Celebrities posing next to orphans in Cambodia. Groups of tourists teaching English to students in Costa Rica. Teens digging wells in Kenya. Especially among social media users, the voluntourism industry — where tourists travel to foreign countries to volunteer and “improve” the conditions of that place — has become increasingly enticing. People are constantly found […]Read More How Problematic is voluntourism?
“I dare you to ask someone for gum.” My eyes widened and I scanned the trail for any approachable dog-walkers, but saw nobody. “That’s unfair, there’s nobody here!” Ella and Sophia giggled and continued kicking the dirt path, scouring their minds for a better one. The last hours of summer camp were rapidly approaching, so […]Read More Last Day of Summer
“What are you gonna get?” My family stood at the back of the store, behind the line of customers waiting to order. The seemingly simple question forced hundreds of thoughts through my head as I redirected my attention to the menu before us. Images of refreshing smoothies decorated the pink walls and AC blasted from […]Read More I Can’t Read!
Her eyes watch the gardens, pink roses sprouting from the lips of the Sultan, four white ones remembering the happiest days off his life, red flowers staining the innocence of the throne. Her body plastered with jewels, blue etched on her forehead, gold running down her neck, and tattooed 1000 times over her body are […]Read More Alhambra
2020, I live like yesterday. The same spiraling hum ringing in my ears from the moment I awaken. It’s inescapable, the light streaming through cracks in the window when mom forces them open, sickening stench wafting from the kitchen trash can, dirty laundry piling up in a corner of the closet, unwashed dishes still soiled […]Read More CATALYST
Inspired by Leah Umansky’s article. Step 1: Find a work space. my bed creates the magic that turns butterflies into words and paints dreams on my glittery pink notebook. the bleeding pen becomes the only companion who understands because she can read and write down my mind. Step 2: Brainstorm. when i learn of a […]Read More Found Poem
(Originally published in The Stanford Daily) Outrage over the death of George Floyd sparked international protest and calls to action against police brutality. The resultant increase in media attention towards the Black Lives Matter movement has also encouraged people to educate themselves on the shocking statistics surrounding injustices against the Black community and in the […]Read More Movie Review: “13th” Redefines Slavery
Dangles between my mom’s weathered fingers, pages unclaimed. Ticonderoga in hand Pencil to paper. I am ready, have been ready for six years. but my mind draws a blank. Learning to write is like learning To think, to entertain, to surrender— And so at eight years old, in the darkness of my bed, I lean […]Read More a notebook