A sketch in my Moleskine daily planner of someone who inspires me, once a week, every week, in 2016.
Who: Cathleen Howard
What: Human Rights Activist, laughing yogi, ESL teacher extraordinaire, and one of the strongest ladies I know.
Where: Currently teacher ESL and volunteering in a migrant shelter in Mexico.
Why: This woman has a heart of gold, and seeks to help her fellow human. She has more energy and sass then anyone I know, and consistently champions causes to help populations that are marginalized.
I first met her in an ESL certification class I took in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2008, and that chance meeting hatched a plan to drive with another woman who Cathy knew through the heart of Mexico to our final destination of Oaxaca. It was there we hoped to celebrate the Day of the Dead and I was going to stay there to teacher ESL (English as a Second Language) at a state university three hours north of Oaxaca City.
That road trip was an adventure of a lifetime, and although everyone we knew said we were crazy to drive through central Mexico as women alone, I found bravery really does favor the brave. We connected with people and found The central Mountains of Mexico to be stunning, full of vast rolling hills, vivid cactus, and sparkling colonial cities.
Cheers to strong, brave women.
Cactus Cathy, you are my hero.