For those reading my blog for the first time, I’m Synthia and I’m an African American English teacher in the Middle East for 2 years. This is my first year here and I document my blog for the regions and Emirates I visit, stay, and teach in. Hence my blog title, “Syn and Sand”. Aside from my travel adventures, Pre-Post Departure diaries, I journal about important holidays and events from my unique perspective.

I’ve been trying to celebrate and organize Kwanzaa for years. Aside from just remembering these principles, this year I decided I’d document how I carried each principle out. My attempts are pure and come from my heart. I know that as I practice, my gestures will become more grand. I will not disclose individuals that I help. I will never try to exploit others for my own gain.

Kwanzaa Day 1, UMOJA: while in Dubai, we (my husband and I) both decided to donate to UNICEF (together) from our cruise cabin! Our collective donations bought six sachets of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food to help save a child’s life.


Kwanzaa Day 2, KUJICHAGULIA: while in Dubai, I began drafting this blog at the theatre. My voice is important to me. My authentic experiences shape and reflect who I am. I also took the time to discuss the principles for those who unaware and ask about ideas or suggestions for carrying them out.


Kwanzaa Day 3, UJIMA: I helped a friend with their college application process as an adult returning student, spent the day organizing their student loan paperwork for financial good standing, and visa processing for immigration status.


Kwanzaa Day 4, UJAMAA: I invested 500 dirhams.


Kwanzaa Day 5, NIA: I worked on my doctoral study proposal.

Kwanzaa Day 6, KUUMBA: refocused the social justice aspects of my study and drafted a plan for the work I will do after my 2 years abroad in the home community where I grew up. I can give back my learning.

Kwanzaa Day 7, IMANI: submitted a new semester plan, and scheduled meeting times with my chairperson. I also reached out to the college partners for my study in order to verify their consent.


Syn and Sand
What if we celebrated Kwanzaa throughout Black History Month?








One thought on “African American Abroad: How I Celebrated Kwanzaa 2014 and Black History Month 2015

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