I am dyslexic and relieved

Yesterday I was unofficially diagnosed as dyslexic.

A guest who is staying at Tri Sandhya Villa told me she use to teach students with dyslexia.

Today, I read an article outlining 37 signs, 37 tests for people who had been diagnosed with dyslexia. I ticked almost every test.

I am crying as I type.

I have a mean cousin who use to laugh at me because I was a terrible speller.

Some of my family think I am crazy, and have disowned me, as I see things differently than most people.

Just now, I met at tourist in a Café in Ubud who I asked if I spoke Indonesian well? Assuming I must be able to, as I have lived in Bali for six years.

I replied,

“No, I do not know how to speak Indonesian, I am dyslexic”

I feel proud of what I have accomplished to this point in my life.

Today I feel excited to be in the company of the great Agatha Christie, although she is believed to have been diagnosed with dysgraphia, dyslexia seems like a very close cousin.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time, with about four billion copies sold and translations into at least 103 languages.

She is best known for her detective novels and short story collections

But at the same time, she couldn’t even balance her own checkbook due to her learning disability, believed to be dysgraphia.

She had a hard time spelling correctly, as a self proclaimed “extraordinarily bad speller” and was not good about remembering numbers, but her learning disability did not hold her back.

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Portrait of Agatha Christie
(Credit: Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images)

How incredible!

Our lovely guest has been a gift sent from the Gods, she also happens to be an editor.

I wonder what will happen tomorrow?

Sharon Karyasa ©2019

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Racist confrontation at the historic Big Building in Chapel Street, Prahran

Melbourne was voted the most liveable City in the world seven times, however recently Vienna has pipped our lady to the post.

The two metropolises have been neck and neck in the annual survey of 140 urban centres for years, with Melbourne clinching the title for the past seven editions.

Melbourne’s cultural diversity attracts millions of overseas and domestic travellers annually. Visitors converge on our garden state to indulge in shopping, theatre productions and architectural sightseeing just to name a few.

Historical early twentieth century buildings such as the magnificent Big Store located at 303 Chapel Street, Prahran radiates nostalgic days of emporia style shopping.

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Big Store located at 303 Chapel Street, Prahran radiates nostalgic days of emporia style shopping.

Prahran is known for its stylish bars, Southeast Asian eateries and late-night clubs.

Greville Street is a synonymous Melbournian haunt with its hip cafes, specialty boutiques and groovy Greville Records.

People watching is a fun pastime as you sip your long black coffee gazing out of the window of your favourite café, a tram meanders past on a perfect day in urban paradise. The eclectic mix of residents makes for an interesting vibe.

Luxury cars driven by executive’s pull onto the curb in a hurry, well dressed business people dash to that important meeting.

Locals from the social housing in high rise towers wander purposefully. Prahan is inclusive and a true representation of multicultural Melbourne.

There is always one person though, one citizen that throws the balance into disarray, that citizen who is pissed, stoned or both.

One perfect day in Melbourne a middle aged white drunk man staggered into that historical Big Store in Chapel Street, Prahran which is now occupied by Coles Supermarket.

The express check out was in process, shoppers quickly grabbing a few supplies before heading home on a that perfect Melbourne day.

The production line stopped abruptly.

The middle aged drunk man became abusive.

The inebriated man started yelling at the taller man of colour. I couldn’t believe my ears as he swore and told him to go home. Screaming at the top of his lungs saying that he didn’t belong in Melbourne.

The middle aged man was standing so close to the taller man I was afraid he would throw a punch, he continued to shout profanities.

The taller man did not react, he patiently listened to the offensive bigot as he told him to go back to where he came from and that he didn’t belong in his Country.

I was searching for the security, I was mesmerised by the crowd who stood motionless as they witnessed the abusive confrontation. The thought crossed by mind to intervene, to do so though may have resulted in a being punched.

I asked one of the staff to urgently call for security, I was fearful that the drunk man would throw a punch at the taller man.

