Woman Wednesday: Claire

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.            


Q and A with Claire, from Olongapo City, Philippines, living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“You must be able to accept all the choices you made in life, forgive yourself for all of the mistakes you’ve made, move on, and just grow from it.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am a very creative person, so I love to create and visualize things. As a photographer, I am very passionate about capturing the beauty in every person and showing the world their true beauty. I often tell my clients my job is to show the world your true beauty and the beauty you have never seen in yourself before. I do not take pictures; I capture memories and I save them for you. As a life coach, I am very passionate about helping women find their voice, strength, and beauty while overcoming past hurts. With faith in God, I help women and anyone in need fill their God-given purpose in life. I developed these passions solely based on my life experiences on earth; it is what drives me to be the best I can be, so I can help more people in the world. I am currently in the process of finishing my 6 weeks program (Release, Reflect, Release, and Restart), my women’s empowerment BBBM website/blog page, and my book, Broken But Beautifully Made, which is based on my story, the stories that birthed my women’s empowerment platform.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a 3rd world country, the Philippines. Life was very simple, yet hard. My mom did her best raising 3 daughters as a single mother. I grew up in an environment that is all about family. All our relatives were always around and we did everything together…birthdays, holidays, and just simply hanging out after school and eating (Miryenda) afternoon snacks in Tagalog. Mom raised me as a God-fearing woman; I was very active in my home church in the Philippines. I was a worship leader, youth leader, and a vacation Bible school teacher for the kids. I have always been very passionate about helping others and making a difference…no matter how big or small it is. I graduated high school at the young age of 15 years old and college by 16. I love learning, reading, and just trying to become the best version of myself. I saw struggle at such a young age that I promised myself I would do whatever it took to be better than I was yesterday.

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Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I have learned a lot of lessons from everything I had gone through in life. The one lesson that I find very valuable to me is understanding that it is not selfish to care for yourself first and to set healthy boundaries in your life. I learned to put God and myself first in everything I do in life. I learned to love me for who I was, for who I am now, and who I am to become. This is the one lesson I want anyone to learn from my lesson. You cannot love or help others if you are unable to do that for yourself. You must be able to accept all the choices you made in life, forgive yourself for all of the mistakes you’ve made, move on, and just grow from it.

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism for me is fighting for equality for women. Seeing us not by our gender, but by our ability to perform just as any other person can.

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Q: Is there anything else you would like to share? 

A: I am married to my amazing husband of 10 years now; his name is Richard Torres. We have one fur baby kitty named Mew. We have lived in NM for 11 years now, but my husband was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. I am also working on getting my bachelor’s degree and only have 2 years left. I will be graduating with a bachelor’s in business administration with a concertation in project management. I am also publishing my first book in July 2020. I will be coauthoring with 10 other amazing women for a devotional book called The Heart of God for Her.

I am a creative entrepreneur specializing in life coaching and professional photography. As a certified life coach, I specialize in transformational coaching with a keen focus on breaking harmful patterns and overcoming guilt and shame. With a compelling backstory of my own, I am very passionate about helping women find their voice, strength, and beauty while overcoming past hurts. With a backdrop of faith in God, I help women and anyone in need fill their God-given purpose in life. I founded Broken But Beautifully Made Women’s Empowerment Platform in March 2019; God has had this mission in my heart for 2 years. I created BBBM as a platform that allows women to speak, share, and see that she is not alone! I have overcome many trials and tribulations in my life that allows me to relate with other women and to testify how God saved me every single time…As a coach my mantra? “I help you release, reflect, refocus, and restart—Are you ready?”

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Thank you for reading!

I’d love to connect with you!

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Woman Wednesday: Kripa

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.            


Q and A with Kripa, from Fiji, living in Melbourne, Australia.

“Whilst the struggle was raw, real, and overwhelming, it was one of the best things that happened to me. It was the start of a deeply personal and spiritual transformation that brought me back to who I am and what I stand for.”


Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about empowering women to be seen and heard with confidence through authentic self-expression and wellbeing. There is nothing more captivating than seeing another woman show up in her truth, authenticity, and wholeness. For those that love Netflix and have watched Self Made and Becoming, you will know exactly what I am talking about.

I grew up in a conservative family and culture where women stayed at home, made sure meals were available on time, and looked after children whilst men went to work to earn an income to provide for the family. A woman was seen through her meals, upbringing of her children, and upkeep of the house. Her role was to work behind the scenes and not be seen or heard for who she really was and what she desired. This way of living was defined by customs and traditions which were passed down for many generations and shaped a lot of who I was and who I became in my earlier years.

