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September 07, 2010

Making Big Changes

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MAKING BIG CHANGES

Talk with students about their summer vacations and you'll find that a good number of the more privileged kids are coming back from summers traveling and doing service projects in places like Africa and South and Central America. Lesly Manzanarez is about as far from "privileged" as it gets. He grew up in Honduras - and like his older brother, he was flashing gang signs and fighting from the time he was a kid. He took that fighting spirit with him when his family moved to New York City. This summer, Lesly had a chance to turn things around.  He spent six weeks in a poor village in Nicaragua, as a part of a project called Global Potential. As he tells Dick Gordon, Lesly thinks he's changed for good.

OPEN MIC: DEPLOYMENT

Recently we asked listeners to tell their stories about deployment. Today, three stories from three different conflicts.

CLEAN WATER SERIES: A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT

Estevan Arrellano is a farmer from New Mexico. Water is a precious resource there, and it reaches Estevan’s farm by one of the many ancient irrigation ditches still in use today called acequias. The acequias were built hundreds of years ago by Spanish conquistadors. Every year, landowners along these ditches choose a Mayordomo. Mayordomos, or ditch boses, are in charge of distributing water to folks along the canal, and settling disputes. As water becomes more scarce across the country, Mayordomos might have something to teach us about sharing with our neighbors, and making tough decisions when creeks run dry.

NEXT CHAPTER: PAULA STEIN

When we met Paula Stein in 2009, she had just received her last unemployment check, and was anticipating the loss of her home. Since then, some things have gotten much worse. But Paula's also conscious of a blessing she's received, in the form of a rescued dog.

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