Monday, July 12, 2010

"It feels so good to be alive"

In this picture I'm flying through the air at Healing Odyssey, an amazing retreat for women cancer survivors. I'd never wanted to swap cancer stories with anybody else. Ew, right? But on this weekend in the hills above Santa Barbara, I met a posse of remarkable women, and far from finding them depressing, I came away with a sense that if they could thumb their noses at cancer, so could I. A highlight of the weekend was the Ropes Course, where we were invited to challenge our fears by walking out to the middle of a telephone pole suspended 25 feet in the air. I aced the assignment. I can manage heights, and my balance is good. But it was still a challenge to let myself fall backward and be lowered to earth. That smile on my face in the photo? Not entirely genuine. I was trying to match my expression to the fact that my teammates had cinched my harness so tight, I couldn't straighten my legs. But really, who cares? It feels so good to be alive. Everything else is an asterisk.

-Anne Stockwell, cancer survivor and superstar

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Life On The Razor's Edge

I work for Gary's Knife Sharpening and I am a knife cutier. But I'm happy with just enjoying the right now, the present and celebrating it. Connecting with people. I like good food and animals and laughter. I dont know. Hope, love faith. All of that. I start to think about... I try to notice my thoughts and if they are true or if they are just 'what if-ing'. You know when you start to let your mind take control and it goes haywire. So the things I dont know, it's fine. Be here now. Then i try to do something special and try to turn my focus on to what does make me feel good. Like hiking. I'll go hiking. I go to Runyon Canyon I have lots of dog friends so I'll go hiking with them. Grab a dog, go up a trail and have fun. Outdoors and I try to hook up with friends all the time and we just share and relate. Creativity makes me happy.

AK: What got you into knife sharpening?

"Well I was living in Minnesota and I wasnt happy. On paper it looked good, but it didnt unfold that way. So I knew Gary and he wanted to expand his business but he needed someone he could trust and he said, 'why dont you come back to LA and become a knife sharpener?' And I already wear a lot of different hats so why not knife sharpening? I dont just do this, but I like the farmer's market environment and I like the whole philsophy of foods and people. So I like those aspects and there are others things I do that make me happy."

- Christine, Los Angeles originally from Ohio

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Feline Fancy

Is watching videos of cats on YouTube an acceptable answer?"

-Molly Lambert, 26 from LA

"Defining Myself For Myself"

Being good to myself. And by that, I don't mean pampering my body at the spa, exercising or eating the healthiest food all the time. I mean forgiving myself, not judging myself, letting myself live by my own rules, letting myself decide when and if the rules should change and knowing that 'doing my best' every day doesn't mean being the best every day (or maybe ever).

Even if I fall short of what I expect, I don't punish myself.

The knowledge that I'm on a journey and it's completely my own, unique, completely average and, yet, enormously special and meaningful makes me happy. Knowing that everyone else, judging me, as they are, by their own journey's rules, cannot know what's right for me, makes me happy.

I spent what seems like a lifetime trying to live by others' rules and abide by the world's collective definition of being valuable, intelligent, capable, etc. Well, actually, it was the United States' and New York City's version of those things.

Now that I'm 'defining myself for myself' - to paraphrase Audre Lorde - I feel like I've walked out of Plato's cave and discovered the ideal.

The Song of the Sannyasin says 'thou art that' and it means that we're all part of one living, breathing life and are never separate, never more or less than that. I see that this is true and it's this knowledge, and meditation on it, that, ultimately, makes me happy."

- Melody Wells, 28 and an aspiring nonprofit communications leader/nanny in NYC (with her mom as a little girl and now)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Enjoying the Blessings that God has Given Me

To answer your question happiness is a state of being and a choice. I chose to be happy by enjoying the blessings that God has given me. I am happy in marriage (love), happy being a mom, and happy being me!

Happy in marriage looks like this. I expect Tyson to add to my happiness and not MAKE me happy. I love me totally and that allows me to love him and accept his love. We are imperfect people so I am happy with him and his flaws and expect him to be the same with me. I am not trying to change him to make me happier, I will accept and love the changes that he makes in his life. I love being married to Tyson and when I add to his happiness mine increases and vice-versa. He can’t take my happiness away unless I allow him to.

