Showing posts with label PAWI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PAWI. Show all posts

Monday, January 5, 2015

Alina Gallo's Memorializations in Miniature:Berkin Elvan & Gezi Park

Alina Gallo, artist
One of the beautiful things about my PAWI (Professional Women of Istanbul) group is that I meet interesting American expats who are interacting with the region in their own unique way.

This year, I met a young painter who was memorializing key events that have occurred in the Middle East and North Africa through her art. Her name is Alina Gallo. She hails from Long Island, New York. When I met Alina, she was living here in Istanbul, inspired by the events of the region.
Berkin Elvan was
14 years old when he
went out of the house
to fetch bread for his family's dinner.
Struck by a tear gas canister
to the head,
as protests were occurring
in his neighborhood,
Berkin lingered
in a coma for 269 days,
and then died.
In learning about Alina's art, one of the first things that struck me was the humility with which she approached her work. When I first saw her studies for the miniature commemorating the funeral of Berkin Elvan, I was moved to tears. "this is a masterpiece," I told her.

Alina demurred. She thought of herself as one artist in a long line of miniature painters who documented moments of history and cultural importance. She drew attention away from her own contribution. 

"It is through me, not of me. That is the power of the miniature form. It becomes an expression of shared experience and collective consciousness. This is the beauty of creative energy." she said.

Alina's medium is egg tempura, a paint made with egg yolks, ground pigments and water. One of her paint brushes has just three hairs, another has just two. She works with a magnifying glass and illustrator's glasses. 
Berkin Elvan's Funeral March, 2014
Text with painting: What happens if you and your family live near a place in Istanbul where all of the protests are happening? Fourteen-year-old Berkin Elvan, ran to the store for bread as his family was settling down for dinner. Berkin's family were Kurdish Alevis, so minorities both ethically and religiously in Turkey. Berkin was shot squarely in the head with a tear-gas container by an Istanbul policeman. 15-year-old Berkin Elvan's funeral march took place on March 12, 2014. Elvan died after 296 days in a coma after being struck on the head by a government tear gas canister while going out to get bread for his family during the Gezi protests in June 2013. After his death, thousands proceeded with his coffin to the funeral ceremony and cemetery. As a symbolic gesture many bakeries closed that day and citizens tied loaves of bread to doors and windows with black ribbons. As soon as he was buried, mourners and protesters were immediately met with police crack-downs all over the city of Istanbul and in other cities across Turkey. 

Alina's work reminded me of another artist, Walt Whitman, who documented through poetry and prose, youth spent and lost working toward noble visions during the American Civil War.

Back then, Walt Whitman would sit next to the bedside of a young person who gave his all in pursuit of a better future for his nation and was destined to pass on. 

It mattered to Whitman that his reader know the person behind the sacrifice for a noble cause: what the young person cared about, who he was sweet on, how he wanted to be remembered to his mother. 

In humanizing the individuals behind a great movement, it was as if he said to his audience, "take in the magnificence and the ordinariness of this human being. Feel this loss with me."

Berkin Elvan may not have been of the Gezi protests, but he was one of the causalities of casually-used excessive force.

Alina documented the loss of a sweet boy, that many Turks, and others who were watching, felt deeply. Today would have been Berkin Elvan's 16th birthday.
Educated Gezi youth
literally couldn't wait
to contribute
to their country.
Their enthusiasm
was not welcomed.
I was grateful that Alina was in Istanbul to honor the struggles of Gezi Park youth with her attention and work. Like me, she observed the events, but wasn't of the events, She painted it one step removed. I felt like she was capturing what I was watching. The Turks, themselves, they were the ones actually living it.

The Gezi Youth Generation, members of a secular movement to save an urban park in a city where parks are in short supply, brought an idealism and spirituality to their quest that was deeply moving to experience first-hand. There was purity and sweetness and goodness in that park. You could feel it. It was an incredible privilege to visit it. 

The Gezi youth generation is deeply cognizant of all the sacrifices made by the founding generation of Turkish citizens. Their deep awareness of this can only be called reverence. Watching them gather, sing, camp, help each other, celebrate their democratic wishes with a sense of community that is as rare as it was special made me contemplate the sacrifices of the Turkish people at the beginning of their nation. Now the new nation was bearing fruit. Those sacrifices had found artistic, intellectual, and spiritual flowering with this generation ninety years later. 

