Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tents of Hope...and a winner!

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Jennifer was in DC to visit me and her cousin (who is doing her residency at DC Children's Hospital). Since I don't work on Fridays (it's normally my writing day), I played tourist with Jennifer.

We spent the morning and early afternoon at the Holocaust Museum, which is an amazingly powerful experience, although it's incredibly depressing. Trust me, every time I go, I swear I'm never going back. But Jennifer had never been, and it's a place everyone should go to at least once, so I went. But once I started crying, I realized I couldn't take it anymore, so we left and went out to lunch instead.

After lunch at the National Museum of the American Indian's cafeteria, we decided to walk along the Mall.

There were tons of people on the Mall, setting up what looked like tents. So we decided to investigate. As we got closer, we discovered that the majority of the tent-setter-uppers were teenagers, and that the tents were hand-painted. So we inquired as to what was going on.

Turns out they were setting up for the final event of the year-long Tents of Hope project. Tents of Hope is a "national community-based project that envisions a powerful union of artistic creativity and social concern in response to the crisis in Darfur." Kinda appropriate after we'd spent the morning at the Holocaust Museum.

Tents of Hope wants to draw attention to the millions of uprooted people in Sudan, many of whom are living in tents after being violently forced from their homes. The goal is to raise both awareness about Darfur as well as funds for humanitarian relief.

It was so heart-warming to see so many young people involved in a project like that. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I challenge our readers to give back -- to your community, to others in need, to people halfway around the world -- this holiday. Spread love, hope, peace, and humanity.


Now for the winner of yesterday's haiku contest. Rhonda read through all the posts here and on Myspace, and because they were all excellent, she had a very difficult decision. So congrats to Sela Carsen for making her giggle the most!

To recap, here is Sela's haiku:

Do these shoes go with?
Maybe a different skirt.
Oh. My. Gawd. My hair!

Congrats Sela!!!!!! Please email Rhonda at rhonda [at] rhondastapleton [dot] com to collect your gift card! Happy Amazon shopping!


  1. Yay!!! Thank you, thank you Fictionistas! I'm so excited about my awesome prize.

  2. YAY--you're welcome, Sela!

    Amanda, great post. I love seeing teens gather together and trying to do things to help the world. It gives me hope for our future.

  3. Love that haiku! Way to go, Sela!

  4. It's really pretty. I remember the AIDs quilt project from ages ago. That was really moving, too.

    Way cool, Amanda!!

  5. I have a hard time at any museum because they set my psychic radar off the charts--the Holocaust one would be too hard.