Yesterday I took a trip to my small local grocery store and got a call from my best friend about her amazing time at the Women’s march in DC. She was giddy with excitement and we shared about our hopes and ideas and experiences participating in the actions of the day. As I left the store, a man who was checking out looked up at me and said “You’re so cute, so beautiful, what’s your name?” I looked at him but made no reaction and continued my phone call. He followed me out of the store and repeated the same line. I turned and said “I’m on the phone” and he said- loudly- “Oh, she’s too loud though, that’s too bad.” I was livid. I was almost to my car at that point but I turned back and approached him and said loudly: “You are incredibly rude. You are being extremely offensive.” His provocation had worked in getting me to talk to him so he went back to trying to be charming “You are so beautiful, so cute, what’s your name?” I repeated that he was being offensive and he said “No I’m not! I’m not offensive.” to which I shouted “It’s offensive if I’m offended!” Continue reading “It’s offensive if I’m offended”
At 10:30 pm on the night of March 7th, I woke up, crawled out of my sleeping bag and, in the light of my headlamp, put on almost every piece of clothing I had packed. This was the night that I would hike from here at base camp to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I was leaving with the “early group” in solidarity with some of the slower hikers and in an attempt to embrace what was going to be an extremely long climb at any speed. The darkness was intimidating, and I took in what little light I could see as I waited for the others to get ready. Looking down at camp, there was a soft glow from tents lit up like nightlights by the headlamps of other cold hikers within. The camp spilled out into a great valley that contains the city of Moshi over 12,000 feet of elevation and 4 climate zones away. The sky was clear and the crescent moon small enough that the stars shone brightly. I looked in awe at the Milky Way extending boldly into the horizon, the Big Dipper strangely upside-down, and while searching for the Southern Cross, I saw a shooting star. Then it was time to go.