WORLD INTERVIEW: Kiki King, Reporter for Unreported World

WORLD INTERVIEW: Kiki King, Reporter for Unreported World

KikiKing

When I was about 5 years old, I had a best friend. One of those you never forget. We did everything together but one of the things we liked best was to travel to outer space courtesy of my best friend’s older sister, Kiki. By bedecking her room in blankets and scarves and with the assistance of a swirly office chair, Kiki would take us past comets…to planets untouched by girl-kind.

Many years and many lost and remade connections later, I was thrilled to visit with Kiki last summer at her home near Palma de Mallorca of the Balearic Islands in Spain; not far from where my own parents live.

It turns out that Kiki is still taking people on exciting and unlikely journeys….only now she does so with a camera crew in tow. As a journalist and correspondent for the UK’s Unreported World, she takes people from Northern Uganda and the side of a 15 year old deaf boy with no means to communicate, to the front lines of the Kurdish resistance in the battle with Isis and the families caught in the cross hairs.

Since my last visit with Kiki was on a perfect summer day with our sons in the pool, I had to ask her what drew her to leave idyllic Mallorca to pursue these stories. (more…)

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World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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District of Columbia, USA: Demonstrating a Healthy Confidence

District of Columbia, USA: Demonstrating a Healthy Confidence

hummel figurines

Last month’s Atlantic Magazine featured a cover page story on the “Confidence Gap” between men and women. For a variety of reasons both biological and environmental, women drastically underestimate their own competence. This, the article tells us, is a big obstacle to women accomplishing the success they are due.

While it was interesting to me that womankind as a whole seems to value themselves more meanly than mankind, it was all the more interesting to know that I wasn’t alone in feeling anywhere from out of my depth to outright fraudulent in many situations. Apparently many other ladies in the room were likely feeling just the same.

But more than anything else, the article left me examining a gap within myself. The gap between where I feel my confidence ought to be and where is actually is. And where it is, quite frankly, is way….way behind. Let’s say…1994 behind. (more…)

Natalia Rankine-Galloway (Morocco)

Natalia was born a stone's throw from the Queen's racetrack in Ascot, UK and has been trying to get a ticket to the races and a fabulous hat to go with it ever since. She was born to a Peruvian mother and an Irish father who kept her on her toes, moving her to Spain, Ireland and back to the UK before settling her in New York for the length of middle and high school. She is still uncertain of what she did to deserve that. She fled to Boston for college and then Washington, D.C. to marry her wonderful husband, who she met in her freshman year at college. As a military man, he was able to keep her in the migratory lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. Within 5 months of marriage, they were off to Japan where they stayed for a wonderful 2 and one half years before coming home to roost. Baby Xavier was born in New York in 2011 and has not slept since. A joy and an inspiration, it was Xavier who moved Natalia to entrepreneurship and the launch of CultureBaby. She has loved forging her own path and is excited for the next step for her family and CultureBaby. Natalia believes in the potential for peace that all children carry within them and the importance of raising them as global citizens. She loves language, history, art and culture as well as Vietnamese Pho, Argentinian Malbec, English winters, Spanish summers and Japanese department stores...and she still hopes one day to catch the number 9 race with Queen Liz. You can find her personal blog, The Culture Mum Chronicles.

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, USA: Five Rules About Running a Business…or Raising a Baby

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, USA: Five Rules About Running a Business…or Raising a Baby

IMG_6638ed

Since my son turned two, I have been getting questions about when another baby might be on the way. But the fact is that I have already have a second baby….my start up. And I’m just barely kidding. My business demands only marginally less time than a baby and gets talked about only a little less than baby number 1 on my Facebook page.

However, I will say that this first business of mine is, as my second child, benefiting from my experience with baby number 1. What I knew about starting a business could have fit on a postage stamp when I began.  But I had at least a modestly sized pamphlet’s worth on being a mother.

I have been expanding both knowledge bases as my two babies have grown and I’ve noticed a substantial amount of cross over. Here are my five rules about running a business….or raising a baby…whichever. (more…)

Natalia Rankine-Galloway (Morocco)

