A man and a woman both 82-years-young. Wednesday morning was
always a tradition for them. They arise from their very old bed in their very
old Exeter cottage that used to be full of life, laughter, craziness and love. A
family of five comprised of them, two boys and one girl. Now scattered across
the world. Distracted by their own hectic lives but still manage to call every
week and visit for holidays.
This couple, call them Mary and James Waterstones, had their
first date at a bookstore coffee shop. A gloomy day, like today, 64 years ago. It
wasn’t like any other first date, though.
This one was different. Conversation flowed like the River
Exe. Eyes locked like keys on Paris’ Passerelle des Arts. Laughs filled the air
loud as Big Ben’s hourly roar. The potential of love turned their faces red and
Continue reading Pictures Worth A Thousand Words – Waterstones
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have the normal connotations anymore. It doesn’t mean red hearts and love. It doesn’t mean going out with friends or significant others and celebrating relationships. It all changed last year. No one had a say in giving up this day of love every year for the rest of our lives. It just happened that way.
Continue reading “Valentine’s Day” – #MSDStrong
Mental health. The forbidden fruit of conversations. It might sound like taboo to some but to others, mental health issues control their whole lives. For me, it’s like the elephant in all rooms I enter. I’ve had my ups and downs, but I’ve learned to always prioritize my mentality. While traveling and being constantly distracted, it gets pushed to the back. Until it weasels it’s way back to the front.
And it always does.
Continue reading A Hobbit in England – Mental Health Abroad
I’m officially one week into my six-month study abroad experience. Here’s a little background about my situation: I’m a third-year at the University of South Florida partaking in an exchange program at the University of Exeter, about three hour southwest of London, England. Business marketing is my major and I’m taking some very interesting classes here in the UK.
Global Environmental Issues, International Business, Behavior, Decisions and Markets, and Economics of Management Strategy. Stay tuned for a post addressing the differences between classes in the UK versus the US. From curriculum to the professor and classroom experience, it’s been a pretty cool ride so far.
Now let’s get into the more interesting stuff: life in Exeter. Being here only eight days, I must say I’m on a British high. The culture, the accents, the food, the people, the weather, everything. My only complaint is the HILLS! This Florida-born-and-raised chick is adjusting slowly but surely to these 75-degree angels.
Continue reading From Sweats to Shivers – A Florida Girl Takes England
From toxic red tide to turning the Sunshine State solar, the environment is one of the most important issues driving people’s decisions this election season.
The two candidates running for governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis (R) and Andrew Gillum (D), agree that the environment needs to be addressed. But they disagree on how to make these improvements and where to focus their energy and budgets.
These disagreements were clear during last week’s debate. Continue reading Florida’s environment: The most important issue for voters and candidates to consider
On my trip to the south, we visited a kibbutz called Ein Hashlosha which is about a mile and a half from the Gaza border. This community experiences rockets weekly, but this is an improvement. At one point, I learned, they were being attacked up to six times a day. Like the playground discussed in my last post, safe houses are within a 15-second sprint from any point where one might be standing on this kibbutz.
In May, before the school day began, the sirens went off and everyone sought shelter. The rocket happened to hit directly next to the elementary school in the community. Everyone was safe, but that might’ve not been the case had it been shot 10 minutes later when school was supposed to start.
Our tour guide told us he has four young kids. When asked what he tells his kids who have to grow up in this reality, he said he’s realistic yet hopeful with them. He tells them there is no reason to live in complete fear or stop living your life, or else Hamas – explained in my Gymboree post – wins. He also tells them that he hopes there will come a time when their days and nights won’t be interrupted by sirens and screams. Continue reading Smile Through the Fear – A Trip to the South of Israel
Being educated on the topic of the conflict in the south of Israel, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when going for the day. Little did I know I was in for a huge, heart-wrenching surprise. The reality of the people who live in communities bordering Gaza hit me in a way I never thought it would. Continue reading The Gymboree – Israel’s Only Protected Playground