Life update (or upgrade?) - Part 2
Updated: Dec 7, 2019
Usually, at LPC, birthdays are celebrated like you’re QUEEN - all your friends take you out to your favorite restaurant, to a beach party if your birthday happens to be on a Friday or Saturday or they let you know some other way how much you mean to them. And during my time here I’ve celebrated quite a few birthdays already, but I gotta say mine was pretty DOpe.
Like usual, I had been doing work in A block (our school building) with a few friends when they took me back to my room at 12am, where the others had already organised a (quite crowded) party which had to be reAllY quiet because I live right next to a teacher and it was interdorming time (meaning that if a teacher had knocked and seen anyone in my room who doesn't live there, that person gets gated - it’s like a house arrest). There was cake, a polaroid camera, music, all the people I love, gifts, small notes that were put in my back pockets to read later and many hugs and kisses. And Shaun’s famous ‘orange juice’ of course ;-) The whole day was definitely worth the cake stains in my carpet and the mess we left, and I am just so grateful for my friends.
As I don’t really remember anymore the correct chronological order of what’s happened in the past few weeks here in Hong Kong and in LPC, I’m just gonna throw it all out there.
When a friend (from India but grew up in HK) invited me and a few others over to her apartment, it was the first time in my life that I ate Indian food and it was probably the best food I’ve ever had. Plus, they (most of the people who came were Indian, Bangladeshi or Kenyan) made me eat with my hands as that’s how you eat in their cultures. I never thought this would be such a challenge for me, but I guess my dearest culture influenced me in a way that I actually felt like I was being extremely disrespectful the whole time. However, that didn’t change the fact that I had a great time with great people, great food and great dessert - tiramisu - and the best bubble tea I’ve had so far in Hong Kong.
Ironically (luckily?), this was only lunch and right after, my Kenyan goddess Jadyn and I went to another friend’s house - also an international Hongkonger - from South Africa to have dinner and ended up having a 10-star-worthy meal and a pretty wild ride back home in order not to miss check-in time (the dearest LPC community has to be back on campus - and I repeat: HAS TO BE BACK ON CAMPUS - by 9 pm [#boardinglifecurfew] which was moved to two hours earlier because of the protests). However, this day spoiled me so much that I literally could not eat in the canteen for one week straight. My body just said NO to what they call food here...
By the way, I started a mind-experiment a few weeks ago: I set myself the challenge to call LPC my home from then on, as I was confused about how it felt like home but it didn’t feel right calling it that. But I really wanted it to. For any curious soul out there: it worked and when I skyped with my mom the other day (after weeks of silence), she was shocked how I casually said I was already excited to come back home after Christmas and see everyone again.
One of the greatest things about UWC is definitely the shier incredible amount of possibilities we are offered. One of those is meeting incredible people that come to LPC every other week as guest speakers and are most of the time unbelievably inspiring. So far, I most enjoyed the talks of Mary Hui, a Hong Kong based journalist that works for Quartz and writes a lot about the Hong Kong situation and is - like Chris Schrader - a LPC alum. Schrader is probably the one that has inspired me most so far. He casually founded the 24-hr-race at just 16 years old and just before his graduation, he got the opportunity to join a group crossing the Gobi Desert on foot in 52 days. Then, he went on to study at Harvard University and has been going on and leading a variety of wilderness expeditions ever since (one of which my honeybun sugarplum South African friend has been on!). Through his experiences, he talked to us about how we should follow our passions, learn to allow pain and failures while challenging ourselves and live with respect and modesty. This really touched me on a very personal level as nature is a big part of my life too and he made me realize how much I’ve actually missed being in the woods and just exploring my surroundings. I certainly have never had as mind-blowing experiences as him but it still awakened the deep longing in me again for adventure and magical experiences. I loved how he also talked about his other identity - living in a big city and liking that lifestyle too, while still wanting to pursue both and about his struggle to find a way to do so.
These feelings are quite similar to the ones Moe Clarks visit had evoked in me. She is a Métis spoken word artist and focuses on native identities and coming ‘back to our roots’. I am not really sure on what level it is that I could relate to her but somehow, her words and her music and her drumming and simply everything she did (or rather not did) touched me. If you want to see some of her pieces, you can just google her, I personally really liked her album ‘Sound of She’.
Last night, we had a pretty successful (fReNCh) triathlete on campus that talked about how our mind can bring as just as much forward as our body and today, at our second volleyball match this term, we all agreed to apply what he had taught us to see if it worked (for us at least) - and gloriously failed. I don’t think I’ve ever lost a match with such a great difference in points… I guess I‘m gonna have to write him an email now :)
As this blog post is getting quite long again, I will end here and upload a final part three in a bit. Hope you enjoyed the post / gained some insights in my life / or uwc / got whatever you came here for!
Enjoy the weekend peeps (and: HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY to mio italiano e blogger preferito, Edooo!!!)
Lots of love / LOL,