Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Democratic National Convention: Day 2


A popular topic this year is the election for the next President of the United States. This year's election seems to be the most intense and most important election year to date. This year I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to cover the DNC through Motivos Magazine.

I am not here to display my personal views on the election but rather share my experience about my first day and how YOU can become aware and educated to make an informed decision on who you want as President.

[pictured above Kendrick Sampson at Youth Council Meeting]

Today was a VERY busy day! This morning I started off at a media briefing near Penn's Landing with Steve "Buzz" Thomma. This briefing included special guests like Congressman Xavier Becerra, a representative of California's 34th congressional district. He spoke to an intimate crowd of people. He introduced himself and gave his thoughts on this election.

After the briefing, I headed over to the Convention center in downtown Philadelphia to attend an NDN (News Democrat Network) event. At this event, I got to hear Ben Ray Lujan speak. He spoke about taking back the majority and how we need to get people engaged in voting to turn this election around. I also heard Scott Goodstein talk about the power of social media and the impact it has on political campaigning.

The NDN event was very long with a compilation of various speakers but I unfortuantely had to leave to go get my State ID. And you're probably thinking, what? But yes, I did in fact, get my State ID during the convention, I was told that I would need this to enter the Wells Fargo Center. It took two hours of my life and a lot of patience. I actually didn't end up needing it to enter the center, *sigh* but nonetheless I need my State ID anyway so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

After the DMV, I headed back to the convention center and attended a Youth Council meeting. There was a panel in which topics like policy and having a political voice. At this meeting, a special guest Kendrick Sampson, an esteemed actor, graced the stage. He spoke about being a Bernie surrogate and about he toured New York and California talking to college students about Bernie.

[pictured on right Samila Amany a Bernie delegate from California]

Later that day I got to go to the Wells Fargo Center. I was fortunate enough to have a Hall pass, which gets you into the arena. Being in the Wells Fargo Center is such a unique experience. With so many people of interest at this security was heightened to an all-time high. There was secret service, local police, state police and heavily armed police.

I got to the convention center just in time for roll call. All the states varied in their support in Senator Sanders and Secretary Hillary. As we know Secretary Hillary Clinton is now the nominee for president of the United States.

With Motivos Magazine we were only given four credentials, so two hall and two perimeter. Two of us went into the hall and the other went into a media tent that was outside. Three quarters through roll cal we decided we should check up. We go outside into the media tent right when a protest is going on. Just to clear up it took us a while to find the media tent.


Apparently, after Hillary was nominated Bernie Delegates marched out of the arena. Some got organized and broke into the media tent. When I arrived there were a slew of people sat on the floor with banners negatively portraying messages about Hillary Clinton. The general consensus was that the ideology of Bernie Sanders is what we should be striving for. Also many protesters wanted to voice their opinions about the DNC stealing the election. This definitely was the highlight of the night.

All in all day 2 was a success! If you want to be more informed about the upcoming election and if you're a democrat I encourage you to check out these websites.



Two down, one more to go!
(I took a day off to organize all the information I've gotten 
and to try to cohesively write a good article)

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Democratic National Convention: Day In The Life



A popular topic this year is the election for the next President of the United States. This year's election seems to be the most intense and most important election year to date. This year I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to cover the DNC through Motivos Magazine.

I am not here to display my personal views on the election but rather share my experience about my first day and how YOU can become aware and educated to make an informed decision on who you want as President.

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I live fairly closely to the convention, so I am traveling every morning to downtown Philadelphia. Today I attended the Hispanic Caucus, which is a meeting with political figures (that is open to the public) discussing important issues that need to be addressed in our country today. This caucus brought light to many things that are going on within the Hispanic community.


At this Caucus I got to see Rosie Perez, an accomplished Latina actress, who moderated a panel. The panel discussed several topics from immigration, zika virus and even the political state of Puerto Rico. As a Hispanic-American, this Caucus helped to educate me in areas that I wasn't even aware of.

One topic that was also discussed in the panel was about the distinct divide within the Hispanic Community. East Coast resides with a majority of Puerto Ricans and the West Coast with Mexicans. A point that was made numerous times, was that Trump is often criticized for calling Mexicans racial slurs. Within the Hispanic community, the divide comes with identity. Often times we are so attached to the nationality name that we forget that we are all in this together. 

We need to realize that when someone calls one Hispanic group a name, they are calling ALL Hispanics that name. We need to learn to mend this divide and address the key issues within our communities. This convention seems to strive to have a progressive message that strives for change.

Speaking of the Democratic message, I encourage you to look at the Democratic platform and learn about what the democratic party plans to reform, change and support.


Becoming informed about what your party stands for is crucial, knowing what you're supporting will make you informed person and ease your choice in who your are voting for.

I'll be back tomorrow, day one, three more to go!

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wanderlust

wan·der·lust
ˈwändərˌləst/
noun
  1. a strong desire to travel.



The summer of graduation, essentially the first summer of my adult life? I am left with an overwhelming feeling of wanderlust. I feel like I am obligated to travel and experience the world around me.

