Best new blog discoveries .09

Every once in a while I find myself in the middle of a conversation and I want to bring up something I have gleaned from a blogfriend.  And I hesitate.  What do I say? How to introduce the strange, distant-but-connected network of colleagues and friends that has emerged from my forays into the blogworld?

I read blogs to be inspired.

I read blogs to laugh.

I read blogs to find answers. 

(I still do not care for the word "blog.")

I read blogs for the same reason I read anything: to transport myself, if not into someone else's shoes than at least to a little window on another world, another way of thinking or living.  To understand. Sometimes it's to find solace that there are others just like me.  Other times I want to know what it's like to live a completely different life.

One of my favorite new-to-me blogs this year fills all of those roles.  Have you visited 22-year-old Maggie Doyne's blog, written from her home for children she founded in Nepal's Kopila Valley?  You're in for a treat.  After graduating from high school, Maggie went on a trip that changed her life:

Four countries and 20,000 miles later, I was trekking through the Himalayas in war-torn Nepal, where I began to meet hundreds of orphan children. I fell in love with their bright eyes and beautiful smiles, but was shocked to see them barely surviving without the most basic things that I had grown up with as a child.

Playing inside the chicken coop!As I shared my dream to build a safe home for these children, with my hometown in Mendham, NJ, I was astounded by the outpouring of support. This past year, I officially opened the frontdoor of Kopila Valley Children's Home, built brick-by-brick, by me and the local community in Nepal. There are now 26 children living in our home. We have been able to enroll eighty children into school, facilitate life-changing operations for children in need, and create a village outreach program to improve schools in remote areas. I truly believe that if every child in the world is provided with their most basic needs and rights—a safe home, medical care, an education, and love, they will grow to be leaders and end cycles of poverty and violence in our world.

I'm inspired. Maggie's passion for what she does fuels some of my own dreams.  I can't go start a school in Nepal but I can think of something I *can* do, here and now.  Go check it out and cheer her on (plus she's had a difficult day today).

Other great finds this year: Dare to Dream, You Can't Be Serious, The Moth podcasts, and Jorge (Lost's Hurley)'s quirky blog Dispatches from the Island.  Happy surfing/reading!

. . .

Year in review, Gwen Bell-style, day 7.