I worked as a marketing executive for Def Jam Music group in the late 90’s. My office overlooking Sunset Boulevard is where I spent some 10 to 12-hour days and late hours until 11pm or later. I had started exposing the company’s artist roster to the European market, and after taking few artists abroad, I quickly discovered how little people know about how the rest of the world functions. The artist entourage, and often the artist themselves, had little to no experience with traveling abroad and navigating other cultures and customs.

I remember leaving a group at a restaurant because they were unruly and aggressive towards a waiter. They didn’t understand that spaghetti, in most of the world, is just stringy noodles with no sauce. They took offence when the waiter brought them plain noodles. “But that’s what you ordered,” the restaurant manager tried to explain.

Another time I had a group that couldn’t calculate the 7-hour time difference between LA and London and chose to take a later flight, thinking they had 7 hours to spare. That was a fiasco, since they were scheduled to be on live television on BBC for an awards show.

What occurred to me is these young people had little experience traveling outside of their neighborhood, let alone traveling outside of the country. In my young and somewhat charmed life experience, I couldn’t fathom how so many people has such limited life experience.

I rallied some colleagues together that wanted to give a hand up to young people and loved the idea of taking high school students to Europe. We planned it all and put in a call to Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. The call went something like “…Hi there! I work for Def Jam Music Group! Me and my colleagues would like to take some YOUR students traveling around Europe…” To which they eagerly responded with a hard “No.” Simply, and rightly so, they were not going to turn over their students to a bunch of… well, us.

Until next time, when I Meet My Teacher                                                                                                            Christina                                                                                                                                                     #beautifulkenya

Hello, friends. We figured it was high time we started publishing a blog on the site. We want to use this as a tool to remain in communication with our teams, followers, friends, and family as well as a sounding board for topics that relate to our work both in the U.S. and abroad. We hope you find it useful and informative!

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When I talk about the work Matt and I have done in Kenya, the first thing people ask is “what organization do you work with?”

It is indeed my own non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that I started based on a desire to take high school students abroad and broaden their prospective on the world, with some hope that they will find their place among the billions of people that call this earth home.

This blog may answer some questions about how we started this program; why we choose the course of actions we take; who we are that we get to do awesome things in this life; how the organization has morphed into something greater.

Please feel free to challenge my thoughts and ideas, as I am a seeker of growth and development. Share your life experience, even if you do not think it is relevant (it probably is exactly the thing to bring up and discuss). Ask questions if you are interested in working with us or want ideas starting your own organization.

I love the work and am happy to discuss most aspects. I will even discuss the aspects I am not happy about.

Until next time, when A Glimpse of an Awakening is Shut Down                                                                       Christina                                                                                                                                                           #beautifulkenya

world-malaria-day

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World Malaria Day was celebrated at the Kiima Kimwe Health Clinic on April 25, 2013. We’re now happy to present photos of the event, which drew hundreds of area residents to the clinic for drop-in medical services, education, and vaccinations.

19. April 2013 · Comments Off on Setting Goals, Realizing Results · Categories: Other Paths Blog

tenacious-treeOne of the primary reasons Other Paths exists is because we set aggressive goals. Had we not pushed ourselves way beyond the boundaries of what we thought was possible, this organization and the impact on the thousands of lives it has achieved would never have happened. And yes, all along the way, every day, at every hour, we have encountered our share of uncertainty, obstacles (both great and small), and sometimes even despair… We’ve had tremendous ups, and sometimes comparable downs. Our tenacity, like that of the tree in the photo, has led us to the verge of a breakout year in which this organization will accomplish greater results on an ever-expanding scale.

The people who come to us to work alongside us and our Kenyan friends & family already have that ‘spark’ to them– they want to do something extraordinary. We provide them a chance to do something amazing; like our founder Christina Berlin says, “This is a BIG DEAL.” We push people to set goals for themselves for fundraising, skills development, and cooperation with the expectation that they will emerge from our programs with new, powerful insights on what is possible for themselves and the lives they normally inhabit.

Setting goals beyond your comfort zone, beyond where you THINK you can reach, and working stubbornly toward those goals literally changes the world, because it changes your perception of what is possible. Once your perception changes, you begin operating on a different level, achieving more powerful results through your intentions and actions.

This is our goal for all our program participants. We believe that once you work with us to improve the lives of our dear friends in rural Kenya– thousands and thousands of miles away from the comforts of your home– you will see your own personal life, your family, your community, your nation, and your world differently, full of exciting opportunities to achieve powerful, positive, and enduring results.