just here.


I’m so happy by the water.
So happy by the trees.
Unbothered by the Chinese security guard who talked to me for 10 minutes in Chinese that I could barely understand. Wô bù míngbái.
Not concerned with the stares.
Just here, enjoying God.

The grandparents they raise the babies. They teach them what the birds do. How they sound. What the say. They show them patience, sitting patiently while the fish leap, “yü”, a baby not few months over two calls out to the water.
They show them the beauty in walking along the path at a slow pace, admiring all that is here, sharing this space.
So many sounds.
The woman clapping her hands to circulate her old blood, still so young and alive.
Lineage is so evident.
Groups of adults play hide and seek behind trees and bushels too small to conceal them. But they still hide anyway.
Because its good to capture moments. it’s good to be free. It’s so damn good to laugh.

One of the few times I’ve gotten to see peace and feel it inside of me, just like I do when I’m in the confines of my own walls.

The clouds darken. The trees stiffen. And we are existing with a moving spirit.


shenzhen, china. silver lake.

shenzhen, china. silver lake.


to sum up one’s travels in words is a trying tasks that i’ve attempted a few times before. as i approach this entrance of a new phase of growth, i am challenging myself to do so.

Shenzhen, China is where I be. When I left America, so worried that I would miss my plane that I barely got to kiss my father and my little brother goodbye in the midst of tears I tried so hard to bite back – I didn’t have the clearest notion as to why I was coming to China for 10 months. It was easiest to say, “Why not?” when someone asked me why I chose to accept this opportunity. I’m young, free, educated and the world is mine. All true, but I was still lacking the concrete reasoning one would usually have before they packed up their things and moved to the other side of the world with a second language vernacular of about five words.

Jetlagged. When I entered a classroom of 20 perplexed Chinese junior high school students in Beijing in only my second day in China I started to ask myself “Lakin, what are you doing here?” . Needless to say, we were both thinking the same thing. 6 classes and 6 days later, it was clear to me. I was the first black person that these students had ever seen. Black woman, “dread”loc wearing, tattoo toting, lao shi (teacher), they had ever had.

and that is why I was there, why I am here.

Talk about bringing light to my life everyday? That’s exactly what they did. I wasn’t halfway prepared for the attachment I developed for my students. So now, a 24 hour train ride later I’m in Shenzhen, China in Longgagng District, resting my bones on my sofa as I try and wrap my mind around the reality of my responsibility to these children and all of the newness around me.