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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.

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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.

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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.

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Kwanzaa Day 4, UJAMAA: I invested 500 dirhams.

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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.

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

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

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