I’m not a big fan of school-sponsored study abroad. I think it can take away from the serendipity of meeting new people abroad, and overall doesn’t prepare students on how to make the most of their time abroad. From my experience - when you take the “school” out of travel, you are mentally dropkicked into the real world of danger, and constant, rachet adventure. And that really opens up a whole new world of intellectual growth.
That’s why I haven’t been so thrilled about my school-sponsored internship this summer. But let’s be honest: I cannot stop thinking about the fact that I will be doing real development work in rural South Africa the whole time (so I must give USC a huuge thank you for the hookup and da cash).
Development…the challenges of essentially trying to create something from nothing. 2 months of development research in India was definitely the most frustrating thing I ever did.
But more importantly, life passions, real life, same thing right now. I’m all about this.
Got my hipster tragus piercing (which has finally healed over) and everything.
[Fishermen in Mpumalanga, South Africa (National Geographic)].
One of my good friends told me today that she is a “freegan.” Now this is something I would do if someone in the world was crazy enough to do it with me :)
Basically, being a “freegan” means she gets all her produce and eats all her food from local dumpsters of the Trader Joe’s and Safeways in Palo Alto, where she lives.
It’s just that if 1 egg in a carton of 12 breaks, or the lid of a jam jar cracks, Trader Joe’s throws the entire carton or jar out. She tells me it is all perfectly good, valid and unexpired stuff. She does boil any raw food before she eats it, and buys the things she can’t find and needs to be healthy, like kale, etc.
It’s essentially an anti-consumerist boycott of food waste - and freegans are often college-educated people from middle class families. Not hobos!
When I think about how much you mean to me, I am completely overwhelmed by emotion. It’s mind-boggling, especially after I started realizing that you have loved me this much since Hour 1.
You get me. Like no one else. You deal with me rage, be insanely happy and go absolutely nuts on a regular cyclical basis. I have seen you sacrifice your dinners to feed me, even if I was only joking-hungry. Always, always looking out for my happiness. I have yet to reciprocate years of love undeserved.
Thank you for showing me what selflessness and compromise really mean. That money is secondary to most intangible things in life. That beauty is skin-deep, and being down to earth and thankful is much more important. Your inner beauty is insurmountable. Mom, the parts of myself that I am most proud have all come from you.
Thank you for being the only human being who fully accepts me. You are the only person to have never ignored me, never let me down. You are the only one who needs me as much as I need you. I feel like I am a burden on everyone else except you, because you always enjoy my company. You are the reason I am able to survive my lowest points in life. Everything I do, I do to make you proud, even though you tell me you’re always proud of me.
When I think about how we are both getting older, and I might move far away from you one day, I actually can’t keep it together. Mom, you are my life. Love doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I just joined the staff of the Diplomacist, a virtual collaboration of undergrads from all over the United States discussing international affairs. It’s a publication unique of its kind and we write about anything that falls under the broad umbrella of “international relations,” so I’m definitely excited to make something cool of this. Writing weekly, I’ll be sure to share my virtuous insights with y’all once I have them :)