Tuesday, January 17th, 2012...3:09 am
This is my final week at Evergreen before I head to Venezuela for the rest of the quarter! The best part of it is that we are covered in inches of fluffy, freezing, discouraging Christmas-time snow in Olympia – and in less than a week, I will be flaunting denim shorts in the Southern Hemisphere, drenched in sunblock against the 80 degree heat. Hard life, I know.
I am rambunctiously gathering everything I need, signing paper work, finishing scholarships. Its pretty stressful, but will all be worth it in the end. I guess my main anxiety is my lack of Spanish language skills. But I’m continually told, and know from experience, that it always kicks in once you’re there. I also have some anxiety about the violence and robbery in Venezuela, the fact that Venezuela has the highest murder rate in the world. My friend, who traveled to South America exactly a year ago, convinced me that I might as well be prepared for it all- its going to happen to someone I know. Being robbed in a third world country is something that happens to travelers- but after it happens, you deal with it, and then you have story.
The Evergreen Study Abroad guy, Michael Clifthorne, did an AWESOME job of prepping us and listing all the important emergency info for our class. I am certain that his experience and expertise gives us student travelers an advantage. I will still be blogging from Venezuela!
Friday night, a bunch of us students in the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition took a field trip to Seattle to see a Youth Speaks Poetry Slam. It was at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, poets ages 13-19 wered invite to compete in three rounds of spoken word. Three slams happen over three months in anticipation of the Grand Slam in April.
The poetry was truly inspiring, the audience cried, laughed, and cheered. Some poets got upset and personal, some were raw and vulnerable, some were very matter-of-fact, and all of them definitely made me rethink the way I relate to the people around me. In addition, it was so awesome to be around lots of artistically minded people.
Although I had many friends who were a part of Youth Speaks in San Francisco, I had never been to a poetry slam before! Its these kinds of events that help me appreciate moving to a new part of the country and trying to figure out and build a new community.