Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ultimate Guide to Star Wars BAES

A Top Ten List:

There are a lot of good things about the new Star Wars movie (#girlpower), but we can all agree that the men delivered.  

So to you, my ranking of the men featured in Star Wars:

10. That Ginger Nazi-type Bad Guy General aka General Hux.

Ginger.  That haircut.  Also, just kind of a horrible person.  Sorry if you love him from HP.  Hard pass.

9. Any weirdo in Maz Kanata's bar/watering hole

Especially those guys on the left.  It totally looks like the place to be in the galaxy.

8.  Kylo Ren with his mask off

If you've seen the movie, you know what I mean...there are too many close-ups...just too many.

7.  Kylo Ren with his mask on 

A definite improvement.  #badboy

6.  Any one of these pilots

No explanation needed.

5. Han Solo

Just when you think he's done bringing it, he keeps bringing it.  No mumbo jumbo here.  The heartthrob lives on.

4. This Storm Trooper

I'll leave the ninety and nine Stormtroopers to find The One (aka Daniel Craig).

3. Poe Dameron

He can be my pilot anytime.

...no but seriously he's like the best pilot in the Resistance.

2. Finn

Finn is exactly who I needed in this movie to keep me coming back for more.  I fall more in love with him every time I see it.  Which is 3 times so far.  Still not enough.

1.  Chewbacca

I think we can all agree that Chewbacca must've gotten into some pretty good Korean skincare because he hasn't aged at all in the last 30 years.

Ya welcome.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Two Weeks Home: Reflections

Saturday is the two week mark of being home.

I know I have so many things to write about in regards to Petrolina and Brazil and all the many beautiful and wonderful and hilarious stories from my time there, but tonight I want to get out some of the more raw feelings I've had since returning.

Every time I've gone abroad for any extended amount of time, I come back disheveled.  The adjustment upon returning is always more difficult than the adjustment when leaving, and I'm only now starting to understand myself enough to acknowledge the feelings I'm having and why I might be having them.

The 2014-2015 school year was one of the tougher years I've ever had, with insecurities and realizations hitting me harder than I was expecting, and knocking me down more than I wanted to admit.  It made me question myself in ways I never anticipated, forced me to prove myself in less than ideal situations, and ultimately led me to say goodbye to students I love with my whole heart.  It chewed me up and spit me out.  My spirit was broken, my future uncertain, and my heart bruised.

Then Brazil came along.  Brazil was beautiful.  Brazil reopened my heart.  It took me in its arms and held me fervently.  It allowed me to return to my truest and purest self.  It reminded me of why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place. It introduced me to powerful and loving humans who continually inspire me with their goodness and light.  Brazil gave me new best friends-some of whom, yes, might be in high school in Brazil-but when you genuinely love and support each other, friendship happens.  Learning happens.  Connections are made and the cushion of their love makes you wonder how you ever lived without them.  Fears subsided because you knew they would be there to catch you.  Brazil was there for me, accepting of my mistakes and encouraging me to keep trying.

It was everything I needed at just the right moment.  I don't doubt the timing of this gift.  

Which makes coming back to reality a little more difficult.  I want to talk about my new friends, my students, and my experiences all day long because they changed me.  I want to pretend to know Portuguese to hold on to memories of sitting and talking to friends in the hotel lobby for hours on end.  I want to shout from the rooftops when I see people taking risks because it is hard and they are doing something hard and it reminds me that we all can do hard things (even me).

But I also want to keep moving; keep progressing.  I came back and immediately started a new job, tornado-ing me back into the game without much breathing room.  I am constantly reminding myself that I need to take time to savor moments-both my memories from Brazil and the new memories I'm creating every day.

It's getting to the point in time when it all feels like a dream.  I ask myself if I really did it...did I really do it?! 

I did it.  


Friday, July 10, 2015

a bit of this

So we've just finished our first week of working with our Brazilian students and let me just say: It's been so amazing.

I mean, how could it go wrong when 10 of your students show up at the airport wearing homemade tshirts that spell out "WELCOME CINDY"?!?  Turns out they walked to and from the airport, in the middle of a Saturday, in the hot sun, to greet me.  It seriously made my heart pitter-patter more than it has in a long time and I thought to myself, "If I ever, for one second, ever feel unloved or sad in my life, I just need to remember this moment".  Because what a hello.  There were so many hugs (and some tears of joy) that I felt like I was going somewhere I'd already been.  I have felt such a lack of adjustment here because I felt like I just walked into a place my heart already knew, because of the people I've been preparing to meet.  It was magical.

