Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Moral Dilemma

Tonight I witnessed a horrific ordeal. Though no one was injured, my own action, or rather inaction, leaves me morally confused, and lacking the ability to sleep.

After a tough loss at the Rockies game, I thought a calming bus ride home was what I was in store for. I was wrong. I made sure we went to the right station so we could actually get seats, but to my dismay, my reading, even before the ride started, was disrupted by five rows of obnoxiously drunk kids yelling obscenities. It was nothing worse then what I would normally hear at CU game at first, but that wasn't where the problem was derived. What set me off was when the asshole in the back of the bus, riding on the false confidence of alcohol and a group 10 plus friends, began verbally harassing a girl who wouldn't sit by them. This led to her two guy friends trying to stand up, and being met with multiple comments all laced with the words "gay," "faggot," or "queer." As the bus ride continued, one of the guys walked back and tried to silence the kids by acting as if he were gay. It did help a little, but finally it ended up sparking more comments. When we pulled to our first stop, which was a 20 minute ride, the bus driver finally came to see what was happening, and it turns out one of the guys being harassed was actually gay. The bus driver asked who was doing the harassing, gave a stern warning to the "leader" (calling him that literally pains me), and went back to the kids being harassed. The bus driver's only advice to the kids being harassed was that there was another bus two minutes behind us, and if they wanted to, they could get off and wait for it. And this is what they did. The ones being harassed, being spoken down to because of sexuality, were forced to leave the bus, while the publicly intoxicated, character-less, asshole got to stay on the bus. And while this all happened, while the bus driver threatened to kick the kid off, then turned away and basically affirmed every second of the interaction, I sat there. Silent. In the dark. Shaking with anger.

As the bus rolled away, and the kid began yelling rockies chants, and trying to pick fights with anyone who would bite, I realized I had not only witnessed a hate crime, I condoned it. I didn't speak up, I didn't walk down those five rows to that kid. I didn't knock some fucking sense into him. I sat.

I sat in my seat, shaking with anger, almost praying that kid would say another word, or get off at the same stop as me so I could redeem myself. But when he got off the bus four stops before me, all I could do was stare and him, still shaking, wishing I could administer even an ounce of physical pain, so he could get a glimpse of what he caused for his victim tonight.

One of the most despicable things a person can do is nothing. The one evil which we should all fear is the inaction of good men. When I look back I don't know what I could have done. Even as my blood pressure has returned to normal, the first thing that comes to mind is hurting that kid. I wish I would have jumped. I don't know what it would have done. I don't know if his friends would have jumped me. I don't know what would have happened, or if in that, case violent resistance would have actually accomplished something. But one thing I do know is I could have at least spoken up. I could have advocated for kicking that kid of the bus. I could have stood up, and said something. Even if it didn't work, then the verbal harassment would have been taken off those three, and placed on me, and hell, that probably would have sparked other people to jump in. But I didn't act, and for that, I'm truly disgusted.

It's tough to actually appreciate the school I go to when so much of it is ridiculous notions like this. Even the good that exist here, I feel comes with a clause of negativity which taints it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I could get used to this

Just another day at the office. I got to work around nine, and set up tabling for the 2010 Denver/Colorado census at festivals like Mile high music fest, greek festival, pride, and black arts, then busy intern work. Next, I took an hour lunch at a nice chinese food restaurant on the boss' dime, then went back to work for a few more hours of festivals and intern toils. Finally, I ended the day with a free private party at the Chop House drinking mirco-brews and eating beef wellington, only to go to a free rockies game after the food ran out. I even got in a night run with a head lamp! I hope real life is always like this!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Optimism

Sometimes I see things that make me questions my country, but other times I see things that restore my hope. Yesterday I saw a man who works in the CU archives helping the Afghani bus driver with English. He wanted to know what "sup?" meant. The man later told me that each day he brings the bus drivers pastries, and one day he brought the Afghani man a fruit smoothie...something he had never seen before. Hope for a united glob 1, cynicism 0.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Answers

Sometimes I wonder about our country, but other times I get unwanted answers. Maybe advertisements like these are why less then half of the marriages in the US don't work out.





