Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Remarkable experience of Celebrating the Difference

Welcome to Kerala, God’s own country.

The warm air welcomes you, hits you like a wall, and embraces your body immediately. The crowded little airport where people are waiting to pick up their loved ones, friends, relatives, business partners and so on, is overwhelming. Between the hundreds of self-written names boards, we tried to find our names. Realizing what they consider organized and clear, to us looked like complete chaos. We ask ourselves when we are sitting in the car, how do they do it? People everywhere, cars honking, tuktuks rushing, scooters racing by, different odors coming in and out of your nose, the unfamiliar sounds, the heat that beats against our skin, our bodies trying to fight off the tiredness, and yet again absorbing all the new experiences that we are taking in like a sponge.
“Holy cow, we are in India!!”

After being in this little tornado we step into a tuktuk, of which we thought we would never come out of alive. It brought us safely to our house, which we can call our home for the time that we are here.  
Throughout our preparation for our visit, we had our own thoughts and fantasies about the city (which turned out to be a village), the access to certain things, the expectation of being mobile, internet/mobile phone, the campus, the house we were staying in. It all turned out different then we thought. Without knowing what to expect, we immediately felt we had to readjust our reference. This was our first Remarkable experience. 
We challenge ourselves to celebrate all the beautiful differences,
and to embrace it with open eyes.

With sweaty greetings from Kerala!
Peggy-Jane & Karel

PS from PJ:
My heart got overwhelmed by emotions before I even hit the ground of India. The man next to me in the plane said “Welcome to Kerala. Welcome to God’s own country! Tears welled up in my eyes, and I thanked the man with a smile. I found the perfect place to spread out a part of my mom’s ashes.
Lieve mam, welkom in God’s own country, tot tussen de sterren*

Saturday, May 28, 2011

If you can dream it, you can achieve it!

Our Remarkable Story

Our journey started 2 Months ago when we met for the first time. During this meeting it became clear that we shared the same passion. We talked about our backgrounds and the things we were working on. Peggy-Jane was very eager to start working with her ideas around making people finding their true passion by using a creative coaching process. Karel was in the middle of writing his book interviewing a number of people, and concluding that it was time to start doing. Peggy-Jane and Karel took on this challenge and asked Gert to join. Our vision was to create the Remarkable Foundation to offer people a process to become proud of who they are, find their true potential, and realize their dreams. All three of us have our own stories to tell about why we are passionate about Remarkable. The stories are different, but our dreams are the same. We want to bring different worlds together.

The first step in our Remarkable Story is the ‘creative dream visioning’ workshop we will facilitate in India in June. In addition to visioning, we want to ensure that people to whom we offer this process, will get the funding to actually kick start their dreams. Specifically for the India workshop, we will be organizing a fund raising event later this year.
Over the last two months we had many, many people helping us in getting our Remarkable Foundation started. We are so grateful for all the help we have received! It enabled us to 'hit the ground running' and start doing. But before we start blogging about our experiences in India, we would like to thank:

·      Monique Verkuilen from AKD for preparing the deed of foundation for Stichting Remarkable
·    Henk Jan Smits, Bas van der Heuvel, and Annika Bos, for creating a beautiful Remarkable song (more on that later!)  www.soundwisestudio.nl  
·    Paul, Vincent, Marco & supporting team from Touch Creative who
created our logo, and helped us with various communication materials
·    Helen den Held, from the Deloitte Foundation who has given us the funding for our pilot project in India 
.    Yvonne and Rich Dutra St. John, founders of Challenge day, for sharing the Challenge Day training materials (www.challengeday.org)
·    Katja Schuurman, Maarten Ras, en Marije Schasfoort for helping us with sharing their experience with setting up Return to Sender
·    Karl van Houten, from www.camerakoning.nl who sponsored 5 video camera's that we can use in our project
·    Raymond from, De-Streng, for sponsoring our first Label order. www.de-streng.nl
·    Het Tattelljee, voor rest materialen www.tatteljee.nl
·    Dolf, from ASP giving support and access to their training materials
·    Salem Samhoud, and Marjan Companjen from &Samhoud who have sent us 150 balls of connection
·    Henno, from www.youngworks.nl giving feedback, support & sharing training materials
·    Ingrid Tappin, who took the time to brainstorm with us around our social media plan
·    Kieu for last minute sewing advice
·    Sandra, for designing the ring of connection
And of course our partners who have been putting up with our crazy work schedule, and who have been supporting us from the day we started!

Yes, we are going to India. Our first project will be at the International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs. We are incredibly thankful for this opportunity and really eager to get started.

About the IISE

The International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs (IISE) in Trivandrum, Kerala (South India) operates under the umbrella of Braille without Borders Charitable Trust (BWB). BWB was co-founded by Sabriye Tenberken and Paul Kronenberg in 2005. In January 2009, the IISE welcomed its first batch of 20 participants. IISE creates credible and effective leaders for positive social change across the world. The eleven month experiential program driven by catalysts helps them set up social projects that improve the quality of blind, visually impaired people and marginalized target groups in an earth-respecting environment that promotes leadership, collaboration and positive social change. The IISE focuses on leadership training in order to create social change through innovation.

We invite you to join our Remarkable journey by following our blog.
Follow us, we welcome your support!

We are living our dream.
Come dream with us!

Peggy-Jane, Karel, Gert