We made it, everyone! It’s finally Friday. I don’t know about you, but this week felt super busy and productive. After being away for a couple of weeks between work and personal travel, it was wonderful to have some time to put my life back together. M and I are also moving at the end of the month, so there has been quite the flurry of activity to get our packing done and affairs in order in the face of our work and travel schedules.
Time for another vacation.
Nevertheless, I still have three things to share with you today: a heavy but essential read on the plight of the Rohingya minority ethnic group in Southeast Asia, a more uplifting photo essay on a gorgeous hidden gem in the USA, and – of course – March Madness! Here are the things I’ve been loving lately:
1.) Humans of New York’s Journey through Southeast Asia
Many of you are probably familiar with Humans of New York, the photography project that began with a goal of depicting people on the streets of New York City and has since become an international phenomenon. Creator Brandon Stanton’s photographs and short, first-person captions provide an unparalleled glimpse into all of the heartwarming, thought-provoking, funny, messy, devastating, challenging, diverse, wonderful glory of the human experience. It’s a fascinating follow.
Brandon has taken a couple of international trips over the past few years, and I always appreciate the added perspective these new interviews and photos bring. Lately, he has been traveling through Southeast Asia and documenting the stories of people he has met on the streets of India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. It’s amazing to see how our life experiences can be so distinct across the globe but yet contain universal threads that defy geography, culture, age, religion, and any other way we have developed to define ourselves.
Within the last couple of weeks, however, Brandon has been sharing stories from inside a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. As you may know, the Rohingya are a mostly Muslim ethnic minority group who have endured horrific violence and persecution, which many have labeled as ethnic cleansing, in their native Myanmar. Hundreds of thousands have fled into surrounding countries, creating a massive humanitarian crisis, and now live in overcrowded camps that lack the most basic of services, sanitation, and infrastructure. The interviews he has posted are shocking, horrifying, graphic, and heartbreaking; they’re not an easy read – and don’t exactly fit into the category of “loving” that this weekly post usually follows – but they’re important and need to be shared. If you feel led to give to the relief effort, a GoFundMe campaign has also been set up to raise money to build more permanent homes for refugees before the monsoon season hits.
I first heard about Supai and the Havasu Falls last year, when a deejay from the morning radio show I regularly listen to mentioned his visit on the air. When one of my more well-traveled friends (he’s actually a flight attendant) posted photos from the falls a few weeks later, I knew this place was something special.
The above article from BBC Travel takes the form of a gallery and is filled with gorgeous photos and video that had me reaching for my hiking shoes and my phone to book a flight to Arizona. Supai is a small, ancient Native American settlement nestled inside the Grand Canyon and accessible only by air, foot, or mule train. In addition to the spectacular scenery of the canyon itself, nearby are the stunning Havasu Falls (pictured above), which are fed by an subterranean spring and plunge a hundred feet down into a clear, blue lagoon.
The area is definitely bucket list-worthy, but you might want to act fast since increased social media exposure has resulted in an uptick of visitors. As services and lodging are limited, booking far ahead is essential.
3.) MARCH MADNESS!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… if you’re a college basketball fan, that is! M lives for these next few weeks and is probably being the least productive he’s been in months at this very moment at work. (Unless you’re one of his coworkers, in which case he told me he was working really hard on that deliverable he owes you.)
Despite playing basketball in high school, I was never much of a college basketball fan. Since I started dating M, however, I have really come to love March Madness, especially the first few thrilling days of games. It’s so fun to watch, and I love all the underdog and Cinderella stories that go along with it.
As for my brackets, I have a pretty standard MO: I come out strong and shoot to the top of my pools, then subsequently plummet to the bottom. I have a strong track record of accurately picking upsets (still brushing dirt off my shoulder for choosing Harvard over Cincinnati in 2014), but since I don’t generally pay close attention to college basketball throughout the season I am usually terrible at choosing the teams that go all the way. With the Eagles Super Bowl run, work and personal travel, and our impending move, I am even more uninformed than usual, and it has definitely shown in my bracket thus far! I’m sitting solidly in the middle of our pool at the moment.
Thanks for joining me for another round of things I’ve been loving! Enjoy your weekend everyone – may your weather be great and your brackets un-busted!
What have you been loving lately?
How’s your March Madness bracket looking so far?
Did you miss Week 4? Check out what I was loving last week.