Maybe I can't build a relationship in 24 hours, but I know with 1-800-divorce I can break it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A leap of faith

In the last four years since God has become a large part of my life, I've struggled to find what he/she/it means to me. Through different religions, beliefs, lack thereof beliefs, and media, the one thing that I can rest my hat on is the fact that God lives in everything and can't be confined to a building, book, or single group of people. Its up to one person to find out how God, their conscience, energy, sprits from the past, or whatever it may be, speaks to them and guides them through life. As for me, since my departure from running, it has been traveling. The reason for this is simple, while traveling, all I have with me is books, paper, pens, and a belief that I'll meet the right people who can show me the right the path. Its so easy to hear an ambient call when the muffling sounds of TV, the internet, and constant work, school, and other distractions aren't abundant. That muffled call was more like a megaphone during my three day trip in Haiti.

What makes traveling so fun is that the idea of expectations is ridiculous. Unless you have pre-booked all aspects of your trip, and have a printed out itinerary, it is is very unlikely anything will turn out as planned. For me, my expectations were nipped in the bud at the boarder crossing between the DR and Haiti in a town called Elias Pina. Though lonely planet speaks of a bus that goes from one country's capital to another, this is only through the southern most boarding crossing, not at Elias Pina. Thus, here is a step by step guide to a 3-day quick trip to Haiti. Step one, 100 peso (+/- $3) back of a moto ride to the boarder. Step 2, try and walk across the boarder all nonchalant, only to be taken into the immigration office and integrated in Spanish, when all you know is a few phrases between two travel partners. Step 3, after gaining access to the boarder crossing, negotiate a ride with a creole speaking boy on a moto who says he'll take you to the "stazione." Step 4, meet French speaking Haitian officials and then get to the "station" which is one painted school bus that is over packed and leads to a 5 1/2 hour ride down an unpaved road. Step 5, get dropped of in the ghetto, with no place to stay, and find a English speaking man who shows you the local bus system in Port Au Prince, Haiti's capital. Step 6, find a friend on the bus who leads you to a hotel, free of charge, because he said "People were looking at your pockets." Step 7, spend a day in the capital, warding off street hustlers and eating at a restaurant with friendly staff. Step 8, over pay a taxi driver, who gives you bad vibes already, to drop you off at the wrong regional bus. Step 9, get dropped of in a random town and find a moto driver who will take you to the next bus. Step 10, pay the moto driver about 700 gourdes ($17.50) to drive two people on the back of the moto to the boarder crossing over unpaved roads for an hour and half. Step 10, bribe Spanish-speaking immigration officers with charm, smiles, and PB & J's.

Though it sounds intense, which it was at parts, what made this trip so amazing was how easy everything worked out. When we arrived in Haiti and had no place to stay, the men at the currency exchange walked us five blocks to the local bus. When we found out at the major bus station that there was no bus to anywhere near our boarder crossing, the staff at our hotel showed us on a map where individually owned buses leave from. And finally, when are money-hungry, male sexual organ-faced taxi driver left us at a random bus stop, the driver of the bus, when we reached our destination, flagged down the moto driver who took us all the way to the boarder. What these experiences show is that if one is humble, gives up fate to the powers that be, and treats everyone kindly and with respect (even dick-faced taxi drivers), things will work out. Doors will open, rides will be found, people will be generous, and all that ends will end well.

I don't really know what I believe. I don't know which religion is closest to the truth, if there is one at all, and which prophets are real, but what I do know is that there is a higher-being who speaks to each person individually in a way that suits their needs. It's up to us to figure out the medium of communication used, and how to respond. When a person choses to do this, and figures out how to amplify that muffled voice, life's struggles will become a little easier, the dark path of the future will gain some light, and each action becomes a little more fruitful. All it takes is some silence, an introspective look, and a little faith.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Our First Year Without

Today marks the first year anniversary of my Grandma's passing. I'm sure you've heard every person say it about every loved one they have ever lost, but if you were lucky enough to meet my grandma, you would know there are few people to have ever walked this earth like her. She was kind, loving, accepting, and most of all, she lived a life of integrity. It didn't matter who you were, or what you had done, my grandma loved you. And if she loved you, you knew it. And man, if she ever prayed for you, amazing things would happen. She touched so many people's lives, be them family, friends, neighbors, or even enemies, making a positive impact, and leaving them forever changed. I know for me, besides the amazing things she did for me all through out her life, even in her death she was still giving. At her funeral she was still teaching me about character, and reminded me how to trust my heart again after a long hiatus. And if you know me, I'm a person who makes every decision purely off a feeling, so this was the most wonderful gift she could have ever given.

