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"One, two, smile"

|Author: SuKyong|

I just heard that my flight from Paris to London got canceled. However, I still have a flight from London to Seattle which means I need to figure out the way to get from Paris to London. Although I spent 3 hours trying to figure out the flight, I still do not know what I can do. I tried to sit down, telling myself that everything is fine although coronavirus gives me real hard time. No matter what, I would be back in Seattle after one month. I'm going back to Seattle.

These days, I feel weird. I am excited about the final product of my team’s GCIL project. Although it is unpredictable what it will be like, just thinking of individual teammates' hard-work makes me believe it will be a meaningful product. On the one hand, it has been amazing to find such talented teammates committed to the project for one goal: creating a positive impact on society. On the other hand, I am worried about going back.


Besides studies, I am stressed about my visa, jobs, and future. Everything that I spend my time and energy on will be again all about me, and to secure my safety. Not like here, instead it will be difficult to purely work for grand challenges, but more about my challenges. It makes me sad, and maybe 'depressed' would be the better word since it is a stronger word than sad.

These past few days, I took photos of each worker’s smiling face who is working for a segregating dry waste recycling center-a total of 58 people’s pictures. I went to the individual worker’s place and pointed my iPhone's camera and said, "Photo. Photo." When they shook their head side by side, I bent my knee to put the camera at the same height with their eye and shouted, "One, two, smile!" Then she/ he smiled at me and posed for the photo. Fortunately, the pictures came out nicely and looked amazingly good. Rachel and I tried to put them on the window so that the workers can see their pictures on the way of going back home. When they looked at the photos of themselves, some women workers covered their mouth with two hands and talked to each other standing in front of their pictures for a while. When I looked at them being happy and going through each photo, I got emotional without specific reasons. Their beautiful smiles and eyes touched me. I had never taken pictures that had this much meaning.

I went back to my Instagram story that I wrote about the insight of the elite courses. ‘However every single time when I took my journey out of the perfect ideal way, the unexpected moment made me thousands of new ways to achieve my true goal.’ I remember I wrote this after meeting a woman who told me that I need to figure out my life, such as visa, job, and future, first-before thinking of society and heading to India. However, I am here in the GCIL program. Every day is a blessing-a day that I can feel alive in and happy. So today, although there are a lot of concerns, I will just shout, "One, two, smile" and take a photo of the best moment.


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