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Monday, February 22, 2010

fundraising for the boston area rape crisis center

Fundraising Page Image


Tea for the post: Mighty Leaf Organic Hojicha Green Tea. What tea would you like me to serve you today?

This post's gonna be pretty short as I'm quite busy this week. Since I had already mentioned that I am currently volunteering in a rape crisis hotline, I thought I'd let you **Tea Mates** and **Tea Guests** know about an event organized by this rape crisis center which is a 5k walk. In registering to walk in this event, I've also created a fundraising page. I would highly appreciate it if you could sponsor me and donate for my fundraising page to help support the Center especially as I've heard that federal funding for such cirsis intervention centers have decreased.

To access my fundraising page and support me, please see the first right hand side widgets that's lime green and is titled as: Help Me Support BARCC!!! (the one that says firstgiving). Or you could directly go to my fundraising page by clicking here: The fundraising page will be disabled (and its widget here will be removed) on July 11, 2010.

Would highly appreciate your support and let me assure you that, as a volunteer there, your money will not be excessively wasted on administrative costs like many charities. Below is a description about how your donations help and actually bring results:

  • $25 helps BARCC answer two hotline calls.
  • $75 pays for medical accompaniment to a hospital emergency room by a trained volunteer.
  • $200 supports the first three sessions of free counseling for survivors and their families.
  • $1,000 allows a new volunteer or intern to attend BARCC’s comprehensive training program
Here's the main website of BARCC itself: and here's the link to the walk itself:

From your Tea Mate,
Reema B. :-)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



Tea for the post: bubble green tea with milk. I personally never imagined having green tea with milk, but I really liked it! However, since this was the second time I had something like this, I think I preferred the one I had the first time at Infusions Tea Spa in Allston, MA. Also, I think the next time I drink this, I'll try it warm, without sugar, and maybe with less milk or with the Rainbow evaporated milk with cardamom flavor rather than fresh milk (I typically use this brand of evaporated milk whenever I drink Lipton tea; I feel like it gives a nice scent and flavor to the tea. Unfortunately, I can't find it here in the US...but I did hear that it could be found in Indian grocery stores in the country and I personally haven't really checked).

Speaking of trying out new stuff, since I started going to my hotline trainings, I found it funny how most of the girls and young women there (most of whom were between 19 to 25 year olds) would have their knitting projects ready to work on as they're out and about! This is really not a sight to be seen back in my home in the UAE, especially in Dubai; so yes, it was quite an extraordinary sight for me! Watching them work on their projects during our break times really inspired me to want to learn knitting (as you may have noticed in the "fun" list I was talking about in my previous post).

In my search of free knitting video tutorials, I stumbled upon Knitting The first video I watched seemed to be simple and easy to follow, hopefully, once I get the knitting tools I need and have the chance to experiment, I'll try to follow these tutorials and will some day post a review of the website here ;-)

Knitting also provides free patterns and project ideas and links to some knitting stores online. Among the knitting stores linked is a website called Darn Good Yarn that sells recycled and fair-trade yarn,  local Californian Alpaca wool yarn, banana fiber silk yarn, and silk Sari yarn. They have AMAZING colors (see the picture above) and offer a 5% discount with all first-time orders. Although the website only sells yarn and offers free patterns and ideas for projects, it did have a special offer only for February the 8th of getting a free pair of size 11 bamboo circulars if you order two or more balls of yarn on that day.

I didn't know about this offer until after I started emailing the owner of the site about weather I could get samples of the yarn to experiment before actually buying the yarn. She told me that they didn't but that they had that offer and that since I'm interested in learning, she'd also provide me with a free crochet needle in case I go in that direction! So, I ordered two balls of yarn and she added the free bamboo circulars and the free crochet needle. One of the balls of yarn cost $7.59 (originally $7.99) while the other was $6.64 (originally $6.99). The shipping cost $3.99, so I've paid a total of $18.22, plus I'm receiving the free needles; a good bargain for an expensive craft like knitting.

Although I placed my order on that very day and she had shipped it the next day, I still didn't get my package so I still can't comment on the quality of the products yet. So far, this long delay is my only criticism of this online knitting store. But then again, the package probably didn't reach me yet because of the bad weather in some cities and also due to this long weekend (it was President's Day today...I personally don't understand why do Americans have so many holidays; but I like that!!). I guess I should receive it by the next day or two because, according to the package tracking online, it is in transit and has just left the sorting facility in Boston. Will post a review of the products once I get my package and spend some time experimenting with them to see if this really was a good bargain overall ;-)

Would highly appreciate it if you **Tea Mates** and **Visitors** share links to good knitting stores online and free online video tutorials.

From your Tea Mate,
Reema B. :-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the "fun list"


Tea for the day: fusion of green and white tea. What tea would you like me to serve you now?

During one of my hotline trainings, we were discussing "self-care". As the name implies, it means taking care of yourself to avoid or reduce the probability of getting secondary trauma or depression as a result of interacting with survivors of trauma (in the case of my hotline: survivors of rape and sexual assault). Speaking of which, I had my very first call in my very first shift overnight on the Monday that just passed! It went very well, although I was so nervous at first and felt like I forgot everything from the training until I picked up that phone!!

