School kids need footbridge

July 11th, 2014

Looks to me like a group of school children could use a footbridge to help them attend school every day, even in the rainy season.
sofankids-1

This is another project by the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation.
This video explains it:

Wikipedia says this: “Sarangani is a province of the Philippines located in the SOCCSKSARGEN region. Its capital is Alabel. With a 230 kilometres (140 mi) coastline along the Sarangani Bay and Celebes Sea, the province is at the southernmost tip of Mindanao Island, and borders South Cotabato and Davao del Sur to the north, and Davao Occidental to the east.”

Here are some statistics from the Dept. of Education:

sofanes-deped

sofanprofile

A yellow boat named Judy

July 11th, 2014

Boat Named Judy
July 2014. Feeling very honored this week. The Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation (YBH) honored Josiah Go, Rick Passo, and me by naming yellow boats after us . . . boats designed to help the remarkable community of Great Santa Cruz Island, Zamboanga City, Philippines.

This particular project on Sta Cruz is a sustainable ecotourism project that aims to provide alternative livelihood to fishermen. By giving livelihood, YBH hopes they will protect their environment as well as improve their income so that their kids can continue going to school.

a boat named JudyHere’s what the foundation said (and posted on Facebook), “Our first three Yellow Boat Adventures boats for Sta. Cruz Yellow Boat. community is named in honor of 3 special people who helped YBH at very crucial points and until now are still very active HOPE PADDLERS! The board of YBHF unanimously approved to give them the honor. Our chief rainmaker Josiah Go, our chief connector Rick Passo and our Chief inspiration Judy Simpson Vorfeld! Thank you!”

To be so honored is humbling and exciting. This is a foundation whose volunteers work special kinds of magic on any given day, in order to help Filipino kids get their education and be challenged by what the future holds. I love volunteering for YBH, even though we are separated physically.

Yellow boats on the way to Great Santa Cruz IslandOne of many blessings given us is technology, so we can not only have worthy goals, but often the means to fulfill them. Social media, particularly Facebook, has been an unsurpassed tool for communication within and outside of the Philippines. It is bringing together many people who love to give with others who love to give, and the results are not just amazing, but sometimes wildly creative. People are finding methods for helping the disadvantaged in ways that encourage education, sustainability, and self-respect.

A shot of the turnover of the boats to the community followed by a shot of much of the community and YBH Volunteers.
turnover community

And another project underway that has enormous potential, The Yellow Dorm of Hope. It is under construction. Here are some links so you can see what the dorm is all about.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.495963543824683.1073741869.158289907592050&type=1

https://www.facebook.com/YellowBoat/photos/a.495963543824683.1073741869.158289907592050/495963853824652/?type=1

https://www.facebook.com/YellowBoat/photos/a.495963543824683.1073741869.158289907592050/495964130491291/?type=1

Louie Schwartzberg: Hidden miracles of the natural world

July 8th, 2014

This is a TED video you don’t want to miss!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/FiZqn6fV-4Y

Five Popular Content Writing Tips That Are Dead Wrong

May 17th, 2014

Judy Vorfeld

“The written word,” says Rich Becker, “is one of the most accurate and flexible means of communication ever conceived and we’re living in an era where we can access more of it than ever before in human history.”

This colorful writer, businessman, and educator just posted an article, “Five Popular Content Writing Tips That Are Dead Wrong.” He explains the following items in full in his blog post:

1. Everything is trending toward less words so write less.
2. Adding exciting words to marketing copy will jazz it up.
3. Writing catchy copy takes almost no time at all.
4. Persuasion and believability comes from good writing alone.
5. One medium will rule them all and in the darkness bind them.

Take a few moments to hear Becker out. Writing proficiency is vital, and it is diminishing in the U.S. Not good.

Rich Becker is an accomplished businessman who has also taught writing, editing, and social media classes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for more than ten years. Subscribing to his blog is one of the smartest moves I’ve made in my business.

No Arms, No Legs; No Worries

May 8th, 2014

Nick Vujicic - one in a million!

Discreet or discrete?

May 4th, 2014

Judy Vorfeld

Sometimes life gets complicated. Especially if you’re writing something and you choose the wrong spelling and the book isn’t edited and it is published for millions of people to see.

On the other hand, it proves you are human. But there is so much help available that you can find answers to almost anything regarding writing or spelling. I recently read a good novel that used “discrete” instead of “discreet,” and promised myself I’d blog about it to help others.

Discreet

You are discreet when you show self-control in your behavior. You don’t call attention to the situation. If you need to leave the room to visit the bathroom, you make a discreet exit. At least I hope so, because probably no one is interested in where you’re going.

If you watch Downton Abbey, you’ll understand what it’s like to be discreet. Almost all the gossip is done discreetly, except when the screenwriter wants to create tension.

Discrete

When you think “discrete,” try to think “separate,” “distinct.” If you think of society, you think of it as a discrete “whole” or “entity” created of individual agents. You could think of a birthday cake created with discrete items: M&Ms, chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, candied fruit, etc. On the other hand, you might say the cake had lots of goodies in it.