The swearing intensified, the crowd stood frozen.

Eventually the Manager of the store arrived, more insults were shouted at the taller man before he was ushered onto Chapel Street.

The offender stumbled onto the pavement as he mumbled profanities about the tall man being a black prick and to fuck off back to his own Country.

The cue at the express check out started to move again, the incident was over, however I felt obliged to express my regret.

It was only when I apologised to the tall man that I discovered he was the security guard at Coles.

The security guard told me that the drunk man had been forbidden to enter Coles, as he had a history of being abusive.

This tragic display of hatred and racism was exposed in public at the historical Big Store, both residents and tourists witnessed a violent display of xenophobia on a perfect day in Melbourne.

I walked away feeling nostalgic, remorse and sadness.

Blessings always

Sharon x

Sharon Karyasa ©2019

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A Conversation with Oprah – O, The Oprah Magazine, Nieuw Statendam Caribbean Jan 30 – Feb 2 2019

It takes time to digest the gigantic experience after sailing with Oprah Winfrey in the Caribbean on Holland America Line majestic Pinnacle-Class ship the Nieuw Statendam.

SharonK

Half Moon Cay – Bahamas 

I needed to let the excitement of the extraordinary event settle, I needed to absorb the phenomenal experience before attempting to articulate the enormity of what transpired during our three days at sea with our warrior tribe.

Every day Kerry and myself would come back to our stateroom, on our beds we had been left thoughtful gifts, like the metallic journal that I made notes in for this blog.

Every day we would come back to our stateroom after absorbing a non-stop fusion of energetic positivity, sailing in Paradise with 2,700 women (mostly) who are champions in every professional field imaginable, and included leaders of the literary world.

Every day we would read our postcards sent with love, an inspirational quote, a powerful reinforcement that we were in fact, sailing with Oprah Winfrey (I later found out that Oprah was sleeping on our deck)OprahQuote.jpg

The three day cruise was jam packed full of inspirational events, it was our choice to participate in as much as we wanted to.

We were sailing together as one tribe, the love and camaraderie was infectious.

We met our new friends Darlene and Chrisandra, cousins from Rochester in New York on the first day of the cruise in the dining room, after attending the ships emergency drill.

Later that evening at the exact same moment the door in the opposite cabin to ours opened, we were staying on deck number seven, which happens to be my lucky number.

Almost colliding we were facing Darlene and Chrisandra, the four of us laughing simultaneously paved the way for a wonderful alliance.

I asked the ladies why they had booked the Girls Getaway Cruise with Oprah and O, The Oprah Magazine, they explained that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Strangely enough we kept running into Darlene and Chrisandra without making plans, the Law Of Attraction was in full swing on our cruise and as Oprah says,

“There is no such thing as a coincidence”

Friends

From left: Myself, Chrisandra, Darlene and Kerry

Just like my meeting with Lucy Kaylin who is the Editor in Chief of O, The Oprah Magazine when we first boarded the ship.

I was thrilled to meet Lucy after communicating via email about my work initiating the world changing family violence legislation.

I was delighted that Lucy recognized me and introduced me to her husband Kimball. I prayed that I would meet with Lucy again, away from the crowds just like I had in our initial meeting.

My manifestation became a reality, just after midnight on the last night of the cruise I met with Lucy in a quiet space.

We were both delighted to meet again, we hugged and had a brief but important conversation about my work.

I will hold our conversations close to my heart, I am grateful to have been blessed with such an opportunity.

There was an absence of haters on board the Nieuw Statendam,  Oprah’s powerful energy would extinguish any negative force in a heartbeat.

It was time to party, after all it was Oprah’s 65th birthday the day before we sailed. The B.B King’s Blues Club in the Queen’s Lounge was the place to unite.

I was obsessed with the music and couldn’t stop dancing, the dance floor was a magnetic force of superwomen.

