Posts tagged writing
A Voice In Nature's Choir

The following is an essay I composed for the Youth International Essay Competition. The prompt asked: “What can we learn from nature?”

My essay was distinguished as an honorable mention, one of only 64 essays to place or receive mention, including one of only two American compositions chosen in the contest. The competition received over 15,000 submissions from over 150 countries.

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Hunting For Tradition: Life With The Shuar

Francisco is a handsome man. His build is slender, skin unblemished and hair neatly combed to his left side. His unsuspecting blue jeans and “Venice Beach” t-shirt conceal the fact that he is the leader of his Shuar community, an indigenous people local to the Ecuadorian rainforest.

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The Great Divide

It’s the little moments that fascinate me: the walk with your head down, take a sip of water, blink-and-you’ll-miss-em type moments. Compound this perceptivity with a tremendous curiosity towards the social aspects of life and you become fascinated with human interaction and the human psyche. And that’s where this story is going - a seemingly minuscule moment, potentially missed by many, yet defining nonetheless.

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Privilege of The Privileged

If you have eyes to read, the mind to comprehend, you are fortunate with good health. If you live in the socioeconomic circumstance and have the ability to chose your own path (as I have), you are privileged. And of course to embark on this fellowship I am beyond privileged.

But here, I want to delve deeper into a more implicit layer of privilege.

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The Jungles of Sumatra - Leopards, Locals, and Learning, Bonderman Fellowship, Week 4

While I stick to my sentiments that there is no such thing as a utopia, outside yourself, Bukit Lewang comes close. It's that harmonious, quaint jungle village, which you only hear about in a children's book. (Of course the village isn't perfect, it comes with its own set of unique problems - over commercialization, aggressive locals to name a few.)

The harmony is not in the objects we typically associate with harmony - rainbows, butterflies and people holding hands in a circle - but rather more subtle devices. It lies in the fluid and playful interactions between locals. It lies in the kids swimming in the river, playing without a care or a screen to distract them from their environment. It's in the incessant sharing amongst locals, which isn't a question but an unspoken principal. Indicative of these constructs is the fact that they all look incredibly young. They smile and laugh often, and I haven’t heard the words “worry”, “stress”, or “anxiety”.

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