Exploring home and healing

It’s no secret that I thrive when traveling in other countries. I count down the days until my next adventure and reminisce fondly on memories from recent trips. But the reality is that most of my days aren’t spent galavanting around the world, but chilling at home, going to work, and building a day-to-day routine. I’ve been grappling with ways to break out of my monotonous routine and capture the joy of travel here. Continue reading “Exploring home and healing”

You Look Happy

A reflection of thoughts while traveling Cambodia: December 2019

At the time of writing, I’m in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on one of the most exhausting and exhilarating days of my life. After a day of temples, quad biking, pasta, and rooftop dancing, I’m reflecting on a comment a friend made- “You look happy”. Continue reading “You Look Happy”

One year later

Exactly one year ago I became an RPCV and left South Africa. My two years of service culminated after a hectic two months of uncertainty surrounding regional political unrest. At the time I thought those two years were the most incredible, growth-filled years in my life. And they were, until I came to Stanford and started the work of processing. I’ve been processing my service emotionally and academically. Reckoning with what it means to have home half a world away and how to reconcile South Africa me and US me. Continue reading “One year later”

O Tswa Kae?

It’s a simple enough question really. I’m from the U.S., a west coast native from California and Arizona. But then it gets complicated. Because although I certainly was part of busy and whole lives in both of these places, neither has truly ever felt like the place I’ve yearned to be. Continue reading “O Tswa Kae?”

The new new

September is for new beginnings, for new school years, fresh supplies and shiny new clothes. But this year as I start my masters degree at Stanford I’m feeling a swirl of mixed emotions from utter and complete gratitude and joy to a vicious sense of lacking (or as my Brazilian friends might put it, saudades). Continue reading “The new new”

Wandering solo and loving it?

Solo travel inevitably means a lot of time in your own head, either relishing the opportunity to get to know yourself better, or frustrated and bored with the same thoughts bubbling up on repeat. Solo travel also provides an opportunity to meet people from all over the world and with incredibly different backgrounds, to create fast-paced friendships while engaging solely in activities that make you happy. Continue reading “Wandering solo and loving it?”

Where’s Home Again?

After two years in South Africa there’s a lot of little bright spots about being back in the U.S. Sometimes I stumble out of my really tough workouts and catch myself complaining about them and then I flashback to me trudging around a dusty orange “track” or racing the cows up a farm-lined road towards some silos and I am grateful to be sore. Continue reading “Where’s Home Again?”

On Returning

Back. Back in the land of cuddly puppies, frozen yogurt and rapid-fire English. Back to driving myself around, blasting my own music or podcasts, no longer at the mercy of taxi drivers booming gqom or gospel. Back to yoga sessions sweaty from a heated room rather than a baking under my tin roof, back to family, back to friends, back to almost familiar ways. Continue reading “On Returning”

MGG the Best

*** Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps. ***

You were. Really truly the best village, community, school that your girl could have asked for. Leaving you, especially so abruptly is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. For two years you were my safe haven. The place where I laughed with toddlers who had no idea what I was saying, kicked soccer balls across dusty fields, got frustrated when my learners wouldn’t listen, and escaped with a book as the sun melted into the horizon. For two years when I thought of home I thought of you, of runs to the silos, steaming hot days eased by a sticky ice guava, of stumbling bursts of Setswana as I ineptly attempted to express my thoughts. Continue reading “MGG the Best”

Closing a door

*** Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps. ***

Two years ago Peace Corps dropped me off to the “li li li li li lis” of chanting gogos and host families as they danced their way up the aisle to meet their new host children. Two years ago I was plopped into the middle of rural (ish) Mpumalanga, introduced to a family, and left to (hopefully) become part of it. Two years later it’s clearer than ever that families are not determined by blood, language, skin color, or traditions. Continue reading “Closing a door”

You are an Ocean

*** Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps. ***

A day will come

When you will look at yourself

In the mirror and marvel at

How wonderful it is,

How exquisite it is,

To be completely devoid

Of the sadness

Of the loneliness

That once clung to your skin

Like salt to an open wound.

 You have grown so much

Because you have quietly realized

You aren’t just teardrops

You are an ocean.

  • Nikita Gill

Continue reading “You are an Ocean”

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