Me

I love cookies.

I tend to take things to heart. I am serious about our need as a country, world, and individuals to do something about poverty, discrimination, and upholding rights of all individuals. I think people need to care more. People think I care to much. I cry easily. I have worked with abused, neglected, and abandoned children. I personally know people who have been trafficked. I have seen mothers sell their children to survive. I found Roma (one such child). I lost Lenuta (another). I have friends who have died of AIDS alone in hospital rooms in secluded wards. I plan to spend my life trying to right the wrongs I feel in the world. People always comment that they don’t know how my mother lets me do this stuff. To them I say 1- how could she stop me, 2- she doesn’t want to stop me, she is my biggest cheerleader, 3- why do people always think of the mothers… my dad cares too.

I do believe that one person can make a difference. I know that I have to.

I love to go out dancing. Most of the time, I stay home and read books. I am lazy. Sleeping is my vice. Kopp’s ice cream in Milwaukee is the best anywhere. Outside of Milwaukee I settle for Ben and Jerry’s half baked or dulce de leche. In the summer, I could live on fresh tomatoes and smoothies. I love food. I think I inherited my mom’s affinity for food.

I find myself ever changing. I am introspective as of late. At school, I pushed myself to exceed expectations and move beyond my own boundaries. I am no longer afraid of research. I worked on a research project on asset building in Uganda. It was fascinating. Even the data analysis.  I continued to work in research with Fulbright.

I finished my Fulbright in Chile, where I had a research grant to look at the risk that street children in Valparaiso and Vina del Mar have for being trafficked and exploited. I decided to stay for a while upon completion and work in community health.  I finished that project too. Then I took a job which is allowing me to travel the world and work in developing countries.  I finished a two year assignment in Kazakhstan (although I worked in all 5 central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan).  Now I am working in Albania.

My daughter, little elephant, was born June 2011.  She has become the center of my (ever moving) world.  She shows up here a lot.

This blog is a compilation of my thoughts. A lot of it is about work, about human trafficking, about ethical issues I run into, about my frustration and the hope I see. Some of it is Photo Wednesday– a weekly photo that inspires me to question, think or just sit in awe. Some of it is about food– because, let’s face it, I love food. Some of it is random, stuff I run into or do while procrastinating.

I welcome comments. I welcome other people’s thoughts and questions. I will not take bigotry or hatred on my site. I will erase any comment that I deem inappropriate. Feel free to poke around.

Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

Also, feel free to email me at ClareSays at gmail dot com.

-Me

23 comments

  1. Ahhh, how I love to sleep as well. Lazy is nice too.

    I support you on your quest. It is not easy to do what you do and have done. I just can’t even imagine!!

    To me, you are like a super hero.

    *L*

    P.S. Mom should be so very proud!

  2. I think “terrified” is the wrong word. It makes me sound passive, weepy and opposed to your adventures. As you know, I have always supported your decisions to travel the world and work on issues like trafficing. So I would prefer if you said that I am “concerned for your safety” but that I have supported your work and travels. Keep up the good work.

  3. Note: the above has changed because my mother is right. I could not have a bigger cheerleader than I do in her. And my dad too. In fact, they are such great cheerleaders that they even braved the cold and mud of Moldova to visit and stayed a week! I am also really excited because my cheerleaders (as well as my sister and her family and the hartsmans) are planning another international excursion to come visit me here in Chile. Therefore, I am retract what was said earlier– as it was said more for poetic merit than truth and leave you with a revised version of the about me section.

  4. Hello Cousin! How long are you in Chile for? I would love to visit you for a few days if there is time. i am not expecting a very busy year since i did not get a teaching job ( i will be working part time) and i will only be taking 2 classes. Let me know! Hope you’re enjoying ‘living your dream life’. ❤

  5. Clare, I couldn’t find your email so here we go:

    I wrote you up on my blog, and people have already started reviewing you!
    http://c.hileno.com/2007/08/clare-says-blog-review.html

    I also wanted to encourage you to check out the other blogs and write reviews of them here:
    http://c.hileno.com/2007/06/chile-blog-santiago-living-travel-blogs.html

    My goal is to review all of the English language bloggers in Chile. Here is the list of Chile Blog Reviews so far:
    http://c.hileno.com/2007/06/chile-blog-santiago-living-travel-blogs.html

    Tell all your friends about the Chile Blog Reviews, and keep up the great work blogging!

