Making Choices

I Apologize ..

4months. Thats a really long time. Today I started thinking about all that I’ve done here in Thailand. All that I’ve learned and the ways my new community is opening me up to the resources to better myself, mind body and spirit.

And as I look back on my previous posts, I laugh a little to myself. Its so interesting to see how much my perspectives have changed in such little time. Eventually when I got to a certain point in my reading there were no more posts to read. Transitions have happened from the time of my last post till now and they are transitions I would have liked to document. 

At first I was doing this as part of a requirement  I was doing this for an audience, to make this experience of a Kennedy-Lugar YES scholar a motivation of sorts for others see, appreciate and get involved with cross-cultural connections. 

But today as I reached my last post, I was a little saddened. I realized that in writing my experience for an audience, I had captured the parts of Thailand that I sometimes forget to snap shot away in my memory. I would like to apologize, mostly to myself, for neglecting my story. As I write now, I am fascinated to look back on this journey long after its over and witness the moments that are shaping my new goals, motivation, and expectations. 

Two elections: One down, One to go.

In 2009 I remember being excited for the election of Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the former president of Somalia. He showed the determination of someone who was ready for change, who would do whatever it took. I felt certain that with him in power, he could put a cap on the political chaos in Somalia.

Two days ago, Mr. Ahmed was outvoted by Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, now Somalia’s new president. I am not excited this time because frankly, i’m tired of all the talking. But its come to my attention that its different this time. Mr. Mohamud is not a politican. He is an academic. And if there is one thing I believe in, it is knowledge.

So maybe, just maybe I can put the tiniest hope that even if within his presidency Somalia does not find peace, maybe someone will finally concern themselves with the education of the next generation of Somalis. 


Fearless ..

I’m not scared of ants anymore. Now they just kinda irritate me, like what are you doing on my bed!? 

Heres to overcoming fears, cheers!

The Ring

My leg hurts. But the pain reminds me of my day. I sit in my room tonight icing several parts of my body, yet I am in awe.

It was my second day of boxing practice. The first day I had been too concerned with not dying. But the past 6hours I spent amongst a group of Gods most eloquently created creatures. Buff and sculpted, these boys are pure muscle. I trained, than I stopped to watch the scene around me unfold.

The gym is outdoors, not big and quite dusty, it contains three punching bags that have been used and abused. The remainder of the floor is covered by the two boxing rings occupied with several pairs of boys fighting at a time. And in the few square feet of space that is left I watch people stretch, warmup, wrap their hands etc. 

The trainers sit, lounging as they pass around cigarettes. Occasionally orders are shouted out, and they walk over to adjust a technique. Sweating (&boy was there alot of sweat),  we repeat and repeat until it feels right. Hours pass and everything slows down.

Smoke drifts over, people start fooling around, the older boys gang up on the younger ones, tieing them down &dragging them around the gym. Sometimes they cry, but always they come back for revenge. 

At varying paces, we gather around the main ring. Sitting, stretching, flexing, conversations begin in pairs but before we know it, there is a shared joke that has everyone included in the laughter. It was a long and painful day, but as I gather my belongs and head home, I can guarantee I’ll be back again tomorrow. 

360-ish Days

Today I finally separated myself from the life I used to lead. I, naively, thought it would be possible to both lead a fulfilling life here, while continuing to be apart of my family’s life back home. 

After several fustrations and disappointments, I took a moment to gather myself and the confusion cleared itself up. In order to really make this my home, I had to occupy myself with the daily activities of those around me, not stay up to date on the activities back home.

Though it was difficult, its kind of like breaking up with someone. You have to make a clean cut. With my mother I refuse to cut the cord (hopefully you can understand that), but with those friends that helped me get here, I’m learning this is something I have to do without them. 

A year isn’t as long as it seems. In about 360 days, I will see all of you again. &when I do, you can catch me up on all that I’ve missed. Until then, wish me luck <3

Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.

— yesshabazz

People disappoint you. All the time. The question is what can you do about it?

— yesshabazz

Blessed Day

There is so much I could say about tomorrow, the ending of this beautiful month of Ramadan, the celebrations that await us tomorrow as Muslims all over the world take this day to thank God and spread glad tidings. The dresses, the food, the decoration, so much going on.

But it is 30minutes till I break my fast for the last time this month and I am surprised to find myself sad.

Expected and anticipated, I didn’t imagine it’d feel quite like this. For the first time in my life, I will be celebrating this holiday without my family. And though I knew that before I arrived here, as preparations for the holiday begin, I hear my mothers voice in my head and I play back memories of all the Eids before. 

So tonight, I can’t really write about how amazing everything will be. Tonight I would like to wish my mother Eid Mubarak. May the blessings of this day be with you. And to my sisters, thank you for every song we sung obnoxiously loud on this day. I have been blessed to have this family and to have those memories. 

Tomorrow morning, I will be making new ones with a new family. Wish me luck.