Here is a poem I wrote the night after her wake, which I read at her funeral. I experienced a true dichotomy when I wrote it, experiencing fluidity of words, and the ease of writing, while simultaneously experience the hardship of death. Its called "those might be dogwoods."

I look out the window,
As a million thoughts pass me by,
To try and keep my mind from touching,
On what its like to die.

As I try to fight the grieving,
I hear someone say it could be,
That those beautiful white flowers,
Grace the branch of a dogwood tree.

And conversation stays light,
But it has yet to fail,
Because if silence breaks over us,
We know what that entails.

And as the car inches closer,
To the place that we all fear,
My heart begins to race and scream,
And I wonder if I will persevere

But the miles pass like seconds,
And the blinker flips to the right,
and the car passes over the street,
while I am wishing for a red light.

But belt comes off my chest,
When we land in our space
And the door opens wide,
And then we pick up the pace,

As the first door opens,
I know the time is here,
I’ll have to face the pain which I,
Have been trying to steer clear.

The second door way breaks apart,
And the silence pounds so loud,
My eyes sprint to the casket where my,
Grandma lays so proud.

I begin to wail just like the kid,
Who she always understood,
And the sleek persona I try to sport,
It felt like he was gone for good.

I had seen that face,
So many thousand times before,
And though the face still looked the same,
My mind couldn’t ignore.

The fact that she never wore a frown,
Or let company enter without saying well hi,
Or would sit quietly at a party,
As the time passed her by.

So I try and hide my tears,
And be strong, act like a man,
then a wave of consciousness comes over me,
and I begin to understand.

That although this life is fragile,
It only sets the stage,
For what is lying before as,
As we begin to turn the page.

As she lays there so still,
I let my hand glide across her face,
I know that with all my heart,
She’s in a better place.

And a peace comes over me,
that brings me back to feeling whole
My grandma’s legacy comes to mind,
And once again she touches my soul.

Then I smile so wide,
Like I did when she was here,
And I make it through the day,
The one that I had feared.


And tomorrow when I get in the car,
To drive back to the same place,
Someone will notice the beautiful white flowers,
And the dogwoods which they grace.

But this time it will be different,
Cuz no two days are the same.
And now more than ever
My heart will be touched by her name.


for Grandma Kirby, who remains in my heart each day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Conference on World Affairs

Section 1:

So this week at CU is the the 61st annual Conference on World Affairs. This week is packed with nationally and internationally renowned speakers who lecture on a variety of subjects, ranging from international relations to facebook. The campus is flooded with non-students, and basically, the student center where I work is chaotic. This week is a sociologist's dream, seeing how the "guests" of the university actually treat the students and staff, as well as looking at listening habits, and lecture attentiveness, between the large age span. But today, focused in on a lecture entitled "Winning Over Islamic Hearts," a speaker named Ziad Asali spoke some profound truth about American politics. What he eluded to was not based on tangible evidence of what the Obama campaign can and will do, but the symbolism behind it. His example was that one of Obama's first moves in the oval office was calling The Palestinian President. He said how this conversation did not lead to any new incite, but the fact that Obama showed interest, and actually asked the Palestinian President what Palestine needs, instead of telling him what America thinks Palestine needs, was a symbolic gesture that will lead to much closer ties between the US and the Arab world. I think this example is what many people are missing about the Obama campaign. Though his proposed policies were, according to the vote count, more celebrated then Mccain's, what will be so monumental is the symbolism that will come with Obama's actions. He is a man who understands that international relations are not only based on tangible efforts, counting the number of dollars or democracies the US is involved in, but also interaction, and acknowledging other cultures and ideas. So far in Obama's campaign, though things like his push for stem cell research, the bail out plan, and closure of Guantanmo Bay are all great, what has been most rewarding for our country is the flux in foreign attitudes towards our government and our peoples. Obama is a new, youthful face of America that shows other nations we are not all balding, closed minded, middle aged, middle class, white christians, but a nation of people who differ in race, thought, and ideals. Not all progress can be measured numerically, and though some of the symbolic gestures of the past have been left out of the record books, I think Obama's campaign will be remembered both as a sign of hope for a greater future, and for its tangible efforts.

