pontes newsletter #9

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Drinking water & staying hydrated helps us produce mucus. Why do I bother to mention, you ask? Well, it just happens mucus plays a key role in protecting our lungs’ epithelial cells from trollish pathogens. Let’s grab a glass of hydration & cheers to that!

These last few months have been transformative. We wrapped up the school project in the Sacred Valley & started roadtripping south to explore some more of Peru. We were in the Titicaca lake when we received news that the government was going to bar road traffic for 15 days to avoid disease from spreading. We packed our packs and hopped on a bus to our next destination: Arequipa. We wanted to be in a large Peruvian city with access to planes and hospitals in case zombies came out to play.

15 turned into 58, and here we are. Still in Arequipa, gawking at the gorgeous mountains that surround us. We got lucky: we have access to amazing fresh food. And this view. But we also can’t go out much. On some days, we can’t walk in the street without being questioned by the militia. Peru’s reaction to this pandemic has given me a taste for dystopian autocracies: could this be a first step into my Handmaid’s Tale nightmare? No, probably not. But it still pesters me to see officials taking advantage of their power to intimidate and impose themselves. Who are you helping aside from your ego, sir?

Well… We shan’t focus on the shitty. I’m glad some folks are trying to minimize socialization and bar the debut of bubonic plague V2. It makes me happy to develop the muscle of cyber friendship. I have generally been a social-media nay-sayer and phone-addiction fear-monger; But it’s been nice to dedicate time to video calls and messages as a way to connect from afar.

Summing up all the loose parts, things here are good. We have a yoga morning routine that’s going strong. We’ve moved our main practice to the afternoon because we feel looser then (it’s easier to stretch, it seems like… is that the case for you?) Simu is making some wild experiments in the kitchen; my favorite was a mean grandma style bolognese sauce (thanks Tina!). I’ve been really enjoying my latest reads–in case you’re looking for something new to pick up: Topeka School, Outline, The Good Immigrant, Testaments (thank you Alan & Ivana for the spot-on recs!).

What else? Well… I’m thinking about re-joining the academics to tune-up my toolkit. I wanna go back to school, but I want to continue working part-time. Do you know anyone that’s done that without going coo-coo? I got my eyes on a few programs in computer science (focusing on machine learning) and public policy. I’d like to sharpen up my machine learning toolset, take the computer science classes that weren’t part of my undergraduate experience, and learn how to share my work more effectively.

That being said, the more I look at tuition costs for schools in the United States the more pissed off I get at our inaccessible and classist education system. If you have any thoughts on ROI of education or funding sources for grad degrees, do let your gurl know.

Well, that’s probably plenty for now. How have you been feeling? What are the latest routines you’ve incorporated into your life? Are they bringing you joy? Any book recommendations?

With all of the love,