#bannedbooksweek

Originally posted on They Will Climb The Walls:

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My #bannedbooksweek story takes place in Elementary School, 4th grade, when I learned that people ban books and a partial reason why.

I was that kid in school that asked the teacher to spend time in the library whenever the chance arose. I kept to myself throughout elementary school, and it was at its worst by 3rd grade. I was teased a lot, mainly name calling and sometimes physical violence that was looked over by my teacher. But I realized if I kept to myself as much as possible, I could go unnoticed by everyone for the most part.

During 4th grade, one of my only friends at school was my librarian which sounds pathetic, but it’s something I will never regret. At first blush, she was very intimidating. Looking back on when I met her now that I’m an adult, she seemed to hate children, hate her job, or…

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Pompeii Under Siege

Originally posted on Travel Tales of Life:

Pompeii

Almost two thousand years ago Pompeii, a bustling port of 20,000, fell silent to the power of Mount Vesuvius. Having been badly damaged in an earthquake 17 years prior, 30 feet of hot volcanic ash would silence the then unfortunate souls of Pompeii once and for all.

Today 2.5 million visitors rain down on Pompeii annually. As two of the curious onlookers at the grim scene we really can not point fingers at the potential extinction of the site from foot traffic and nature’s elements.

We felt as though a million or so tourists showed up the same day as we to the historic site. Under the blazing sun and dripping humidity we dodged swarms of tour groups. If you thought cycling in Rome might be dangerous try getting in the path of a tour guide herding his potential tip paying guests in ancient Pompeii.

Map 2 (Pompei)

1.Rome 2.Pompeii 3.Positano 4.Cortona 5.Montepulciano 6.Bagno Vignoni 7.San Casciano 8.Sorano  9.Orvieto 10.Camogli 11.Nice

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Being Foreign, or Why I Don’t Understand Mexico Part II

Originally posted on Soonest Mended:

By Robert Blakslee

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I’ve been living in Mexico for quite some time now. Life is good; my city is safe, rent is cheap, I like the food and it’s cheap too. But always and forever, in ways both obvious and subtle, I’m a foreigner, an eternal visitor. The only time I’ve been taken for a Mexican, to my knowledge, I was at a bar. It was very loud, so the girl mustn’t have heard my accent very clearly, and when I mentioned something about being an American (‘gringo’), she said something to the tune of, “Huh, you’re American? I thought you were just super ‘fresa’.” ‘Fresa’ literally means strawberry in Spanish, but in Mexico it means something like preppy, spoiled, and out of touch with reality. At the time I didn’t know this and thought she was saying I was very red.

But to be honest, as a foreigner I…

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In And Out of Place

Originally posted on Landscapes of Cairo:

This week features a piece by Sara Salem, a PhD scholar based in Cairo.

Throughout my life I have gone through different phases in terms of relating to where I am from or where I belong. Growing up in Zambia with an Egyptian father and Dutch mother meant that a restless feeling of not quite being settled was always part of my life. During my teenage years I remember this expressing itself as a dramatic quest to find out “who I am” and “where I belong”—something that should probably be attributed to the fiction I liked to read or drama shows I liked to watch rather than some universal human need to belong somewhere. I quickly grew out of that and the question didn’t seem to matter so much anymore. When I was 16, I moved to Egypt, when I was 22, I moved to the Netherlands, and for now…

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