Sahle Work Zewde, Cantina Mayahuel, & the Strongest Person I Know

The Trip

About a quarter of the podcasts I listen to are food related. The Sporkful and Gastropod are consistent favorites. I love Dave Chang’s too, but his is so multifaceted that I’m not sure it’s best described as a food show. Good storytelling and good food have the power to connect people.

I’ve been dreaming up some new creative projects for next year and while a food podcast isn’t exactly one of them, the ones I listen to have my creative juices flowing. The best ones make me feel connected to others, grateful to live on this planet, and all the more curious. That’s the effect I want my work to have.

In the meantime, since I have no food podcast, Instagram will have to do! Here were two of my favorite dining spots in Vancouver: Juke Chicken in Chinatown and Bodega over by the train station.

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Sahle-Work Zewde

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“When there’s no peace in a country, mothers will be frustrated. Therefore we need to work on peace for the sake of our mothers.”


–Sahle Work Zewde

Over the summer, Ethiopia ended its longstanding war with Eritrea. Then last week, they named Sahle Work Zewde to be their first female president.

Then- they announced a gender balanced cabinet where women hold half the seats. Just a couple days later, the same thing happened in Rwanda.

Change isn’t linear and change doesn’t happen overnight. Even these changes are the result of things boiling under the surface for a long time. But when things like these all happen in succession, it’s still really exciting.



Cantina Mayahuel

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Last week, a friend introduced me to Cantina Mayahuel- a sweet Mexican spot where the old time Oaxaca’s vibes are absolutely doing it for me. Not to mention their impressive mezcal collection that’s gonna require some return trips.

Last week was kind of a rough one for me, but that made the simple gesture of an invitation to lunch and a plate of braised steak tacos so much brighter. The simple acts of good always matter.

What I love about Mexican countryside cuisine is the feeling of welcome most dishes bring. It’s like the eater’s presence is being celebrated. And sometimes, that’s just what the eater needed in the moment.

Keys to Great Branding

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Last week, I got to lead a little training on what branding is anyways. Sometimes the word “branding” is one of those buzzwords that everybody uses but nobody understands. It’s so much more than just logos.

Logos themselves are more like empty vessels that gain meaning when the story you tell connects with people. My session highlighted four key actions brands can take to be meaningful.

One of my favorite things about my role is getting to dive deep into how storytelling can help nonprofits and purpose-led organizations move people.

I’m hoping to do more with this material. Maybe flesh it out into a mini-course or something. Know anyone who might find it useful?

 

Voter’s Homework

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Honestly, I find voting really fun! I took about an hour to hole up in one of my favorite coffee shops and dig into some of the issues going on in this year’s ballots.

This election, like every election, has an impact. On people inside the country and outside of it, on kids and kids yet to be born, on the poor, on struggling families, on the sick and elderly. What we do during an election has an effect, even deciding to stay home. But with all that at stake, why would you want to do that?

We don’t get to choose the moment in history we’ll be born into but we do get to choose how we’ll show up for it. Vote for accountability. Vote for empathy. Vote for others.

The Strongest Person I Know

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Easily the strongest person that I know ❤️ @deanna.suzanna

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Make it Personal

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Why does it really matter?

I know and I get to work with so many people who are all about creating change. Almost all of them face the same struggle. How do you get other people to care? You can’t do it alone, and sometimes apathy is worse than opposition.

You need to always remind yourself why it matters and keep making that clear to matters. Don’t take it for granted that you have a great solution to a problem. Talk about how that problem affects people, how it affects you. What makes you angry? What’s at stake? What does the world look like if the problem gets solved?

If you can stay close and connected to your own reason for being on the path that your on, the more attractive that path will be for others.

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