When Manuela worked in a public hospital, she became a witness of the violence perpetuated against female patients. Doctors overused C-sections in order to make more money. Some forced sterilization on many women because they saw mothers who were constantly pregnant as careless. One young lady once told Manuela that she did not want to come in for post-natal care because her doctor treated her poorly. Manuela said to me, “Many doctors view these women as culprits and burdens on society, but in reality these women are victims. They simply do not have knowledge of their own right
On my mother’s fifty-sixth birthday, I called her from Indonesia to wish her a happy birthday. “Oh, You remembered!” Her flattered response made it seem like I never remember her birthday. In the same call, I told her that I had received and accepted a fellowship that would keep me in Indonesia for one more year. My news is met with silence. I couldn't tell if she was taking time to gather her thoughts, or if the long-distance call had been dropped.
I biked through rural villages, rice paddies and dusty and bumpy dirt roads and sometimes there weren't even any roads, just torn up ox-cart paths that led to hidden pockets of the country where few ventured. It was on these bike rides that I began to see Cambodia in a new light and I started to see more than dusty roads, tuk tuks and overcrowded markets. I started to see the very essence of a country; the people.
Which brings me to my next point: of all the unexpected contradictions I encountered, the one that has intrigued me the most is that the acknowledgement of South Africa’s problems by its citizens is almost always accompanied by “but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else” or “but it is still the greatest country in the world."
People want to be remembered and they want to remember you; it's a feeling that we can all relate to. Nobody likes to be forgotten, nobody likes to be from the outside looking in, or in the case of Burma, from the inside looking out. The Burmese people don't want to lose that thread that has given them a connection to the outside world.
Then grandma asks, What are you doing outside anyway, my child? Come inside, it is too sunny. “I’m getting some sun on my face!” Uh oh, I realize too late.. wrong answer! A sun tan in India? Am I out of my mind? The fairer you are, the prettier you are. You can even buy ‘Fair and Lovely' cream to make your skin look lighter. It’s not like in the West, where often a tanned skin is considered pretty. In India, dark skin traditionally implies you have had to work outdoors in the scorching heat to earn a living, and that notion endures.
As I gave up and sat down to smoke (yet again), a woman with her traditional basket approached me for a cigarette. She sat down besides me smoking away and I took the opportunity to take some photos in exchange. She asked me for booze. I politely declined. She asked me for dollars. I laughed and walked away.
Gone were the olden days where an urge to eat Goan Sausages meant a trip to the center of town. Paremsan cheese, gongesela sauce, soya bean paste, smoked ham, fresh basil, crisp lettuce, broccoli – exotic food, largely unknown to the Indian palette went from being novel to regular - at least for the affluent. Purchasing power increased. For the first time, people in their twenties were buying houses, cars, travelling abroad, living the lives that their parents were only able to afford in their 50s.
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The days following proved to be equally awkward and confronting. I was unaccustomed to everything about the Spanish way of life. The terribly inconvenient business hours with a mid-day siesta, yet no one seemed to mind. It was starkly different from the incessantly convenient American way of working. Dinners always lasted late into the balmy, summer evenings, regardless of what obligation came in the morning. I quickly learned the concept of “manana, manana.” Time was a concept of fluidity to the Spanish: whenever this task is complete, that’s when one moves on to the next.
Shin was honest when he said, “You will be thrown to the lions, and have to claw your way out.” We taught our classes with no outside help. After trial and error I finally began to get a feel for the way my class learned, and what did and did not work. I had a whiteboard that leaned against the wall precariously-- sometimes slicing my ankles as it fell-- and two markers.The classroom was the main room in the school house, and oftentimes other children from the village would run in and out, trailing toddlers behind them and sometimes even dogs.
the flooding so another volunteer and myself were placed in a hotel located on the outskirts of the province. Although the worst of the flooding in Thonburi province was near to the university, the roads in front of my hotel, 75 kilometers away, were still flooded with waters three and a half feet deep and more water was expected
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In fact, when I first accidentally (having forgotten that the protest was still underway) and later deliberately traversed Sol, I found a group united under a banner that proclaimed, “Si no nos dejáis soñar, no os vamos a dejar dormir”: If you won’t let us dream, we won’t let you sleep. And rather than feeling threatened by such a statement, found myself nodding my head.
