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Winson Law

Winson serves as his school’s Student Body Secretary and co-leader of the Random Acts of Kindness Club. A dedicated student and member of the community, Winson is passionate about education, social justice, and leading a conscientious life. He grew up speaking a dialect of Chinese called Teochew and attended the School for Ethics and Global Leadership in Washington DC.

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It Takes a Bus

May 22, 2012

I was listening to music on the way to Downtown Seattle when a few seats away on the bus, I heard a rhythmic string of familiar words that someone once told me sounded like poured water over Spanish. In the usual way that I eavesdrop on the bus, I tilted my head to the four...

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Finding Faiths

March 28, 2012

Before coming to Brazil, I did enough research to find that the country is predominantly Roman Catholic, a legacy of Portuguese colonization centuries ago. Growing up in a Chinese Buddhist family, I prepared myself to be immersed in a faith I had little exposure to. In the months that I’ve spent in Bahia, however, I’ve...

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Finding Humor in a New Language

March 12, 2012

In the ongoing adventure to gain proficiency in Portuguese, there are times when I have to make the universal face of confusion and times when I really get a kick out of learning. Below are three accounts of my daily, hilarious trek through the Portuguese language. The Difference Between Puxe and Pull Besides the obvious...

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We Want Security

January 13, 2012

As I reach town square, I can already hear deafening announcements coming from the gargantuan stereos strapped to the top of a car painted in primary colors. Gathered around the car and the announcer donned in a cowboy hat is a converging crowd of townsfolk dressed in white, coming together for a community event. While...

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The Legacy of Freedom

November 14, 2011

After a rocky, bumpy thirty minute truck ride into the dry, arid Chapada Diamantina region, we finally arrived at our destination, a town called Ouricuri II. What seems like an average small town is actually a comunidade quilombola. These communities, scattered around the northeastern region of Brazil, are the legacy of fugitive slaves who ran...

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A Shock to the System

October 25, 2011

After 13 years of schooling, nothing could have prepared me for my arrival in my new community, Morro do Chapéu, for six-months. Brain-melting quantitative physics tests, school-wide performances of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and freezing cross-country meets have prepared me to meet the challenges of academics, art, and athletics. I could complete practice problems, practice in...

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Japonezinho

October 4, 2011

Back in the United States, people sometimes ask me, “what type of Asian are you?” This sort of question makes me believe that I am some sort of species, ready to be examined for my assumed virtuoso violin skills, mathematical prowess, and whether or not I eat with chopsticks every night. I tell people that...

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Commitments

September 13, 2011

I wear a frayed pink yarn bracelet around my wrist every day. It’s a reminder of the last night before all 56 fellows left for Ecuador, Senegal, and Brazil. That night,as often the case during Fall Training, we formed a circle for our final activity. In this closing ceremony, each person voiced a commitment that...

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Taking Candy From a Stranger

September 9, 2011

It’s hora pico (rush hour) in Salvador and we’re on our way back to the hostel. In the middle of city, as our bus stops, a man I’m sitting next to passes some centavos (Brazilian coins) to a street vendor and gets three pieces of candy. What is this guy doing? I think to myself. Before I know it,...

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The Mission

August 23, 2011

On a dreary, foggy day, a charter bus full of 57 Global Citizen Year Fellows tore through the Mission and Tenderloin neighborhoods of San Francisco. In an attempt to simulate urban poverty, Global Citizen Year provided each Fellow with only $5 and two other weary souls to venture through some of San Francisco’s most impoverished...

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Beauty and the Beast

July 5, 2011

When I was a child, if I disobeyed my grandparents, they would often threaten to “throw me out” so that I could live with some other, foreign family. With certain panic, I would eat every last grain of rice, obey my grandfather’s wishes, and clean up after myself. At that age, I locked myself into...

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