Saturday, March 27, 2010

Garbage City. New life :)

So many people have been asking me about Garbage City lately so I thought I'd compile all the updates and answers into one post.

Many of you know that I was in Ethiopia in for my DTS outreach in January-March of 2009. In this time we established the children's home by rescuing the first child at Drawn From Water

In the last few weeks of our outreach after trying time and time again to get into the garbage dump we finally succeeded - though not without a couple tiresome attempts that ended a few of our guys from our team in jail (more about this in our book).

In the few days we had there I was able to visit the boys and girls in their "home" and experience first hand their living situation. It's hard to describe the feeling (and the smells) without thinking about any family member of my own living in these situations - it's rough, and it's not fair. Which is why we had to do something. In these few days we joined the gang in games that involved dancing (my favorite), Bible study with a little help from our Ethiopian friend Abdissa (also featured in our book), and ate TONS injera (my other favorite :) at a picnic/Bible study we hosted one day.

Before, everyday a group of young girls from the slums would work and labor in the trash after school to find things to sell just to make ends meat for their families. In our time there we gained relationships with each of them. We wanted to follow through with our promise of keeping in contact with them - but more than that we wanted to help them out. Many tourists come through year after year telling them that they would help. But they never return. We could not do this to these young people again.

In November 2009 we established a "T-Shirt House" (yes, this needs a better name) thanks to the influence of artists on the outreach team at the time. Our group trained the girls how to sew and they thought of designs for t-shirts that portrayed their thoughts in working in trash. Now instead of going to the dump everyday, the girls come to our home to sew t-shirts and learn other crafts. So far they have made over 100 shirts that we will be selling on tour.

Everyday the girls come to our home after school to sew for 2 hours or so. The home is also a place for them to have a warm shower or cook a big meal - things they can't get at home. On the weekdays when a translator is not available we teach English and cook tons of injera and coffee (traditional Ethiopian food and drink mmmmm). On Saturdays or when a translator is available we have a Bible study and can talk more with the girls about their dreams and aspirations. Currently we are implementing several programs to help the whole group. We want to employ an English teacher to lead the whole group through an intensive English course so that we can communicate without a translator.

Since we started working with the girls, 8 have given their lives to Jesus. It's so amazing to hear about these changes that have come in these girls lives' since we met them. Through our discipleship, I hope that each one of them gets a chance to go deeper in their relationship with God. Maybe we will get to see them in a discipleship training school at our own base and can send them off the disciple others!

For the future, members from Pick a Pocket will be rotating out of the house making sure the girls are safe and the house is running. We hope that by the end of this year every member of Pick a Pocket will have had the chance to live in the house for a few weeks and meet the girls. We ask for your prayers for finances to make this possible. I personally would LOVE to go back to Ethiopia and start a documentary on the house. Possible news about this later :) ....

The girls in their new life:
[photo by Taylor Pool]

Here in Herrnhut, another team is preparing to go and help the men and boys reintegrate into society. Since we heard about Brahano’s dream to build a chicken farm, the staff began to look after chickens to gain some experience. We want to see this chicken farm become a reality. Providing guidance and assistance to the men, we hope to see them take advantage of the opportunities we are offering them.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A few exerts from the book...

    "Salem is 16-years-old. Her aunt expects her to work in the garbage and contribute to the rent. Her mother died when Salem was eight-years-old. Her dad is an alcoholic and is now married to another woman. When we asked her about her hopes and dreams for the future, she answered after a long pause, “My only dream is to survive!”

    Salem on our second visit to the trash:

    Subalew is 16-years-old as well. She left her home because there was not enough money to feed the whole family. When she was eight-years-old she left her shanty. From time to time she visits her parents and her brother. Since she arrived here she has never left the garbage dump except for a few times when she went onto the loading area of a garbage truck. We asked her why she had not left already. “I wanted to a few time but I was ashamed because I have no money and somehow I do not fit into the world outside the dump. Here I feel safe and at home.” She says life in the dump “is very cold here and it is hard; but, I have no other choice. The most important thing for me is family, that we are for one another here where we can be there for one another...

Contact info{at} to find out how you can get a copy of the book!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March featured Pick a Pocket crew member!