Two floors moving in a rhythmic wave of purposeful knowing, we shared the secret. We had secured a golden ticket on Gods floating vessel of Goddesses.

I couldn’t get enough as the band sang “Ladies Night”.

I wasn’t alone soaking up the electric atmosphere. The trumpet players were pumped, they danced as they blew their hearts out. The band created joyful music as the vocalist belted out,

Oh, yes, it’s Ladies’ Night
And the feeling’s right
Oh, yes, it’s Ladies’ Night
Oh, what a night (oh, what a night)

Gayle King moved effortlessly in front of me onto the dance floor, the crowd became excited but respectful as she danced and weaved her way through the mass of dancers.

Gayle displayed real appreciation of all the guests in attendance.

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B.B King’s Blues Club in the Queen’s Lounge – Nieuw Statendam

At times both Kerry and myself felt the crowds were overwhelming and would retreat to a quiet part of the ship.

We both enjoyed the library, surrounded by inspirational books, reclining into luxurious lounge chairs overlooking the Ocean as we sailed on calm seas.

I became lost in a quandary of space and time when I looked up to the high-resolution world screen and noticed a perfect photograph of beautiful Sanur in Bali, Indonesia.

The exact corner of the beach my husband and myself retreat to on our magical Island home. 

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The highlight of the cruise was being present at the world stage for,

“A Conversation with Oprah”

Kerry and myself glowed with Aussie pride when Gayle sat with Oprah and chatted to the audience about the two ladies she had met on the beach, who had traveled from Australia to attend the Girls Getaway Cruise.

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Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey – World Stage, Nieuw Statendam

Being in the same room as Oprah Winfrey was an experience far beyond anything I could have envisaged.

Oprah was engaging, her realness and authenticity was confronting.

The audience sat in silence as the world stage wrapped around us, cocooned by a two story 270-degree LED screen in high definition. A warm blanket of enormous images engulfed the audience.

The images were of Sofia, the character Oprah played in the 1985 American film The Color Purple, directed by Steven Speilberg.

The story Oprah was telling us was like music in my ears.

Oprah told us how she is the master of manifestation, and how she manifested the role of Sofia.

The process of manifestation happened only after surrendering and letting go completely.

I know a lot about being obsessive, it was necessary that I pay very good attention to Oprah’s story.

Oprah told us about her obsession with Alice Walker’s book called The Color Purple. When Oprah heard that there was going to be a movie come out she started praying,

“God, please let me be in this movie”.

Although she had never been in a movie and didn’t know anything about acting in movies, but she kept praying and became fixated on the thought of playing the role of Sofia in The Color Purple.

The story continues as she told us about Quincy Jones being in Chicago because he was the producer of the Thriller album and there was a lawsuit being filed against Michael Jackson.

Somebody said that Billie Jean was their lover, and that he stole it, or whatever. So Quincy Jones was there to prove that Billie Jean was not their lover.

He had taken the red eye and he was getting out of the shower when he turned on the television in his hotel room. Oprah told us she was hosting AM Chicago when Quincy Jones saw her and said, “That’s Sofia.”

After auditioning for the role of Sofia in The Color Purple she didn’t hear a word, after two months she took this as a bad sign.

Oprah called Reuben Cannon who was the casting director asking why she hadn’t heard from him.

Reuben advised Oprah that she must not call him, if he had any news he would call her. Reuben hurt her feelings by saying he had auditioned real actresses to play the part of Sofia.

Oprah decided she needed to loose weight and retreated to what she describes as a Fat Farm, or what is now known as a Health Retreat. She needed to talk to God, to ask his help for her to surrender and let go of her obsession with Sofia.

Oprah told us that she was running around the track, crying and praying for God to help her let go because she was getting on peoples nerves. She cried out,

“Please God, help me let it go”

Continuing her pilgrimage around the racetrack she started to sing the song “I Surrender All”. Oprah was singing and crying whilst visualising The Color Purple made with another actress playing the role of Sofia, without feeling sick.

