It’s never lost on me how fortunate I am to travel often and to meet many, many mothers. I’ve said it many times before, being with mothers and their little ones is my favorite thing to do when I am visiting another country.
For Mother’s Day, I put together a list of my favorite motherhood photos from some of the countries I have visited. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed being with these moms and children.
Happiest Mother’s Day!
These past few days have been fairly intense. First, I spent Thursday and Friday at the SwitchPoint conference in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, then when I was coming home from SwitchPoint I heard about the massive earthquake in Nepal where I actually have friends, all the while readying myself to travel to Haiti today. It’s been a lot!
As you read this I’m on a plane somewhere in transit to Port-au-Prince. I am excited to go to Haiti and although things have been a bit overwhelming nothing can stop me from gathering great stories while I’m there for the first time.
While at SwitchPoint I thought critically about my work as a writer and founder of Social Good Moms and how I can make both better through powerful storytelling. SwitchPoint is a conference for global health thinkers, artists, and communicators. That’s not their full definition, but that’s how I define it for myself. That’s what I like about SwitchPoint: The flow of it hits people in different places. Mine was about telling the best stories we can with the tools and knowledge we have.
Everyone had a story to tell even the freestylers who have traveled the world creating Beat Making Labs for the youth of Africa and Asia…
… to the husband and wife owners of Haw River Farmhouse Ales who wanted a full-fledged brewery and funded it themselves without any investors (impressive) and could care less if they grow big or not. They are taking it one step at a time and are staying true to the Saxapahaw community. I love that.
By the way, their ales are fresh and delicious. I tried two: one dark, stout beer and another light, lemony beer. Both were two of the best beers I’ve ever had in my life mainly because of the unique blends and because they were literally brewed 10 feet away.
And with that…I will talk to you when I arrive in Haiti given I have Wi-Fi. Be sure to follow me at @jenniferjames. I may be able to tweet and not write full blog posts.
Talk soon, friends!
During a packed event at Michelangelo hotel in Johannesburg, key partners including Save the Children, World Vision, PATH, Mothers 2 Mothers, and the Society of Midwives of South Africa came together to rally support for newborns and celebrate the progress thus far to save millions of vulnerable newborns around the world.
I traveled to Johannesburg for the two-day event about maternal, newborn, and child health.
The Every Newborn Action Plan was endorsed by 194 countries in May 2014 and will be officially launched at the PMNCH Partners’ Forum today. At this early pre-event called “A Common Thread: Reaching Every Woman and Every Newborn” leaders in the global call to save newborns and their mothers spoke including Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, Joy Lawn, professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, former Ethiopian Minister of Health as well as the Minister of Health of South Africa.
During the event Save the Children unveiled its Blanket of Hope with squares from across the globe.
And global stories of mothers and their newborns and their survival were placed throughout.
The Partners’ Forum begins today in Johannesburg. Follow along at #PMNCHLive.
The sun is going down over Addis Ababa as I write this post. There are only streaks of dark clouds on a pale blue evening sky.
I have always wanted to visit Addis ever since I was a child. I’m not sure when I first heard about Addis Ababa. Whenever it was I wanted to come here right away, so it’s a bit surreal to look out of my hotel window and see the beautiful mountains surrounding this lovely city. There’s something quite amazing about Addis that I don’t feel anywhere else in the world. It really is a place unto its own.
Today was a good day with great meetings. One meeting ended in a coffeehouse here in Addis where I had another phenomenal macchiato. As far as I’m concerned, you can never take too many coffee shots.
Even though I am not staying at the Sheraton, Addis’s most prestigious hotel, I do understand why many flock to it especially during all of the high-level meetings that tend to take place here. The landscaping is beautiful and a friend tipped me off to the best view of Addis – right from the Sheraton hotel.
I only have a few more days left in Ethiopia. I am saddened by that, but ready to go home and be with my family! I still have more meetings and site visits before I finally wrap up this trip this week. And then I will be back in June!
After dinner tonight a few of us went to a mall across the street from our hotel where we could change money and activate SIM cards for our phones. I didn’t tackle my SIM card situation just yet, but I did change US dollars for Zambia kwacha at a supermarket that looked just like any supermarket in the States. This modern grocery store is the first one I’ve seen like that in Africa. Although I can’t be sure of this, I believe southern Africa is a little better in terms of sheer infrastructure and status of living than other sub-Saharan countries and regions of the continent. That said, I have been in Zambia all of seven hours so I may be making a huge leap about that. That’s just what I’ve observed so far.
I do love changing money when I travel. US dollars go so far in so many places. In Zambia surprisingly things are a little expensive, at least more so than Ethiopia and India where you can buy a ton for a little.
Our day gets started mid-morning tomorrow. The IRP showed mercy and didn’t require an early, early start since so many of us have traveled nearly an entire day to get here. I literally skipped Saturday time zone wise. When I left it was Saturday morning and when I landed in Dubai it was all of 7 am. Missing most of a day really does a doozy on your sense of time and date.
I have a few things to do tonight and then I’m off to bed. I usually don’t sleep much when I travel, but I figured I might as well get some rest now before our work officially begins.
I am traveling to Zambia as an International Reporting Project Zambia Fellow. The International Reporting Project is a part of The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. I will be reporting on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and how these three infectious diseases acutely affect mothers and children. You can follow our journey for the next 11 days at #ZambiaHealth.
Last night reaffirmed the power of Twitter and my love for the microblogging service. As many of you I was able to catch the news of bin Laden’s death even before traditional news stations broke the news.
Before the official news of bin Laden’s death was announced I monitored all of the major news sites to see which one posted the information first. It was the New York Times. Meanwhile it was nearly impossible to sift through the breaking news on Facebook. On Twitter, however, I was able to search by hashtag, see new trending hashtags, retweet people I don’t even know who were adding valuable tidbits on the ground in Washington, D.C. and at Ground Zero. I was able to converse with friends and followers about the weighty news of the night. Nine and a half years ago on September 11, this wasn’t possible. We were all glued to our television sets and computers, but we were largely relegated to sharing information through email only. It was a different time then. How times have changed in nearly a decade.
Twitter and social media have certainly made our world much smaller.
Quick Links | 50 Mom Bloggers With 40+ Klout Score | Measuring Mom Bloggers One Score at a Time | 50 More Mom Bloggers With 40+ @Klout Score
Yesterday I was riding home from a property I was invited to visit on the North Carolina coast when I received a tweet
from Kim Moldofsky
about a Klout list of top mom bloggers
. I clicked over with great
interest since I just wrote about Klout
and then my head almost exploded, not because of the moms who are featured on the list (and deservedly so), but because of the moms who weren’t on the list, me included (yes, I let my ego run wild for a minute!)
Today instead of complaining about the list and since I know the mom space, I decided to pull together a list of more mom bloggers with Klout scores over 40. I’m sorry if I missed you and you have a 40+ Klout score. It’s inevitable to overlook people when making lists! If you have a Klout score over 40, please leave your Twitter handle in the comments and I will create the “50 More Mom Bloggers With a 40+ Klout Score” list.
**NOTE (Added 10/24) I understand that the Klout list was formulated from the Babble Top 50 Mom Bloggers list. That said, I took it upon myself to expand the list to include more moms with social media influence.
**NOTE (Added 10/30) I have created another list of 50 More Mom Bloggers With 40+ Klout Score.
More Moms With 40+ Klout Score