I'm Jeanne Riether, an American author, speaker and humanitarian worker. I've lived and worked for over twenty years in China, and helped found the Healing Young Hearts Project. I love creating free resources, as well as training volunteers to use stories, music, art and games to help children navigate disaster, chronic illness and stressful challenges in life. I've authored several non-fiction books, as well as a soon-to-be released novel.
Stories, and the way they connect us all, fascinate me. Everyone has a story to tell and I love hearing them and writing about them. I've met circus performers, school teachers, backpackers, shepherds, scientists, soldiers, cabinet ministers and camel drivers. Decades ago, when the world was a different place, I meandered through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and shared hot tea and roasted nan with smiling families under a dome of desert stars. I crossed barren, thin-aired 5000 meter passes in Tibet, and became acquainted with porters, princes, diplomats and drug smugglers in Nepal. I've paddled dugout canoes down rivers full of sleeping crocodiles, crouched breathlessly in the jungle observing elusive leopards, and swam in brilliant coral reefs below the equator. I've cried with people whose lives were destroyed by earthquakes, floods, fire and war. I've been inspired by people who lost everything, but still found the courage to rise above all they'd suffered by choosing hope.
Each and every one of the places I ever lived in felt like home at the time, but at the same time, none of them ever really did. Home to me is no longer a specific location, for I've lived in too many of those to be able to narrow it down to just one. To me, home is a place of the heart. It's built with living stones, the memory of the rich and unusual experiences I've had, and the people I've learned from and loved along the way. And best of all, like all nomads, I can pack up my home and carry it with me when it's time to go.
Join me on my blog, or wander among the pages of my books, or contact me if you would like me to speak at your event. You might just discover that you've always been a nomad at heart, too.
JEANNE L. RIETHER was nominated for the 2016 Haihe Friendship Award, Tianjin government's highest honor, for her contributions to social development in China. She received the 2010 Harbin Gandong television award for her contributions to disaster relief. She has been appointed a mentor of student volunteers at Tianjin University, and has received invitations to conduct volunteer training at Nankai University, Tianjin Foreign Language University, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, the Civil Aviation University of China, Zhejiang University, the Beijing National Children’s Center, the Beijing Mental Health Committee, the Sichuan Children’s Center, the Heilongjiang Children’s Center, the International Red Cross, the Heilongjiang Department of Education, the Heilongjiang Language Working Committee, Harbin Engineering University , Heilongjiang Forestry University, Heilongjiang University, and the Heilongjiang Science and Technology University. She has been a speaker at epilepsy support events at the Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Shenzhen Children’s Hospital, and the Harbin Medical University 2nd Affiliated Hospital. In 2012, Jeanne produced the first Chinese language training DVD and instruction booklet for physicians in China to help families starting dietary therapy for seizures, in cooperation with Johns Hopkins Hospital and the China Association Against Epilepsy.
She currently is serving as a public welfare adviser at the Cathay Future Culture and Art Foundation where she directs the Healing Young Hearts project, and teaches children at Cathay Future's Global Language School.