Tired of his family living in unbearable poverty and feeling the weight of responsibility as the only remaining male in the family, David decided to head North to see about earning some of the money he had heard so much about. So, at 16, David and his cousin, Abram, took a bus to a Northern border state, contracted a coyote (individuals paid to smuggle people across the border), and joined a group crossing the border. At the end of the grueling journey, they found themselves in Cincinatti, Ohio. That was nine years ago.
The majority of Thais are rather slim; small waist, hips, chest, and butt. Thus, any deviation from this norm and you will be labeled fat by your peers. As a Western woman, I clearly do not fit the Asian mold; I have a large butt, a big chest, and wide hips
Listening is crucial for one simple reason: only our fellow humans have the ability to set the world on the right path. Each conversation, each new experience is important because the ideas, talents and abilities that surround us can ignite miracles. With each lost conversation and insight, we have lost a possibility to start the world anew. This is true for individuals and for governments alike.
The instant I landed in Cairo and stepped off the plane, the liveliness of the city greeted my lungs; I felt the vibrant energy ricochet off my body and my spirit went wild. Of course I was scared, and culture-shocked but I knew this was where I was supposed to be. I won’t lie things are hard here.
At night, they walk, jump, and roll over a bed of burning red coals, and the next day, they climb the sword ladder.At the top there is a platform, where the participants are meant to feel a connection with the gods above.
I wanted to see what his family was like and why he kept leaving. Juancito had a vague idea on how to get there – 15 minutes on a yellow school bus going west. The problem, there are about 10,000 yellow school buses going west at any moment here in Honduras. When I asked around, everyone gave me different answers – 1 hour from here, 2.5 hours from here, you won’t get there til tomorrow. A favorite saying here is, Solo Dios sabe – only God knows.
You no longer have to assemble your sandwhich on the back of a motorbike, or check for flies in the milk. And so at 4:30, when the organized people, in the organized houses, upon their clean streets sleep, you grab handfuls of foods that were once in your dreams. The cereal The chicken, The candy. You taste the sweetness. You taste home.
Yes, this is Karachi. The city of lights, the city that never sleeps. What always mesmerized me was the fact that despite the quality of daily life, and the smell of fear, how resilient we are. If 18 people die in one day, we thank Allah that it wasn’t 80 and we would then find out if the roads were open so we could go about going our business-the very same day!
Traveling in India often means trekking through small villages and cities that don’t have the standard fast-food or high end options. Many travelers are often afraid to eat locally, thinking that they will get sick. But to miss the local cuisine is to miss out on one of the best parts of India.
As the nexus between the east and west, India reminds me of the creative possibilities in music. I am constantly discovering new sounds, whether it is the tabla and piano being played together, or a musician singing the most complex notes in one breath
Life as they say is a journey of self discovery. But when it is taken with awareness and a purpose, the journey takes an existence of its own. Sometimes you resist the turns, other times you relish them. There are always pit stops but never an end.
I am new to this Indian Dance class. As the only foreigner, I stand like a pale giant among a lilliputan kingdom.The small-framed Thai ladies wear leopard print halter tops and pink tafetta tutus. I am wearing western Nike capris and a loose kurti top, standing barefoot and ready to get my Jai Ho on.
A few minutes later, a woman showed up, unfolded a wad of cash from her pocket – well over $100 – but only counted off 200,000 dong and thrust it into Leo’s hand. He then handed it to me, walked about five feet toward his motorcycle, but decided to turn around and spit, “Hey, I have the rest of your money and I am going to go buy a beer with it.”