There are feathers in my toilet. Have you ever discovered something simple that made you rethink every decision you’ve ever made. I flushed the toilet; new feathers and water replaced the old feathers and water. I turned on my shower. Please, no. . . feathers coming out of my shower. This can mean only one thing. A bird somehow, some-way made my rooftop water tank its final nesting place. [Emergency Recall]: Flashbacks of washing my hands, taking a shower, cleaning out my coffee cup, and NO! NO! you did not rinse your toothbrush off with that dead bird water.
Five brief episodes of compiled undeleted scenes from my travels through Southeast Asia. These videos give a glimpse into eight weeks of travel living out of a backpack. Trains, planes and automobiles took me through Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. Footage taken from 2013-2014. On this trip, I also spent short amounts of time in Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.
My Adventures in Southeast Asia ⇃
Episode I: Bangladesh
– Judith Herman
Deep down south there is a place crammed into a constriction between steep dirt hills and a sweaty ocean. So much water hangs in the air that mold grows on shirts, walls, blankets, comp Continue reading
This is a post containing reflections and photos concerning the six months I spent in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. I’m planning on also posting something about my work with the Rohingya refugees after I feel that I have acquired sufficient words to share their story. DISCLAIMER: This post has some potentially disturbing photos of a cow being sacrificed for Eid.
I lived in the far South of Bangladesh in a “seaside tourist destination” called Cox’s Bazar. The term “seaside tourist destination” is perhaps deceiving. Please suppress the images of tourists strolling down white sand beaches in their swimsuits relaxing and enjoying a carefree vacation. Although for Bengali nationals this image is near accurate, for anyone not possessing the complexion of a South Asian, it is far from the truth. For myself and others of a similar complexion, “strolling” on a beach in Bangladesh entails 30 Bengali locals following you, taking pictures of you/with you, asking what your country is, how much money you make, what your religion is, if you are married, and what your father’s name is, Oh yes and would you also like to buy a boiled egg? Continue reading
Selected photos and journal entries from my summer internship with Voice of Children (VOC) in Katmandu, Nepal. The internship consisted of working with street children in the Welcome Center (WC/Drop Center) of VOC, and exploring Nepal with Matt Mcguire (Kathmandudes) and the national staff . Matt worked in the Preparation Center (PC/Rehabilitation Center) at VOC. We lived in a VOC office building along with a family who took care of us. Their son Bibash became our primary cultural ambassador (despite the fact that he consistently referred to us as “baby” [e.g. Bibash: “Why you not add me on that one facebook Baby?” Me: “Bibash, I added you on your first facebook; why do you need 3 facebook profiles?” Bibash: “I know allllllll Baby”]).
Note: In an attempt at recording the full spectrum of my experience, I included some of the darker/culture-shocking journal entries towards the end of this post. I believe that these entries reflect how I felt at the time but not what I believe. I do want to say that, overall, this was a very positive experienced. After I adjusted to the highs and lows of the context, I experienced a sense of peace in Nepal that I have yet to experience anywhere else in world.
“I woke up at 3:30 A.M.”
“The flight was indescribable. . . my words cannot give you the scale and majesty of these mountains. It wasn’t a real place until just now. Waterfalls were falling into the clouds; rivers Continue reading
Himal is a first person Himalayan film. The trek was mostly solo, and lasted 18 days. My experiences included getting lost in the mountains, falling in a glacial river, avoiding fighting yaks, ice climbing the Khumbu icefall, summiting large mountains, and failing to summit large mountains. I hope that this film can communicate a piece of my experience in the Himalaya. “The highs were higher; the periods of despair were deeper and darker.”
The African Community Center is a crossroads. People from Eritrea, Somalia, the DRC, Nepal, and Rwanda interact with an assortment of Case Managers, Employment Specialists, Health Coordinators, Volunteers, and Continue reading
My experience in India has really been the backdrop for this semester. Jordan Harris, Sheralee Kerr, and I went to Mumbai for almost our whole Christmas break. Every trip overseas is a life changing experience. Life changing in the fact that the world isn’t at all what you thought it was. You change your mind on what you believe. You find things important that weren’t important before. You become a different person. I don’t know if this is necessarily true of going to European countries or places that live in comfort, but in developing countries; I have never boarded a return flight without being a different person.
Before we left I had a couple of hours to hang out in Chicago. I went to the Chicago Art Institute and just happened to see a statue of Ganesha, one of the most worshipped Hindu gods in Mumbai.
We arrived in Mumbai, exhausted, without bags, and greeted by a sea of diversity.
“First day in India. . . Continue reading