It’s been a couple of months since I last checked in, and I wanted to publicly wish my friends and colleagues and Aceh a peaceful and joyous holiday season. This month in Indonesia we celebrate both Hari Natal (the birth of Jesus) and the first day of the Muharram, the new Islamic Year, on December 18th. December will also see even more celebrating in Aceh if we manage to get one of the two large grants we’ve applied for from either UNIFEM or the Multi Donor Fund, so let’s keep fingers crossed. Also, we’re starting to think about replicating some of the sustainable livelihoods initiatives we’ve implemented in Aceh and trying them out in our own back yard: the farming communities of upstate New York, where an increasing number of families and migrant workers are living below the poverty level and losing their agricultural livelihoods at a rate alarming to both the region and the state of the food supply in the US. I’ll write more on this in the new year, which promises to be very, very busy.
In the meantime, on behalf of everyone at Building Bridges to the Future and Jembatan Masa Depan, I send my very best wishes for your happiness, safety and prosperity this holiday season and in the coming year.