“It gets better, just keep going and don’t give up.”
When Jenna and I first met almost three years ago in a drug anthropology class, we could have never anticipated how things would unfold. These past few weeks have brought the past full circle and I couldn’t be more grateful that this human is part of my life. Jenna is a gentle pixie with the heart of a lion and soul of someone who has lived far more than twenty-one years. I was so fortunate to spend these past three weeks in Bolivia with her on a course about democracy and development with an extraordinary professor. It is this professor that started our friendship three years ago in her classroom. One class and one person transformed both of our lives on levels that have impacted us both forever.
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
The next morning, we set off from La Paz to Coroico, first stopping at the legal coca market on the way out. Coca leaf, often referred to as la hoja de coca, is a plant that is an integral part of the Andean and overall Bolivian culture. For those who do not know what coca leaf is, I will use Evo Morales famous quote that “coca no es cocaine.” Most people assume that the coca leaf is cocaine when in fact it is not.
I dare you not to love Ron and want to be him when you grow up. It’s not possible because he is one of the greatest humans ever. I met Ron while in Bolivia as he is a dear friend of my professor and has been living in Bolivia since the 70’s. When you meet Ron, you may think he is soft spoken but but his mind anything but. He is one of those people who has truly lived; in every essence of the world and is still going. His style is something to aspire too, always with a hat on top and smile hiding underneath. He is forever a student, fascinated with the happenings of every day, from the mundane to the complex questions he continues to inquire about. If there is one thing I can say about him it’s that he is one of kind.
“Traveling, it leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller.”
Every since school got out a few weeks ago, I have been crazy busy between starting a new job, continuing my current job and planning for my upcoming trip (in T-minus 2 days) to Bolivia with a 24 layover in Bogota. I will be heading to Bolivia for three weeks for a research project through school about drug policy, focusing on studying the coca leaf, coffee and the many misconceptions people have. I was one of those people, until I took a class a few years ago and it changed my life forever. The world has a long history of drugs and it is complicated beyond belief, yet in every way it is intertwined and connected to the big and little things. Everywhere I look it is in the news and related to foreign, domestic and current events.
“Life is Brutiful.”
I am not sure how I stumbled across the brilliant human that is Glennon Doyle Melton, however I know that my life has changed because of the words of this wise and wonderful woman. I know that I first watched her TED talk titled “Lessons from the Mental Hospital” and absolutely loved it. She is honest, real, hilarious and is one of those people you know that the world is better because of. She talks about being honest, leaving our shame at the door and how sharing our secrets and stories to the world is what possibly may change it forever. She is perhaps known best for starting her blog, momestary, which turned into a book Carry On, Warrior and it’s sequel that is on my list, Love Warrior. #IWantToBeGlennonWhenIGrowUp
“It all comes out in the wash.”
So..where have I been lately? Well let me tell you, I have been many places that involve my nose in a book (multiple). It is hard to believe that I wrapped up another semester of school just a little over a week ago. One second, I was laughing that it was April fools day and now here we are, almost approaching June. I love the close and transition of any season whether it be a seasonal, job or life one. And for the most part it is all of them at once! Life has been really, really good to me lately. And here is a little glimpse into life lately.
I think back to how I met this amazing human and it comes down to that we were both adopted from China and our paths happened to merge here at CU Boulder. Bailee is an amazing, exuberant lady who has endless passion and is the human version of the energizer bunny. She casually drops that she ran nine miles in the morning before class frequently. Don’t we all. Born in China and raised in Boulder, Bailee is a self proclaimed “boulderite” who is currently training to be a yoga instructor, making her own kombucha and planning a running road trip around the USA this summer. I honestly don’t know how she does it all! One thing I love about Bailee is her spirit of adventure that even comes down to her hair which is currently dyed a vibrant pink. After our physical anthropology class one day, we sat down on a beautiful day outside a talked life, cute running boys and plans for the future. (Ps. She is single).