“I could never be a diabetic, I’m too scared of needles.” When I hear this phrase, my usual response is to laugh and smile, while in my head a sassy voice snaps back: “It’s not like I have a choice”. Don’t feel bad if you suspect these might have been your words. I have heard […]Read More Diabetic and Afraid: Trypanophobia
I currently own a handful of reusable masks, collected over the months from various crafty friends and worried relatives. While I have become accustomed to incorporating a mask into my everyday life, I cannot shake the feelings of isolation and even alienation when I put one on and step outside. When the mask comes on, […]Read More behind the mask
“I’m lending this to you. Remember, I want it back.” My grandmother hands me a non-descript, navy blue book. The only details on the worn, hard cover are the title, Reminiscences, and the author’s name below it, O.R. Baldwin. An unknown author, no book jacket, not a title that particularly grabs the attention. It’s the […]Read More In the Words of my Great-Great Grandfather
Before reading this, note: I am a white, cisgender woman born in the United States. This perspective comes with privilege and power. I will never live under the weight of violence and oppression that many minorities, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and folks in the LGBTQ+ community have experienced in this country. My […]Read More White, American, and Living Abroad- How does one engage with racism in the USA?
it has beennine hundred and eight dayssince i boarded that plane nine hundred and seven dayssince i stepped onto the tarmacexchanging damp winters for hotpressing heatmy first christmas in summer eight hundred and sixty-four days since i lit my first new year’s lanternthe paper catching fire dangerously close to a neighbor’s house four hundred and […]Read More eight hundred and twenty-two
April has come to an end. Almost a quarter of a year has gone by since I left my life as a volunteer in Peru. I was on the phone the other day with Faith, a former volunteer who served with me, and she mentioned a weekend we stayed together in Arequipa at the end […]Read More Reverse Culture Shock: Who Am I Post-Service?
“I see that you have diabetes. In the past, I have tried to process applications with those who have diabetes, however, they have always been unsuccessful… I’m very sorry, but I don’t think I would be able to secure you a position…” I read the message, my mind frozen. What am I supposed to do […]Read More When you have the Heart of an Adventurer (but the Pancreas of a Diabetic)
More than two years had passed since I had set foot in my parent’s home. I had not walked on the shores of Northern California, my childhood companion, in over two years. I had not eaten a scrumptious burrito from the combo restaurant-gas station in the little town of Pescadero, had not even hugged my […]Read More Coming Home to Quarantine
I sit at the top of the ridge amongst cactus spines, dirt, and dust. The view is spectacular with a crisp, blue sky and mountains dotted with eucalyptus trees as far as the eye can see. We were sent here to dig a ditch for the water pipe leading to the cemetery and the work […]Read More Mes de Misión: Third Time’s the Charm
The sun sets on me for the last time. I spot the panadería on the narrow street, the tienda on the highway with its typical two customers drinking beer at the table outside. I sit in the back of the bus, the window blessedly open. It’s the best place to be so that I can watch both the passing […]Read More A Slow Goodbye