 

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Following the tradition, at the age of 22, I found myself in an arranged marriage to a man who neither my family nor I knew much about. I moved from Fiji to New Zealand with my then-husband and 12 months later, I moved to Australia. After being married for three years, moving to two countries, having bought a house in Australia within 12 months of arriving, and having a good job, I was deeply unhappy and felt unsafe and unloved. This marriage was not built on love; the idea of an arranged marriage is to fall in love once you are married and as you get to know each other. My parents, grandparents, my great grandparents, uncles, and cousins have been in arranged marriages, which have been quite successful.

Unfortunately for me, I was married to a narcissist who knew my family and friends were far away and the only person I could rely on was him. I tried marriage counseling, personal coaching, changed my work arrangements, and no matter how hard I tried, there was nothing I could do to save this marriage. When we divorced (culturally a big no-no), I found myself homeless on the streets of Melbourne with no roof over my head in a foreign country with $0 in my bank account and no family or friends. I hit rock bottom.

The only thing I had was my job. At that time, I had two options, to stay or to move back to Fiji with my family. I chose to stay.

Whilst the struggle was raw, real, and overwhelming, it was one of the best things that happened to me. It was the start of a deeply personal and spiritual transformation that brought me back to who I am and what I stand for. Through my struggles, experience, and journey, I met so many other women who were going through similar experiences who needed help and support and most of all wanted to be seen and heard for who they truly were.

My own journey and experience became my passion and has been for many years except, I did not fully realize it until I found more and more women asking me for help, support, and guidance which gave birth to my business.
I help my clients by sharing the same tools, techniques, and resources that have helped me to go from:
✨Being homeless to owning two properties
✨$0 to multi-six figure income
✨A narcissist relationship to soul-mate love
My biggest achievement by far has been my ability to be myself 24/7 and unapologetically show up in my divine truth in alignment with my purpose, passion, and path-priceless.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: On 28 December 2019, I lost my father, my best friend. He passed away with stage 4 cancer. He was such a brave man and he never gave up. My father was my champion, my mentor, and my greatest supporter. He taught me to value education (he was a top performer in his class, but he was forced to drop out because he failed English being his second language). Among many other things, he taught me the values of kindness, care, love, and independence.

Losing him has been the biggest wake-up call for me. In his last days, I learned many things; he wanted to travel, retire (he was 65), spend more time with mum and his children (we all live in different countries). His passing has made me realize that LIFE IS TOO SHORT and enough with the excuses.

After being back from his funeral, I hired two coaches so I could start to serve more deeply and do what I am here to do in this lifetime which is to empower 5 million women to be seen and heard and to protect the planet and its inhabitants (around the same time as the Australian Bushfires). This is what motivates me, this is why I show up, and this is why I do everything I do.

Getting this clarity for me has been priceless and being able to serve and support other women on their journey a blessing.

PS My grandmother passed away on 7 May 2020 (she was the last grandparent alive for many years and was a pillar of strength for me and my family). She was a strong woman who lived through hardship and poverty and raised seven children. She was one of the strongest women I knew and her passing has made me even more determined in my mission to serve, empower, and show up for women who know there is more to life and want to live a full, happy, and healthy life which is their birthright.

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Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Happiness is not something you seek; it is something you feel. It is available to you whenever and wherever you choose whilst being you.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me is being who you are and showing up in your wholeness, fullness, and being-ness. It is about embracing all parts of yourself; the feminine and masculine while being AUTHENTIC to who you are at the very core of your being. It is about embracing and living in alignment with your divine truth with ease grace and flow.

 

 

Thank you for reading!

I’d love to connect with you!

Facebook: beingyou11

Website: https://beingyou11.com/

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Woman Wednesday: Jenny

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Jenny, Cody, Wyoming

“We can’t see the wind, but we feel it. We can’t see the sun at night, but we know it will come up tomorrow. We can’t see gravity, but we see the results. We can’t see sickness, but we see its effects. You can’t see love, but you see it affects. I can’t see God, but I see the difference in my life.”


Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about living life to the fullest. I am a wife of 29 years, a mom of three, a lover of the outdoors, sports, baking, and doing anything with my family! I am passionate about helping people live life more abundantly—mentally, physically, and spiritually. I enjoy helping people overcome their limiting beliefs and fulfilling their purpose. I have been in sales for over 30 years, and this last year, I decided to step out and start accomplishing my goals from when I was younger. I had gone to college to be an athletic coach but stayed in sales since I have been successful at it.

 

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This last year, I really questioned what my gifts are and what am I passionate about, and I have been working on my skills so I can help people the best I possibly can. I became a certified health/wellness/life coach, a corrective exercise specialist, and a Beachbody online fitness coach. Currently, I am still working in sales roles, and I am the Peak Performance Coach for 20/20 Vision For Success Coaching.  

