Time Stamp: 0630hrs
#On iPod: Never Say Never – Justin Beiber ft. Jaden Smith
#Location: Dubai International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
It’s been a misfit kind of Spring quarter. Despite terribly slacking on my gym regimen, I don’t think I’ve ever had so many commitments like I did since coming to Evanston. As per usual, I didn’t grow taller. But what I did enjoy was the sense of personal growth I felt. Leading African Students Association, doing fun classes and having a healthy social life was hard but achievable. No such thing as “a found balance”, but there is the acceptable purgatory between imbalance and balance. In light of my NYC obsession, I knew it was going to be hard discovering Chicago unbiased. Without my intro to photojournalism class, I would never have visited the Ukrainian village by myself unless a future date took me there. Nor would I have observed rather than depended on hearsay about the colorful neighborhood of Pilsen (the Latino-centric cove in Chicago). Looking back when I started out my sophomore year, I realized that in the wake of a somewhat disastrous first year I had to cultivate an ‘excited-for-school’ energy right from the nursery bed. It worked. Believing in our dreams, an insatiable attitude and diligent hard work is everything.
This summer I will be going back to my no. 1 home- Uganda, and INDIA- where I will embark on a journey documenting the lives of young Tibetan exiles in India with a friend from Uni. I am especially anxious about this holiday because it will be the first time since 2008 that I will be home for more than three weeks. I can majorly thank the blessings of God for bringing my family and I to this point of regularly celebrating life together. Shout out to my beautiful elder sister, Amanda, on her Civil Engineering degree. The future is bright, not only for Nigerian artists D’Banj and Don Jazzy who signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music label, but also for recent United World College grads. I wish more people knew about UWC. It changes lives- 2 years at time.
This past May, the Dala Lama said sayonara to political duties on behalf of the exiled Tibetan community. Now thousands of Tibetans, in and out of Tibet have to redefine their stance with or against China’s anti-independence policy for the northwestern province. My friend and colleague Dan Tham and I, will spotlight 4-5 young Tibetans living in northern India. We hope to investigate their perspective on Tibet’s fate: independence, middle-way approach or ‘I don’t care’. So, in the spirit of impartialness, here is further reading on Tibet’s history with China. Ceteris paribus, the final product of our month-long journey will be a video and photo documentary with an accompanying article. Presently, Im catching up on my Bollywood mania just in time to have pop culture convos with Indians on the roadside while eating much-criticized street food. Mil gracias to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, the Eric Lund Global Reporting Grant, Professors Antonio Terrone, Michele Bitoun and Brent Huffman, my family and The Guy Above on their support of our project. As we amass fans from the around the world, stay tuned for Nicole & Dan TV.
But first, I need to get on that flight to Kampala…