Archive for March, 2009

Paul’s Partners!


In honor of my amazing grandfather who passed away on the 5th of March after a long battle with kidney disease (and thrice weekly dialysis treatments), I have decided to participate in the National Kidney Foundation’s 5K walk that will be held in Sacramento on June 13, 2009. I have started a team called “Paul’s Partners” and anyone who is interested in walking is more than welcome to join us in raising awareness and money! I have set a goal of $1000 for our team, although I hope we can do much more than that!

Please email me, leave a comment  or register on through our NKF Webpage if you are interested in walking with us to raise money for the Kidney Foundation. If you’re interested in donating in my grandfather’s memory, please visit Paul’s Partners NKF website and click the “Sponsor Me” tab. Any donation, big or small, will be of great helping in allowing us to reach our goals in the next 9 weeks.

In Loving Memory

In Loving Memory

Help Paul’s Partners reach our goal of $1000 before June 13th!

Much love,


A “Grand” Event <3.

My Nana.

My Nana.

Since my grandpa passed away two and a half weeks ago, I’ve found myself searching for activities to get my grandmother involved with. Of course there are church activities, widow/bereavement groups, pinochle get-togethers and senior socials, but my grandma happens to be exceptionally shy. She’s very quiet around new people and although I think she would love engaging in activities with others, going by herself would be very nerve-wracking for her. If given the option, she would rather just stay at home by herself and crochet. That being said, I have tried relentlessly to find activities in the greater Sacramento area that cater to grandparents AND grandchildren, together; an organization that coordinates events, activites, lunches, etc. that a grandparent and grandchild could participate in together.  I can imagine that my grandma isn’t the only grandparent that’s too shy to get out and meet people after such a devastating loss and I would think that having that additional family member for an extra dose of support would make the events extraordinarily fun! That being said, there are no such organizations in the area that do anything like this and since I want it done, I think I may end up coordinating something small in our community.

Ideally, this could be a weekly or bi-weekly get together with different events at different times during the week. I’m thinking card games/board games, short-distance trips (Apple Hill in the fall, etc.), arts & crafts, light exercise, a senior citizen prom, etc. Either way, I think it’s worth giving a shot and would be invaluable to the senior citizens in the area. I think, personally, that if I were to go with my grandma and introduce her to other grandparents looking to make friends, she would more easily adapt and interact knowing that I’m there as backup. Also, aren’t grandparents always trying to show off their grandkids?

I’ll be working on this idea for the next little bit to get started in the next couple of months and I’ll keep everyone posted as I develop some fun days! I’m hoping to get this started sooner rather than later as I would like to start getting her involved. My biggest concern is getting the word out to people. If any of you have grandparents that you would legitimately concidering bringing to activities like this, PLEASE let me know — I seriously want to start something!

Much love,

Wordless Wonders.

If pictures are worth 1000 words, then I think it better that I post pictures from yesterday in lieu of describing the experience; I would likely have to write a novel. I took some awesome pictures at my grandpa’s memorial; an emotional day for everyone. For family, friends & everyone, here are some snapshots to check out.

Nana & the Granddaughters.


The Falzon Family. <3.




Dad & Sis.

Nana & Her Boys :)

Nana & Her Boys :)

I am so in love with my amazing family.

Malta, here I come!

After holding my grandfather’s memorial yesterday and meeting so many amazing Maltese people, I cannot WAIT to head over to Malta later this year or early next year. Considering I will be a short four hours from the island, it seems logical that I’d be able to make it over there for a three or four day stint. I snagged an academic calendar off of the internet which I think should be pretty accurate when I’m there (although I still have to verify!):

Autumn Term
28 September – 11 December

Spring Term
8 January – 19 March
19 April – 18 June

19 June – September

Obviously, a chunk of that break time is dedicated to studying & writing papers, but some of it will definitely be used for exploring. March might be a nice month for a trip over to Malta, Sicily & Italy — take note, Staci & Stefanie! I definitely want to take a trip to see Mosta (where my grandpa was born) and Qormi (where my mom was born), but what else should we be visiting? For those of you that have been to Malta or have lived (or currently live) there… what are your suggestions?

Thanks for the suggestions — can’t wait to see my Maltese family sometime soon!


It’s officially official <3.