Meet Tiana!

SE//What is your favorite part about being in PP?

T + My favorite part is that I feel as if I'm living my dream. I have always wanted to do something like this, and I used to think it wasn't possible. But it seems like everything I am passionate about and love is combined into what Pick A Pocket is. It's a dream come true, honestly. I love it! And the people are amazing, as well. They make it easy.

SE//Why PP? Why not a PAYING job?

T + This is such a hard question. But if I don't get paid to do what I do, I am completely fine with that because I love what I do so much. I'd much prefer not getting paid in exchange for doing something I love, rather than getting paid to do something that I didn't feel fulfilled in doing.

SE// Favorite place traveled/why?

T + My favorite place is most definitely Afghanistan. I fell in love with it. Everything is so beautiful. The land, the people, the culture. I want to live there again someday. I love London as well. The love the eclectic and diverse atmosphere.

SE//People who inspire you (artists, authors, musicians, etc)

T + Music, film, and literature inspire me the most. But I guess to be more specific, my favorite band Shai Hulud is one of my biggest inspirations. Post Rock/Instrumental music, such as Yndi Halda, This Will Destroy You, and Caspian. Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, David Sedaris, Mark Z. Danielewski, and Jonathan Safran Foer for filmmakers and authors. The list goes on!

SE//Finally, 1 or 2 random/fun facts?

T + I have weird obsessions with fonts and clouds. Also, I love kite flying after being able to do it while in Afghanistan.

Tiana would love to hear from you! You can also check out her blog:
Email: tianablas[at]

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

DIY FFFound objects.

Today I cleaned my room spring cleaning style for the first time in months. It was about a 5 hour effort but soooo worth it. On my trip to an abandoned factory a few days ago with a good friend (and SUPER talented photographer) Irish, we found a few rolls of vintage wallpaper that I want to use for my collages. My biggest struggle in cleaning my room is mine and my roomates lack of storage. We move constanly and practically live out of out luggage months at a time, so neither of us want to invest in too much "stuff" to keep in our rooms. It's the little things like magazines, notes, books, and letters that you want to keep, but we have trouble finding places to put them. I looked around my apartment and came up with a solution.

I will spare you the before pictures (since I would be pretty embarrassed for anyone to come across those) and show you the SUPER easy steps of making a cute, cheap storage units...

the finished prodect. VoilĂ !

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Only 47 more days to go and to get our books printed we HAVE to reach our goal of $7,000 or we get nothing.

PLEASE Tweet, Facebook, email, text this link:

Just $10 can help us to reach our goal!


ps. go to the page to grab the widget :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

25 Today :)

my roomates are the best. Pancake party!!!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

30 DAYS Challenge success!

We've raised over 300 Euro so far with our 30 Days Challenge! Last night was our first event on our German tour and we had a HUGE turnout (we'll it helps when you have a show at a huge castle where over 30 people live-but that's besides the point). A few of the pictures above are people who have done or are committed to doing 30 Days. Every single member of Pick a Pocket MUST do 30 Days as well. Over half the pictures are of my beautiful team members:)

We're working on showing this generation what it is like to live a little closer to poverty. For 30 days we challenge you not to pay for you own food, but rely on others to feed you (just like most of the world's poor does on a daily basis). After the 30 days you donate the money you WOULD HAVE spent on food and donate it directly to our projects. These projects include: Drawn From Water, Rahab Cafe, Garbage City, El Roi School, Rahab Second-hand shop, JK Girl's home, Mumbai Street Kids Ministry, Adoption Ministry of YWAM Ethiopia, Nepal Water Project, and Chittiwan Children's Home. It's so cool to see all these projects listed. I think it's the first time I've ever written them out :)

I hope you guys can join in on tour as we share more about these projects and show how YOU can do your 30 days! For more info send me a shout...

More pictures of last nights show including TRASHY HAIRCUTS coming soon!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

art. prismzzzz. lines. oh my.

The sun is out and it's about time CREATE! I have a few works on the way, but until they are finished I will leave you with some of my favorite artists/inspirations.

Matt Moore

Stone and Honey

Misprinted Type // Alicia Waters