Wednesday, August 26, 2009


A couple of new blogs to capture a couple of different chapters...

Leopard Umbrella:

"ie" Adventures:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Go Sara, it's your "first" day...

One of our GreenHouse leaders, Sara Corcoran, just got a job teaching Biology at Southern Guilford High School. Anyone who knows Sara would agree, she will definitely be the coolest teacher at school!
Good luck with your first day Mrs. Corcoran. We love you very much, and we are SO INCREDIBLY PROUD of you!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Play, Sponsor, Volunteer!!!

The 8th Annual Dustin's GreenHouse Golf Tournament is just around the corner! This is our ONE MAJOR FUNDRAISER of the year, so please consider getting involved either as a player, a sponsor or as a volunteer.

Tournament details are online at:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

WFMY Interviews

Rosemary Plybon organized a follow-up interview with some of our 2009 team members since our return to the US. Here's a link to the interview in case you missed it on Tuesday:

Words of Wisdom from Ashia Neal


We slowly build our confidence and self-esteem throughout the years... then what happens? So many of us allow a man or a simple incident tear it all away...

We are too strong, too beautiful!! Don't let it happen. Rise above it. You are great! WE are great, inside and out, and don't you ever for a second get to thinking your anything less than the BEST!!!!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Welcome Home Romanian Team

The Dustin's GreenHouse 2009 Globetrotters are on the way back to the states from their wonderful two-week trip to Romania!!!

Let's welcome them home with open arms and true Southern hospitality!!!

Would love for anyone to join us...all friends of Dustin's GreenHouse.

The team is due to arrive in Greensboro tonight (August 3rd),
PTI Airport, at 7:14 pm, USAirways Flight#3847.
I will update with any flight status changes.

Come one, come all to welcome home our Globetrotters!!!

See you at the airport...Ashley Staton

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Perfection (by Sammantha Ingram)

In a perfect place where nothing is what it seems,
It’s like I’m in some enchanted, perfected dream.

The flawless houses and perfect sky,
How perfectly magnificent it is, you can’t deny.

The kind people with their perfect smiles,
Reaching the desired destination in the perfect mile.

The children are perfectly pleasant and their eyes are amazing,
To take in this perfect scenery is truly embracing.

This perfect journey is exactly what I need,
To witness this glorious perfection I see.

I don’t know any other way to explain it,
Other than this experience is absolutely, inexplicably PERFECT!

A few photo updates:

Tour de Kathleen:

Graffiti Tunnel:

Chain Bridge at sunset during a cruise down the Danube:

Floating on the Danube:

In front of the Budapest Parliament Building:

In the brightest festival clothes we could find:

A family photo at the "Whirlpool" with 2 Romanian ladies:

Working the fields:
Doing laundry:

Johnisha showing the Romanians how we bust a move in the States:

Romanian Reflections

We literally just crossed the border back into Hungary and came across our first unfriendly Romanian. The border guard was more like the KGB when she asked (demanded) for our passports, then told us to hurry up.

As I type this on the train, I am blown away that we even have the technology to do this. This day (Friday) has been a long one. We started midmorning with a walking tour of Cluj. The highlight of which was a beautiful catholic church built in the fourteen hundreds. After a not-so-quick trip to a mall, yes, a mall....the girls were in hog heaven....we set out on foot for more up close and personal Cluj, which culminated in a visit to an internet cafe and a lovely dinner at an adjacent restaurant. We then went back to the mall to catch a late showing of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Luckily, it is a very long movie, and allowed for some cat napping on the part of the leaders because when it ended the day was not over. Next stop, the train station for a 2:20am train to Budapest. I am amazed (and quite envious) of the ability of these girls to sleep almost anywhere, in almost any position. As for myself, I have only had a small nap on the train, added to the small nap I got during the movie, and well, I just see that I am going to be very tired as we explore Budapest today!

As I watch the countryside go by the in the light of the rising sun, I find myself reflecting on just what we experienced in Romania. As I missed the experience in Poiana, I can only comment on all the sights since the 25th of July. The Maramures region has been my favorite. It was definitely the most reflective of what my image of Romania was before I arrived. The Carpathian Mountains were the backdrop for this very rural area in the north of the country, where in places we could see villages in the Ukraine just across the Tisa River. Village life is very physical, from cutting the grass with tools found only in museums in our country, to using river water to wash rugs, and bicycles to get around. All the older women dress very traditionally, with skirts, leggings underneath, long sleeves and head scarves, even while doing this work. We visited the workshop of a master wood carver in an area known for their beautifully carved churches and entrances to their homes. We also met one of the first artists to bring back, after the fall of communism, the traditional iconic painting on glass depicting religious scenes and important figures of Christianity.

While I treasure this view of traditional Romania, the most impactful part of my experience in Maramures was the visit to the Museum of Arrested Thought in Sighet. It is a memorial to the victims of the communist regime and was a prison that housed Romania's top pre-communist politicians and intellectuals, in addition to other anti-communist activists or sympathizers. Romania was one of the last countries to experience the "Revolution" as communism fell across Eastern Europe in 1989. I had the amazing privilege of exploring the museum with Ashia, who literally drank in the details we learned. Our guide was a wealth of knowledge about the rise and fall of communism in post WWII Europe. This experience allowed for a dialogue to emerge with the girls about current political situations where human rights infringements are occurring every day. The same day we visited Ely Wiesel's home. It was from here that he was taken to Auschwitz, but miraculously survived his imprisonment in the concentration camp and went on the win the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment to human rights.

“Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion or political view that place must-at that moment become the center of the universe.”

-Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech Oslo 1986

Both of those experiences, the prison museum, as well as Wiesel’s home, spoke to the girls in ways that as leaders we could have never done. By planting the seeds of awareness, we are growing good citizens of the human race who will be better informed and less likely to be indifferent when faced with moral crisis.

~Sara Corcoran

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hello America... Can you smell us?

We have arrived in Budapest via the 2:45am train from Cluj and everyone is doing well. After a fabulous breakfast on the Buda side of the Danube, we headed over to Pest to visit the open air markets. The girls are outside buying little treasures now. We will do our best to find a phone this afternoon so everyone can check in.

P.S. Sara Corcoran has a humorous account of the train experience that she will post shortly.

Hugs and Kisses to all!