Talk to me. Not at me. Race Relate.

Handschlag - handshake
I met a lady of a different race and she says to me I have a headband like the one you have on. I love it but it just slides right off. I say when I straighten my hair, it does the same thing. She says to me in a shocking tone “Why would you ever want to straighten your hair? I wish I had hair like African Americans. I would never straighten my hair. I’d do all of that creative stuff you do like twist it, braid it, dread it…all of that!” I laughed and many times I have wished I had hair like yours until I learned to love the hair that grows out of my head. “Absolutely,” she says “There is nothing wrong with your hair. People should just get over it already.” 
Then we started to talk about life and come to find out she always wanted to be a fashion designer too and to be an actress. We talked about how we were discouraged from seeking out those dreams. I encouraged her to try acting and learn to sew. She encouraged me to to do the same and to keep writing and stop being afraid to submit the manuscript. We even talked about loving Memphis and we both said the only thing missing is the beach! We talked about how we have this underground but emerging arts scene. I told her there are auditions all the time in Memphis and gave her the Facebook site for one. You see, God causes the strangest things to happen in the strangest places. She says “We have much in common.” I said “Yes.” 
This reminds of how just last week I sat on a beach in Alabama and instantly bonded with three white women who were sitting next to me. We laughed so much until we were gasping for breath and could hardly get words out. We shared things, bits and pieces of our lives and we could all relate as human beings and women.
These things give me hope as it related to race relations. If we can just forget about what we see and TALK we would find out just how much we are a like and dispel the lies we have been fed by our parents, leaders, media and few bad experiences.
~Nikki

Shared Journeys: Panama

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Do you remember that time WE…and this is what makes shared journeys a lifetime memory. You never forget WHO you were with and what you did. You never forget the adventures you shared that you shared with others and the adventures you all keep a secret!!!

My first time getting my passport stamped with friends was when we traveled to the country Panama. It was exciting. The resort was amazing sitting on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Waking up to catch photos of magnificent sunrises, spending the nightfall on the patio listening to jazz as the moon played the waves like an instrument, then falling asleep to the soothing sounds of the oceans after dancing the night away.

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Our shared journey was made easy because the itinerary was created where everyone had an input as to what they wanted to do and we were all open to try or we had the option to sit it out and enjoy the resort activities. Even in the shared journey you had time alone. There was no pressure. I got up early to take photos and so did one of my friends, then I would go back to my suite and get ready to share a cup of coffee with my suite mate. And then the day would unfold.

 

Cruising the Panama Canal in a motor  boat made by the man steering it! Feeding monkeys on Monkey Island on the Panama Canal and learning things about the Canal you are not taught in school. Educational. I love to learn.

 

Meeting locals who live on an island in the Canal. These two girls were adorable. They travel to the main land by boat to go to the school.

Walking the streets with friends where guards are not allowed to smile on duty. Learning the history, culture, and the architecture is something we did together. Oh and trying Geisha Coffee for the first time. P.S. I love history.

Winding our way to the harbor and the fish market. Eating ceviche for the first time! A beer tasting was certainly in order.

Rooftop relaxations and libations. Toasting to the good life and Panama nights!

Shared journeys are a blessing.

~Nikki