She kept thinking about the sign, the sign of the character who she auditioned with who’s name is Harpo, she kept thinking that surely that was a clear sign that the role was meant for her. After all Harpo is her name spelt backwards.

Oprah told us she kept praying and crying until she reached the point of release.

The instant that she got to the point when she thought she would be okay without playing Sofia, was the exact moment a woman came running onto the track advising her there was a telephone call from Steven Speilberg.

Steven Speilberg wanted to see Oprah in his office the next day, he told her not to loose one pound of weight, she was perfect the way she was to play Sofia.

Oprah told us that The Color Purple changed her life. 

“It changed everything about my life because in that moment of prayer and letting go I finally understood the principle of surrender”

Oprah Winfrey

One year later Oprah went on to launch her own television show named The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show stands as the highest rated program of its kind in history.

The Oprah Winfrey Network was launched, Oprah Winfrey became the richest African-American woman of the 20th century.

Oprah’s story of surrender is familiar to me.

I have already surrendered once about my obsession to meet Oprah Winfrey.

I recited a mantra out loud as I removed Oprah’s image from my professional facebook page in June, 2018.

“Oprah I choose to let you go, you are still my muse however I release you from my obsession to meet with you”

48 hours later, Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey were talking on my IPhone urging me to sail with them on the Girls Getaway Cruise.

I took this as a sign and booked immediately (even without Kerry agreeing), the cruise sold out in less than 24 hours.

Maybe the older you get the more you need to surrender? I turn 55 in a few weeks time!

“Once again,  I wholeheartedly let you go Oprah Winfrey”.

I really do mean it…. 

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Blessings always

Sharon xxx

Footnote:

Oprah Winfrey officially named the ship in a ceremony on board in the ship’s World Stage at the conclusion of the Girls Getaway Cruise on February 2, 2019.

Winfrey was joined by Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line; Stein Kruse, Holland America Group and Carnival UK chief executive officer; and Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation

Winfrey reflected on the Girls’ Getaway cruise that had just concluded, saying:

It’s been an incredible experience to see people from across the world come together with one mind and celebrate themselves, honor themselves and honor each other. Everybody gathered, made friends and connected to people they didn’t know because they felt like they had met themselves on some level. I have never seen anything like it.”

She then officially dedicated the ship as its godmother with the traditional statement,

“I name this ship Nieuw Statendam. May God bless her and all who sail on her.”

Sharon Karyasa ©2019

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Miracles, Gratitude & Oprah

It’s impossible to start this story without mentioning the fact that my bestie Kerry and myself will be sailing with Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King and the awe inspiring staff from Oprah Magazine in 28 days.

Did I mention that the ship will be full of women?

The three day Girls Getaway Cruise will be packed full of authors, writers, thinkers, business entrepreneurs and so much more.

I have a feeling that magic may happen when we sail on Holland America Line’s magnificent brand new ship, named the Nieuw Statendam and Oprah is her godmother.

I have started using the hashtag #thefutureisfemale after our Queen Oprah wore a tshirt with a slogan stating just those words at her thanksgiving lunch.

Needless to say the anticipation of this once in a lifetime cruise is at boiling point, the warmth, excitement and enthusiasm has been flowing on Instagram, uniting a group of women from all of the world with one common goal.

A tribe of females striving to make a difference, to be inspired by each other, and to soak up the knowledge from leaders of the fast pace and ever changing world of print and social media.

My new year started quietly.

I felt it was important to take a moment to reflect on the whirlwind, my life has been since my spiritual Journey began here in Bali. My extraordinary reality is extreme.

My blessings have been abundant since that day in 2010 when I visited Batuan Temple near Ubud.

That day as described in my memoir Scarlett Voices in the Shadows an elderly woman appeared from nowhere and asked if I would like a healing.

Excerpt Scarlett Voices in the Shadows

After praying she blessed us with holy water.

