5 Things I’m Thankful for Today! (+3 photos)

1. I went to Haiti and came back with 15 new family members! (the participants)

2. Haiti’s mountains will be forever sketched in my memory!

At Wahoo Bay Beach
At Wahoo Bay Beach

3. The quiet before the storm! (April is the month of presentations, finals, and COMPS!)

4.  In a month from now, I will be done with the second semester of graduate school!!!!!!!!!!

5. Laughter, community and love.

Recess time!
Howard student is initiated into traditional Haitian recess game!

What are you thankful for today?

Do share!


To read about the first part of my trip to Haiti, go here!

5 Things I’m Thankful for Today! (+3 photos)

7 Things I Don’t Pretend to Be Good At

57. Checking Voicemail. I presume when I return to work, I will have an excuse to check voicemail. But at this juncture in my life (a full time graduate student) all breaking news do not come in the form of entering pins and listening to automated voice prompts.

6. Shaving. I talk about not liking to shave a lot. I really don’t like to shave my legs. On the scale of 1-10 with 10 being the last “To Do” on my list shaving makes number 11, right after checking voicemail. To make things worse, when I do shave (at the adamant request of others) I usually leave a long trail of hair in the back of my legs. I suppose if I had arms that swiveled all the way around, this wouldn’t be so hard.

5. Makeup. Have you noticed the bags under my eyes in my vlogs? Dark spots? Blemishes? I don’t even put makeup on for vlogging. Why not? Because when it comes to brushes and pencils, I don’t know the difference. I’ve never learned how to blend, foundate or whatever other terms are used to put masks on. I keep things natural and the circus moments at a minimum.

4. Washing Dishes. Can I take care of the dishes for you? are not words you will ever hear me say. I tend to do double takes at my own dishes with crust and other unidentifiables still on them when I’m looking for a clean plate. Dishwashers were invented for people like me!

3. Flossing. You probably think I’m some nasty pig with hairy legs at this point, but hey, I am not ashamed at my non-flossing past. Past, I say, because I’m changing this bad habit after my last torturous visit to the hygenist. Flossing is life (at least 2 times a day).

2. Putting an outfit together. I truly believe this was part of the reason why my ex and I didn’t last. When I am fashionable, it’s usually some random happenstance and not because I planned it. For the most part, I am proud to say my outfits are not dictated by magazines, or what’s in season. I want to be remembered by my smile, a life-changing accessory….


1. Small Talk. Even saying it annoys me. And I’m not the only one to think so.

“It’s so incredibly warm today” “What do you do?” “Can you believe those Ravens?”

What are some things you don’t pretend to be good at?

7 Things I Don’t Pretend to Be Good At

Wake Up, Wake Up, Wake Up

Tomorrow is December 1st and I’m very excited for more than one reason.  For one, it’s the FIRST DAY of the LAST MONTH of 2011. Can you believe it? This is the time when most start going holiday-crazy; Christmas gifts and music, travel plans, family, budgets, money, work, resolutions,and let’s not forget the unforgettable New Year’s eve. For me, December marks the end of an arduous semester, gathering materials for grad school applications (UGH!), the wonderful GRE exam, and a little downtime in the Sunshine state for the holidays with my mother.

December also marks a high time for REFLECTION. I think about all the changes that happened; the good, the bad and the ugly. I take charge of everything I’m responsible for, admit mistakes, mourn the losses and celebrate the gains on this roller-coaster ride. Most importantly, I try not to take any negativity into the NEW year. This reminds me of the first time I spent the New Year abroad in 2008. I traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador with 11 other City University students, and we got to see first hand how the Ecuadorians bring in the New Year. Basically what happens is they spend hours making these paper-mache figures of anything and everything– political figures, cartoons, objects, or anything popular, these are called “años viejos” or the past year. These figures are symbolic for anything negative the past year to represents– whether it be actual people, emotions, objects, or addictions. At 12am on New Year’s Day people take their figures to the street and burn them…and all the negativity goes up in flames with them. Years ago, I didn’t really understand the need to physically burn what is symbolic. But now that I’m a little older, and more experienced I wish I could take a couple of things out into the street and REALLY let them go/let them burn.

Instead of being arrested, I’ll have to settle for purging some things in private and in public. Globe Tracer was born mostly out of the pain of 2011 and although I am not 100% better I am taking BABY STEPS! I can’t deny that I have some open wounds that have not closed yet…but I’m not afraid of scars. I’m immediately bought back to one of my favorite novels, Little Bee by Chris Cleave. In it, one of the protagonists has forever etched the idea that scars are beautiful (and even necessary) based on a couple of lines…

I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.

Happy First of the Month.

From one survivor to another,



Wake Up, Wake Up, Wake Up