Since then, my week has just continued to remind me of the power of human kindness and unfaltering love.  I went to church on Sunday and was encircled in arms of love.  The language barrier is real, but it's amazing to see how speaking the same language isn't vital to communication.

Monday we had an opening ceremony for our program, where the students had prepared and made videos of us (which required a lot of serious Facebook stalking), and performed a variety of songs and dances they had been working on for weeks.  I don't understand how all Brazilian humans know how to dance starting at such young ages, but they can move their bodies wayyyyy better than I can and I'm slightly ashamed and mostly embarrassed.  

Classes started on Tuesday and it's been a whirlwind since then.  The students are eager to learn and have reopened my heart to teaching in the best way possible.  They are sincere and funny and fearless and I have been inspired by their commitment and their joy.  They also get excited about their free snacks and so we have a lot in common.  We really do just get each other.

Also last night we went to a motorcycle rally and white trash just really translated well into Brazilian culture.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Thoughts on Brazil

Welp I've been in country for a whole 3 days now which means I know everything about this place already.


But there are some interesting observations I've made that I will share with you all.  I know some of you will know some of these already, but maybe some of you won't.  Also, I just want to write them down so deal with it.  I was actually pretty prepared with most of these, but they will be documented nonetheless.

1. Toilet paper.  They don't throw it down the toilet.  There is a trash can next to the toilet where you throw discarded and used TP.  It sounds weird but it actually hasn't phased me much at all.  It's just a different place to put it.

2. Sinks.  They don't really believe in touching food when eating it, so they do everything they can to avoid it.  They use forks and knives for pizza, wax paper or napkins to hold their hamburgers, and they have public sinks for people to use in restaurants.  These sinks are for washing your hands before consuming food.  They are also reminders of how gross of a human I am and how little I think about hygiene.  I am disgusting.

3. TV's.  They love them.  The first thing our airbnb person did upon delivering us to our room was turn on the TV.  I thought it was weird but it's normal.  Also, I hope one day someone says that same exact statement about me.

4. Today I ate cereal called Super Balls.  I'm 12 and I think that's hysterical.  #cocopuffs

5. There are restaurants all over the place that you pay for by the kilo.  It's buffet style and you load up a plate with food (I was unsure of many things but still ate), it is weighed and documented, and then you eat.  And then you pay a man in a little box.  And I kind of love this.  #notjustforfroyo

6.  Today was mostly a battle against the rain and the bus system here in Salvador, but we survived and are (mostly) unscathed.  What this really means is we went out, got lost on a bus route, walked in the rain for hours, and then couldn't find a bus back and were about to reach desperation when a cab finally let us in.  In conclusion, I look real good right now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Back to bloggin'

Hey guys.

It's me.  Cindy.  #fordpride

I just really feel bad about being such a neglectful blogger.  I hope this isn't what my parenting is like.  

However, I am recommitting myself.  I want to really document the realness of this experience.

What experience, you ask?

I'm going to Brazil for a couple months.  I am really pumped about this for many reasons, but mostly I think it'll be good for my soul.  And for my blog.  Because you all know how traveling makes my heart pump and also the words flow out of my mouth.  I'm sure there will be many stories that make me laugh and also many experiences that make me cry.  My goal is to share them all.  I want to really make this experience something great.

So please just harass me to blog.  Make me do it.  Because it'll be good.  I mean, I'm only in Miami and I'm only a few hours out of Denver, but moves have already been made.  Life is already happening and I think it'll only get better from here.

Also, if you think I should do something-tell me.  I'll do it.  And I'll take pictures and it'll be the best.  And then I'll make a calendar of all the pictures and send them to you.  Because doesn't that sound awesome? 


Tuesday, February 3, 2015


I've been thinking about donuts for like the last 5 days straight.  

I just really wanted one.

So, finally, after going to the gym last night, I made my way to get some donuts.  That makes sense.

I had found this donut shop that stayed open decently late for a donut shop and made my way.  It's in maybe a sketchier part of town, but I was not alarmed.

The guy working the counter was an older gentleman, with longer, white hair and gaps between his teeth.  We had a pleasant conversation where he told me he worked for donuts.  I guess that's better than money?

But really, I respect that. 

Anyways, he mentioned there were some fresh donuts in the back and I told him to surprise me with a few.  Which he did, and then he threw in a bear claw for free.  

I think I found the love of my life.  With a side of donuts.