It doesn't help that in a social media driven world it is so easy for me compare with my peers and see that I don't lead much of a privileged life that allows me to travel to other countries. I only can live vicariously through Instagram posts and Snapchat stories.

I am however taking it one day at a time and discovering that I don't have to travel to a far distant land to enjoy my summer. Of course traveling to a far and distant land is preferred but not necessary. Countless times I have pointed out on this blog the importance of discovering your own hometown and finding everything it has to offer.

I recently just attended an event that was solely based around celebrating our town and all the amazing things it has to offer. A major street was blocked off near the town square. The street was full of local vendors in food trucks and stands. There were also two stages set up with live performers.

I had such a nice time with my friends and family walking around downtown, celebrating our city. Through this, I discovered new places to eat in my downtown area and I was made aware of some local issues. There were some political 'leaders' (not people running for a government position just local people involved with voting) who were handing out petitions and even voter registration forms, for community members to fill out.



Even though I won't be traveling to far away lands I will still be traveling this summer. This week I've already been to upstate New York to my college for three-day two-night orientation. I am highly anticipating this to be an eventful few days since this will be my first impression of the campus (yes, I accepted the admissions offer without visiting first).

Besides this being my first time in the town it was also the first time I interacted with my peers whom I will be living with for the next four years! I will do a blog post about orientations and I will also upload a list of what I brought and etc.

In late July I will also be attending a conference In Philadelphia! I can't say too many details yet (mainly because I don't know many of them) but it is very exciting thus far. This conference is a HUGE journalism opportunity and I am so excited for what results come from this.

If anyone else is having the fear of missing out (FOMO) on a great summer, don't worry! There will always be time to explore the world. Just remember that everyday is an adventure, you just figure out how your going to live it (at home on the couch with Netflix or outside in nature?).

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

On June 3rd 2014, this blog was born.


The past two years on this blog has been great. I feel that I have learned so much about myself and about the person that I am becoming. I have been able to develop my writing style through my various posts and I have been able to shape my content.

As I write about my personal life and things that I experience I hope to help others with their own personal journey's and allow them to know it's ok!

Although I have learned so much about myself I also learned about my values as I continued to write this blog over the past two years. My intentions started pure but in the end, I realized I wanted to make this a job and try to gain some revenue for my words. Instead of writing posts I would want to write things to gain traction to this site.

Honestly, it was a battle with myself because between school, church and extra curricular activities I always had this blog as a hobby NOT a job. Maybe in the future, I will invest money into a design and start boosting my rating by posting ads up on Google and Facebook. For now, this is just a blog for whoever wants to read it. And if you find value in my words please make sure to tell me!

Often times I find that I am writing to no one but I can see that someone is reading my content and if you are please tell me what you think, or where you're from or what I should write next! Any and all feedback is appreciated!

From now on I will continue to write posts wholeheartedly in hopes that whoever is reading is touched in some way; whether entertained by my stupidity or astounded by my bravery. Either way, I just want to write freely in hopes of someone reading.
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This summer I am making the transition from high school student to college student. From teenager to adult.

I can't believe that an age dictates what I can and can't do in life. 17 years old I had no legal responsibility but now as an 18-year-old there are so many possibilities. Just to reiterate, I live in the U.S. so the legal age to drink is 21, so I still have a way to go for that (but I'm not one to drink alcohol). But with being 18 in the U.S. I can register to vote and I already have an I am highly anticipating the election day this November. I can also buy lottery tickets and I can make my own doctor's appointments (which is always so exciting).

I can say I am not ready for paying rent or bills, inevitable things that come with being an adult and jut general responsibility. All this seems pretty scary, but I am glad I get some practice during college.

Speaking about college, I just recently came back from orientation and had the best experience. I got to have a taste of what being a college student is all about (but without stress of school or actual classes). I got to get a good feel of the campus and visited the campus store more times than I can count.

All in all, I am glad to have had these 2 years with this blog and I can't wait for what the rest of this year holds and beyond.

Live ~Laugh~Love 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

STORYTIME: I TRIED GHOST PEPPER HOT SAUCE

This is the true story of how I was TRAUMATIZED from eating this hot sauce. I will try my best to describe what this hot sauce tastes like and the effects that came along with it!


Just some background on this pepper, it is technically known as the Bhut Jolokia. This pepper is an interspecific hybrid chili pepper. It's grown in India in the regions of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

Now onto the story how I encountered this pepper in hot sauce form....

*Warning there will be many things in CAPS because I don't know any other way to express the severity of this situation*

So a few weeks ago my family and I travel to a local tourist hotspot about 15 minutes away from our town. We go here because although it is a tourist hotspot, the whole place sells products that are locally made.

This place is a commercial village. And what I mean by this is it is set up like a village town with different shops in one area (think of a shopping mall) but instead of dull, identical buildings with a sign outside. Each shop is like a small house with its own unique flair or theme to match the items being sold.

