A Meaningful Post


It’s Time to Reflect

I like to make fun blog posts, it’s one of my favourite activities on this trip. I like to think of how I can break up the events of the day and share them with you all in a fun and light-hearted way. It’s a good way for me to process all the things that are taking place without talking about them too seriously. This is, in part, because I’m not a very extroverted emotional person, I process things mostly internally, or conversationally one-on-one. But we can’t always do things in the way in which we want, so this blog post is my compromise to give a more in-depth look of my mind today, and all the struggles, fears and joys of designing on the program.

A lot of this whole design process has been understanding constraints. We have the time that we have, we can only finish within that time the amount that we can finish. Our control lies in strategizing and prioritizing that time, trying to edit and build whatever we can within it, but beyond that, it is out of our control.

I started off this trip with an essay about time, and that it’s the thing I really have to offer. It was vague, and broad, and maybe didn’t sound at all important. But I still think it’s a precious commodity, and I appreciate the organizations that have given us their time, and I hope that I’ve been able to utilize the time here to contribute back.

Today we met with Ninoshka and Silke and talked about the trajectory of our project for Tara Trust. We’ve been lost for awhile, looking for a direction that made sense. They were both open and honest with us in terms of what they didn’t like and what they thought were  really exciting prospects. It was a clarifying moment for us as a group, and in a way, it was nice that we were on our own without Sarah, because it created an opportunity for us to fail, and only in that opportunity were we able to really to see clearly what we needed to accomplish in the next two days. Pressure really does help form the diamond ideas.

So we’re wrapping up everything now. The prototypes, the presentation, the implementation plan, the whole shebang. It’s amazing that we’ve all been together for three weeks, with very minimal physical personal or emotional space, essentially no time that was not programmed or structured, and still are enjoying one another’s company and still actively communicating and valuing each other’s opinions. It would be very easy for us to get frustrated and check out, and not a single person has.

I’m continuously impressed by my peers, and feel grateful for their support and encouragement when I am frustrated, confused, or just being stubborn about my own hopes or ideas. Liza said at dinner today that she was really going to miss India…and then tacked on that she was really going to miss being all together every day. It melted my heart, thinking how fast the time went, and how much we’ve all gotten to know each other better.

I’ve loved my time in India, I’ve loved learning about India, and I’ve loved being pushed to work on a project with fellow quirky, fun-loving, patient, talented, sassy, opinionated, witty, silly, punny, designers and friends. I’ve loved seeing sass, talent, opinions, and wit come through language barriers with the women we’ve been working with as well. I’ve loved seeing all the different boutique hotels and shops and seeing how people are supporting small local business and women’s groups who are doing great work. Over the last three weeks we’ve built our own little community, and have started bridging our community with the communities we’re working with. It’s a network of ideas, and support, and development, and that feels really nice.

Signing out of blog posts,





Monsoon Season


Messy Minds, Messy Spaces

Fun Weekend Fun Blog

Note: Today’s blog post is a collection. Each section is led by a song I listened to during that part of the day, along with a short poem, and captioned photos. I had much fun making this blog post, and I hope you enjoy it, and get a little sense of how I’m experiencing India.

Playlist of the Day:

  1. Hot Dog Stand – Begonia (Alexa Dirks)
  2. Breezeblocks – Alt-J
  3. This Feeling – Alabama Shakes

“I find myself in this spot from time to time

Can’t tell if it’s dark or not, but I’m not blind

Everything gets to be so hazy

I feel like being alone

But being alone makes me feel so crazy”



I woke up at 6:30am and had my tea.

No one yet, was awake with me.

Maddy arose at 7 and joined my table,

I promise you this is no fable.

Alyssa was next, that beautiful gal,

She joined us too and all was well.


“Do you know where the wild things go?

They go along to take your honey, la, la, la”



We all got on the bus, The Traveller, it’s called,

Through jungle, past churches, miles we were hauled.

At last we made it to the beautiful spice farm,

Trekked to a waterfall, and how we fell for its charm.

Splashing and bathing, we spent the morning,

Being nibbled by fish that gave us no warning.

A nice man gave us a tour of all the spices,

Some are used as drugs in some places, which are bad, bad vices.

They fed us a delicious meal which left us satisfied,

Would’ve eaten more, but probably would’ve died.

After all of that, it was time to go,

With all our new spice souvenirs in tow.



(photo by T’mikah)


(caption by Michael Neal)


(photo by T’mikah)


(photo by Melih)


(photo by T’mikah)


(photo by T’mikah)


(photo by Melih)


(photo by T’mikah)

“I just kept hoping, I just kept hoping

The way would become clear

I spent all this time tryna play now

I found my way here


See I’ve been having me a real hard time

But it feels so nice to know I’m gonna be alright”

-Alabama Shakes


As you might be able to tell,

Sleep would do me well.

For over a week I have been sick,

All along it was carrots that were making me feel ick!

The projects are overwhelming and sometimes I feel lost,

But I’m dedicated to continuing, no matter the cost.

