, supporting efforts to fight crimes against women and children, and hoping that with added exposure the Democratic Republic of Congo  could one day be a nation of democracy, freedom, and opportunities of advancement for all. 

Today I read an article written by the Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi) that caught my attention, but sadly did not surprise me. It focused on the findings of Margot Wallstrom, the UN’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, who urged the Security Council to punish the perpetrators of rape against women in DR Congo. Wallstrom is reported as saying that the DRC is “rape capital of the world”. Evidence shows that during the fighting that took place last year, over 8,000 women were raped by men, and there are no laws protecting women and punishing rapists. 

In the eastern region, specifically in areas such as South Kivu, women are being raped oftentimes gang raped by armed men. Women are not safe walking on the streets, and now not safe within their homes as recently released reports have discovered that at least 60 percent of women were raped inside their homes by civilians. There are still numerous cases of violence especially against women by the army and militia; the five-year war may have officially ended on a grand scale in 2003, but the crimes against women and young girls are still taking place regularly.

The UN’s mission, Munoc is trying to help by escorting women to their homes, working with local authorities, and developing an early warning system. There has to be more that can be done. Are human lives not valuable enough resources to save? Women in the DR Congo have no rights; forget being second class citizens, the animals get more respect in this state and in others throughout Africa, and the rest of the world. What will it take to save these women from having to live in constant fear?  


Reflecting on the three countries I highlighted in this post do you see what connects them, what they have in common? The potential for positive change…growth…healing and prosperity…people who have fought, struggled, overcame, and survived because they have hope and faith in a better life. You have to believe that ‘better’ is possible, within grasp, and in our lifetime. Can you see it? Can you feel it? Do you believe?

                                         Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved. Natasha L. Foreman

BusinessDay http://www.businessday.co.za/
Catholic Information Services for Africa (Nairobi) http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/
IRIN  http://www.irinnews.org/