“It’s a hard truth when your heart”

It’s a hard truth when your heart is made of satin ribbons

to be wrapped around another like a present,

But do not keep your ear to the ground,

Because he isn’t calling your name across the shore

And certainly isn’t whispering that he loves you.

Don’t keep your eyes peeled either, because he’s not

In the crowds or standing on the mountains,

And you don’t have to wear contact lenses today

Or tomorrow or any day to see him,

Because even though he was right when he said you can see the stars in your irises

And you’re worth more than gold,

If only you could untangle your stretching heart from him,

Take a moment to see beyond

And remember that today’s gold standard is 1285.60 per ounce

And yesterday it was 1283.80 per ounce –

But that you are priceless everyday.

I know it’s hard to see when you’ve got the entire sky in your eyes,

But it’s just like in those cheesy campfire love songs from your 14th birthday party,

If only you could see what I can see, you’d understand that looking in a mirror

Doesn’t reflect just how beautiful you really are,

Because beauty is on the outside,

not inside your head or his head or anyone else’s –

It’s the way you walk, the octave of your laugh, and the nod of your head;

It’s your satin ribbon heart not wound tightly around another

But tied up in a rosette in the palms of your hands –

And you don’t need to wear contact lenses to see that.

Written January 9, 2019.

Parameters: Lyrical poem, fragment, theme of moving on

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“This winter night you become the ghost”

This winter night you become the ghost that seizes the bouquet

Of tulips and dreams I hold crossed against my chest

And drops it in the ocean, at least until May

When snow’s all melted and the doves awoken, but I don’t suggest

That I am Sleeping Beauty in her satin gown

For the waking kiss, for the truth is I’m dressed

All ready for the beach, and weighty things like love might drown

But I am light as a cloudless dawn and won’t let you halt

Me or any swimmer from plucking out the flower crowns

And wreaths of dreams from waters deep, and the salt

Of the stubborn, pounding shore when I walk along the quay

Will not stop me from loving the rolling cobalt sea I so exalt.

Besides – tonight too will pass with you away into the day,

And I never believed in ghosts all that much anyway.

Written January 5, 2019 (at 2:58am).

Parameters: terza rima, ocean themed

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UNFPA battles domestic violence with family planning and education

Article from earlier this summer containing an interview with Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative of Mongolia. Original can be found here

Recently, the UNFPA released both its “Breaking the silence for equality: 2017 National Study on Gender-based Violence in Mongolia” and a statement on reproductive resource availability by Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA representative, at the National Consultative Meeting on Reproductive Health and Family Planning. In the following interview, Kitahara discusses the progress of Mongolia in the areas of family planning and reproductive health, as well as the responses, challenges, and future plans of the UNFPA in regards to gender-based violence and human rights.

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Implementing gender sensitivity in disaster relief

This article contains excerpts from my interview with Bjorn Andersson from the UNFPA Asia-Pacific region. It addresses disaster relief in the context of recent flooding in Mongolia. Link to original article is currently unavailable.

Following a few days of downpour this past week, several roads in the Bayanzurkh District of Ulaanbaatar have been severely damaged, raising safety concerns for residents amidst flooding. The capital authorities have issued several notices of evictions to unauthorized families and entities located in at-risk zones, but reportedly, they have refused to move.

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Foreigner’s perception of Naadam and women

Article written for the UB Post during Naadam, detailing my impressions as a foreign woman and addressing the progress of gender equality in the nation as well. Link to original currently unavailable. Picture credits to Sebastian Zusi.

For Naadam, the city bloomed with silk and color. Mongolians wore deels with bright hues and intricate patterns. By the National Stadium, people milled about on the grounds, drifting from tent to tent with khuushuur in their hands. And inside the Naadam grounds, on the field, there were four women. They all wore blue cotton deels and straw-colored hats, and they marched up to the line that marked their position. They raised their bows, pulled back the string, and then an arrow hurtled through the air. They were beautiful and graceful.

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Interviewing UNFPA Mongolia

While I haven’t uploaded any of my articles in a while, this past weekend has been filled with amazing opportunities for interviews and coverage of fascinating events. In particular, I had the chance to interview the regional director of the UNFPA Asia Pacific region and attend the launch of the #HeForShe campaign in Mongolia.

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Progress of family planning in Mongolia

Analysis of current access to reproductive health care resources and impact of lack of accessibility to rural populations especially. Original can be found here.

Family planning services are available in Mongolia, but recent research reveals room for improvement, especially for rural access, prevention of maternal deaths and domestic violence. The UNFPA, Marie Stopes International and several other NGOs are working with the government to provide better access to reproductive health resources.

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