The new youth movement was expressed with a collective wish, not for more of the new-found prosperity Turkey has achieved, but a desire to save a beloved spot from over-development, a traditional tea garden, and the trees and park that surrounded it in the center of downtown Istanbul.

A highly rational (not emotional) Turkish mathematician said to me that, at that moment, if the Turkish prime minister had held out a hand, and said, "I too was once young. I too have known what it was to dream," he would have emerged larger than before. But that isn't what happened. His heart wasn't in that place. Instead, he responded with cold action, deriding all of the young protesters as çapulcu, or 'thugs' in Turkish.
Istiklal Riots
"Everywhere is Taksim!"
Kadikoy Riots
I loved the painting of "Berkin Elvan's Funeral March" and bought it. I then commissioned Alina to do a painting of what happened in my neighborhood during Gezi using my experience as a resident and this iconic image by photographer Daniel Etter as inspiration. Below is the sketch in progress.
Gezi Park Movement: June 1st
Alina wrote: "Sketch in progress for a piece depicting a night during the Gezi Park movement in 2013 in Beşiktaş, Istanbul. I have been reconnecting to the Gezi movement with this work- seeing and reading again so many stories of the community coming together for each other and their country. In the foreground waves break up against the pier along sea. Nature in this context reminds me of what holds us all, what cleans the air and refreshes energies amid turmoil. The flag bearer stands amid teargas during the riots ... in Beşiktaş on the night of June 1. A Guy Fawkes mask lies on the ground and a broken television in the pile of barricades to reflect the media situation in turkey as well as an evolution towards a social media landscape. In the apartment above families bang pots on the balcony in support and through the trees is Gezi on the hill with a backhoe truck looming." 
Sleepers in Gezi
Text with painting: “To contest the urban development plan for Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Turkey began on 28 May, 2013. Subsequently, supporting protests and strikes took place across Turkey protesting a wide range of concerns, at the core of which were issues of freedom of the press, of expression, assembly, and the government’s encroachment on Turkey’s secularism. Now, having been spared destruction, Gezi Park and its famous sycamore trees have also become a sanctuary for many Syrian refugee families. In Turkey, alone the total number of registered Syrian refugees (Istanbul’s refugees are mianly unregistered) has reached over 800,000 since the onset of the Syrian civil war. Here, those displaced by war sleep, roll their cigarettes and quietly congregate in the morning hours. Şişli Camii lies in the distance and through the trees cranes cross the sky. The Bosphorus forms a migration bottleneck for thousands of birds as they travel from Europe into the Middle East and Africa, a parallel and ancient narrative of mass movement between continents.” ~ Alina Gallo
Alina is applying for a Fulbright Scholar fellowship for the United Arab Emirates. I’m pleased the idea was sparked when she visited my “Fete for Fulbrights” this summer. Her goal is to teach young Emirati women at Zayid University cross-cultural miniature arts and the technique of egg tempera painting.

Alina’s miniature themes extend beyond Gezi. That’s the sorrowful part of the Middle East. It keeps supplying iconic moments. I was deeply touched to see freelance journalist Marie Colvin’s work memorialized. Ms. Colvin, a dashing international foreign correspondent, who covered the Syrian civil war zone in an eye patch due to previous moments of daring-do, lost her life in her quest to share the conflict with a world struggling to understand.

I urge you, gentle reader, to contemplate the other beautiful miniatures on Alina’s new website. Our mutual friend, Catherine Bayar, has written an appreciation of Alina’s work that appeared in Hand/Eye Magazine.

Additional press on Alina’s work:

Time Out Dubai: Tales of War, JamJar artist Alina Gallo Explains her Artistic Expression 




About Alina Gallo - the JamJar Residence

You may be interested in these other posts I wrote:

Gezi Park Turkish Protests: Where is a Range of Opinion?

A Fete for Fulbrights

The perfect tribute to Vaclav Havel: The Vaclav Havel Award for Creative Dissent

Listening to Dissidents

The Restoration of Order: The Normalization of Czechoslovakia

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Meeting Chuck Hunter, a visit to the home of the U.S. Consul General in Istanbul

Consul General
Charles (Chuck) F. Hunter and me.
Note the spectacular suzani
in the background.
This year, we have a new Consul General in Istanbul, as Consul General Scott Kilner has retired from the foreign service and his three-year mission to Istanbul was finished.

