things. Being the product of a comfortable existence in a wealthy community in the US I often catch myself with feelings or attitudes grounded in first-world and privileged entitlement, never the less, nothing brings me back to the here and the now like asking one of my students if they have eaten today.
For an experience to be worthwhile, I believe there must be some difficult elements. Although I put myself wholeheartedly into everything I did, I do not think that teaching English as a second language is a strength of mine. Attempting to teach English, and instill a respect for educational time was one of the most draining aspects of my experience. I'm sure that other individuals could have done better, however I gave it all I had. I did not see the progress I had hoped to see over the course of my year here. I can only hope that in the years to come some of my students will use the base that I provided them to excel in English, and all areas of their young lives.
The community that I'm leaving here is international, exciting, creative, artistic, passionate and dedicated. I'm sad to leave such an incredible group of people at The Peace Project behind. The volunteers, travelers, students and locals I've met and befriended have all become part of my life journey. Even as my every day life here fades into memory they will forever have impacted me, and for that I'm thankful.
new eastern span of the bay bridge in between Oakland and San Francisco, and Richmond has banned the use of plastic bags and California has admitted an undocumented lawyer to the state bar! During the course of this year, I've lost some friends, while other have become engaged, gotten into graduate schools or continued to search for themselves around the world. Leaving is bitter sweet, and it may be difficult in some ways to return to what can often be a materialistic culture in my home country. Nevertheless I'm extremely excited to go and delve into the issues of college access with undeserved students in my home country.
On the domestic front, wow! When I wrote that blog post gay marriage was only legal in 16 states, and I was proud of that. Now the number of states which have reached marriage equality stands at 37!