I had just returned home to California for the first time in 8 months. Its was a rampage of greetings, hugs, smiles, and then me casually slipping in, “By the way, I’m leaving again in a week!” You can imagine the reactions. Why would I choose to go away so soon? Well, it wasn’t a choice for me. Wanderlust is defined as a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. But for me, it isn’t just a want or desire, but a hard fact. My life is to move and travel and learn. That…Read the rest »
The first time I tasted attaya I couldn’t finish it. My host brother in Dakar had made it, and even a sip out of the small shot glass was almost overpoweringly bitter and sweet.
The first time I finished a glass of attaya was in the house of the woman who is like my father’s mother, since his actual mother lives in another region of Senegal. “It is not a tea that you can drink quickly,” my father warned, “You just have to sip it.” I made it through without squinting too much, mostly because I didn’t want to let…Read the rest »
Like many things in my life, I look back on the ritual family outings I had with the Sinche-Cuasquer family with a small smile on my lips and the realization that, at the time, I didn’t fully see the importance of those moments. Then, they were just a fun way to see different parts of Ecuador and leave the mundane structure of everyday life in Imbaya behind. Now, I realize that they were ripe not only with hilarious moments and cherished memories, but lessons as well.
The members of my host family are very hardworking people. Monday-Saturday means work, but…Read the rest »