Section 2:

Today's conference was on intelligent designing, and I left absolutely horrified. Three of the four panelists spoke on genetically evolving humans, one speaking on us becoming cyborgs, one talking about his top-ten wish list of genetic mutations, and one speaking of creating computers where we could download our selves too. Each one had fantasy-esque hopes and dreams, but the fact that each spoke of forceful evolution of the human race was haunting to me. The final panelist, who seemed the craziest of all, was the only one who, metaphorically, spoke my language. He began his speech talking about human parnoia, and basically, drove the point that "we are a society riding a bucking bronco." What he said was that we are evolving, producing technology, and finding scientific breakthroughs at a rate which our societal evolutions, as well as own knowledge and understanding, cannot keep up with. We are, in essence, a society on a bucking bronco without a bridle and the knowledge of how to tame a wild horse. This resonated with me, and also did what the CWA is here for, it sparked dialogue between a friend and I. We talked about how each technologic advance mankind adopts stops human evolution, and how not only do we have to worry about not evolving, but also de-evolution, deeming Wall-E not only a great movie, but true! So I guess the take home message from this lecture was with great power comes great responsibility, and with every action comes consequence, so we better be ready to reap what we sow...and Wall-E should be integrated into high school and college curriculum.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Lesson in Music

To unwind, or maybe start my day, I like to go running. Even though I'm not in the shape I used to be (which makes me sound really old) and now I normally run the same trail everyday, it's still is something I find pretty important. Besides my new slower pace, having since quit running competitively, I now like to run with music as my companion. I feel like I barely have time to do anything anymore, so combining two preferable activities just seems efficient. My mom ended up getting a new Ipod recently, so her old 8g Nano was handed down to me. I have a 30g I keep most my music on, so instead of deleting the 1g of music she had, I just added some of my own to the mix. This came into play today when I decided to take a bold step and press the random shuffle button as I jogged out the door. Here is the result:

1.) Matt Nathanson-Bulletproof weeks
2.) Straylight Run- Mistakes We Knew We Were Making
3.) The Commitments- Saved
4.) Flobots- Rise
5.) Wynton Marsalis- The Magic hour (only a portion though, its a 13 minute song)
6.) Dancing in The Street- David Bowie
7.)Tony O'Connor- All of My Life
8.) Willy Nelson & Waylon Jennings- Mammas don't let your baby's grow up to be cowboys
9.) Spyro Gyra- Morning Dance
10.) Dua- Zanzibar Casbah

Between myself, my Dad, and my Mom, these are the gems which my Ipod exposed me to today. There is something enchanting about jumping from ballads, to gospel, to hip hop, to jazz, to honkey tonk, and a little 80's pop performed by an ambiguous collaboration. Through all the things I've seen in my short twenty-two years, one of the biggest blows I faced was when music stopped sounding good, but today, I think I can smile knowing that one love I thought I lost forever has returned. So I encourage you, if your struggling today, do something you've always loved, and let it move you like it did the first time you felt it. And if that love is music, dive into those three days of songs you have in your itunes, and let the shuffle lead you. Who knows, maybe you'll find a diamond in the rough!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ma Vie

So I didn't really mean to add this, I was trying to put it on my side bar, but I didn't check the box, so here are pictures from all aspects of my life! Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

CU Poetry Slam 2009

So a few posts ago I talked about being a self-proclaimed writer and poet. But last night I decided to step out of that box and onto the stage, and compete in the 6th annual CU poetry slam. I've never actually read any of these poems out loud, but I figured the best way to start would be to throw myself into a competition with an audience of a few hundred. It ended up being great, and I made it to second round, but not the final. I can't complain, and I feel like this was a great way to start my slam career...and talking with all the other poets, it looks like I can be doing readings a few times a week if I like, so hopefully these poetry posts will be a reoccurring theme. So without further adu, here are the two poems I read last night...



video


Hope you enjoyed! the next ones will be memorized and that self-conscious tick will be gone forever!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Little Things in Life

Though I'm only a self-proclaimed writer, story teller, author, and poet, I'd like to think those in our trade have a good way of looking at life. For example, to some, a trip to the laundromat could be just that... a trip to the laundromat. But for me, its an adventure. I notice the sounds of the machines in turn with the noise of traffic in the street. I catch the eyes of patrons trying to catch the eyes of other patrons. I watch the bus stop interactions through the window to my right, and the under-payed, under-slept manager scurry in circles like the clothes in the dryer. I watch all these seemingly meaningless things occur and morph together, making a simple experience anything but ordinary. And thats the beauty of an eye for simple things. It shows that even the smallest occurrences in human existence are only small if we perceive them in that way. With the eye of a writer, the wait at the bus stop becomes a visual spectacle.  The walk to school becomes a gourmet tasting for touch. The minutes preceding class begin to resemble beautiful music. With the eye of a writer, one learns to train the senses, and experience the world in a more holistic manner. Each step is felt. Each word is heard. Each moment is bliss.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Maybe my Dad was right...