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a Christian home, the baby by 10 years to two sisters. I was a daddy’s girl;  I was a tomboy jock and wanted to be the son he didn’t have. I always put the Lord on a shelf and called upon Him when I got myself into trouble or when something was wrong. I met my husband when I was 17, moved out when I was 18, and have been with my husband for 32 years now. When I was 24, we had our first child, our daughter. I never thought I wanted children, but little did I know that 6 months later, she would get me through some of the toughest, darkest days. A lot of hard things were taking place in my life, and my folks got divorced after 37 years of marriage. God used that baby to help get me and my dad through those tough times. During that time, I had an encounter with the Lord that changed my life. He showed up in the darkest of moments and poured out His love and rescued me from myself. I like the quote, “One who has been forgiven much loves much.” I really grasped the power of amazing, transformational grace and have been growing in that grace since that day.

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: Stay persistent in everything…life, work, and faith. Be the most persistent about running after the Lord. I believe we are all born with a hole and we look to fill it with different things like food, alcohol, exercise, drugs, sex, work, money, etc, but there’s only one thing that truly fills that hole and it’s the Lord. I’ve seen many millionaires have all the women, cars, and money and still not be happy, still feeling unfulfilled. I truly can’t imagine running this race we call life without my faith in Jesus. Sure, I still go through hard times, being a believer doesn’t mean all your troubles go away, but you have the strength to get through them. We can’t see the wind, but we feel it. We can’t see the sun at night, but we know it will come up tomorrow. We can’t see gravity, but we see the results. We can’t see sickness, but we see its effects. You can’t see love, but you see it affects. I can’t see God, but I see the difference in my life. I can see the lives of those around me. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen Him show up in profound ways that there is no denying it was Him, the love I feel, the hope I have. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Be a lighthouse; there are a lot of women struggling with so many different issues, being overcome by waves of despair. We need to be a light, a beacon of hope, encouraging one another on.

I want to be the Proverbs 31 woman….

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings, she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand, she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

 

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Thank you for reading!

 

I’d love to connect with you!

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—Jenny 🙂
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Woman Wednesday: Marae

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Marae, Cuba 

“Impossible, after all, is only an opinion.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about travel and connections. I believe travel has the potential to make this world a better place by teaching us about acceptance, diversity, strength, and values. It also teaches us self discipline and self-worth. My life has been changed with every trip I’ve taken, and it is my biggest dream to help women discover the travelpreneur lifestyle so they, too, can reap the benefits of a life lived in their own terms while discovering the world. At first, I traveled for fun; vacations, adventures, etc. But then, I realized every place I went to had the possibility to gift me with unexpected lessons and surprises if I dug a little deeper. Unable to stay longer because of work or school restrictions, I started looking into ways I could stay in places longer, travel a bit slower, and develop deeper connections.

 

 

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Now, I get to book travel for others and myself and make commissions on all of it. I also get to coach others on how to become digital nomads, and this has given a deeper purpose to my life than I ever could have imagined. Seeing others transition into this seemingly impossible lifestyle is my biggest joy. Every time I see someone making a living while traveling, my entire being smiles. I am currently working on a group coaching program that will allow more entrepreneurs to venture into this digital nomad lifestyle. I am also working on expanding my blog/social media channel and on learning how to be a mom for my first baby coming this June!

 

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Cuba. I was not able to travel, let alone so much as speak my mind until I left my island country at the age of 12. My father escaped the country by swimming the Guantanamo Bay to seek asylum at the US base, and I knew from a young age that fighting from your dreams demanded doing things that people thought impossible. At the age of 16, I earned a scholarship to go study in Germany for a year, and since I had never traveled much before, and I did not know when I was going to do it again, I used all my allowance money to travel around Europe on cheap airlines and buses and staying in the cheapest hostels. That year, I visited 17 different countries and cities, and my life forever changed. I remember being mesmerized at how a place so “small” could be so diverse. I fell in love with travel and I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing it. 

 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: After I graduated from college, I got a grown-up job. I was making good money and had everything you’re supposed to wish for. I was selling commercials for ABC and Fox and I was living “the American dream” but life felt empty because I did not have more than 2 weeks a year to do what I loved most: travel. I quit everything and became a server at seasonal resorts and parks so I could live in different places every 6 months, and I would work vigorously for 5-6 months and then travel the rest of the year. When I found out people could make a living online, I tried many things. I looked into teaching online, started my own digital marketing agency, looked into drop shipping, worked as an online influencer, started a blog, and even worked for a couple of startups. None of it worked out perfectly, but it all gave me the skills necessary to be where I am at today.