Being a mom automatically can raise your level of happiness. My day truly begins when my kids wake up and I see their first smile of the day. I love when I do little things to make them laugh! God gave me the best kids for me. Even when they are driving me crazy, I can still smile and be happy that them little jokers belong to me. LOL! I think that being a mom has made me appreciate the little things that I might pass by because I am too busy most of the day. My kids make me happy!

I am happy being me. I am a true DIVA no matter what the world might say or think. Others may look at me and see an overweight, gap toothed, loud, black woman and guess what, they are right. I am comfortable in my own skin. I do not let the world determine my worth. I am valuable because I say that I am. If people chose to stay away from me because of a preconceived notion or prejudice, then they miss out on the pleasure of knowing me. Not my fault. LOL! I know what I bring to the table and if you want to sit and feast then come on. If not, your presence or lack thereof does not make me happy nor break my happiness.

I know that is more than what you might need, but that is where I am today when it comes to my happiness."

- Genny Moore, Los Angeles preachers wife and mother of three whose laugh is just as infectious as her love of the Lord.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kabbalah's Key to Happiness

At the end of the day, the key to happiness is taking ultimate responsibility for your reactions to all of your experiences - the good and the chaotic. Whatever enters into your life is something you have to fully own.

Even if an event in your life doesn't make sense in the context of this life experience, you have to accept that it's a lesson you need to learn from. It may even be a lesson held over from a previous incarnation.

Today, remember that fully understanding and accepting responsibility is the only way to find happiness, fulfillment, and your purpose on this journey.

-Daily Kabbalah Tune Up: Key to Happiness (Thanks to Amber Knowles "shooting happy people makes me happy."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sweet & Savory Smiles

I don’t know what make me happy. I do this every day. For eight months I have done this, make pancakes. I do to make money. My favorite is the egg and coconut but most popular is banana and nutella. I don’t know why. But people are happy around me when they come for pancake. Maybe they drinking, maybe not, but they happy with my pancake.”

Aung, from Burma (aka Mayanmar) now working in Ko Samui, Thailand
[transcribed using his exact diction and grammar]

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mountains and Mary Jane

What make me happy? Um, location. Location. Natural. I rock climb. I am a rasta, and I like to climb. I live in Ton Sai, just three year. I like everything in Ton Sai, good for rest and climbing. That’s it… it’s relaxed. Here is better, more than Phi Phi. Phi Phi is like a city, it’s different here in Ton Sai and Maya Beach. It’s relax. Tonight, I am jam with my friends at the end of the [rock climbing] competition tonight. I’m going to jam and watch with them then what’s going on next year, I would like to know. I compete this year and did good.

[Later in the evening, I spotted Tong with friends at an outdoor restaurant bar.]

“This make me happy. Marijuana. Yes, make me happy.”

- Tong
30, rock climber from a town 4 hours south of Bangkok (interviewed him on Railay beach in Krabi, Thailand during the Krabi Rock & Fire International Contest)

"I Honestly Don't Know"

I honestly don’t know what makes me happy. I’m still looking for it. I’m not very proactive like I don’t really deserve happiness because I haven’t really looked for it. I think everyone deserves it, but it’s a very philosophical question. I thought about the same thing a little while ago and I asked a lot of my friends to describe their happiness on a scale of 1 to 10 because I would have to describe mine at about a 6. A lot of people instinctively told me they are like at a nine or whatever, but I managed to talk to them a little bit and I managed to bring their score down a little bit by asking them if they were really sure if they were happy or not. I put a lot of doubt in people’s minds. There’s a sort of knee jerk reaction to tell me they were happy but when I asked them to tell me what was making them happy (their job, their social life, their romantic life) and I think those three things are the main things to think about when you answer the question. But when you look at those things, people started to change their answers. My friends thought they were happier than what the really were. I don’t know if I should be so honest with a stranger with a Dictaphone but like I was quite unhappy like maybe two years ago and I’m better now, but I was major depression. I was clinically depressed. I went to see a counselor for a while but even that was fucked up because it was like a counselor in Thailand and he’s got like certificates but I don’t know if he’s the real deal or not. But I think I like talking about myself. Also it’s quite expensive to get a therapist in a city like Bangkok. Then that contributed to the depression, the expense of it all. Then after my hour was done, he was like ‘okay, see you next week’ and he didn’t really care that I had just opened up and talked to him. So it was hard, especially being in another country. So then I started talking to a lot of my friends about it and they are really good friends but not everyone wants to know that shit. People have got their own problems. It’s tough. The best advice my therapist gave me was to exercise more because that releases whatever chemical in your brain that produces whatever chemical that’s supposed to make you happy. That was good advice. I did that and I started to feel myself getting better. Now I’m slipping a bit because I was getting happier and stopped working out as much. It made me happier and last year was the best year I’ve ever been in and I felt happier. Now I’ve let it slip so I have to get back to exercising.”

