letter of intent: brought to you by a girl with groceries

Groceries! The supreme bliss of food that belongs to me! To get the food, I...
·       walked across the Pan-American Highway
(I didn’t walk… I ran and squealed)

·       flagged down a mini bus (van with about 15 passengers) and death gripped the ceiling, apologizing to the charming woman in my not-so-charming armpit
·       walked through the aisles while a band played lively music that made me want to reach for multiple refried beans in a bag (Yup, you read that right. Beans in a bag. Lots of stuff goes in bags. Soft drinks and juices too. No shortage of bags here.)
·       lost my friend (I’m really good at getting lost)
·       heard her yell my name while I walked up a hill towards said Pan-American Highway
·       laughed about how quickly we abandoned one another
·       flagged down another bus (chicken bus this time...aka school bus gone wild)
·       swore a lot when my backpack full of food wanted my center of gravity to be much lower (like on the floor of the bus)
·       celebrated with our watchdog, Cairo, for a hot second before going back to work

Delicious snackage featuring beans in a bag

Delicious snackage featuring beans in a bag

I do not take this food for granted. I am so incredibly excited to eat it, and I know that many people don’t frequent the grocery store the way that I did today. I would consider giving up one of my fingers for a bowl full of leafy greens, but multiple meals a day are a privilege and I’m thanking the sky.

And the kind security people. I’m thanking them too. They are some of the only people who don’t catcall in the direction of my missing melanin. The guard at the pharmacy holds a shotgun, yet he’s smiley and curious. The grocery store peeps have bullet-proof vests, and they’re straight chilling under a shaded overhang. I appreciate them and their internalized thoughts. And I don’t hate the other louder people because, well, that would just be a waste of energy.

Let’s make a few things very clear. I spent the morning organizing donations of school supplies, so those are the metaphors at the top of my head. If they get a little out there, I’ll imagine Sam Krey chuckling and Trevor snapping in encouragement. I recently learned the term “sticky mitts.” It’s not a new term to millions of people, but it’s exciting to me. In context, it means going after something that you want full throttle like there’s glue on your hands. So many people in my life wear sticky mitts. I admire all of you, lovely go-getters. I can’t wait to cheer when you get your hands on your targets. I happen to think that a clear sense of intent is always important for any professional or personal endeavor. Aka know what you want. Or give yourself the space to re-calibrate. (Don’t skip that step—it takes some brutal honesty.)

Anyway, I’ve decided that while I’m here, I want to be a notebook. The kind with a marbled cover and sewn-in pages. I want to take notes and document stories and learn how to approach the next 4 years in the US. I do not want to be wite-out. I don’t believe in the erasure of lifestyles and infrastructure due to differences. The US is one country with some really great things and a long laundry list of flaws. I’m a storyteller not an engineer. And even if I were an engineer, I don’t think anyone needs fixed or saved. I’m here to learn, to facilitate interactions, to help when it’s appropriate, and to listen while college students process their responses.

That’s the plan, and I’m stickin’ to it.

Catch ya later. This notebook’s bout to eat allllll the carbs.