10 tips for travelling during Covid

Almost twenty years ago, the horrific events that transpired on September 11, 2001, changed travel forever. In the immediate aftermath, many of us thought that removing belts and shoes, tossing our beverages, and foregoing metal utensils on flights were part of temporary measures.

Now we don’t bat an eyelid at the stringent airport security screening, improved security on aircraft and thorough identification checks that modern-day travel involves. Who even remembers when travel was fun? When you could hang out at the gate until final boarding and say farewell to loved ones or be invited into the cockpit to greet the captain!

After travelling last summer and again this year, I’ve been wondering if Covid has also changed travel forever. Will we always wear masks on an aircraft where recirculated air carries greater risks of spreading a virus? Will we need to be tested before and after each international flight and be armed with vaccine passports? Will we always feel Tense? Exposed? Unsafe?

In June 2020 some of these questions were on my mind as we planned to leave England for Canada. We were in the height of the early Covid wave, living in strict lockdown in London. Flights leaving the country were few and far between. As non-Canadians, landing in Canada required government permission and we nervously awaited the required approvals. It’s hard to look back at that time without remembering the anxiety that permeated the air, enveloping everyone in a permanent cloud of collective panic.

A couple weeks before we were due to travel in July, our flight was cancelled because of Covid restrictions, and the airline wasn’t going to resume flights until September. I had already wrapped up my contract, we had terminated our lease, and most hotels weren’t accepting guests – the one nearby was being used to house the homeless. In other words, we had to leave England. I literally lost hair trying to get another flight booked close to our original date.

On July 20, travel day, we rolled up at Heathrow. Only travelling passengers could enter and the normally bustling airport was a ghost town. At that time airlines weren’t demanding negative Covid tests, just a barrage of questions about symptoms and whether you had travelled in the last 14 days.

All the shops were closed. A single fast-food outlet was open, and the line stretched to eternity especially with social distancing. Everyone wore masks and the few passengers in the departure lounge avoided each other studiously, sitting several seats apart. People avoided looking at each other, possibly in fear of telekinetic viral transmission. Back in 2020 it was anyone’s guess as to how the virus was being transmitted, and I was armed with my own anti-bacterial wipes to clean every surface we had to sit on or touch.

There were mandatory temperature checks before boarding. Business class was reduced to a bare-bones affair and there was minimal interaction with the flight attendants. Without the distraction of a drink and nibbles before take-off, I got busy sanitizing our seat and surroundings.

Masks were mandatory for the duration of the 8-hour flight and a plastic bag with PPE: mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and wipes replaced the typical goodie bag. Hand lotion would have been a welcome addition. Meanwhile, meal service was a single vegetarian option served on a tray with only bottled water as beverage. We were encouraged to eat efficiently and replace our masks as soon as possible.

Upon landing we went through all the screening questions at Pearson. We left the airport and went straight into quarantine for two weeks. Not one of us even put a big toe outside the door. And then, we settled into a year of ‘on and off’ strict lockdown in Ontario. Unfortunately, it was more ‘on’ than ‘off’ which thwarted any plans for holiday travel throughout the year.

It’s no wonder therefore, that I had all but forgotten last year’s experience of travelling during Covid. But as I made plans this June to jet off with the kids and spend a few weeks in the USA, I started realizing just how much travel has changed from the ‘before times’.

There are so many new regulations now that you can’t plan an international trip in two days and jump on a flight. So, if you’re thinking of a getaway sometime during the remaining months of 2021 here are a few tips from my experience of travelling in Covid this summer.

  • Assess your personal comfort level

It’s time to reckon with how you really feel about the safety of travel as new variants emerge. Also, find out how your hosts feel. Will they be ok entertaining indoors when you pop by for a visit? Or is it strictly patios and backyard shindigs? If you aren’t comfortable, reconsider. A tense holiday where you feel anxious isn’t worth the expenditure.

  • Check those travel documents

If your passport is expiring any time soon maybe it’s time to plan a staycation. I waited six months for an appointment to renew my daughter’s US passport in Canada. So, we travelled to the States to apply there but had to wait several weeks for the new one to arrive. Long wait times may be similar in other countries too so check passport expiry dates and renew early.  

  • Research regulations in your destination and for your return!

What are the airline regulations? What’s required for you to land? Do you need proof of vaccines and negative test results? Do you have to download an app and complete registration before checking in for your flight? Will you have to quarantine upon arrival? And for how long? Do you have to pre-book a quarantine location? Pay close attention to the details on this one. If you are in the US – The EU has just announced new regulations for US travellers.

On the flip side – what are the requirements for you to return home? To return to Canada and avoid quarantine we had to show proof that we were fully vaccinated and had negative Covid PCR tests. Plus, we were tested again upon arrival at the airport.

  • Buy airline tickets early

Believe it or not, flights aren’t cheaper right now even though airlines are desperate to recover business. Plan your trip and secure tickets months ahead, if possible. Many airlines are still waiving change fees, so you won’t be out of pocket if plans shift. Otherwise, invest in travel insurance.