There’s also something mathematical about “discrete,” but I either got low grades or flunked mathematics, so I’ll just say that in math, discrete has to do with finite or countable sets of value. Or something.

Judy’s amazing new promo

April 25th, 2014

I recently hired Vooveo.com to create a brief, descriptive video of my business, Editing and Writing Services. They did a fantastic job. I highly recommend them. Here are two different resolutions:

Obituary for Lucia Julia Fort

March 19th, 2014

Lucia Julia Fort, 57, born October 27, 1956, in Lima Peru, to Pedro Emilio Fort and Julia Maria Aste, passed away at her home in Denton, Texas, on February 14, 2014. Lucia spent her life as an artist. She will always be remembered through her work. She is survived by her mother Julia Maria Fort; three sisters, Diana Maria Fort and husband Joseph Boudeman of Pacifica, California, Constanza Fort and husband Eduardo, Silvia Rita Fort and husband Alfredo; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She will also be dearly missed by her beloved dog “Bella”. Lucia was preceded in death by her father, Pedro Emilio Fort.
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Here is an interview with Lucia which I completed years ago and posted on this website. She was my client, and we became friends, but because we were both busy, we lost touch. One of her clients (who found the article below) called me last week, saying she couldn’t get hold of Lucia, and didn’t know what to do. I decided to check the obituaries in her town, and was heartbroken to discover her death.

A Biography of Artist Lucia Fort

©Judy Vorfeld

Today, Peruvian artist Lucia Fort hand paints tiles that adorn the interiors and exteriors of exceptional homes and commercial buildings. Not long ago, she lived for a month on less than she makes now on the sale of one tile. The story of her transition reads like a novel, but it is only too real.

“Because of hundreds of years of Spanish rule, tiles were integrated into the art culture of Peru as they were in Mexico,” says Lucia, a second generation Peruvian of Italian and French heritage. She always loved art and graphic design. As a young woman she began supporting herself by working in graphic design and advertising, while making time to teach others how to create art on tiles. This elegant artwork, however, could be no more than a serious hobby, because of Peru’s economy.

In 1990 and 1991, Peruvians experienced extreme hardships: hyperinflation and terrorist attacks shattered all hope of living a normal life. During that time, while Lucia was in a restaurant, a bomb ripped apart the adjacent building, killing many people. Stunned by the realization of how short life can be, even though she was not injured, she decided that the only thing that matters is doing what you really love to do.

Almost broke, she decided to test her luck in the “country of the opportunities, America.” Lucia got a visa (her sister lives in San Francisco), but she soon realized the costs for starting a business were too high for someone without capital. After several months she moved to Texas, only to learn that graphic design jobs went to people with computer experience. She had none, so she began working as a baby sitter, house cleaner, etc.

One day while browsing through a library, she picked up an interior design magazine that showcased custom tile work. The artwork, she thought, was adequate, but not extraordinary. And the cost! She’d never seen such expensive tiles. She earned $30 dollars a month in Peru, working two jobs.

Suddenly, an exciting new window opened. She knew she could paint better art on tiles anything she’d seen. Unable to make appointments by phone because of her limited English, she started painting samples and taking them to builders. “I learned that it was more difficult for them to say no when they saw you sitting in the reception area for hours,” she says.

Once she had her first client, Lucia bought a small kiln and rented a shop, even though it had a large hole in the roof. Every time it rained, she simply moved everything and cleaned up the mess. Laughing to herself, she took pictures of the ceiling and the mess below, saving them for later. She wanted a reminder of her first American shop with its hole in the roof.

Full of hope, she began visiting stores and leaving free samples of her art on tiles. Sales grew. Five years later, with the Internet in full bloom, and still without a computer, Lucia sacrificed to have a Web site designed.

In August 1997 she stopped by the library to use a computer to check her e-mail. Did she have a sale? Yes! She realized that the Internet was an important communication medium, and that by using it to the fullest, she could reach buyers without having to open a store. Since she couldn’t keep paying a designer to maintain her Web site, in February 1998 she bought her first computer. Five months later, Lucia Fort opened http://www.artontiles.com.

Lucia applies her formidable determination to perfecting her English and wishes it could happen faster. “Right now, I’m working seven days a week,” she says. “As soon I have more time, I will enroll in an English class at the university. For now, I read a lot and listen books on tapes while I’m painting.”

“Not bad for someone that rode a llama six years ago, metaphorically speaking,” she laughs. “Many people know more than I do, but if I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s this: if you try to find the perfect time or the perfect location, etc. to do something, you will never do it. Sometimes you need to jump into the pool and you have no option except to swim. Just make sure the pool has water.”

iDoctor Could a smartphone be the future of medicine

March 5th, 2014

Winter in Washington State

February 25th, 2014

crueasnow2014Since my roots are in Washington State, it’s not unusual to get/see a lot of pictures during winter, when snow has its way…

My cousin, Doug Cruea, sent this picture of his yard. I can sit in my warm Arizona home and think that is beautiful. Which I would do even if I were walking through the snow. But it’s so cozy this way!


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