My son had a black blood blister on the palm of his hand. After we left the temple my son told me the blister had disappeared. It was at that moment that a miracle happened. As I blinked my eyes, water ran from them. It wasn’t tears. The water flowing was holy water. I blinked again and I could see clearly.

The following morning both the wound site on my leg and the one on my arm were miraculously clean.

That divine intervention was a pivotal turning point in my life, I do believe the reason I have been continually blessed since that day is simply because I am grateful.

It was only after I returned a few years later to give thanks to the holy woman, that my world has turned into a riveting documentary of magic.

I must note, that a miracle can happen at any temple, at any time. The magic of Bali is potent and generous, if you are open to change then the divine may transpire.

I felt it was important to start the year early, my sister in law prepared a complicated offering, it’s contents are passed down from family generations.

I gave thanks and prayed at Batuan Temple on 1st January 2019 before it opened it’s gate to tourists, I gave thanks for all that has led me to this magnificent point in my life.

I want to thank you also, for taking the time to read about my fascinating tales.

Sending you blessings in abundance for a sensational 2019 & beyond.

Sharon x

Sharon Karyasa ©2019

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‘Volcano gatekeeper’ left homeless from Indonesian earthquakes

Thank you to Mangku Bon for continuing to serve our active volcano Mount Agung who I named the “Big Fella”.

I am sad that your home has been reduced to rubble, confident however that the Gods have a plan and we will rebuild, thanks to the generosity of hard working charity organisations on this magical Island of the Gods called Bali.

Mangku Bon’s story has catapulted my career as a freelance journalist onto another level and I am truly grateful.  News.com.au have given me the chance of a lifetime, my dreams are continuing to manifest daily.

Yayasan Solemen Indonesia are like angels to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Please give generously for the people who are suffering both on our beautiful Island of Bali and Lombok.

Please take a moment to read about their incredible work.

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Please give generously to Yayasan Solemen Indonesia 

Blessings always

Sharon xx

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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‘Makare-kare’: A gladiator-style ritual in Tenganan village

Grateful to be Published again in the Jakarta Post.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Blessings always

Sharon x

‘Makare-kare’: A gladiator-style ritual in Tenganan village

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Jro Mangku Gede with my husband Made who is proudly showing off his razor sharp pandan leaf before  the battle.  The weapon that will inflict bloody wounds on his opponent.  Click here to read about the incredible ancient ritual to honour  Indra, the god of war

 

 

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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Lombok Earthquake – It was like Surfing on a Rubber Band

Three Australian mates were enjoying a steak at the Palate Café & Restaurant in Central Lombok last night when a devastating magnitude-7 Earthquake hit the holiday Island.

Businessman Michael Grossman from the coastal town of Torquay in Victoria Australia, described the sensation like he was surfing on a rubber band.

The three men remained calm when the quake began, Senior Constable Mark Jarman a Surfer from Victor Harbor in South Australia, checked his phone seeking information from an App called Earthquake, he was trying to ascertain what they were dealing with.

The information they were searching for was whether a Tsunami warning had been issued.

“That 13 minutes seemed like hours, it was total mayhem, I felt as though I was watching a movie as the scene unfolded before my eyes”, Michael said.

“The Earth started to shake, it was like surfing on land or riding a rubber band. The locals started to panic and run onto the street after the Earthquake didn’t stop, I knew we were dealing with something serious”.

Rather than evacuate, the three men made a decision to remain so they could help out by keeping people calm.

Thousands of tourists and locals were running onto the streets in panic, we felt it was necessary to do what we could the men explained.

“It was horrific witnessing what seemed like thousands of people, both locals and tourists in shock. People were crying and searching for loved ones, it was totally surreal”, Michael said.

Three Aussie Blokes in Lombok.jpg

From Left, Tony Coad, Michael Grossman & Mark Jarman

Finally after 13 long minutes my phone flashed the information we were seeking Mark said,

“No Tsunami Warning Issued”.

