Land of the Free and Home of the Brave

One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.  Black, Brown, White, Muslim, Atheist, Christian, Disabled, LGBTQ+, Female, Male, etc, etc, etc. All. Out of many, one.
Happy birthday, America. Do better. 

Grandpa

“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5 As a young girl I wondered about him from the absences. Years later, I witnessed him in the transition. And now,…

Other.

In the lovely state of Michigan, 63 miles west of Detroit, off Interstate-96, you’ll find a commonly passed yet rarely noticed town by the name of Fowlerville. Pop off the highway and mosey through the street lined with fast food chains and Wal-Mart. Make your way down the main street to the single traffic signal in the center of town. Then…

Next stop: Thailand!

The world only exists in your eyes – your conception of it. You can make it as big or as small as you want to.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Great Baltic Bike Adventure

This may have been the most active summer of my life. It kicked off with a two week road trip including plenty of long walks throughout Ireland and Scotland, then I walked Hadrian’s Wall Path for five days with my mom, and to top off the summer of exercise and sunshine I went on a two week bike trip…

5 Lessons Haiti Taught Me

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but among the nerves was a peace. A reassurance. Affirmation that this, with time, could become home…

The Occasional Defeat

Words are a large part of who I am, who we are; the creation and manipulation of them is one critical way we connect and feel understood. To be stripped of them is introducing me to a new realm of vulnerability.

Explaining the Inexplicable

But then…a tiny face with a toothy smile will grin at me. Or my host mom will tell me I’m like the daughter she never had. Or a quiet kid will speak a full sentence to me. Or my awesome counterpart will drive out of his way in the middle of the week so I can play volleyball with adults. Or the student volleyball team will triple check that I’m coming to their practice. Or the neighbor who runs a nearby noodle stand will give me a hug at the market. There are a million and one amazing little moments that continue to outweigh the moments of homesickness, and for that, I’ll continue to be grateful.

Where’s the other shoe?

There is a saying in English for when things are going well and you are waiting for something bad to happen. We call that: “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” Can I confess something really ridiculous? I’ve been hesitant to write about site life and the start of school because I’ve been actively waiting…

Solitude

Stillness. The air cool and not yet sun baked. Silence. Wind rustling its way through the trees and the birds singing the world awake. Solitude. The yearning for moments alone. Padding out of bed, without the assistance of an alarm clock, to begin the sacred morning coffee ritual. Each morning this week I have found…

You Never Know

You never know what tomorrow may bring, but I do know that I appreciate you all and I am grateful for each day our time overlaps on this Earth. The best is yet to come.

Farang’s First Songkran

Songkran is a 3 day (sometimes longer depending on the region) festival celebrating the Thai New Year. The word Songkran comes from sanskrit meaning transformation or change. Most farang’s (foreigner in Thai) associate it with a giant water fight – and it is – but it was also so much more than that. It was about tradition, and respect, and renewal to begin a new year.

The Art of Pák-Pɔ̀n

So each morning, I’m up just after the sun and a full day with lots of hours presents itself to me. I’m learning it’s ok not to fill every moment. I have to consciously tell myself to take a deep breath. To be kind to myself and to be ok with just being.

Road to Rayong

“Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the Unknown, and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.” -Wendell Berry

Worth It

Biking is our primary form of transportation here. After some preliminary bike maintenance headaches, I’ve grown rather fond of my new ride. I often bike with my friend (who is also my neighbor) since we are in the same language class. Last week, we were heading home as usual, setting a good pace and trying…

New Normal

The room I’m sitting in doesn’t have a door. My belongings are lovingly scattered among my suitcases with a select few outfits occupying the eight hangars I was given. My bed, while comfortable and wonderful, is a mattress on the floor covered by a pink mosquito net. My shower more closely resembles a tub of…

Sawatdee ka, Thailand!

“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.” ― Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air On the flight to Thailand – or I should more accurately say – on the crazy long, day and half trek to Thailand, I…