Asia Monet Hayes (2018) Lisbon, Portugal

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Recognizing how small the world is,creates comfort in life’s rare moments. Lisbon was everything that I hoped it would be while also being nothing that I thought it was. Arriving in the city I was awestruck, taken aback by the amount of energy generated by the city. The four days I spent in Lisbon gave me a lot of new experiences and the confidence in the ability for human connection. I have been energized with the necessary spirit needed for the next two weeks as I travel alone.

Praça do Comercio, Lisbon, Portugal

Being of the World

By chance I found Park also by chance Sara found me. Both of us sitting alone but spaces apart she asked me “você está sozinho?” When I said that I was there alone she said “good,me too!” From there we spoke about the city, university, and Megan Merkle. The conversation started with her original envy of an American actress marrying Royal and ended with her explaining life as a mixed race Angolan woman in Portugal and wondering what it was like in the US to be of African Ancestry with a lighter complexion. Then she asked “Do you like African music?”

B.Leza, Lisbon, Portugal
Angolan Band Performing at B.Leza

B. Lezaan African music venue and bar was my first taste of culture in Lisboa. Somehow the energy inside seemed multiplied by that on the street. When we arrived an Angolan band was playing while the crowd danced. I could feel the essence of other places I traveled with strong cultural ties to the people of Africa Despite the distance from home and language barrier I could sense the influence of Africa and its global impact. As in African American, I often fail to recognize the rich and profound impact Africa has had in the shaping of global cultural, it was something that I recognized as foreign. But on my second night in Lisbon I was reminded to engage with another part of my identity when Sara made a toast, “Cheers to being of the world and cheers to bringing you back to Africa”