Affirmative: An LGBT Conference in Belize City

feet in garden by Kyana Brindle

I spent the weekend in Belize City at a 4-day conference held by COC Netherlands for their partnership with LGBT organizations in Belize. COC is working with 16 countries through their newly-initiated PRIDE program (Partnership for Rights, Inclusivity, Diversity and Equality). I was presenting the research I’ve been doing with PETAL over the past few months about lesbian and bisexual women in Belize. The conference was a lot of work and I was very glad to be there. Continue reading “Affirmative: An LGBT Conference in Belize City”

Within And Without: Finding Balance In Work & Life

Kyana on the sea photo by Nophi Mitchell
photo by Nophi Mitchell

One of the reasons I moved to Belize was because I wanted a slower pace. Living in my hometown of New York, where it felt like every minute needed to be scheduled, had worn me out. Between working to pay bills, finding time to spend with the people I love and taking care of my own needs, it all seemed to be one big rush, and never enough time to really enjoy my life. With the rising costs of living in the city – financially and emotionally – I was stretched too thin. Continue reading “Within And Without: Finding Balance In Work & Life”

The Front Porch

my favorite tree
my favorite tree…

We’ve been living on the farm for a month now, and being here is so peaceful and inspiring. There are some adjustments I’ve had to make to my routine, including getting used to a more rustic way of living (hello, spiders and scorpions), but overall I feel like I’m finding my rhythm. I’ve been bike riding into town more and I’m slowly getting comfortable with it, which is huge for me. And I’ve found a tree which I’ve declared my favorite. Old, tall and wise, it’s where I go to sit and reflect, listen to birds, watch iguanas climb and chase bugs, and receive answers to my questions. I’ve discovered ways to ground my practice here – taking walks around the farm, meditating under my tree and listening – which is how I know I’m truly settling in. Continue reading “The Front Porch”

This Isn’t A Fantasy, And That’s Okay

When Ro and I decided to move to Belize, it was after many years of conversations about living abroad. Both of us had traveled a lot, and I had lived for a while in Nigeria years earlier. We had talked about moving out of New York City, which extended to us wanting to move out of the States entirely. There were a bunch of reasons for this, ranging from wanting a lower cost of living to wanting a better quality of life. The main reason for me, though, has always been to have a different and more expansive experience, one I imagined would be wonderful in many ways. Continue reading “This Isn’t A Fantasy, And That’s Okay”

Changing My Mind

Part of my morning routine includes journaling. I like to do it sitting outside with my tea or coffee, and I find it’s best first thing when I wake up, before I do anything online and get caught up in emails and social media, when my mind is clear and fresh, and my thoughts are honest. This is the time before the day develops a personality, and before I have any ideas about how I need to present myself. Continue reading “Changing My Mind”

A Necessary Part: On Vulnerability & Learning A New Culture

At the 20-Year Anniversary Party for the Image Factory Art Foundation in Belize City, June 2016

One of the things I love about living in Belize is getting to know and becoming friends with Belizeans. The longer I’ve been here, the more I’ve been spending time with Belizean folks I’ve met socially and professionally. I’ve met some really great people and I’m learning a lot about the culture from them, more so from just getting to know them as opposed to asking them tons of questions (not really my style). Continue reading “A Necessary Part: On Vulnerability & Learning A New Culture”

Choosing Balance: On Time

The way I spend my time here in Belize is incredibly different from when I lived in New York. That mostly has to do with the fact that I don’t have a job. When I moved here, I made the conscious decision to give myself the time I needed to adjust to living in a new place and figure out what I wanted to do. I had no idea what that process would be or how long it would take, and it hasn’t been easy. Continue reading “Choosing Balance: On Time”

The Forest For The Trees: Reflections On Living Abroad

photo by Tanisha Christie for the Altared performance art series

On Friday, I spent most of the day in Belmopan taking care of business for a volunteer permit. It required a lot of running around – talking with people at the Ministry of Labor, getting photos taken, gathering documents, and sitting in the police station waiting to receive copies of my record – on a 100-degree day. I did all of this with my friend Simone, who is helping me secure a permit with her women’s organization so that I can provide mental health consulting. Continue reading “The Forest For The Trees: Reflections On Living Abroad”