    -Chileno

  6. Hey!! I like your space, I still don’t read it everything but I’ll do it.

    Espero llegar a conocerte mas, pareces una persona de quien hay mucho que aprender, besos y estamos en contacto.

  7. Hi there,
    you’ve inspired me to open up a blog here in wordpress.com. i found your blog while searching for social work stuff. your posts are awesome. that’s what i’m interested in here in remote Pamirs mountains of Tajikistan, Central Asia. This year i’m planning to apply for a scholarship of social work. Like you I tend to take things to heart. The poverty in our region is widespread. Currently, I work full time for an Educational Institution. Besides I’m volunteering for a social work research program which aims to study ultra-poor families of the region.

  8. Clare
    There are very few things that move me as the first few lines upto “I think people need to care more”. I did read the rest with interest too.

    Count me in, never was a cheerleader, might have to shave my legs, but it will be worth it!

    I envy you and pleased to have “stubbed my toe”. Changing the world we live in is a noble cause and I am pleased to see your world through your eyes.
    All the best from UK
    winslie

  9. Hi Winslie. Glad you stumbled upon my site too. Its nice to find people in the blogosphere who are not afraid to talk about how they see the world and where the think it will go with the sensitivity that you have had.

    Annie– Thanks for the add. As you know, I already have you on my list of blogs to read. Good luck!!

  10. Hola clare

    saludos desde casa

    que tengas un buen fin de semana y disfrutes las

    partys jajajajajja…………..

    un guau….. te manda la Harley

    besos

    luv

  11. Hello Clare!

    I have spent the past 4 months interning as a social work student in very rural South Africa. I just graduated with my BSW, and I do not know where to go from here. I found you through the GWB website, and after reading through your blog, I think you would be able to give me some advice. I would like to do some more international social work before staying in the US…I would also like to go to graduate school but have limited funds…..how should I go about finding work in another country….especially if I only speak english fluently? work now….grad school later??? or Grad school now…work later? Thank you for your time.

    peace.
    noelle

  12. Hi Claire, I had read your information provided on the “An MSW in Cambodia”. Maybe you can help. I am writing a theisis on Human Trafficking for school, any insight would be great.
    Thanks in advance.

    Joell

  13. Hello Joelle,

    While I would be happy to help you… I would need a little more information on what you are interested in. Also, if you read through the site, there is sited information and lots of links you may be able
    to use. Good luck on your thesis.

    Also, the email you left in your comments did not work.

  14. Thanks for the Pinochet/McCain article.
    Especially loved your ME section. It was very YOU.
    We should plan a weekend together soon. Meet up somewhere! xoxoxx

  15. HI Clare

    I don’t know if you remember me but I worked as GIna Chowa’s research assistant for assetsafrica after you left for Cambodia. you trained me. anyway, i love that project and went to uganda with her.

    anyway, i just wanted to let you know i came across your site and i think its great. im moving to moshi, tanzania in a few weeks to work in an orphanage there and am going to social work school in the fall. kind of following in your footsteps. not sure where yet…

    good luck to you in all your endeavors!

    jane

  16. Hi Clare–great to be introduced to you through Dan. I just saw that you were on a Fulbright in Chile, and you mentioned that you used to live in Cambodia….I’m on a Fulbright now in Vietnam! I look forward to reading more on your site here…

    best wishes!
    Mallory

  17. You remind me very much of one of my sisters, and when people ask me how my mother lives with it, I say the same thing: she’s proud, she’s her biggest cheerleader, she would never want to stop her doing something that makes such an immense difference in so many lives, and why doesn’t anyone ever ask about my dad?

    More power to you for doing what you do. It takes alot of strength and alot of heart and I commend you for that.

  18. I have spent the past 4 months interning as a social work student in very rural South Africa. I just graduated with my BSW, and I do not know where to go from here. I found you through the GWB website, and after reading through your blog, I think you would be able to give me some advice. I would like to do some more international social work before staying in the US…I would also like to go to graduate school but have limited funds…..how should I go about finding work in another country….especially if I only speak english fluently? work now….grad school later??? or Grad school now…work later? Thank you for your time.
    +1

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