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Solitary

You had opened my eyes to a whole new world.

Where the sea was calm, waves were gentle.

Skies were clear and inviting.

Soon the clouds darkened, the skies greyed.

 

A whole new layer of life emerged where you could see and feel

The overpowering rush

the push and pull

the back and forth

of an ocean.

 

Mimicking the Red Sea

you forced our ocean divided.

 

I was left confused,

solitary,

swimming frantically,

clinging to a lifesaving buoy that

did

no

saving.

 

You failed to notice.

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Disculpas a mi País

I have traveled thousands of miles to see my home.

5,295 miles.

8,521 kilometers.

 

Familiar faces, food, streets, buildings,

music, expressions, language, accent, slang,

 

Familiar life.

 

Nevertheless, I left.

 

So I am sorry.

I do not know your pledge of allegiance,

Or your national anthem.

 

I cannot name your twenty-three provinces.

Or the number of amendments in your constitution.

 

I cannot speak every single word with confidence.
But one day, I will.

One Demand: Change.

Sometimes I miss the world unfolding right before me. Everything seemingly placed in my hands, with everything figured out and planned almost perfectly, where people working together in harmony was never a sort of shock.

But the days of my innocence and all-around youth are diminishing. This seems, it even sounds, like such a negative part of my life. But instead something incredibly strange has happened to me. I feel excitement in the struggle of the days ahead. I feel that through division comes unification. I feel that, although it will take much time and sacrifice, we will honor the days ahead. To some who have lost hope and who believe progress has reversed itself, my perspective may seem sick or almost cynical. But how could it be? I urge you to not lose hope. Struggle and hardship is crucial to any major progress.

This goes for anyone or anything from every corner of the world. We are all seeing drastic changes in the way we live. It is terrifying; I will not argue that. But I encourage you are the people around you to just feel the reassurance that I have. The reassurance from young people and activists everywhere who are marching in the streets and starting up inclusive programs in their community and calling their leaders all to demand one thing: change.

Beauty

There is so much beauty around us. Most of us tend to take all of this beauty for granted. We all have busy lives; and our rushed, on-the-go lifestyle is what takes away time for us to step back and simply appreciate the world we live in.

Regardless of how busy life may be, I like to take a few hours off at times, whether alone or with a friend, to appreciate life.

Yesterday went just as so. A friend and I decided to take a few precious hours of our time to explore a place already too familiar to us; but beautiful every visit.

Here are just a few moments from this excursion.

 

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Iguazú Falls, Misiones, Argentina

My trip to Misiones was undoubtedly the most beautiful excursion I had ever embarked on.

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We visited caves, mines, gardens, and wildlife preserves. We stood on a hill and were able to see the lands of Brazil and Paraguay all from Argentina.

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The falls were incredible. No, they were more than that. Mesmerizing. Captivating. Enthralling. You might think a few pictures does enough to capture the beauty of a World Wonder. Or maybe a video does the trick. But neither do. The sight of La Garganta del Diablo (The Devil’s Throat) was without a doubt the most beautiful sight I had ever seen.

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We were bundled by the bridge suspended just above the 80 kilometer fall, awed at the continuous fall of water, the deafening sound of its fall. The experience was like no other. With butterflies dancing around me wherever I looked, I stared at that waterfall for a long time. Enough time to bore my eyes into it, feeling as though I were the water itself: falling, crashing, spewing misty droplets up into the air, again and again and again.

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An artist. What is it to you?

What gives you the right to call yourself an artist? Is it a college education? Is it a skill you’ve procured? We tend to see artists as, quite simply, someone who is skilled with a paintbrush. Or perhaps, you have heard a musician of some sort being proclaimed as an artist.

But who or what defines this spectrum of arts and artistry? I ask myself this question quite often, but the truth of it is here: No one can determine your authenticity of being an artist, because an artist isn’t to be a singer, painter, or a musician. An artist is a creator. Someone who has a thriving passion to leave their work out in the open for others to see. An artist is someone who takes pride in what they have created, regardless of what it is. An artist is a writer, a photographer, a sculptor, a filmmaker. Someone who is creative, and has the ability to produce something beautiful, regardless of what it is.

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Grand Cayman Island

Grand Cayman Island is beautiful, and absolutely stunning. It is no wonder many people are drawn to the island to scuba dive or snorkel, because the wildlife is incredible. We took a trip to the Turtle Farm around Georgetown to be able to wade in with the sea turtles, and watch them swim. It was unbelievable to see the varying shapes and sizes of the sea turtles; some were as large as a desk, and some were as small as the palm of your hand. We were fortunate enough to be able to watch the big ones swim about, and be able to wade around and even pick up the baby turtles.

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In addition to the turtles, you can go to Rum Pointe, at the North side of the island, and hop on a sail boat that will take you out onto a sand bar full of stingrays. Similar to the turtles, they come in all sizes. Regardless of the size, however, they are extremely friendly and are eager to swim along the sandbar with you. Some of the employees on the sailboat will be in the water, feeding baby squid to the stingrays, and will give you some if you ask for it. The experience was absolutely unforgettable. There were multiple times where we held the stingrays in our arms, with their wings flapping gently in the water. Certainly an unforgettable experience. If you ever get the chance, do not hesitate to swim with stingrays.

If you prefer to avoid the Stingray City tour or the Turtle Farm, there is plenty of wildlife and ocean creatures you can encounter on your own time. Starfish Pointe, for example, is a great example. Through the crystal clear water, you may find the vibrant “fish”. As you hold them, their suction cup-like skin stick to your fingers.

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The downside, however, are the hostile jellyfish that also occupy Starfish Pointe. They may not be the most popular ocean creature at the exhibit, but a good many of them do live there, regardless of their popularity to us humans. As long as you stay near the visible starfish, though, you should be safe from their pungent pains.

Regardless of which species of wildlife you decide to explore at Grand Cayman Island, every single one is absolutely worth the trip. It is important to step out of what we know as familiar, and explore things, such as a different species of wildlife, that we were not familiar with before.