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I wrote parts of this after Idul Adha on the 5th of October. Now we are in Buntau, Toraja, on Sulawesi. Didn’t want to get anyone confused 🙂 I’ll write about our current experience this coming weekend. Last night the celebration for Idul Adha......Read More
Totombo and I sat side by side that first night, left legs curled in at the knee, feet resting against our right thighs, right legs outstretched until they poked over the edge of the porch and dangled over the ocean. A shifting swirl of stars and......Read More
A student asked me the other morning what I thought ‘the real Madagascar was’ and I was surprised to find myself blankly staring at a crumbling brick wall, unable to answer. I started to talk about the national parks and the places where you can......Read More
Not Always But Sometimes: Views from a Non White American Abroad Not always but sometimes I see myself as different from the rest of our group. It’s hard not to; in our herd of white, I am a speck of coffee brown. Onlookers furrow their eyebrows......Read More
Yachay(Quechua): to learn, to know and to remember. I remember the first time I heard the sound of Fabien, our local guide, playing his flute, and the image that immediately came to my mind of a lonely herder in the mountains. I remember my homestay......Read More
In economics, scarcity is vital to the soul of the subject. Scarcity leaves consumers hungry for more, creating the demand that keeps the market alive. That is precisely what this trip has done. Three months are but an inhale and exhale in the......Read More
Our Mid-Course Yak assignment is to write something about our homestay experience. When I first found out that was our prompt, I was relieved. It´s so simple. There aren´t any hard hitting questions to ask myself or deep thinking to do. All I need......Read More
Sometimes at home I hear stories about how hard it is for people in “other places,” vaguely desert-y hot “other places,” to get water to drink. I hear stories about how women and young girls will have to spend half the day going to a water......Read More
“Your homestay families have arrived to pick you up!” My stomach twisted and my palms became sticky with sweat as the group tightly cuddeled in a circle, trying but failing to imagine our first night in a home stay. On Monday, we had left Dene......Read More
It was finally over. I’d been in China a month, and my life had turned upside-down. My perspective, my experiences, and how I saw myself and others. They’d all changed. It was one of the best things I’d ever done, but I was also ready to be......Read More
July 5th: I had never set foot in a car like the one that took me into the mountains, but it took me to a place that felt like home. The air ran cool through the cranked down windows and helped subside the otherwise uncomfortably warm air that was......Read More
I now see myself as part of the bigger picture. Before these six weeks of travel and exploration, I knew that there was a world out there, but did not really understand what that meant. Now, I am part of a world of seven billion, all of different......Read More
Death came at 4:30 on a dark Monday morning. I had been lying in my host parents’ room, waiting for them to return from the hospital. My host nieces, Pari and Khushi, were peacefully sleeping in the room next door. We had returned from the......Read More
Choosing to defer from college and take a gap year is a major abnormality from where I come from – I was the sole graduate from my high school who was not to immediately enroll in a university the coming September. Clearly, this situation was just......Read More
Dear Home: Dear Door – I remember so well the way your handle pressed in my palm, the precise weight against my arm, the exactly pitched creak of your melodious hinges. In my mind you open to a world of sights and smells; the familiar flowers,......Read More
Dear Friends and Family, We are writing this from the airport in Leh, Ladakh where we’re waiting for our flight to Delhi. Patience is perhaps one of the most important traits a traveler can possess. Flights and trains get delayed, and especially......Read More