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

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…

22 May, 2012

Finding Faiths

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…

28 March, 2012

Finding Humor in a New Language

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…

12 March, 2012

We Want Security

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…

13 January, 2012

The Legacy of Freedom

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…

14 November, 2011

A Shock to the System

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…

25 October, 2011

Japonezinho

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…

04 October, 2011

Commitments

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…

13 September, 2011

Taking Candy From a Stranger

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,…

09 September, 2011

The Mission

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…

23 August, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

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…

05 July, 2011

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Winson Law