In true blue Aussie style Tony Coad also from Torquay declared,

“Okay then let’s have another Bintang, no need to evacuate to the hills”

 

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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Guess What?

My bff Kerry is always there for me, ready to correct my typos and grammatical errors, especially those dreaded apostrophes.

It’s hard to believe its July already, it’s absolutely true what my Mother use to say to me,

“Don’t wish your life away Sharon, before you know it you are old”

Why does time seem to move at a faster pace the older you get? I don’t know the answer to that question, what I do know is that we must not waste a second of every day.

I often reflect on her wise words, my beautiful Mum died at only 51 years young and now that I have surpassed her age I would like to think about my life with a zest for making the most of every day. 

“Live your life every day with purpose, be excited, laugh, don’t waste a second of living your best life”

Okay the last few words I have taken from my muse Oprah, one of my favourite quotes by Oprah is to simply,

“Live your best life

I recommend getting yourself a copy of a beautiful hard cover book titled Live Your Best Life: A Treasury of Wisdom, Wit, Advice, Interviews, and Inspiration from O, The Oprah Magazine.

Speaking of Oprah, I must share my exciting news, Kerry and myself are cruising with Oprah, Gayle and the Oprah Magazine staff in January on Holland America Line’s newest ship the Nieuw Statendam from Fort Lauderdale, Florida cruising the Bahamas.

Oprah Winfrey has been given the title of The Godmother of the Nieuw Statendam.

TheOMag

Oprah Winfrey has been given the title of The Godmother of  Holland America Line’s newest ship the Nieuw Statendam

I promise to fill you in more as we get closer to our departure.

What I can tell you for now is that divine timing was our gift to secure our precious tickets as The Oprah Magazine Girls Getaway Cruise was sold out in less than 24 hours.

Christine Potter Mulhearne who is The Oprah Magazine’s Style Director and blogger of Style me Sassy excitedly announced on her Instagram story that The Oprah Magazine Girls Getaway Cruise sold out in less that 24 hours and that they had broken the Internet.

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This blog is dedicated to my bff Kerry Rundell, my real life Gayle King

In other news I am super proud to share with you I have been commissioned this year by The Bali Advertiser, Bali & Beyond Magazine the Jakarta Post  and news.com.au as a contributor for their publications.

My dream has manifested into a reality and I have become a Journalist.

Additionally I have been featured in the Siapa section of the Bali Advertiser, it is vital that we must keep up a conversation about the global catastrophe of domestic violence.

My interview with Bill Dalton highlights my passion for speaking our truth, to advocate for a peaceful world where violence is just a bad memory, we need to tell our stories to rally against any form of violence and hatred.

I will continue to write thought provoking content, my desire is to occupy a world where we can live in harmony, a world where we can live side by side without prejudice, without bigotry, without racism or bias about a person’s sexual orientation.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blogs.

Blessing always

Sharon x

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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White noise

Where can we go to loose the signal

Why do we feel compelled to stay connected

Who can we trust

What’s that noise I keep hearing

Wired to an electronic rhetoric

Why do we hate, confusion, contradiction

Why can’t we trust

Where is Community

Where is humanity, equality

Where is kindness, acceptance

Where is LOVE thy neighbor

White noise

We must have faith, beyond, our eternal light, break free

WhiteNoise

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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SHARON KARYASA: FAMILY VIOLENCE TRAILBLAZER

I am super proud to be acknowledged for my work in my beloved Bali, today May 23, 2018 in the Bali Advertiser.

Thank you to Bill Dalton for taking the time to report and highlight the importance of keeping up the discussion about the sensitive issue of Domestic Violence.

The conversation must continue.

I believe in signs.

How incredible that my grandfathers name was William Dalton Rowlands (Bill Dalton) the same name as our respected Author and Journalist who also wrote a feature article about my work last year in the Jakarta Post.

My sincere gratitude to both Bill’s.

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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