Anyways...among the suggestions for self-care is to create a "fun list"! I really like this, I mean, a lot of us create lists about errands we should get out of our way, however, although I think that is very good habit, when we finally have some free time, we have no idea what to do! We therefore end up spending those hours in facebooking, watching T.V., etc. when we could be doing something we love to do but always felt we didn't have the time or mood for it!

So I finally decided to create this "fun list" (although in my case, I decided to call it the Free Time List (a boring and lame name, I know!) because I also added hobbies I wanna learn, like knitting, or relearn after a while of not doing it like Tae Kwon Do). In my current list though, I just added stuff I wanna do during my free time while I'm in Boston in the vicinity of my campus so that I don't feel too overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I wanna do (although my list is still looking somewhat overwhelming...).

What do you **Tea Mates** think about this? Any other suggestions about how to deal with "free time"?

From your Tea Mate,
Reema B. :-)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

oil-filled lenses bringing sight to those in need


Tea for the day: that same old blend of green and white tea (oh yes, and I still got more Lipton tea to get rid of....I don't know why I have too much of both of these teas!). What tea would you like to have?

I found this video after clicking on a link from one of my friend's links on Facebook about a Hello Kitty Chanisaw! Haha, well now this video doesn't have anything to do with chainsaws or Hello Kitty lol, but it talks about a simple yet innovative idea; a solution to providing eyeglasses to those who need it in developing countries.

I personally find the narrator's use of the label "Third World Countries" as very offensive...I'd personally rather use "Developing Countries", because no world to me is first, second, or third, in reality, we are all poor and it is this denial that breeds arrogance and increases the gap between the "rich" and the "poor".

I also don't get why is there a rabbit in the very beginning of the video...

Anyhow, enough of my blabbering, here's the video!  Oh yes, and before you start the video, don't forget to pause the background music via the Ipod gadget on the right hand side of the blog!! (Scroll down a bit and you should see a dark brown, floral Ipod)

Adspecs from Joel on Vimeo.

From your Tea Mate,
Reema B. :-)

Monday, February 1, 2010

inspiration of the month 4


Tea of this blog post: organic Moroccan herbal mint tea by Numi. Although I was at first skeptical about whether this was really mint until after I smelled it and drank it; this sort of tea is also part of my childhood and I always loved it. What tea would you like to be served today?

Yes I know, this ritual of "inspiration of the month" has been skipped twice I guess....that is why I'm not skipping anymore by posting now. For new **visitors** of this **Tea House** who don't know what this ritual of "inspiration of the month" is about, please see the first "inspiration of the month" blog post.

Before I share with you the "inspiration", I'd like to say something about the music I've finalized for this **Tea House**. The Ipod gadget (the Mixpod) gadget displayed in the right hand side of the blog now has a total of seven soundtracks. I made sure that they were as diverse as possible and yet matching the theme of the **Tea House**. I'm open to suggestions. By clicking on "menu" in the Ipod, you can choose what song you'd like played as you sip some **tea** at the **Tea House**. Below is the name, singer/composer, and language of each of the soundtracks:
  1. "Tea House Moon" by Enya (instrumental) 
  2. "Memories of Light and Wave" theme from the video game Final Fantasy X-2 (instrumental)
  3. "Now We Are Free" by Lisa Gerard; theme from the movie "Gladiator" (I'm not sure what language is this sung in, but I'm assuming it's Gaelic or an invented language?)
  4. "Chouwa-oto" by Kokia (Japanese)
  5. Naseer Shamma playing Jamil Bashir compositions (instrumental: oud)
  6. "Doosh doosh" by Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat (Farsi)
  7. "Mina Sonati" by Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat (Farsi)
I hope you enjoy them!

Now, here's your simple inspiration of the month! I found this simple yet beautiful quotation from a bookmark I found in Barnes and Noble bookstore nearby my campus:

"Wisdom begins in wonder." 

I really think that this quotation still stands true especially for our modern age where people seem to be much more cynical and critical of everything and justify such attitude as being realistic and as key to knowledge. However, although asking questions is indeed key to knowledge, it is the attitude and mindset from which it is asked that matters, for one can approach a problem, statement, argument, etc. with a mindset of either blind-faith, doubt, or wonder.

In blind-faith, one accepts anything without doubting; simply basing their values, etc. on mere faith. Doubt involves critical thinking and always questioning everything. With doubt, you're only making sure that you always argue against the claim, argument, etc. without attempting to understand it more fully or considering views that maybe a balance between your view and the other's view. Wonder also involves some amount of critical thinking, but it also involves creative thinking and leads to a more open mind compared to the previous two.Wonder is a balance between the extremes of blind-faith and doubt.
If we can learn to live our lives always in constant wonder and awe, like childish scientists or childish artists, then indeed there's so much more we can unlock and learn and we can thus live our lives fuller. It is with wonder that a lot of music, art, and inventions are made rather than abiding by either of the extremes of blind-faith and doubt. I'd love to learn how to master this art of wonder myself, I always feel I forget this wisdom myself or that there's much more to it that I still don't understand yet. However, having this bookmark with this quotation by Socrates helps remind me to keep that mindset as I mentally have a "debate" with the claims and statements of an interesting book. I hope he does the same for you.
From your Tea Mate,
Reema B. :-)