-Jimmy, 31
Teacher from Scotland, living in Bangkok for 5 years

Friday, April 16, 2010

Choices: Endless Breadsticks or Salad

I’m trying to figure out what happiness is because I’m in a similar position [as you] because it took me 8 years to get through college. And everything I’ve done has been not because I wanted to do it, but because I’ve been impacted by someone in my life. The reason I went to Madison was for a girl. The reason I stayed as in spite of her. I’m traveling now because I met Amanda at Olive Garden, over breadsticks and endless salad. It’s not because I’ve made the decision but because of other people in my life. I’ve done so many random things so where I’m at today isn’t because of anything I’ve decided to do it’s because of the people in my life. I think that’s awesome. There are things that I think I should want, or things that I think I should have or places that I think I should go and places I should be in a month from now, a year from now, 10 years from now but it’s probably not going to happen the way I want because of other people that are going to impact my life. I look back at five years ago or 10 years ago at where I thought I was going to be and it’s not even close. So where I was going with that was I think that happiness for me is having options. Having the opportunity to make a choice. Some people get into a position in their lives where they say ‘okay, I have a family, I have to go to work, I cant quit my job because I have to put food on my table, I have to put a roof over their head, I have to save money for their college.’ So they have no choices. They cant quit their job, they cant do the things that they want to do. Like right now, if I wanted to I could say, ‘Hey Amanda, this has been fun you go do your thing, and I’ll go do my thing.’ That’s because I’m in a position to do that. Amanda and I can make the decision to go to Australia next. We were talking about that in the room like ‘What should we do next?’ Go to Australia, Europe, northern Thailand? Or when I get back, I can go travel again, or I can grow my business or I can pick up and move, I can sell my business. I have choices, I have options. I think that’s really what brings you happiness because you’re not so wrapped up. That’s why people don’t have happiness because they don’t think they have an option they don’t think they have choices. They think that they have no control.

Happiness is free shots.

Money isn’t happiness. But having options allows you to be happy. And Olive Garden."

-Erik Ikhoff, 27
Entrepreneur running an ATV, Jet Ski, Snowmobile business from Madison, Wisconsin backpacking through Thailand
[pictured with Jenny from Liverpool]

Liverpool for Life

Liverpool football club winning the league, the champions league and every game they ever play. When Fernando Torres scores a goal, love it. He’s the best footballer. He turns men gay, basically. That’s how good he is. I watch all the games. I got to all the games when I’m in England, but when I’m not there, I’m here, I still watch at the pub. I try to watch them. Also, today is the day that my best friend is going to give birth, she’s having it via cesarean and she’s due right now. Baby Isabella. So this is a very special day. Today is also a very special day for Liverpool football club, because 21 years ago there was an FA cup game and Liverpool went down and then 96 football fans died, so every year on the 15th of April at 3:06 we have one minute of silence. Most of the reds and all big football fans remember it because it was a hell of a tragedy. Liverpool is big in my life. There are two teams: Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves. Whoo-hoo. It’s just the A and B team. There’s another team, but they aren’t as good. Our biggest rivals are Man[chester] United, we hate them. I take it very personally when Liverpool wins, and when they lose. Oh yeah. It’s a very big deal for me. I get so moody if they lose. Depression hits over me. They really make me happy. My favorite day last year was when Liverpool beat Manchester United and we done a march and I was there with all me friends and it was great. I was so happy, we all were. My football friends we all there and so were my other friends. I’ve got two sets of friends and they were all there and we all came together. I’m so happy. I’ve thought about leaving Liverpool [for good], but I’d miss me friends and me football. So no, I wouldn’t leave.”
- Rhian, 28
A nurse from Liverpool, England traveling through India, Nepal, Thailand and Laos

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Paper Chase

We fly high, No Lie ,You notice(BALLIN!)
Foreign rides, outside, its like showbiz (We in the building)

We stay fly, No Lie ,You notice (BALLIN!)
Hips and Thighs, Oh my, Stay focus
- Jim Jones, "We Fly High" lyrics

In this pic I swear I'm rolling in doe, but unfortunately these are Zambia Kwatcha... for those of you who are like, 'huh?'. Kwatcha is a currency that has the exchange rate of about 4500 kwatcha= $1 USD. Lordy!