So one of the shops sells various meats and cheese's, similar to the deli section at your local supermarket but imagine that it is a whole dedicated to meat and cheese. Keep in mind that I did say it was village-like so the store wasn't HUGE. It was just larger than the small deli counter at a grocery store.

Anyway this commercial village is known for having tastings for all of their food products. Three shops in the village allow tastings; the olive basin, jam & relish shop, and the meat&cheese. 

So the meat&cheese shop had cubes of cheese and meat to taste with a cup of toothpicks next to the containers. They also sold various condiments in the store; syrup, bbq sauce and hot sauce. Stacked up on a wall lined up ready to taste were the condiments. 

I saw the hot sauce selection and decided to approach (bad idea). I thought "I love spicy food, this should be fun". As I approach the sauces I see next to them their are tortilla chips (which I later found out had been a fluke. they usually have small crackers instead of tortilla chips).

So the tasting setup had the hot sauce bottle, a saucer with the sauce on it and a small teaspoon to spread on the chip. Me being the 'lover of spice' I decide to try ghost pepper. Having little to no prior knowledge of this pepper (or without reading the hot sauce scale that the store had hung next to the sauces which I later discovered when it was TOO LATE) I decided it would be a god idea to add a whopping 5 drops of this hot sauce onto the chip (VERY BAD IDEA).

I proceed to put the chip in my mouth with the excessive amount of GHOST PEPPER SAUCE on it. Immediately after inserting it into my mouth I turned to my mother and told her it was even hot.

A MILLISECOND LATER MY MOUTH WAS ON FIRE.

This is TRULY the most horrific yet exhilarating experience I've had with food. As I said I before I love spicy food so in a weird way i did enjoy the hot sensation of the pepper but since I put such an excessive amount I was not prepared for what was next.

After the initial sensation of fire that was traveling down my esophagus, I started to feel the effects of the pepper. After consuming the chip and all it's contents of the hot sauce, my throat and mouth were DRY.

Furthermore, as I tried to ease the pain of the scorching feeling in my throat I took large inhales. Everytime air passed through my throat, it felt like someone had taken a grater to it and was grating at my throat every time I inhaled air.

SIMULTANEOUSLY, as I am trying to somehow regain some moisture back into my throat and mouth by taking large gulps of air, I begin to feel my face become hot and tears start to stream down my face.

These tears were not caused by the fact that the moisture had been sucked from my esophagus or that it felt like my throat was being grated to bits every time I took a breath. 

THESE TEARS WERE INVOLUNTARY. 

This was truly an out-of-body experience for me. Anytime that I have ever cried, it was triggered by something and backed up by an emotion. These tears came out on their own with no warning. This was truly a cry for help from my body. 

Recap: My face is hot, there are tears streaming down my face and it hurts when I breathe.

At this point I am trying to find something to drink or anything that will soothe my throat. Then miraculously the man from the shop says to try the farmer's cheese, he said "it will negate the heat from the sauce".

I probably looked like a mad woman trying to look for this cheese (mind you this is a cheese and meat shop there were alot of cheese everywhere). After a few seconds I find the cheese, take two toothpicks and get as many cubes of cheese that I can and stuff them in my mouth like it I the first time I've seen food in weeks. 

At this point I realize two things: I can't taste this farmer's cheese and that the cheese does NOTHING.

So at the moment I am trying to leave the store because breathing still hurts and it feels like I can't get enough air in my lungs. Every breath scratches at the back of my throat and I keep having to wipe away tears.

As I am trying to leave the store my mother ask me what cheese I tried earlier and if I could show her where it is so she can try it.

MIND YOU MY THROAT HURT AND I HAVE TEARS STREAMING DOWN MY FACE.

So I ignore my mother's comment and tell her we have to leave and find me water because I cannot breathe (and you can only imagine how much it hurt to say this to her).

THEN SHE WAS FIGHTING ME & STILL ASKING ABOUT THE CHEESE!!!

So with nothing left to do I object and tell my mother that we NEED to leave. my throat is on fire. Then I grab her wrist and drag her out of the store and walk/run over to the building next door which is a cafe.

I see a line forming (it was noon so most people in the 'village' were getting lunch) and leave my mother at the door and run to the cashier and beg her for a cup of water, slightly cutting infront of someone who was about to order. I must have looked as terrified as I felt me because she looked into my eyes and gave me a cup right away.

I run to the soda machine to find an older man taking FOREVER to choose a drink. I couldn't wait any longer so I sort of shoved him, filled my cup to the top with ice and poured in the water.

I CHUGGED ON THAT WATER SO FAST THAT I ALMOST CHOKED ON A PIECE OF ICE.

Once that cold water touched my lips I knew things would be alright. I drank two more cups of cold ice water after that and then sat down. The ice water was soothing to my throat. I eventually regained moisture in my mouth about 2 minutes after drinking 3 cups of water.

Despite what people say the iced water helped to soothe the burning but I did not regain taste until 5 minutes of having the water.

And that was my story of eating ghost pepper hot sauce.

Live ~Laugh~Love