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No story is too small.

It is something my grandma, Joan, taught me: 

No moment is too small to be special.

 

She taught me this without ever needing to say it aloud, like anytime she asked for the disposable camera that lived in her purse, to capture something the rest of us couldn't see. Most importantly, she taught me this with her love and patience for everyone she met.

From Dublin to Delhi, she and I wrote letters back and forth always. I began documenting my travels with a GoPro in 2019. Dear Joanie, these are for you.

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Generosity surrounded me from Dhaka to Dawki in rickshaws, trucks, ferries, trains, and once, bouncing on the back of a local milk delivery cart. 

Thank you for showing me your beautiful country, āmāra natuna bandhu. 

An Elder in the hills sang me an American song; one he played on repeat as a teenager, while visiting a shop with a record player in nearby Thailand. He told me about violence and gunshots, the unrest of his village in Myanmar some 50 years ago... but no one could take away his boyish smile. 

First doses delivered to 9 Cree Communities in Eeyou Istchee, Quebec

No matter where in the world I find myself, as a western New York(state)er (there is indeed a whole state, people),"the city" is the only way I know how to call it.  

It's something else to have such an icon in your backyard... or rather, be from its backyard.