On January 21, 2017, I participated in the Women’s March. It was energizing to join a local intersectional protest led by women. It was beautiful to see people united around several progressive causes. It was powerful to know that I was marching with millions of people across seven continents. The worldwide solidarity was palpable that day.

Flash forward to March 8, 2017, and it has been difficult to sustain the same level of hope and energy. We already knew this on January 21st, but it’s difficult to know what it truly feels like until you’re in it.

Another day, another absurdity. Another day, another rejection of a group’s humanity. It can be hard to smotivation through the daily fury, frustration, and sadness. It can be difficult to keep showing up, physically, mentally, and emotionally. And yet we must persist.

For International Women’s Day, I’ve compiled a list of songs performed by powerful female singers that lift me up and sustain me. Feel free to add to the list and share songs that inspire you.

“I Can’t Keep Quiet” by MILCK

Play this when: You’re searching for the courage to make your voice heard.

“New World” by Zap Mama

Play this when: You need a reminder that there’s still hope and you have the ability to make a difference in your own way.

“Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round” by Sweet Honey in the Rock

Play this when: You want to call on the strength and persistence of past generations that have fought for civil rights.

“Retreat!” by Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

Play this when: You need the courage to take a stand against oppression .

“River” by Ibeyi

Play this when: You need to remember that no one is perfect in their quest for justice. You will stumble, you will make mistakes. Reassess, renew, and keep moving forward.

“I’ll Keep a Light in My Window” by Alice Russell

Play this when: You need to remember what you’re fighting for and the importance of being an ally.

“Keep on Livin'” by Le Tigre

Play this when: You need high energy inspiration to keep going.

“Nevertheless, she persisted.”


Where Lava and Sea Collide and Nature Overrides


A photo posted by Ekua (@fogandlight) on Nov 23, 2015 at 3:30pm PST Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has a special pull. At this park, you can explore Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Numerous times while I was living on the Big Island, I took a two hour drive from Kona to this park […]

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A Slower Pace, But Not Stopped

general travel

Well, I haven’t been very active on this blog in the last year and a half. Being in grad school while working has kept me very busy, and much of my recent writing has been focused on education. Despite this being the major focus of my life at the moment, I have managed to still […]

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Voyages of Rediscovery

Oaxaca, Mexico

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust – Over the summer, I did not travel — I returned. In June, I flew out of Hawaii and arrived in California, elated to catch up with family and friends I hadn’t seen in months, ready […]

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Be Still for a Moment While the Earth Keeps Spinning

captured on memory card
Lava rocks and ocean at a beach in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

I have a piece of Pele in my house. It’s a large lava rock that was too tenacious to be removed when they were building the house. So the house was built around it, and they left the rock in the corner as an accent piece. To me, it’s become so normal to have this […]

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Eating in Ghana: Reinventing Airplane Food

eats and drinks
La Tante DC 10 Restaurant in Accra, Ghana

On my adventures, I’ve eaten countless meals on planes. Typically, they’re TV dinner-like mains with a motley and often incomprehensible assortment of sides. But eating on a plane doesn’t always have to be like this. In December 2013, I had my first meal at a restaurant inside a plane. In Accra, Ghana, along the way […]

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Photo Essay: Snapshots from Los Angeles

Aerial View of Los Angeles, California

On my way back to San Francisco after Colombia, I spent a few days in Los Angeles. On my short trip there, I experienced a wide range of the city — from fancy restaurants to late night taco trucks, from the crowded freeways to the metro system (yup, you read that correctly), from gritty streets […]

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When You Go Back to Bogota

Leaving the Tatacoa Desert, Colombia

This is what it looks like to leave the Tatacoa Desert. Take it all in, because today you’re going back to Bogota. Back to the city, out of nothingness, back to the urban sprawl. Then back to California. But wait, before you go home, there’s gotta be one more crazy Colombian overland trip. First, there’s […]

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