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Ski Do

Sky’s the limit, hitting the slopes, faster and faster



Insha shows her skills on the slopes in Winter Park, Colorado.

Photo Carol MacKay

At 17, Insha Afsar is like any other teenager: she is enjoying her senior year at the Berkshire School, weighing college choices, and ready for her next adventure on the ski slope. It is hard to imagine this is the girl who, at the age of five, suffered the loss of a leg during the 2005 earthquake in her homeland Pakistan.

Thanks to a Time cover photograph the Shriners in Los Angeles offered to help Insha. She was flown to the United States with her father and the organization arranged for free medical care. Heal the Children Foundation found a family in Connecticut who offered to put up Insha and her father. Thus began the magical journey that took her from a war-torn village to idyllic northwest Connecticut and a new life with Ted and Rebecca Bent. 

Ted had been involved with the Healing the Children Agency in New Milford and decided to volunteer to sponsor a child who needed medical care. “To our surprise a representative showed up with Insha and her father, who spoke no English,” Bent explains. “Insha had lost her leg up to her knee and lay for four or five days without medical treatment. Gangrene had set in through her hip and so that had to be removed as well. The Shriners had arranged for her treatment at a hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts and our house became the place where she lived while she went back and forth.”

On the first two visits, her father accompanied her; on the third she traveled by herself, highly unusual since Muslim girls are not allowed to travel alone. At that point the Bents enrolled her at Washington Montessori School. “I did it as a lark, thinking it would be good for her to learn more English and to interact with children her own age,” says Bent. “She was there for three and a half years, but going back to Pakistan every summer.”

Since both Bents were working, they needed someone to care for Insha when she returned from school. That is how they met Jay and Krystyna Jankowski, who have played a major role in Insha’s success on the slopes. “The school recommended me to Ted,” says Krystyna. “I’d pick up Insha at school; she’d do her homework at our house and she began to feel at home.”

One day, seated at the kitchen table, Insha started crying because she wanted to play tennis, a sport that was totally out of her reach. To appease her Jay came up with an alternative. “She was about ten years old by then,” he recalls. “I told her I would teach her how to ski. We have a home in Vermont, so I took her there and put her on the slopes. I got her little outriggers and she took to the sport immediately.” “I loved the feeling of going fast,” Insha says. “Eventually I wanted to ski more and more.”

“She persevered and won a silver medal and a gold as part of the National Standard Race (NASTAR), the largest public grassroots ski-racing program in the world,” says Jay. “She has no fear and is totally unaware that she has a handicap.” Insha explains; “I try not to focus on the fact that I am nervous. I concentrate on remembering the combinations and trying to keep my heartbeat steady. At Berkshire I practice four days a week and race the other three.”

Her next dream is to qualify for the 2018 Winter Paralympics. Pakistan does not compete in the games. If she obtains dual citizenship, she will be able to qualify and train with Paralympic Team USA and both countries can take pride in her performance.

“I’ve done so much and I know I can do more,” says Insha. “I have to keep working and believe that I can do anything at all.”

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December 2017

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Want to see the tallest Christmas tree in Connecticut?  Then taking a visit to Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce featuring a 100 foot tall Christmas tree is a must! Join in the fun with a...

Cost: Adult $15.99, Children (4-10) & Seniors $11.99, Children 3 & under – FREE

Where:
Lake Compounce Theme Park
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

December 1st - December 30th The show opens with a reception on Saturday, December 2nd from 11AM to 4PM.  The Fine Line Art Gallery’s Holiday Art Show 'Miniature...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Fine Line Art Gallery
319 Main Street South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: Fine Line Art Gallery
Telephone: 203-266-0110
Contact Name: Mally DeSomma
Website »

More information

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Show Less...

The Gunn Historical Museum’s Washington History Club in the Morning will meet at the Washington Senior Center on Monday, December 18 at 10am. The topic of discussion will be Christmas...