So in this stack of cash that I'm fanning, there's probably about $3.57.

Here's a Five Billion Dollar Kwatcha Note!!!

How's that for happiness?? Makes me think of all the times we "floss", "stunt", "get our shine on" with money, when it really means nothing. It's worthless. I am very guilty of this myself, so no pointing fingers here (Redz and BFF's, remember my obsession with Gwen Stefani's "Rich Girl"). The import we place on a piece of paper. Something to think about... for ME to think about.


"Don't worry, man"

Meeting new people. This is my job, I love it because I love meeting people. That’s what makes me happy. Yeah, man. As soon as people put a smile on my face, I put a smile on their face. I’ve had everyone in my van and everyone is the same to me. I treat everyone the same. I don’t treat you different about anybody else. I just treat everyone on the same level. Like what’s the use, I’m going to treat you different than I treat the other person and all the money is the same. I don’t worry. I take every day at it’s merit. I’ve always been this way, I don’t know. Don’t worry man. I don’t think about ‘eh, what am I going to do tomorrow.’ No. Tomorrow will come. Even if I go home with 100 Rand in the morning, I just say thank you because I know that that was put out for me that day. It wasn’t put out that I was to make 10,000 rand and I only made 100, no man, it doesn’t work like that. The other day you say ‘come paraglide with us’ and I said no. There was a reason for that also, I told you that also. I could have [skydived] if I was another type of person. But you, you work for that money for your holiday. You worked for it, you put it away, that is not my holiday. And at the end of the day you’re going to spend it on me? Which isn’t right. I didn’t work for that money, you did, not me. So, you must spend it as you wish. Not on me! Another driver told me, ‘eh, you’re mad. Why didn’t you go for it?’ But me, I think a little bit further than that. These two sisters [me and Naima] worked hard to make that money, who knows how long they saved to get this money together to see the other side of the world. I cant do that. I don’t want you to waste your money on me. I don’t want you to regret for that to happen in your life. At the end of the day, you are going to be responsible for what you did with your money. I can waste all your money for you, you wouldn’t know, but I’m not like that. I never take advantage because I don’t like people to rob me, just like I don’t like to rob people. It’s just working hand in hand. If I rob you, what am I going to gain out of it? I’m not going to gain nothing from that. At the end of the day, I’m going to lose more than what I robbed you of. If I rob you of 10 Rand today, I could lose 100 Rand in the next day. It’s gone. It isn’t in my faith, my faith also tells me this but as a person, I am an individual myself. That is how I was… I always try to think fot he easy, short way [to drive clients]. Other taxis can take the long way and drive around and you wouldn’t know, but no. I go the short fast way. It’s not my money to waste. It’s tough life, it can get tough for you and you can create it yourself. If you do good to others, others will do good unto you. That’s how I take it. Merit every day on it’s own. If there isn’t money tomorrow, I just go home empty handed. I’m okay. I just say thank you. I had a job. I had a job to do, I did my job to the fullest of my capacity. I go home, I’m happy. Here’s your money, I don’t owe you a cent. I’d rather go home without money, but I’m not going to keep 10 Rand or 15 Rand in my pocket and say ‘I’m short 10 or 15 rand.’ You know how many guys do that? It doesn’t work in this life. You gonna cheat people? You’re cheating yourself.