So my dad used to always quote Winston Churchill saying, " If your not a Liberal in your 20's than you have no heart, If your not a Conservative in your 40's than you have no brain." I would always giggle and think how my liberal side would never leave, and that conservatism is evil. But today, my laughter was stricken with fear. I found myself very skeptical of the "Liberal Optimistic" view on economics between the North and South. I started to question if maybe in my old age (22 in two weeks!) I've become cynical. Maybe my ambitions for ending world hunger and poverty are a sham. Maybe my inclination to push for social justice will slowly dissolve. Maybe I'll start supporting the GOP and hop on the pro-life wagon...

But then it clicked. Growing up doesn't necessarily mean becoming cynical. Growing up means seeing the world in a more rational light. I don't think Mr. Churchill meant we are all going to give up our liberal hopes and dreams, but instead that we are going to act on these dreams, and with each attempt, we are going to learn something. We are going to take that knowledge and shape our future endeavors, so that we don't make the same mistakes. We are going to hold our blissful dreams of unification, and make them a reality. What we are going to do is change. But if that liberal light stays a-shine in our hearts, then rationality won't lead us to cynicism, but to hope. To a more worldly view. To a higher way of thought. What that knowledge will do is increase progression. So if rationality is the underlying message, maybe instead of quoting Winston Churchill, my Pops should have said, "Son. When you are in your twenties, your going to be reckless and silly, but each day, your gonna learn something. Maybe if you retain some of that information, tomorrow you'll have a little bit more wisdom, and approach life with a little more care."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Delicate Balance in Life

This morning I was met with a great Dichotomy. Yesterday, I was met with one as well. And thinking back on my days, it seems like each is met with a blitz of awe-inspiring happiness and mind-blowing pain. The news lately has held headlines like Obama's bailout plan, peace talks between North Korea and China, new advances in stem-cell research, and the Pope trying to reach out to young believers by creating a vatican page on YouTube. But to set the scales straight, one click away were articles about the effects of phosphorus in the Israel-Gaza conflict, deadly storms in Spain killing 4 children under the age of 12, and former bishops of the Catholic church refusing to acknowledge the existence of gas chambers in the Holocaust, further bridging the gap between major world religions. Even this morning my heart was torn reading email, having received one in regards to a friends new journey in France, and another informing me of the final blow in a family friend's loosing battle with cancer. It seems like each day this paradox of rising hope and building devastation grows. I can't put my finger on whether or not I think the world is slowly crumbling from the inside, or if globalization is bandaging the wounds that ignorance created. But the one conclusion I can find seems to be the fact that this dichotomy is life. Without pain their would be no joy. Without suffering there would be no soothing. Without heartbreak there would be no love. If one moment I want to wither away in my bed, I stand up, because I know the next moment will hold something powerful enough to curb the ugliness the immobilized me in the first place. And maybe that is the lesson that needs to be learned. Even though life doesn't always appear fair, and there seems to be a war between good and evil raging around every corner, our only option is to live. We can either stay hidden in our beds, or we can wake up, make sure we put on clean underwear  and socks, and do all that is humanly possible to add another tally to the good side of the scoreboard. I don't know what the rest of the world will chose, but the bell ringing on the dryer tells me that my hope is only a warm pair of socks away.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reverse Culture Shock

I would consider myself a very strong person, but I think part of that strength is admitting weakness when it appears. Having arrived home only two weeks ago, and been on the move ever since, submitting to weakness is a lesson I've learned all to well. The world seems to be in constant flux. One second I'll catch myself dazing out, thinking of the street I used to walk to school, and the next I'll be remembering how to lock up at work. But the most bizarre part (to an ignorant youth trying to reinvent the wheel) is the fact that everything cheesy returnee instructions say are true. You romanticize the place you were. Everything that was so unbearable while abroad,  seems so glorious when you're back home. You see faces that you know are thousands of miles away, but seem to think they are walking on your campus. You return to the comfortable, the normal, the known, only to realize that what used to seem so simple, has become completely foreign. The people you know and love will support you, but after a few short comments about your experience, their attention is shot, and your once again left alone with the memories in your head, and the pictures on your hard drive. I've even caught myself day-dreaming about my flight home, and how good it felt to see the mountains again, and know my family would be at the airport waiting for me. But what gets me through the day is seeing the change in my life that marks study abroad's lasting effects. It's feeling the difference when I wake up in the morning. It's experiencing the new way of thought while making conversation. It's watching the knowledge I've gained from the other side of the world effect my daily life back home. Its seeing all these things working as one that makes me not only embrace the challenge of returning home, but be thankful to be culture shocked in my own country. Its knowing that when I lay my head down in Boulder, Colorado, that when I was doing the same thing in Rabat, Morocco, I was experiencing something so much greater then myself.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Years in Naples