Cost: free

Where:
The Washington Senior Center
6 Bryan Hall Plaza
Washington, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: GUNN HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Telephone: 860-868-7756
Contact Name: STEPHEN BARTKUS
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Want to see the tallest Christmas tree in Connecticut?  Then taking a visit to Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce featuring a 100 foot tall Christmas tree is a must! Join in the fun with a...

Cost: Adult $15.99, Children (4-10) & Seniors $11.99, Children 3 & under – FREE

Where:
Lake Compounce Theme Park
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Landmark Community Theatre holds auditions for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD at the Thomaston Opera House. Contact: Jeffrey Dunn, Executive Director Administrative: (860) 283-8558 Box Office:  (860)...

Cost: Free

Where:
Arts Center Theatre
158 Main St.
Level 2
Thomaston, CT  06787
View map »


Sponsor: Landmark Community Theatre
Telephone: 860-283-8558
Contact Name: Jeffrey Dunn
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Want to see the tallest Christmas tree in Connecticut?  Then taking a visit to Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce featuring a 100 foot tall Christmas tree is a must! Join in the fun with a...

Cost: Adult $15.99, Children (4-10) & Seniors $11.99, Children 3 & under – FREE

Where:
Lake Compounce Theme Park
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Want to see the tallest Christmas tree in Connecticut?  Then taking a visit to Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce featuring a 100 foot tall Christmas tree is a must! Join in the fun with a...

Cost: Adult $15.99, Children (4-10) & Seniors $11.99, Children 3 & under – FREE

Where:
Lake Compounce Theme Park
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Landmark Community Theatre holds auditions for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD at the Thomaston Opera House. Contact: Jeffrey Dunn, Executive Director Administrative: (860) 283-8558 Box Office:  (860)...

Cost: Free

Where:
Arts Center Theatre
158 Main St.
Level 2
Thomaston, CT  06787
View map »


Sponsor: Landmark Community Theatre
Telephone: 860-283-8558
Contact Name: Jeffrey Dunn
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Want to see the tallest Christmas tree in Connecticut?  Then taking a visit to Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce featuring a 100 foot tall Christmas tree is a must! Join in the fun with a...

Cost: Adult $15.99, Children (4-10) & Seniors $11.99, Children 3 & under – FREE

Where:
Lake Compounce Theme Park
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

December 1st - December 30th The show opens with a reception on Saturday, December 2nd from 11AM to 4PM.  The Fine Line Art Gallery’s Holiday Art Show 'Miniature...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Fine Line Art Gallery
319 Main Street South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: Fine Line Art Gallery
Telephone: 203-266-0110
Contact Name: Mally DeSomma
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Want to see the tallest Christmas tree in Connecticut?  Then taking a visit to Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce featuring a 100 foot tall Christmas tree is a must! Join in the fun with a...

Cost: Adult $15.99, Children (4-10) & Seniors $11.99, Children 3 & under – FREE

Where:
Lake Compounce Theme Park
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

December 1st - December 30th The show opens with a reception on Saturday, December 2nd from 11AM to 4PM.  The Fine Line Art Gallery’s Holiday Art Show 'Miniature...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Fine Line Art Gallery
319 Main Street South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: Fine Line Art Gallery
Telephone: 203-266-0110
Contact Name: Mally DeSomma
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Jim Moore and Dan Antonucci on 12/23/17 at Litchfield Community Center from 12-5pm. Original prints and drawings and handmade woodworking products will be on display and available just in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Rd.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Jim Moore
Telephone: 631-624-3908
Contact Name: Jim Moore
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Want to see the tallest Christmas tree in Connecticut?  Then taking a visit to Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce featuring a 100 foot tall Christmas tree is a must! Join in the fun with a...

Cost: Adult $15.99, Children (4-10) & Seniors $11.99, Children 3 & under – FREE

Where:
Lake Compounce Theme Park
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

December 1st - December 30th The show opens with a reception on Saturday, December 2nd from 11AM to 4PM.  The Fine Line Art Gallery’s Holiday Art Show 'Miniature...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Fine Line Art Gallery
319 Main Street South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: Fine Line Art Gallery
Telephone: 203-266-0110
Contact Name: Mally DeSomma
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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