 

 

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Through all the jobs and businesses I started, there was only one constant: I was on my way to figuring out a way to make a living while I traveled the world. This was my goal, and I was determined to make it happen, no matter how long it took or how hard it was. After I became a full time “digital nomad” working solely from my computer, I had months where I did not know how I was going to eat, yet I kept going. Months where I did not see any progress in any of my endeavors, days where no money was coming in, and many times where I even applied to on-site jobs as a back up because I was so afraid to fail…. But every time I got the jobs, I kept reminding myself that if I took the job, I would go back to the thing I was trying to run away from…a life in one place that did not allow me to be fully mobile to do what I love doing the most, TRAVEL.
Today, I am so thankful I stuck by my dreams and did not give up on this dream because not only am I able to make a living online, and not only do I travel full time, but I get paid WHILE I travel, and TO travel. This is what I’ve dreamed of all my life and I only got here through perseverance and determination. Not everything works for everyone, but there is ALWAYS a solution if you don’t give up.

 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism to me means possibilities. It means bridging the gap, filling in the blank, and opening the doors to opportunities. For everyone. It means standing up for what you know is right, and never taking no for an answer; impossible, after all, is only an opinion.

 

 

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I’d love to connect with you!

You can find me @bravefreetravel on Instagram or facebook.com/bravefreetravel and check out my site/blog here.

 

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Woman Wednesday: Ruby B. Johnson

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Ruby B. Johnson, Sierra Leone, West Africa

“Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am a mining engineer and currently work at a gold mining operation. I am also the founder and editorial director of STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. Premiered in September 2018 with its autumn issue, STEMher Magazine is a print magazine showcasing the education and experiences of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) academia, careers, and programs. STEMher celebrates women thriving in their careers and inspires others to fuel their curiosity and interests in STEM; the status of individuals featured range from middle school through retirement. In one year, STEMher has featured more than 50 STEM girls and women worldwide from countries like the United States of America, Australia, Ghana, Canada, South Africa, India, France, Nigeria, Channel Islands, The Bahamas, Sierra Leone, and England. All magazine issues are available for purchase on stemher.com and Amazon Marketplace.

 

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Summer 2019 Cover

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone [in West Africa]. I moved to the United States when I was 12 years old, which meant growing up and completing my middle school and high school education in Maryland. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a BSc in mining engineering and a minor in women’s studies leadership. While in college, I founded When You Believe Foundation, a program that empowers women and girls through social media engagement, workshops, and donations. In 2012, I competed in my first pageant, Miss Sierra Leone USA, with the platform of advocating for the recruitment and retention of girls and women in STEM fields, since I was a STEM college student at the time and women’s empowerment was something I was passionate about. I won the pageant and with that title, I was able to travel across the country as well as in Sierra Leone, encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM. After the crowns and titles, STEM advocacy and women’s empowerment continues to be my lifelong platform. I wanted to take this platform to another level to be able to reach women and girls I may never cross paths with, so I created STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine last year. 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research. (1) From Monday through Thursdays, I work ten-hour days and a two-hour commute to and from work. Additionally, I am an entrepreneur who runs her own business creating content and putting together each issue for STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. I also serve in a couple of ministries at my church. Life gets busy. In the last year, I’m being intentional to prioritize my mental health. Making time to rest and slow down when necessary. In order to be productive with work, I have to take care of myself by sleeping, eating healthy, exercising, spending time with God through prayer, and meditation as well as reading my Bible. I have to be intentional about making time for myself, family and friends, as well as work. It’s okay to say “no” or “not yet” sometimes. I cannot fill the cups of others when my cup is empty. It’s also okay to ask for help—whether it’s in prayer, family and friends, community, or therapy.

 

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(2) As I navigate through the professional world and life in general, I’m realizing how important it is for one to control their narrative. Of course we cannot fully control what people say about us or how they feel about us; however, I believe we can play a role in those things. The way we carry ourselves is very important. We have to learn wisdom on when to speak up or be silent. We must be our biggest defenders and tell people how we want them to treat or address us. (3) Running a business is no easy feat and it’s time-consuming. In college, I learned to not study hard but study smart. I believe that’s important to do when you are a business owner. Being that I don’t have a business or journalism background, I spend a lot of time learning—asking questions, reading articles, listening to podcasts, and everything else in between. I want this magazine to go beyond, so that means I have to put in the work. I may not see harvest immediately, but sowing seeds each day counts. All in all, I believe it’s important to know who you are, stand firm on your values, always remember your why, and never lose your humanity no matter what environment you are in. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means being my authentic self, living out my God-given purpose, and being intentional about making a difference in the community. While working on my women’s studies leadership minor in college, I learned about intersectionality. I am a Christian woman, born and raised in Sierra Leone, a naturalized American citizen, a woman in STEM, usually one of few or only black people in some professional settings, and a family-oriented individual. I thrive because of these lived experiences but also have a heart and a curious mind to learn about those who are different from me. Feminism to me is never compromising my faith and also being compassionate to others. To me, feminism means to reach for excellence and nothing less.

 

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