  • Book your car rental way in advance

I found out the hard way that there is currently a shortage of rental cars in the US along with exorbitant rates for even the most basic models. Shop around for deals and book early.

  • Plan your activities and make reservations

With reduced capacity because of Covid, reserving tickets with specific entry times is essential for most attractions. To visit Disney, we had to buy our tickets and then reserve the date based on which park was available.  

  • Arrange your Covid Testing

Know what test is required by your destination country. Antigen tests are cheaper but some countries, like Canada, only accept the pricier PCR test. It’s more expensive too if you need test results in under 24 hours.

Booking your test in advance saves you time in lines at busy airports. I did the regular PCR test at Fort Lauderdale airport for $100 per person and got the results within two days. But you also need to time your test carefully – our return flight was delayed due to mechanical failure and the airline scrambled to find a replacement aircraft to get us out of Charlotte and into Toronto before everyone’s Covid tests expired!

  • Carry extra masks

You will go through those things like water and lose a few too. Plus, a fresh mask after a few hours in the airport or on an aircraft is always welcome. With the new variant on the loose you may wish to upgrade to medical grade masks – just a suggestion; I used the non-medical type.

  • Eat

Eat before you leave home for your flight and carry your own snacks. Fewer airport food outlets may be open, and lines are longer with social distancing and new sanitizing measures.

  • Maintain your sense of humour, relax and be grateful!

Overall, travelling during Covid-times is more expensive, less comfortable, and more inconvenient. Despite it all, nothing beats seeing somewhere new and visiting with friends and family. For many of us, being able to travel again is another step towards restoring a sense of normalcy. Planning carefully, taking precautions, and treating fellow passengers with kindness will help you make the most of every moment and enjoy your return to the skies.

And as for when these changes will end? It’s hard to predict.

Until then, safe travels!  

Jenny Ward – Know Your Worth

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this episode I talk with Jenny Ward, a career and transition coach with almost two decades of experience in corporate recruitment. Jenny focuses on helping women to value themselves, excel, and enjoy the lives which they deserve. 

Jenny brings infinite wisdom peppered with delightful humour and a strong dose of realism in this conversation. Her honest and refreshing coaching style, will inspire you to abandon a mediocre life and get unstuck. Absorb this conversation with a notepad and an open mind.  

Listen to The Change Diaries with Jenny Ward

Guest Bio

Jenny is a certified career and transition coach helping corporate women finally live by design, not default.   

She spent 15-years in corporate recruitment seamlessly matching people and jobs and now focuses on ensuring that women excel in all areas of their life by moving them out of reaction mode and into the driver’s seat.  

This includes empowering them to tell their personal and professional story to get the job they want and the money they deserve. Jenny offers 2-hour strategy sessions as well as services like interview prep, resume overhaul, LinkedIn blueprints, and cover letter composition.  

She loves holding space for humans to be heard and championed as they transition into the life and career that they only dreamed was possible. 

Find out more about Jenny Ward – have a consultation session or be inspired to shift your life:  

Website: http://www.jennywarrdcoaching.com 

IG: @jennywardcoaching 

LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/jennyward/ 

Thanks for listening. Never miss an episode! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil  

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala 

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.  

April Miranda – With Energy and Intention You Can Heal

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change or simply be the change we want to see.

In this episode I talk with April Miranda, Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, Reiki Master and Yoga Teacher. April uses the ancient wisdom of the Chakra system to help people discover the life they are worthy of living, and sparks a self-awakening process through asking, ‘How is your foundation?’.

April’s calming, holistic coaching style anchors this conversation, giving us greater hope in the possibility of changing our lives for the better. At the end, there is the gift of a complimentary guided meditation. Tune in and enjoy this conversation.

Guest Bio

April Miranda is a Toronto-based executive life coach, NLP practitioner, Reiki Master, and yoga teacher. She has been teaching movement for more than 17 years. April uses different healing modalities to support her clients’ healing from the inside out. Her kinesiology degree, performing arts background, along with other healing modalities, allow her to help her clients feel lighter physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically.

April was voted in the Top 50 Fitness Expert Entrepreneurs in the Greater Toronto Area with Sweat Equity Magazine. She is currently writing her first book: “MOVE with LOVE – Your Simple Guide to Revolutionize Your Life With Energy and Intention.”

April has also been featured in HOLR magazine and been interviewed on different podcasts such as The High Vibe Show and Sweat & Tonic. She lives downtown Toronto with her husband Chris, their daughter Bella Luna, and their puppy, House.

If you would like to find out more about April Miranda – get tips, Reiki training, and inspiration:

Find April at:

Instagram: @AprilMiranda

Website: AprilMiranda.com – get your free meditation here!

Move with Love – Join Move With Love Mastermind

Never miss an episode! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.   