Our new Consul General is named Chuck Hunter. He was born in Wisconsin, and attended Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, like his father and grandfather. Raised in California, he attended Stanford University for his M.A. and PhD. He speaks French, Arabic, and Turkish in addition to English. 

Chuck is an openly gay foreign service officer. This *is* history. After all, it was just a few years ago, that the policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was ended in the American military. That policy required gay people to be inauthentic if they wanted to serve their country. Those days are over.

My country is actively expanding the spectrum of Americans who represent it, and I find that to be fantastic. The American economic dream may be in trouble for the lower and middle classes, but gosh darn it, our democracy is becoming more diversified. Indeed, I read just the other day that a Native American woman, a member of the Hopi Tribe, was appointed to be a federal judge. If that isn't exciting, I don't know what is.
I love being represented
by a State Department diplomat
who is a young mother
of a 15-month-old child.
Go America Go!
Pictured above, me with
Deputy Principal Officer
Deborah R. Munnuti
Me and Zlatana Jovanovic-Dicker from Kosovo.
Zlatana is an architect and
married to American
Craig Dicker,
General Public Affairs Officer
of the American mission.
and me giggling at the fun
of being two Americans enjoying
exotic Turkish divans
and Middle Eastern tables
inlaid with mother-of-pearl
at the Consul General's home.
A pinch me, "We're living in Istanbul!" moment.
Celebrating a shared moment together
as Americans in Istanbul:
and our Consul General Chuck Hunter.
A wonderfully uplifting morning!

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Scoop: "Turkey 2000-2010: A Decade of Transition - Discussion Among Experts"

Sena Eken, PhD
describing macroeconomic changes to
Turkey's economy
Today at the Professional American Women in Istanbul (PAWI) luncheon, the North American ladies were the very first people in Turkey to get a personal presentation from Turkish economist Dr. Sena Eken describing the recent decade in Turkish history that is widely viewed as transformative.

Dr. Eken partnered with Susan Schadler to create three one-day workshops in Istanbul, Brussels, and Washington D.C. which brought together 15 experts at each workshop from the fields of macroeconomics, international finance and business, plus social and education policy to describe, debate, and finally document exactly what Turkey has gone through during that decade. Their main focus was to look at issues that had economic impact on the Turkish economy and ask "what old problems were addressed? Which weren't?"

Dr. Sena Eken
Sena Eken, a graduate of Uskadar American Academy, Robert College, University of Essex in the UK, with a final PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, is currently an independent consultant. Her professional experience includes senior positions at the International Monetary Fund and as an advisor to the Governor of the Central Bank of Turkey. Susan Schadler, her partner on this project, was unable to be at the presentation. She is the former Deputy Director of the IMF's European Department. The study was done under the auspices of the Foreign Economic Relations Board with outside corporate funding.

I've tried to transcribe her language as closely as I can so the following should all be considered direct quotes:

Macroeconomic Overview:

The macroeconomic policy overview highlighted the stability brought about by significant financial reform. The significant achievement of the era was the taming of inflation from 100% to single digits which stabilized the exchange rate. Government debt was halved. Experts felt that the growth actually was not as high as it could have been. Turkey grew at a 4.2% rate from 2000-2010, up from 4.0% the previous decade; still, other developing countries were achieving 6% growth at the same time.

What led to the perception of high growth was a 7% growth rate from the years of 2002-2007. The lira was stronger, so people could buy more imported goods. Also, the growth was more inclusive and spread among more people.

Turks have not suffered a lost decade, post-2008 crisis, because there was all kinds of policy flexibility due to the significant reforms that had taken place before. New vulnerabilities exist: the current account rate is high, the savings rate is declining (with most savings decline happening in poorer households). This is a problem because countries where the savings rate is high continue to achieve growth because small and medium firms are more likely to get access to financing to expand.

One of the things that also has helped Turkey bounce back post-crisis is that it doesn't have many of the opaque financing instruments that brought so much trouble to other countries.

Labor overview:

Only 40% of the people eligible for work in Turkey (defined as those over 15) are currently working.

