“I’ve only been in the United States for 10 days. I find that people here are very friendly—they’ve helped me a lot—but I haven’t made many friends. The semester has not begun yet, so I hope to make friends here because in China I am very popular.”
Ann Arbor, MI
|me:||i am actually so happy with my life right now for once|
|next day:||*everything fucks up*|
Siberia is a lonely place. One woman in the far away remote village of Kamarchaga, located in the Siberian Taiga, has found a very entertaining hobby to help pass the time. Russian pensioner Olga Kostina has decorated her wooden home with over 30,000 plastic bottle caps. Over several years she collected caps from soda bottles and began using them to decorate the walls of her house with colorful patterns and images. Using a hammer and nails, she placed every single bottle cap by hand to create traditional macrame motifs and various images of creatures living in the neighboring woodland. Her home has become a local landmark. And she’s not planning on stopping her work until her house and adjacent structures are completely covered in bottle caps. Something tells me that she has the time.
ABSTRACT/SUMMARY OF PROPOSAL
I want to go back to Italy because I feel like I left a piece of my heart there and I’d like the chance to get it back. I want to go back to Italy because I’m almost in tears thinking about the Ponte Santa Trinita. There’s food I haven’t tasted and shop clerks I haven’t talked to and rivers I haven’t dipped my feet in and hills I haven’t climbed. All that I can bring to the program is my body and my mind and my soul, whatever that’s worth to you. I’ll bring you my time and my ideas and my willingness to try. I’ll bring you an ear ready to listen and a shoulder to cry on and a springboard off which to bounce ideas. I’ll be an informant and a bridge and a breaker of stereotypes and an opener of minds and hearts. I’ll try my damndest to be a teacher and a friend and an ambassador and a good example.
HOST COUNTRY ENGAGEMENT
Fuck the engagement, I’ll marry the host country this very second. I’ll stay long after school closes and tutor until my eyes bleed. You’ll have to drag me out of the museums with tears in my eyes and Bernini’s name on my lips. You’ll have to hide the silverware to stop me from eating everything in sight. Lock me in my room so I won’t spend all night listening to a local band at the bar down the street. Take away my train tickets and steal all my shoes, but even then I might manage to get out there and see something I’ve never seen before. Disconnect the wifi, smash my hard drive, snap my pens in half and shred my stamps, or else I’ll tell the world just how magnificent Italy is.
PLANS UPON RETURN TO U.S.
First thing’s first, I’ll have to reintroduce myself to my mother and remind my father that I am in fact his daughter, because I know for a fact that I will be a different person than the one they sent across the Atlantic. I have no idea what she’ll look like or how she’ll think or what she’ll want out of life. But Me Right Now wants peace. She wants happiness and a wide worldview and room to roam and a room to come back to. She wants vibrant friends who she can watch conquer the world. She wants to complete yoga teacher training and learn spanish and write letters to inmates and get better at the ukulele and road trip the united states and backpack europe. she wants to hike and sing and cross stitch. she wants to teach english and teach italian and do voiceovers for cartoons and coach actors on regional accents and hold yoga class in prison and develop a reentry program and open a cafe and get married and get pregnant and carry a couple of kids into this crazy fucked up beautiful terrible terrifying stunning breathtaking stupid complex fucking world. She wants to make her grandparents proud. she wants to make herself proud.
Sometimes I get these amazing bursts of motivation and I just wish I could have them like 3x as often, I’d be killin’ it I tell you