Natalia was born a stone's throw from the Queen's racetrack in Ascot, UK and has been trying to get a ticket to the races and a fabulous hat to go with it ever since. She was born to a Peruvian mother and an Irish father who kept her on her toes, moving her to Spain, Ireland and back to the UK before settling her in New York for the length of middle and high school. She is still uncertain of what she did to deserve that. She fled to Boston for college and then Washington, D.C. to marry her wonderful husband, who she met in her freshman year at college. As a military man, he was able to keep her in the migratory lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. Within 5 months of marriage, they were off to Japan where they stayed for a wonderful 2 and one half years before coming home to roost. Baby Xavier was born in New York in 2011 and has not slept since. A joy and an inspiration, it was Xavier who moved Natalia to entrepreneurship and the launch of CultureBaby. She has loved forging her own path and is excited for the next step for her family and CultureBaby. Natalia believes in the potential for peace that all children carry within them and the importance of raising them as global citizens. She loves language, history, art and culture as well as Vietnamese Pho, Argentinian Malbec, English winters, Spanish summers and Japanese department stores...and she still hopes one day to catch the number 9 race with Queen Liz. You can find her personal blog, The Culture Mum Chronicles.

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USA: Reverse Culture Shock

USA: Reverse Culture Shock

xavi at playground
The customs officer handed us back our passports at Dulles International and said, “Welcome home.”

All my life I’ve been a global nomad, so home has always been a fluid concept. If you add up the years spent in any one country, the US now comes out on top, which I suppose wins it the title of “home” (congrats America). But given that we’d just left behind our comfortable house in Morocco for temporary lodging with family and the fearful prospect of finding something new with our now drastically diminished buying power, home seemed to be farther away than ever.

Starting on the drive back from the airport and throughout the rest of our first weekend home, I was confronted with many things I had missed and a few I hadn’t.

Rubber surfacing on the playground: missed!

Gridlock around the DC area: Could have gone my whole life without seeing again.

Trader Joe’s: Be still my heart!

Inflammatory Cable News: See DC gridlock above. (more…)

Natalia Rankine-Galloway (Morocco)

Natalia was born a stone's throw from the Queen's racetrack in Ascot, UK and has been trying to get a ticket to the races and a fabulous hat to go with it ever since. She was born to a Peruvian mother and an Irish father who kept her on her toes, moving her to Spain, Ireland and back to the UK before settling her in New York for the length of middle and high school. She is still uncertain of what she did to deserve that. She fled to Boston for college and then Washington, D.C. to marry her wonderful husband, who she met in her freshman year at college. As a military man, he was able to keep her in the migratory lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. Within 5 months of marriage, they were off to Japan where they stayed for a wonderful 2 and one half years before coming home to roost. Baby Xavier was born in New York in 2011 and has not slept since. A joy and an inspiration, it was Xavier who moved Natalia to entrepreneurship and the launch of CultureBaby. She has loved forging her own path and is excited for the next step for her family and CultureBaby. Natalia believes in the potential for peace that all children carry within them and the importance of raising them as global citizens. She loves language, history, art and culture as well as Vietnamese Pho, Argentinian Malbec, English winters, Spanish summers and Japanese department stores...and she still hopes one day to catch the number 9 race with Queen Liz. You can find her personal blog, The Culture Mum Chronicles.

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MOROCCO: Keeping It All Under Wraps

MOROCCO: Keeping It All Under Wraps

jordanRecently, my boobs took a trip to Jordan.  At least it seemed at the time that the rest of me was just along for the ride.  Never had my cleavage gotten so much attention; never had it occupied my thoughts so completely.

 Having lived in Morocco for almost a year, I thought I knew how to strike the proper balance….somewhere between my usual, US appropriate signature style and a more modest décolletage that I felt was an appropriate concession to my host country’s social norms.

This balance was clearly off-kilter for Jordan.  My ensembles were getting more attention from the male Jordanian population than a Britney Spears get up.  Given that I have been a little sensitive about my dwindling cup size since giving up nursing my son, I was momentarily flattered….before being sincerely uncomfortable and confused.

I knew in theory that one country in the Middle East or North Africa would not necessarily adhere to the same standards of dress for women as the next, just as various areas or social classes within Morocco dressed worlds apart.   (more…)

Natalia Rankine-Galloway (Morocco)

Natalia was born a stone's throw from the Queen's racetrack in Ascot, UK and has been trying to get a ticket to the races and a fabulous hat to go with it ever since. She was born to a Peruvian mother and an Irish father who kept her on her toes, moving her to Spain, Ireland and back to the UK before settling her in New York for the length of middle and high school. She is still uncertain of what she did to deserve that. She fled to Boston for college and then Washington, D.C. to marry her wonderful husband, who she met in her freshman year at college. As a military man, he was able to keep her in the migratory lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. Within 5 months of marriage, they were off to Japan where they stayed for a wonderful 2 and one half years before coming home to roost. Baby Xavier was born in New York in 2011 and has not slept since. A joy and an inspiration, it was Xavier who moved Natalia to entrepreneurship and the launch of CultureBaby. She has loved forging her own path and is excited for the next step for her family and CultureBaby. Natalia believes in the potential for peace that all children carry within them and the importance of raising them as global citizens. She loves language, history, art and culture as well as Vietnamese Pho, Argentinian Malbec, English winters, Spanish summers and Japanese department stores...and she still hopes one day to catch the number 9 race with Queen Liz. You can find her personal blog, The Culture Mum Chronicles.