While other countries around the world were increasing in income inequality, Turkey's income inequality was lessening. Surprisingly, this didn't change Turkey's place in the overall income inequality standings.

While literacy rates have improved, education during this decade focused on nation building. It did not focus on increasing critical thinking skills.

Experts felt the social goals of the government were not as well known and defined as the fiscal and monetary policy goals during this era.

More inclusion increased in three areas: less poverty, more education, and more social and religious expression.

Key fault lines in education that remain are quality, the continued focus on memorization and nation building rather than critical thinking (a long-standing problem), politicization of education, and equity.

The current government continued the economic reforms that were occuring before they took power, but what they have proved is that open expressions of Islam can operate in a liberal market economy. Capitalism is changing the face of Islam in Turkey though, with more emphasis on frugality and hard work.

Fault lines in the labor market continue to be 1) lack of inclusion of women, 2) lack of inclusion of ethnic minorities, and 3) lack of focus on creativity.

Globalization overview:

There was a major diversification of export markets during this time.

The EU process speeded reforms, although it stopped in 2006. Right now, things are at a standstill. It can be restarted.

Two last facts:

70% of taxes come from indirect taxes such as value-added sales taxes, which proportionately hit the poor and middle class harder.

17% of the population is considered poor. (Eken, 12/01/2013)

My conclusion after listening to Dr. Eken:

It was fun and exciting to get to hear Dr. Eken's presentation first on Turkey's decade of transformation. There is a written report available that goes with her presentation. She is beginning a week of presentations to groups around Turkey with technicality varying depending on the audience. I would urge anyone interested in a greater understanding of Turkey's economy to find one and attend. She said what she most enjoyed about the process was hearing new perspectives beyond the narrow economic perspective.

I listened to her macroeconomic overview with a bit of awe for Turkey's macroeconomic achievements. Everything she described seemed like a system that worked for the people, not just the elites: inclusive growth, lowered inflation, rigorous reform, and halving the debt! WOW. My Turkish friends have boundless pride in this rigorous financial sector reform that occured at the start of the decade, as well they should. I do not see the political will to do it in my home country.

What I most admired in Dr. Eken's presentation was that she articulated problems in Turkey that are particularly obvious to Americans: the education system focusing on nation-building rather than critical thinking, and the lack of inclusion of ethnic minorities into the economy. Once problems are defined, they are easier to solve.

When you look at the low rate of labor participation, the fact that people haven't yet unleashed their full potential economic power through education focused on drawing out their creativity, and that ethnic minorities have much more economic ability to contribute than they currently are, Turkey seems like it has an incredible upside.

Dr. Eken is precisely the kind of woman from an Islamic country that does not show up on American television screens: elegant, learned, worldly and an expert. Next time an American news organization needs someone as an expert on the Turkish economy, it would be nice to see this sophisticated woman explaining to people, as she did to us, Turkey's accomplishments and opportunities for improvement.

Printed text shared at the meeting that was also the basis for this talk:

Sena Eken and Susan Schadler Turkey 2000-2010: A Decade of Transition Discussion Among Experts Turkey: DEIK Publications, 2012.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Meeting the Kilners: a visit to the home of the U.S. Consul General in Istanbul

 American ladies arriving at the entrance.
 
Jennie Toner, far right and front
with eight colleagues.
Every year, the Professional American Women of Istanbul are invited to the home of America's Consul General in Istanbul. The title of Consul General refers to America's highest diplomat in an important city that isn't the capital city.

I had no expectations of what it would be like but, I was especially looking forward to this, as I have two friends who have served as America's Consul General around the world. One friend served in Perth, Australia, and another friend served in Mumbai, India. I was never able to visit them while they held those posts so I thought my visit to the Kilner's residence might give me a feeling for what my friends' lives were like when they served. Now one of my friends has become an American ambassador, but he's in a country so off the commercial beaten path and expensive to visit, he's going to retire without me ever having visited him and his family in their country of service.
 Hope Mandel and her friend Christy.
Hope is here in Istanbul
working for the Nielsen Company
as a Client Business Partner.
 