After spending Thanksgiving in Marrakech, Christmas Eve in Paris, and Christmas day in Rome, News Years Eve found me in the city of Naples with my lady friend Caroline. Though the Romans describe it as the armpit of Italy, and its streets somewhat resemble a larger-scale Moroccan Medina (knock purse salesmen, arguing and motorcycles on sidewalks), all the elements come together to create a bizarre equilibrium between chaos and charm. Naples is also conveniently located, so we spent the day ogling the 2000-year-old ash-preserved ruins of Pompeii, and haggling with a 4’8 grandma like merchant who promised us good prices because we looked Italian. ( How much youa give me? Ten Euro, ten euro cuz I uh like you! You look Italeeean.) Though Naples is pretty hectic during the day, what I didn’t know is that the night of New Years Eve it becomes a war zone. While getting ready and profiting from the wireless Internet of the Mediterraneo Marriot (thanks Mrs. Clark!) I saw a funny article about the women of Naples refusing to have sex on New Years unless the men stopped using illegal fireworks. It seems like this was done in vain, because as we left our hotel around 9 pm, the streets were empty besides the sounds of explosions. I felt like I was heading the front line. Store alarms were sounding, smoke filled the air, and every few steps a bomb would explode and the night sky would be engulfed by fire. And to make matters worse, along with running from trench to trench to dodge fire, an empty street meant empty stomachs for Caroline and I. Napolitano people apparently spend a typical New Years blowing their city up, while eating home made meals. The few open restaurants had 60 Euro set menus and a two hour-long wait. Even the Golden Arches failed to serve us. But as we know, only the strong survive, and after evading mortars for a few more blocks, we found a corner “snack bar” with a thirty euro turf menu of the day, and a two hour wait. The bar maid kept the crowd calm by keeping everyone’s champagne flute full, and as the minutes passed, everyone became a bit merrier. Caroline and I were seated after all those with pre-made reservations went, and after our five-course meal, we found ourselves the only customers still in the restaurant at 11:55 pm. This didn’t ruin the mood, and our very merry bar maid still ran the show, so we spent our last second of 2008 sipping free champagne, then welcomed in the New year by passionately embracing and tossing our flutes into the air. Though the streets were a war zone before the ball dropped, after ringing in the New Year, fireworks were even more abundant. Our fifteen-minute walk back to the hotel turned into a 30 minute extravaganza dodging mortars, bottle rockets, and whatever else the Italians felt they should toss of their balconies, including old TVs. But we did make it back to our hotel, and when we arrived, we still had time to watch Naples blow itself up from our roof.

Here are some pictures and videos to give you hint of what it was like







Look a twofer!- A year in Review
I know I’m a few days late, but I think I would have been wasting my time if I was writing blogs in Rome instead of seeing the sites and spending time with my girlfriend. But with each New Year, one needs to look back on what they achieved. In the past twelve months a lot has happened in my life. I found love. I’ve learned a new language (or at least enough to get around Morocco). I lost my grandma. I viewed the Atlantic from two different continents. I swam in the Med in three countries. I traveled to the Islamic world. I saw Vegas as a legal adult. I took too big of a course load followed by a joke semester. I stepped foot on three different continents. I visited California, Nebraska, and South Caroline all in one summer. I began writing again. I began running again. I lived by an ocean. I saw Ramadan as well as the Eid. I learned about a religion that has a negative stigma I my country. I questioned my own faith and redefined not only my perspective on God and Religion but my own personal beliefs as well. I had falling outs and new beginnings. I had highs and I had lows. I felt joy to the point of ecstasy, and sorrow to the point of agony. But most of all I lived. I experienced. I learned. Though some things were good and some things were not so good, what was different about this year was the fact that I took every experience for what it was, an experience. Be it glorious or heart wrenching, no day was lived in vain. And for this, 2008 will be a year I never will forget. Happy New Year to all, and may life guide you in your path.