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MOROCCO: Coming to Terms with Income Inequality, Toddler Addition

IMG_2567My mom loves to tell stories about her girls…to anyone who will listen.  One of her favorites is about my first plane ride home from her native Peru.  At age 6, as I sat in the window seat watching Lima fade away beneath us, I turned to her and said (with wisdom far beyond my years my mum will add) “the trouble with Peru is that the Peruvians don’t take good care of it.”

Admittedly it is one of her less embarrassing stories, better by far than the one that has me passing most of a Greek holiday with a potty on my head.  And lately, as my son gets older, I’ve been thinking more about it.

By the time we leave Morocco this fall, he will not quite be three.  Throughout our time here, that fact made me sad. There is likely little if anything that he will remember about our year in Morocco and our travels in North Africa. But now, this has also made me slightly grateful.

I have started to see the cogs turning in his little head when we pass the women begging on the street, with toddlers his age strapped to their backs.  I see him watching the kids selling cartons of tissues at the stop lights as I guiltily roll up the window.

As his little eyes observe more and more I am starting to be glad that we will leave before the questions start.  He hasn’t progressed much past the basic two-word toddler interrogatives: dada gone? more biscuit? But I am imagining the questions forming, and I need more time to come up with good answers.

When he asks me about these babies on their mothers backs, or the ones selling on streets, what do I say? Moreover, how do you explain your own role in the perpetuation of this inequality.  How do I explain that being asked for the 19th time in one day to spare just 1 dirham irritates me more and more in spite of the fact that had I given one each time, I would now be short only $2? How would I explain that the shoes he’s wearing would cover our gardeners weekly salary?

Observant though I might have been at age 6 about the socio-economics of Peru, it did not give me any head start on figuring out any actionable recommendations for the Peruvians about how to improve their problems of poverty, inequality, pollution.  Nor do I have any for Morocco now, some 25 years later.

I am a big believer in my own and my son’s capacity to save the world. I take part in fundraising campaigns, donate to charity and volunteer.  I will always encourage him to live a life of tolerance, patience and understanding.  But when you live in the midst of an unequal society – to what extent are you compromising your principles by continuing to live in the manner to which you are accustomed?

So while I doubt that I will ever come up with any Nobel Peace prize winning solutions to global income inequality myself, I would at the very least time to come up with a way of explaining poverty to my son.  I would like to be able to explain to him that he is lucky without teaching him conceit or entitlement. I would like to teach him that our relative wealth comes with a responsibility to those less fortunate in such a way that empowers and doesn’t leave me stinking of rank hypocrisy when I look away from the outstretched hands on the street.

How do you teach your children about income inequality when you are living on the “have” side of an unequal society?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by our contributor, Natalia Rankine-Galloway, who writes at The Culture Mum Chronicles.  She is now writing from the U.S. Embassy in Morocco. 

Photo credit to the author.

Natalia Rankine-Galloway (Morocco)

Natalia was born a stone's throw from the Queen's racetrack in Ascot, UK and has been trying to get a ticket to the races and a fabulous hat to go with it ever since. She was born to a Peruvian mother and an Irish father who kept her on her toes, moving her to Spain, Ireland and back to the UK before settling her in New York for the length of middle and high school. She is still uncertain of what she did to deserve that. She fled to Boston for college and then Washington, D.C. to marry her wonderful husband, who she met in her freshman year at college. As a military man, he was able to keep her in the migratory lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. Within 5 months of marriage, they were off to Japan where they stayed for a wonderful 2 and one half years before coming home to roost. Baby Xavier was born in New York in 2011 and has not slept since. A joy and an inspiration, it was Xavier who moved Natalia to entrepreneurship and the launch of CultureBaby. She has loved forging her own path and is excited for the next step for her family and CultureBaby. Natalia believes in the potential for peace that all children carry within them and the importance of raising them as global citizens. She loves language, history, art and culture as well as Vietnamese Pho, Argentinian Malbec, English winters, Spanish summers and Japanese department stores...and she still hopes one day to catch the number 9 race with Queen Liz. You can find her personal blog, The Culture Mum Chronicles.

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