It's hard to see in this photo,
but this was a lovely view of the church
in the background.
Weekends in Istanbul have been spectacular this fall, that Saturday morning was no different. The U.S. Consul residence is in the Arnavutköy neighborhood. I haven't explored this neighborhood yet, but need to do so soon, as a simple walk through one day told me it was adorable. The streets give an old Ottoman feeling of close wooden houses with overhanging second stories. At the windows of many homes are beautiful flowers. About twelve of us American ladies met that morning and took a taxi from Besiktas to the residence and it was quite an adventure finding the home in Arnavutköy and getting there.
 Me, stopping to take a picture
 in celebration of the peaceful feeling
of the grounds
A view of the back of the house.
A lawn like this
is a very rare thing in Istanbul.
 Enjoying brunch and conversation
on the back porch
A lovely place to sit in the back yard
and enjoy the view of shipping traffic
passing through the Bosphorus.
 
I find it impossible to tire of watching the ships
go through. They are magnificent.
 U.S. Consul General Scott Kilner
and Vanessa H. Larson,
managing editor of the new global start-up
Culinary Backstreets.
The both speak fluent Turkish, being experienced Turkophiles,
but here they are speaking English.
Enjoying the morning
Me with Adrian Hodges,
writer of the blog "Postcards from Istanbul."
Adrian is a newlywed bursting with joy.
Helene Bumbalo is just beginning her expat adventure.
She is quickly becoming an expert on teaching
"Aviation English."
We had fun and were inspired!
Mrs. Kilner welcomed us to her home and I made a point of thanking her for her service to our country. I think it is important to acknowledge the service supportive spouses give America when they are married to people who serve America professionally, because those spouses do so at considerable sacrifice to their own careers. They don't often get to choose where they will live or how long they will be there. A simple acknowledgement of this gift they give us seems like an important thing to do, don't you agree? I think it's important to say to military spouses and children too.

Everything about the morning made me so proud of my country and American values. I appreciated that the house was grand, like my nation, but our representatives were wonderfully down-to-earth and approachable. I appreciated the two Marines who were present to invite us to their annual Marine Corps ball. I loved the helpful attitude of the consular staff as they worked to answer questions about voting issues and general safety issues. I appreciated how deeply knowledgeable our Consul General is about Turkey and how much time the Kilners have in the country having served in three different posts: Adana, Ankara, and Istanbul.

When I was telling one of my Turkish girlfriends about our morning at the Consul General's house, she said, "I would have to get my hair done for that and get a new dress. It would be impossible to go without maximum effort." I think she was shocked to learn that many Americans felt comfortable going in jeans. It was a Saturday morning, for heaven's sake! I like that we Americans don't always feel the need to dress to impress and could just enjoy each other as authentically as possible.

Sometimes though, Americans can take casual too far. Ninety-five of us R.S.V.P.ed and said we would come and only 55 showed up.

Istanbul is an especially intense post, maybe one of the most intense in the world, due to Turkey's strategic position and regional issues. I believe the Secretary of State has come to Istanbul four times over the past year on business, which doesn't usually happen at consular posts.

After we had enjoyed brunch, Mr. Kilner gave us a 20-minute overview of issues affecting the region. I think there is an etiquette rule that if you go to the White House, you shouldn't repeat everything the President said, otherwise he or she never feels free to talk. So I will extend that same courtesy to Mr. Kilner, as his office has incredibly complex issues in their hands regarding Syria and surrounding international tension. I am sure that "sober" is a word that is completely overused in diplomatic circles, but I felt reassured, as best as an ordinary citizen can feel reassured, that my government is approaching these issues with thoughtful sobriety.

After we left that day, a bunch of us were riding the bus back to central Istanbul, and one of the ladies who had been a foreign service wife told us that before 1970, foreign service wives used to be rated on how much charity work they did, on their entertaining, etc. Imagine! They weren't even paid or held a position, but the U.S. government felt free to rate them.

People like Mrs. Kilner who support their spouse in representing our country are now a disappearing species, as many spouses choose to have their own career.  I'm grateful for both the Kilners and appreciated the opportunity to see how my beloved nation is represented in Istanbul.