With renewed energy, and a silly blog post,

I’m ready for tomorrow, starting with toast.

Inspiration for the project has come throughout the day,

Which has been helpful to wash some anxieties away.

Colors and patterns whizzing through my mind,

Soon this whole adventure, will all be behind.

I hope in the last week, no new allergies are found,

But friendship and knowledge are sure to abound.

Goodnight my dear readers, I hope all is at peace,

From this ridiculous blog post, you are now released.

Feeling Fly in Mumbai…or not


I’ve started a routine of waking up early. It’s nice to start with a cup of tea on our verandah and start meditating on the day, do some homework, or catch up with friends back home. Our essays were due today, so there was an above average attendance in the porch area this morning, all of us editing and reading through each other’s essays.


Breakfast was brought into the guesthouse and we all gathered. As the week continues it becomes less strict about waiting for everyone to sit at at the table and people dive in more quickly.


We started discussing the overview, challenges, potential, and deliverables of each project. Indecision was high and all-consuming for some, others picked out of a vague preference for one and a slight indifference to being placed in either, and some felt strongly matched for a particular project.

As we were talking about all the different aspects of the projects, I began to form a preference for the Tara Trust project, whose aim is to create product(s) for a high-end hotel produced by a women’s group. Luckily everyone was evenly split, so the groups were fair and everyone was happy, mostly…albeit some may have still felt a bit of the crushing weight of indecision, even though the decisions were made.



We ate lunch, once again with some laggers and other keeners getting at the food in survival of the fittest style, but with plenty enough to eat that everyone got fed, eventually.


Immediately after lunch we had some time to pack, relax, and meet in our newly formed groups. T’mikah and I did some rose water facial masks, so that we could ‘feel fly in Mumbai.’ The rose water masks smelled so good, and made us feel as though it actually removed the layers of sweat built up over the week on our faces.


A little while later we heard squeals and gasps upstairs, Jacob cut his hair. But, he didn’t just cut his hair, he really styled it. Not fashioned it, per se, but it’s definitely a style.

img_4955305 img_4949304


Finally learning to be responsible adults over the last week, we leave on time at 3pm sharp for the airport. Mumbai was an exciting prospect, although my stomach didn’t seem to think so. It began to grumble and I hoped it wouldn’t lead to more tumultuous situations.

As we waited we played a game I’ve known referred to as Mafia, although some know it by Werewolf or other shifty-sounding monikers. We were all fairly rough at it, and everyone knew slightly different rules, so we’ll just leave it at that we’ll need more practice to have a complete game.


We were all boarded and ready for take-off. At this point, my stomach was churning and I’d rather have just sat than stood for any given amount of time, but I was ready and willing to hold it together for a flight.





It all happened very quickly. We land, we stand, and we start moving, along with the contents of my stomach. I let Sarah know I’m in a bad way, and she frantically searched for any sort of container to contain whatever might come. First it’s a cup, and it just won’t do. Next is a transparent file folder which is going to make it very transparent to anyone around me what I ate for lunch earlier that day.

As I walk up to the front of the plane, I try to, as casually and calmly as one is able, throw up the entire contents of my day into the transparent file folder, all the while sandwiched tightly between other airplane commuters. This was not a high moment for me, this was very much a low, but I also instantly felt a relief I just wasn’t feeling before. As I reached the front of the plane, the stewardess sits me down immediately and provides a bag for the folder and cup of water. There’s wasn’t much time to rest, other airplane commuters were waiting just in the loading tunnel to the front door of the plane. I collect myself and my contents and meet up with the group just outside, and threw out the evidence as soon as I could find the appropriate receptacle.

Outside of the plane, there was a strong sense of rose water…figure that, it was full circle with the refreshing scents from just a few hours before. Mumbai seems so much more modern and cosmopolitan than Goa, and it felt a little shocking for such a drastic change after such a short plane ride. Traffic was faster and more hectic, Goa feels like a quaint countryside in comparison. The lights were all blurred and every few moments I felt like I was going to see a major accident occur before my eyes.



We arrived at the hotel, which has an all-marble entry, fine detail woodworking, and sculptures placed decadently on the walls. All the accounts are still done by hand in a book.



(The Fanny Pack) – a pack of ardent fanny pack wearers, with no shame, and no preoccupied hands

Soon after settling in, we made our way to our first restaurant of choice, Barbeque Nation. The table settings were all perfectly placed, and it felt lush, but unfortunately, and retrospectively predictably, the prices matched the aesthetic. After bartering a bit and finding out other menu options, we decided to move on and move out onto Sizzlers. It was an amazing choice, and the plates really sizzled, steaming a veggie and meat spa treatment into your face as soon as it was placed before you.

With my stomach still feeling sensitive, I opted out of food and had a fresh squeezed watermelon juice. I don’t know why I chose that…I don’t even like watermelon, but it was truly a delight.



I went back home (our temporary home at least), and began to write, which brings us all here. It’s late, and there’s more yet to do and see tomorrow. For the sake of my sanity, and to finally include some brevity in this lengthy post, I bid farewell and happy stomachs.