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Kirsten 2017-06-09T20:34:40+00:00

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Kirsten

Day 24 | What Now?

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Day 24 | What Now?   “It is a happiness to wonder; it is a happiness to dream.” -Edgar Allen Poe “People will continue to do what is comfortable to them, but I think reaching out and trying to provide education can help. I am hoping that is what I can offer leaving this experiment, along with more understanding for the millions that live like this every day, and a greater sense of agency to do something about it.” Question Set 2, Interview 7: Saf Has this experience changed or affected your definition

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Day 21 | You Seven Are My Desert Odd Kin

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Day 21 | You Seven Are My Desert Odd Kin   Question Set 2, Interview 5: Jack Has this experience changed or affected your definition of happiness? If so, how? “It hasn’t really. I think I defined happiness quite a while back. This fits in to my idea of happiness, but it hasn’t changed it.” Can you rate your current happiness level 1-10, 1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest, and explain why you feel this way? “I would say 9. I would say 9 because this is the first time since

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Day 19 | Living With the Heat

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Day 19 | Living With the Heat   We have finally hit the time of year where the days are hot and they show no signs of cooling back down. Out here, our days hover around 110 degrees and there is little relief. Most of us have started sleeping outdoors since it is cooler at night outside than in our rooms. We are more aware now of the dangers of the heat and the importance of finding cooled spaces and staying hydrated. During the highest heat of the day, we are all very

Day 16 | “It’s Too Late to be a Pessimist”

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Day 16 | "It's Too Late to be a Pessimist"   Question Set 2, Interview 1: Na.Ru Has this experience changed or affected your definition of happiness? If so, how? “I still don’t know what my definition of happiness is. However, it has clarified it a little more. I find my time enjoyable when I can find common ground with the people I am living with.” Can you rate your current happiness level 1-10, 1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest, and explain why you feel this way? “I would say 7

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Day 13 | Reflection

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Day 13 | Reflection   Today is day thirteen. I have been here for almost two weeks with these other women. Today I am continuing my reflection on this experience thus far and the challenges that come with living off of four gallons of water a day. When I first came to this place, I was nervous and scared. I knew that this process would take physical and mental strength and endurance. Now thirteen days in, I have found peace and a rhythm. I still miss home and those I care about, but

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Day 12 | People and Moments

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Day 12 | People and Moments   Interview 8: Me “While I think it’s important to know how to make yourself happy, my most happy moments live in the people I love and the important moments in my life.” -What is your definition of happiness? “Happiness to me means being secure and safe. When I think of being happy, I picture doing things I enjoy with people I care about and knowing that everyone is okay. While I think it’s important to know how to make yourself happy, my most happy moments live

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Day 11 | Climbing

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Day 11 | Climbing   Bugs. In the city, I would swat them away, freak out if I thought they were harmful and came close. Here, they are a part of everything and they are everywhere. It is really fascinating the difference and abundance in the types of bugs here in contrast to home. Consideration for insects and bugs should be thought about regardless of location, but I feel different towards them here as if I am the intruder into their home, not the other way around. Although, that doesn’t make them less

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Day 10 | Guests

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Day 10 | Guests   A few nights ago we had three guests come to drylab. They were members of the Feral Exchange Network. A group of rebel travellers who fly under the radar of governments, allotting a space in their suitcase for goods that will be given or traded along their route. The rules of the Feral Exchange are that the goods must be carried with them and given in-person They offered us treats for gifts or for barter such as dark chocolate, apples, coffee, smoked salmon, and cheese. These luxury items

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Day 9 | Beautiful Signs from the Universe

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Day 9 | Beautiful Signs from the Universe   Day 9 | Beautiful Signs from the Universe I am growing happier here. There was the originally shock. It’d describe my initial acclimation as a trip, hit, fall, and scrape into this space. Now I have settled in, I found routine and a process for my days. I cook, read, work, write, explore, and spend a lot of time just sitting in the space. Sometimes my anxiety puts a pit in my stomach and I feel claustrophobic. Then I breathe and look around. I

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Day 8 | Free

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Day 8 | Free   The heat. Water. Sweat. Food. Sleep. The heat. My mind continuously falling into more basic needs and feelings. Rotating through immediate discomforts and thoughts. I notice my body more here. I have the time now to acknowledge the way that if feels and all of these feelings are more vivid than before. I surprisingly don’t smell, not as bad as I originally thought I would. It could be that we are eating clean and healthy, or it could be that I just don’t notice anymore. I have lost

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Day 6 | Balance

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Day 6 | Balance   Water trickles down from above. We all run, smiling, shouting, laughing. We dance underneath the salty drops, twirling and running. The cool liquid gliding over our bodies, providing relief from the beating sun and dry, hot sand. We run to grab buckets to capture it. Nonstop laughing, smiling, twirling, dancing. Happiness. Interview 4: Skip “I think you really start to see physically how wasteful my lifestyle has been and for most Americans their lifestyles are. And because of social construct and norms and what’s acceptable, smell, sight, we

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Day 5 | There Isn’t One Way to be Happy

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Day 5 | There Isn't One Way to be Happy   The other night as I sat thinking about my home and about all of the things and people I missed, another woman here said to me “gratitude can be an anecdote for sadness.” When you are sad, think of the things and people you are grateful for in order to bring you happy thoughts. At first the things I was grateful for were immediate. I am grateful for tea in light of not being able to have coffee. I am grateful for

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Day 4 | Wild

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Day 4 | Wild   "I didn't really understand what deserts were. I'd taken them to be dry, hot, and sandy places full of snakes, scorpions, and cactuses. They were that and also a bunch of other things. They were layered and complex and inexplicable and analogous to nothing." -Cheryl Strayed, Wild

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Day 3 | Belly of the Beast

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Day 3 | Belly of the Beast It is interesting how almost immediately since I have been here, I went into a state of just trying to find something that comforts me and provides me happiness. I have become overly excited when I recognize something that I enjoy, such as a song someone is playing, getting to eat a food I really like, jumping into a conversation about a topic that is important to me. Routine has been my saving grace. It makes me feel like I have some control over a situation

Day 2 | Teddy Bear

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Day 2 | Teddy Bear It’s day two and although the community of women here have accepted me graciously, when I am alone and it is quiet, I think of home. Not only the physical buildings or places that define my home, but faces of the people I knew, loved, and miss. After the sadness comes anger. Anger because of greed, corruption, and the stubbornness to change has led us to this new place. And we are the lucky ones. We have been able to find an alternative water resource. We are civil.

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Day 1 | Joining the Women in the Desert

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Day 1 | Joining the Women in the Desert   Today I arrived in our location and met six women who have been living here for five days and sharing a limited water resource. We spoke about their community’s agreed upon values and rules, their process for dividing up water, the emphasis for positive and productive communication, and the steps they follow for decision making. After advocating for myself and why the other women should accept me into their group, I began considering the entirety of this experience and