[AK: Are you like this in your marriage? So easy going.]
Marriage is how you make of it. If you got your trust for each other and your love for each other, what is there else you need? You must work on marriage. Marriage isn’t every day the same. My wife and I, we sort it out in the bedroom and that is where it stays. Then it’s finished, it’s done. We don’t talk to friends and it goes from this story to that story and it gets big story. Then you don’t know where did that story come out… then the story is so massive and everybody is bad mouthing you. He told them this story and she told them this story. Nah-uh, it doesn’t work like that. If I see there is a problem, I say to her ‘what is this? This isn’t right.’ We fix it. She say ‘okay, let’s try it like this.’ If it works out that way, then okay, happy. Now we settled. We don’t go on tomorrow… she just leaves me alone. If I come tonight to her and say ‘I have got a job doing this thing.’ She’s not going to say [yelling] ‘why, you didn’t ask me?’ No, she’s just going to leave me because she knows I know what’s better for me. And I’m not going to do it for me, I do it for her and my daughters. I’m doing it for me alone. She trusts what I’m doing, and I trust her whatever. If she wants to go out with the kids, go. Here is the money, just go. They are independent. If I go to work, she don’t call me every two minutes ‘where are you? What you doing?’ no, they don’t worry about me. At night they will SMS me ‘how you doing?’ That is how it should be.”

47, Cape Malay Taxi driver, Cape Town, SA

[transcribed using his diction and smiling at his unique Afrikaans accent]
NOTE: This is Naima and Sedick right before we went skydiving. He stayed to cheer us on and take pics. :)

"We are really one as a family"

My wife makes me happy. You know what makes me happy: my family. I come from a family of 10. And brought up by mom only, yeah, because dad died when I was just six months old. So mom managed to bring us up, managed to take everyone to school, and she made sure that I had to complete school. That’s why she went back to the village when I started working. So our first born, by that time my dad was dying, my sister was older she was in college and when dad died she helped. She helped everyone who was coming to the hospital because she was in nursing school. She helped my mom also. So we all help each other. We are all used to help each other. So we all know working together. So when we come as one, there is an occasion, that is the time when I feel we are really one as a family. That is what make me happy. I have nine brothers and sisters. I am the last. So everyone look up on me and make sure I am okay. I feel very good about my family. There are families that…which are not organized, they are quarreling and they are enemies in the family. But our family, I think mom made us just to be like, I don’t know… Yes, my mom is still alive. She is now…she was born in 1934, so 76 this year. I am now 36 and I will be 37.

I am married with three sons. I wanted to have more [children] but our economy is not good. I thought I was going to have two children, so when I had my first son, I thought I was going to have a girl next. But it was a boy. So we stayed in Livingstone a little while longer thinking we would give it another try, it was another boy. So now I’m done. I wanted a girl. So I don’t think I will have another child. My wife is my only girl. She is the only one and I am keeping four nephews. So only boys. Three sons and four nephews who live with us. My work does work, she works on the boat, I don’t know if you went for the cruise. Yes. She works on the African Queen [dinner cruise boat], she is one of the waitrons there. So, this makes me happy. Especially keeping my boys. I am a soccer fan and my boys play. My first born is a very good soccer player, so he plays in the under 16 [league]. So I usually go to watch him play. I’m a supporter for Manchester. All of my three boys are supporters for Manchester, so during those games, yeah. I get off work at 5. [When I get home] mostly just watching television, mostly just sport. Because in my house, even my wife, because she used to play soccer, so she likes soccer so much. So when you put another channel, because I like CNN to watch the news, but then ‘no, no, no’ because there is a soccer game on. Then my other boy, my nephew, likes basketball, so on ESPN, because there is always mostly basketball so we watch. I think my family makes me so happy. I like my life. To change? I don’t think of changing to anything, just want to travel somewhere. That is my dream, that is America. I want to travel to see America. That is what I really want to do. That’s where my heart is, to see America. I think I can try to do that. Maybe after the kids are gone. My first son is 15 born in 1994. The nephews are all old. The biggest one is now 18, there’s one finishing this year. Yeah, my family.”

-Eliko Phiri, 36
Livingstone, Zambia

[transcribed including his diction]

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dalai Lama Weighs In

Researchers on human happiness identify compassionate service to others as one of the key characteristics shared by many of the world's happiest people. To me this makes perfect sense."
--excerpted from the intro to the 10th anniversary edition of The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
**Shot out to Thailan Pham. xox

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Chicken Bone Makes Everything Better

Even cheetahs cant deny a drumstick dinner! My kind of Acinonyx jubatus (that's latin for cheetah!)