Several photos courtesy of Hope Mandel.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hearing "Tales from a Female Nomad" in Person: Rita Golden Gelman

Rita Golden Gelman
Author, "Tales of a Female Nomad"
and over seventy children's books
It struck me today as I was sitting having lunch with author Rita Golden Gelman how ironic that was. If there is anything Rita Golden Gelman is not - it is a 'lady who lunches.' Pinch me! I was meeting one of the exciting role models of my last four years as an 'Empty Nest Expat'."

I got to meet Rita, and by arriving early, have lunch with her at the Professional American Women of Istanbul (PAWI) meeting in Istanbul which I attended for the first time. Rita was the guest speaker! The women in attendance were also captivating, happening ladies making their dreams happen here in Istanbul.
Rita Golden Gelman is the author of the acclaimed book "Tales of a Female Nomad." I read her book as part of my vagabonding journey these last four years and was absolutely riveted. The blogging universe exposes us to all kinds of people living lives different than our own these days, but Rita Golden Gelman was a true pioneer in choosing a different path than the American dream of a house with the picket fence.

Rita lived the American dream, actually. She was married - a dutiful wife of an interesting man and mother to accomplished children. She lived with them in Manhattan and Greenwich Village, New York as her children grew up. Eventually, her husband's work took the family out to the film industry in Los Angeles in California. Rita didn't identify with any of it. Her marriage eventually fell apart and she decided to put the anthropology she had been studying in a PhD program at UCLA into practice by seeing the world. By then her children were grown. She sold everything, stuck the house money into savings without spending a dime of it, and has spent the last 27 years living without a permanent home and traveling the world.
She told such incredibly inspiring stories from her book which I won't share here because they are hers to tell. "Tales of a Female Nomad" inspired a whole community of readers to email her with their travel adventures (including the sublime recipes they collected along the way). Rita organized some of their tales into an anthology called "Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World."

Random House paid her and her 41 contributors an initial payment of $55,000 for the book. All of the money goes to support children of the lowest castes in India with vocational training. Guess what's on your Christmas list, family! What a legacy. And what a gift to give to her community of readers - the chance to be part of that legacy.

Risk-taking, trust, and serendipity are key ingredients of joy. Without risk, nothing new ever happens. Without trust, fear creeps in. Without serendipity, there are no surprises.
~ Rita Golden Gelman's quote on Starbuck's tall cup #31
There are cultures where overseas travel is really celebrated. The Netherlands and Isreal come to mind, for me, as two countries where citizens have enough time off, a lack of fear, and the willingness to hit the open road. America is not one of those cultures. Rita is interested in changing that and has a plan to do so.

At age 75, Rita is starting to feel her age for the first time. She wants to go home to spend the next two years in America working on her legacy. She is frequently invited to speak at universities about her global travels. She always asks the university to set up a talk at the local high school as well. Gentle readers, do you know of students that would benefit from hearing Rita's inspiring tales? Why not suggest her as a speaker to your favorite lecture series committee?

Rita believes Americans would approach the world with more understanding if each high school senior took a gap year between high school and college to see the world. She said high school students have three choices: university, work, or military after high school. They are not ready to experience any of these yet with full maturity. She urges grandparents to begin a $500 a year gap year fund for their grandchildren so that kids have a year to mature before starting the bigger commitments of study, work, or job while using that time to understand the greater wider world better.

She has started an organization called Let's Get Global. Her plan is to partner with a young man who is creating an American Gap Year Association and beginning an accreditation process for American gap year programs. Rita would like two people in every high school to be able to win a "Gap Year Scholarship" just to demonstrate the power of the idea to young people everywhere. Two young people from each high school nationwide setting off for parts unknown could begin to change American culture of fear about the outside world.

Rita says that fear drives one of the most common questions she gets about her lifestyle. "How can someone overcome the fear of setting out on an adventure?" She is currently working on a book of 64 tips for developing a successful mindset for global discovery.

What an exciting moment to
meet one of my vagabonding
role models!

So Westerner, ask yourself, could you give up the control Rita has over her life? It seems like control is the #1 Western addiction, but Rita just strugged her shoulders and says "I see what opportunities come to me." She rarely knows where she'll be six months from now. She has four steadfast rules 1) smile at everyone, 2) talk to strangers, 3) accept all invitations and 4) eat everything that is offered. The ability to be adaptable to multiple peoples, cultures, situations and opportunities has resulted in an incredibly inspiring life well-lived.
 
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