Radical Joy Revealed
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July 2, 2014

Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe.

For a River Called "Liquid Typhoid"
RadJoy Bird La Paz
RadJoy Bird made by a mother and her two young sons at Rio Achumani, La Paz, Bolivia, Global Earth Exchange 2014.
Photo by Mariette Hurter
For their Global Earth Exchange this year Mariette Hurter of La Paz, Bolivia and her two sons chose the polluted Rio Achumani as the site for their act of beauty. Mariette writes:

The Global Earth Exchange was really hard for me initially. As an environmental "teacher" (currently developing the nature education program for children at Senda Verde I always focus on getting kids to fall in love with Pachamama.

 

From the start I knew it would be the Rio Achumani in La Paz, Bolivia, running from the mountains through the city. Someone called it liquid typhoid fever the other day. It would not be possible to get into the river, which made it more difficult to create beauty.

 

At first we tried making a bird with our shadow... But Savián, 10, said that it was not good enough and it was not "permanent". Wayran, 4, identified various sites that have been wounded. He went as far as the fire we made on Friday in the fireplace to celebrate the Solstice. We had to cut down trees to get that wood, he said.

 

Savian does not attend normal school, but creates his own learning (self design). He wanted to know if he could do a project for the schools upstream to ask them not to pollute and take pictures to show them what it looks like downstream as a result of the pollution. I hope that he will take this project further.

 

We finally came to a point where the children decided to use stones for their bird and make it on the wall next to the river. 

 

I would love to see this river alive again.

 

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Join people around the world for the 5th annual Global Earth Exchange on Saturday, June 21. Visit a wounded place you care about, get to know the place as it is now, share your stories, and make a bird of materials the place offers you.
Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss and despair, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth.
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