- Cheetah Outreach in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Finding Perfection In The Flaws

Happiness is realizing that everything I thought I knew is completely WRONG. It’s happiness because I am pleased to know that I don’t have all of the answers and that I haven’t finished growing.

Happiness is meeting a new person that I have more in common with than the law should allow. Were we brothers or sisters or married in a past life?!

Happiness is being rejected and realizing that I am perfectly made. Everything ain’t for everybody.

-Myleik, Atlanta resident, Inglewood O.G.

Monday, April 5, 2010

You Make Me Happy

Seeing you all of here in South Africa. Seeing people come to South Africa. Happy people in South Africa make me sleep good. Seeing my family makes me happy. I have worked here since in 1971. I started at Moyo in 1971. In 1971 as a wine steward on the floor. Almost 30 years. After school, I came here and I took the wine courses and I loved it. At the time we only had three or four wineries and I came here. I am 57 this year, in December. I am a grandfather. I have 8 grandkids and when I get home I cant rest. I come home late and they are sleeping but they always say, ‘Granddad, what did you bring me? What did you bring me?’ That makes me happy. I work for them. My oldest grandchild is 9 years old, my youngest is 7 months old, she’s a baby, not even a year. They make me happy and seeing people come to South Africa and see my home. That’s happy to me.

-Wine tasting host, Spier Winery and Moyo Restaurant in Stellenbosch, South Africa. 57.

I'm Going to Smile, Damn It!

You know, happiness is a feeling, it’s a state of being. It has nothing to do with the outside world. I think many people confuse happiness with instant gratification. Those two are not the same. I am really going through some things, a lot of transition in my life. Today my wife is packing up her things and moving back to the states, it just wasn’t working. Actually, this may be too much, but I started a relationship with her best friend. So, I am staying here for a bit and she is going back to the states as she was always flying back there anyway. I am from here but I lived in Los Angeles for some time as I was in films and distribution. But the point is, my job situation is limited out here and thus there is a lot of transition in my life. I am now doing investment banking and opportunities are somewhat limited here in Cape Town. But you know what I started doing? I just walk around with a smile. It’s odd because I will smile and other people will look at me and wonder why I am smiling and it’s contagious you know. I am seeing a woman now who is sad a lot of the time. I would say she’s happy about 10% of her life and she’s younger than me. But it’s about your mindset and your feeling inside. I have made it up in my mind that I am going to be happy. Whether that’s a walk along the beach or reading a good book, or simply smiling when I have nothing to smile about. I will be happy and that’s up to me, no one else.

Mark, SA native, 54

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"I am simple, how do you say?"

(Deep breath) I don’t know how to answer. For my life, what makes me happy? The first thing that makes me happy, is to put a ring and that I’m going to be stay with someone. Not my cousin, not my friend. I want to stay with someone. First my girlfriend, then she become my wife. After that, to play and have children. I’m happy right now I’m working, I’m happy. I don’t drink, maybe sometimes I might try to drink. I don’t really drink. Sometimes, I smoke if it’s cold, only one or two cigarettes. But if there is too much stress or too much thinking, I just smoke some weed. Not every day, just when I have problems.

ME: So all of these things make you happy? Anything else?
You ask me this question, and I want to tell you that I love you. But maybe I should just say I like you. I want to be your friend. But if, if something happens, I would like it.

ME: I'm flattered, but I'm not really looking for a long distance boyfriend. But you're very in touch with your emotions, that's rare.

I have worked here for three years, I see every kind of traveler from Nigeria, Australia, America, I just feel in me that if there is some connection then I must tell you. I cannot hold it in. That’s why I love it here in South Africa. I speak French, I am a French man. I’m just here to pay rent, save some in the bank and see the World Cup. My family has money in the Congo, but I just wanted to come here. So I like working here. I learn a lot, I meet a lot of people. Five days a week, I am here. Monday and Tuesday are my only days to sleep. But I like it. I learned English here. I didn’t take classes, I didn’t have the money, but I learned here by working and working. When I am home, I like to play Sega and Nintendo or I go to the park. I don’t have a lot of friends here in South Africa, it’s just the managers here and the crew who works here. Some of my friends from the DRC are here, so I will see them. I am simple, how do you say?"

-Doudou, hostel evening shift worker in Cape Town from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 21 years old.