I just had the opportunity to speak with one of the coordinators at the University of Bristol about getting documents to acquire a student visa to study in England, and I sent her a scanned version of my acceptance! Bristol it  is! — I’m definitely more than excited but incredibly nervous at the same time. I can’t believe I’m going to actually be leaving my family, boyfriend and friends for an entire YEAR! Considering how fast this year has gone thus far, I’m betting on the fact that my year in England will go by equally fast with the studying and traveling. Also, I am infinitely thankful for technology (Skype, MySpace, AIM, email, etc.) that will inevitably allow me to keep in touch with my California loves every day. Thank God!! I cannot WAIT to see the world and chronicle everything for posterity :)

Oh, and a shout out to Laura for hooking me up with a phone and a flat iron that work in the UK — you’re the best!


My home-to-be.

My home-to-be.


Reality Check!

So, amidst writing a paper on the Asian Currency Crisis of 1997, trying to “enjoy” a jazz concert (a necessity for a class), handling my work, planning my grandpa’s memorial and trying to pen an outstanding eulogy for Saturday, I tend to think that I’m pretty busy. Overwhelmed, even. Then I realize how good my life is when I read about how TB — a disease that is foreign to developed nations –  is killing men, women and children worldwide; it’s definitely quite the reality check.

World TB Day is March 24th and to commemorate, the Stop TB Partnership site put out some crazy statistics that most of us would find astounding:

* Someone in the world is newly infected with TB bacilli every second
* Overall, one-third of the world’s population is currently infected with the TB bacillus
* 5 – 10% of people who are infected with TB (but not infected with HIV)  become sick or infectious at some time during their life. People with HIV and TB infection are much more likely to actually develop TB

What’s most depressing is the fact that it’s tuberculosis; something we haven’t experienced as an epidemic in America for decades, yet it a disease that has  invaded South-East Asia, an area that accounts for 34% of incident cases globally. The estimated incidence rate in sub-Saharan Africa is far worse, nearly twice (!!) that of South-East Asia, about 350 cases per 100,000 population. Now, after some concerted efforts, the rate of growth for TB is pretty stagnant in Africa after a rapid growth in the 1990s, but it is still estimated that 1.6 million people died from the disease in a single year.

In 2006, WHO launched the new Stop TB Strategy outlining their desire to half the number of TB incidences by 2015. World TB Day is primarily geared towards bringing attention to the overwhelming population that is still infected with TB all over the world. Check out the the World Health Organization’s Stop TB Partnership website  and the World TB Day website to read some awesome stories about survivors, about humanitarian efforts and to download information on the fight against TB.

With all of that going on in the world, I think our lives are pretty great.

Indian Development Foundation fighting TB.

Indian Development Foundation fighting TB.


Humanitarian Fashionistas Unite.

Now, I always find it kind of oxymoronic to think that one can be a humanitarian and a trendy, designer-loving fashionista. I think that by choosing a career in International Development I’ve sort of chosen a life with some occasional field work that will inevitably force me to leave my Sevens and MAC collection at home, but it’s a sacrifice I’m more than okay with! It very much irritates my boyfriend when I discuss my internal battle in an outside voice; it normally goes something like this:

“I feel so bad wanting the new Valentino wallet when there are kids that are starving in third-world countries, but it’s just soooo pretty.  And I know that it will last a long time, so really $500 can be amortized over 12 years which really only makes the wallet about 12 cents a day… but for 12 cents a day, those kids could probably have rice and clean water…”  This little internal dialogue goes on for about two months prior to a large purchase, mind you, and by the end Chris ends up buying me the wallet just to shut me up.

Now — here’s the exciting newsto all humanitarian fashionistas! Save the Children, a fantastic organization that focuses on creating opportunities for children in the United States and around the world, has partnered with none other than Bulgari for a new project! Through their new collaboration and a campaign called Rewrite the Future, Bulgari has created a Save the Children- themed ringand will donate $60 of the $290 to the foundation. The ring is verrrry cool, the outside is engraved with “Bulgari”  in an Olde English-style font and the “Save the Children” logo is emblazoned on the inside. Better yet, it’s unisex so you can grab one for yourself and your boyfriend/girlfriend/mom/dad/brother, etc. No excuses!

Check it out — if we’re lucky they’ll continue to have a decent stock available. $290 is a bit of an investment in a silver ring, but the proceeds will definitely go to help make children’s lives better all over the world. And, you’ll get a cool new item to add to your stock and know that you’re doing a good deed. What could possibly be better? 


A whole lotta humanitarian hotness.
A whole lotta humanitarian hotness.