All in Reflections

Hi, My Name is Joe...

Before beginning my service, I had a conversation with one of my aunts who is an educator in Los Angeles. I vaguely remember discussing the challenges of teaching but I definitely didn’t fully grasp the weight of that reality. So, now, nine months into my teaching career, I am happy to report that teaching... is really hard. Really, really hard.

Twese Hamwe (All of Us Together)

My mouth dropped  as I scanned the first chapter of our new language books. Kinyarwanda, which is spoken by all 12 million of Rwanda’s inhabitants, is a beautiful and multifaceted language. The jaw-dropping moment occurred because of a connection I realized between the nature of the language and the nature of Rwandans themselves.

I Almost Ate a Rock

Somewhere in the midst of the beans and spinach, my teeth met something unrelenting and removing the obstacle I discovered, with some consternation, that I had almost swallowed a tiny rock. The rock-eating incident was evidently an omen of things to come because the road got tougher from there.

25 x 25 (Five Decisions I Made)

2017 took me to Houston to visit a first cousin once-removed where I saw pictures, family bibles, and heirlooms some dating back to the mid 19th century. I trekked down to the Georgia Archives where I discovered a 3x great-grandfather who went from being a slave in Cobb County to a landowner shortly after emancipation. And, in May, I flew to San Diego where I filled in many missing 'leaves' from my dad's side of the tree.

25 x 25 (Five Books I Read)

My last several birthdays have occurred at pivotal moments of change in my life. My 21st birthday took place a few months before I moved to Boston to start graduate school. My 22nd birthday took place in Ghana where I was completing an internship.

Elegy for a Friend

“What does it take to write a book?” I asked. It was the Summer of 2015 and I had just moved in to the Brookline basement of 27 Monmouth Court a few weeks prior. I felt obliged and curious to ask given that one of the few things I knew about the man sitting across from me was that he was the author of 18 books.