A Passion Project: Snippits of People I Meet

Over the years, I’ve noted pieces of conversations with people that I meet and share them on this Instagram account. I love looking back and being in those moments again. I encourage others to be more curious, too! You never know what you’ll find out.

Where are you from and what brings you here?

“We live in Franklin (WI). Here camping and hiking. Ya know, I love seeing the sights and everything, but the best part is the people and their stories. I do the same hike every week and always strike up conversation with other hikers. I have to ask a good amount of questions to make sure they’re not making things up. I’ve collected a bunch of the stories and am planning to write a book.”

-Man at picnic table making us feel like we’re having a conversation with ourselves
#goals #hesright #ilovepeople
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What was your motivation for creating this?
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“I wanted to make a space for people from different circles to connect. We tend to live in the groups we surround ourselves with, but the more we see others are alike, the smaller the world becomes. And I wanted a space for open conversation, where we could dive into the common struggles that we don’t touch upon on the sideline of a soccer field or at book clubs. Also of importance to me was bringing men and women together. I often find that women’s empowerment creates barriers from men, instead of bringing ALL people up. Because of COVID, hosting group dialogues has morphed into welcoming guests into my small shop to support local artists and causes we can all get behind.”
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- Corporate junkie turned entrepreneur and activist
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What was the nature of your accident, if you don't mind me asking?
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"It was so silly, I dropped my phone, picked it up too fast, and hit my head hard on the corner of the wall. 3.5 months later, and I would say I'm at 20% normal. At least the psychogenic seizures have stopped. Truly one of the most difficult things I’ve experienced. I have a 4 year old, single mama, and it’s rough. It’s so hard with a little boy who always wants to jump and run and play. But I find a lot of comfort and hope in praying for people going through this healing. I'll send you more good vibes."
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-NYC transplant who put my concussion recovery in great perspective
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I just LOVE people. She's going through a crazy journey and wants to help me?? Backwards.
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How did you get into that?
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"Well I always wanted to work with pets, but not as a vet, rather in rehab. The field just didn't exist when I started my career. Later, I was in the inaugural program for physical therapy on animals. It was pretty cool, I was in class with the future instructors on the subject and taught by the people who wrote the textbooks. We always test new PT theories on animals, so I figured it had to be effective. At the moment, I treat 2 dogs and one horse regularly."
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-Smart lady who loosens my neck muscles
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What were you selling?
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"I was selling life insurance. But with the internet, people don't need agencies, they just find insurance themselves online. So yeah, I got laid off. At 58, I was too old to be hired anywhere else so I bought a car and have been driving for 2 years. I work for myself and I control my own hours now, it's nice."
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-Kind Uber driver with a new perspective
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Where are you from?
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"I'm from Venezuela. I have 7 siblings, and we are all over the world. Some here in Mexico with me, some in Europe, some still at home. I like working here, but my goal is to be remote like you all. I want to do architectural rendering. I think I'll keep doing this until I have 3 months worth of living saved."
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-Sun-kissed, blue eyed 18 yr old waiter who I saw every afternoon as I worked by the beach
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Where is their father from?
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"I had my son and dauthter with a man from the Ivory Coast. I left him 9 years ago. He did not treat me well, hitting me, but it was very hard to leave him. One day, he pushed me down the stairs and killed the two kids I was carrying inside. That was enough. He asked if I wanted the house and our stuff or the kids. I chose them. I am stronger now and have proudly made a life for us with my business."
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-Full of joy and warmth cook who made salsa with peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, and chile pepper #gamechanger
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How did you get into this work?
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"Well I'm actually a trained nurse. All the people who work here are. But I wanted something less stressful, and I like that this is kind of an art. I used to work in a private hospital which doesn't pay well in Mexico. I could work in a public hospital, but you almost have to pay your way in to a job there. So I make more money doing this for now. I enjoy it more anyway. Someday I want to open my own place but that is on pause now because I'm 2.5 months pregnant."
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-Chica who does a great eyebrow wax
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What job are you able to do remotely?
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"I work for a company in DC that partners with a sustainable agriculture organization in Zimbabwe. They train locals on how to use their resources and land to grow crops in an effort to aid poverty."
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-Woman who struck up conversation over the greatest tostada I've ever had
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What's still on your list?
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"Well the thing is we don't go anywhere twice, because then you compare. And the first time is always better. Like Vietnam, we went in 1994 when it was first opened to tourists and now it must be much different. We have a lot left but not sure where's next. My wife likes to plan only 2 or 3 weeks in advance."
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-Swiss couple who is living up retired life
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Are you proud to be Colombian?
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"Yes, but I'm always dealing with this stigma. In Holland, I was doing work for a Dutch man in addition to my normal job. All illegally. One day, my boss heard me singing happy bday in Spanish to my mom. He asked where in Spain I was from and I said oh no, I'm Colombian. The next day he 'had no more job for me' and 'he couldn't trust me'. This is why some people aren't proud to be Colombian, people still assume we bring drugs and danger."
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-Colombian who drove us to giant trees and told us the meaning behind certain reggaeton songs (hint: they're almost all overly machismo)
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What was your research in?
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"Almost 10 years ago, I looked at food insecurity in Venezuelan children. We actually interviewed the children to ask them what they eat, why they eat what they eat, and how the family gets their food. We found that they were more honest than adults. Parents often skew the truth because they're ashamed or want something specific from the government.  Nowadays, the situation is so bad there that it's a conversation of how people can get any food, nevermind what nutrients they're getting."
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-Venezuelan transplanted in Medellin who invited me for an arepa breakfast before work
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