The Interview: Part II – A short, short story

This week I’ve decided to share a short story instead of my usual blog posts. Yesterday, I posted the first part of this story, so you already know Shauna is hunting for a job. I kept on writing because I was curious to see what would happen during her next interview. Turns out it was a bit more than she expected. Let’s see.

By the way, have you subscribed to The Change Diaries Podcast on Apple podcasts? New episode coming this weekend! Now, about Shauna…

The Interview Part II 

On a normal night, the sound of Roxie barking fiercely at the neighboring dog would have jolted her out of slumber. But in the wee hours of Wednesday morning Shauna was already wide awake. She peered through the window to make sure there was nothing awry and then hissed at the half-breed Doberman to ‘be quiet’ before drawing the curtains closed.  

She had sent resumes each week to private sector companies while holding out hope for the opportunity to host a prime-time radio show. After three interviews at different stations, she still had nothing. Each conversation had been more demoralizing than the next. Everybody wanted experienced talent. Was it that hard to break into radio as a newbie?  

Now Shauna feared she would never know. Under mounting pressure from her parents to get a job she was booked for an interview at the local telecom giant the following day. Her best friend, Tanisha, had put in a word for her with Tariq Morrison, one of the HR managers. He also happened to be Tanisha’s neighbor and had arranged an internship for her there last summer.  

Tanisha had branded it corporate hell. “Full of backstabbers and fake-smilers,” she had reported while gratefully pocketing the generous salary for ten entire weeks.  

Shauna rolled over and reached for the remote to start the ceiling fan. It wasn’t yet summer, but the heat was fierce. She would have preferred to turn on the air conditioning, but she was tired of fighting with her parents about the electricity bill. 

That was another reason why she loved visiting her cousin in Miami – central air conditioning, along with shopping and The Cheesecake Factory. Anyway, there would be no more trips for now – her parents had refused to dole out any more cash. Shauna told herself, ‘Tomorrow I’ll do whatever it takes to win that job’. She started practicing interview responses in her mind and bid the thought of sleep goodbye. 

… 

Cocooned in his office, Shauna was perfectly still while Martin Campbell, Vice President of Regulatory Policy, perused her resume. She used the time to observe him from across the small meeting desk. He was a tiny man, pale and balding. Peering through Tom Ford eyewear, he stroked his greying beard absentmindedly. His office was dotted with awards and a framed law degree from Stanford hung above his head. Shauna tried not to smirk. Islanders loved to show off their foreign degrees…as if the local University wasn’t good enough for them.  

“Miss Templeton. First class honors!” He was beaming when he finally looked up at her. Shauna was convinced she could see all thirty-two teeth. “And you won the Principal’s Award two years running. I am impressed indeed.” 

“Thank you, Mr. Campbell. I worked hard and I am proud of my achievements.” 

“Please call me Martin. We aren’t so formal here.” He grinned again. 

‘That’s weird’ Shauna thought. Tanisha had told her it was a stuffy environment and you had to address senior staff formally. It was already unusual that she had a shoo-in to meet with the VP directly, but that was the power of connections – life on a small island was a closely networked affair. If she played her cards right it would surely mean a job come Monday morning. 

“What do you believe you bring to our company?” 

“I am a hard worker, determined to find solutions, and I get along very well with people. I’m also a natural leader, and I am excellent at public speaking. In fact, I co-hosted a radio program as you can see on my resume.” 

Martin Campbell was intrigued. The questions flowed like rapid-fire, and Shauna was surprised at how confidently and easily she fielded them while asking some of her own. Dressed in her favorite Ann Taylor grey suit and a crisp white button-down from Zara, she was prepared and focused. Plus, he was turning out to be likable. She hadn’t expected to enjoy the conversation and she felt a twinge of guilt at her earlier cynicism.  

“Why don’t we finish this over lunch? It’s already twelve thirty but I’d like to continue the discussion.” 

The suggestion caught Shauna off guard. She hadn’t prepared for this in her script.  

“Ahm, now? Do you have a canteen in this building?”  

Martin laughed at her question and Shauna was suddenly on high alert.

“Oh no. I was thinking of somewhere more deserving of a fine young lady such as yourself,” he said.

Chill, Shauna, just chill. She willed her body to relax as a horse started galloping in her chest.  

“You flatter me Mr. Campbell. I’m actually not hungry.” 

“Trust me, you will have an appetite when the lobster arrives.” He stood up and grabbed his keys and jacket. “Have you ever dined at Morgan’s Park?” 

Shauna was nonplussed. The horse was thundering about in her mid-section now. 

Morgan’s Park was a swanky dining spot next to the famous Harbor Hotel. It was also a thirty-five-minute drive away from the town center. Even if she was okay with going to lunch, the whole thing would take at least two and a half hours.  

She swallowed over what felt like a guinep seed in her throat, her confidence slipping away while ‘win the job’ floated across her mind in subscript. “Mr. Campbell…” 

“Martin, please. And don’t forget your purse.” He was already opening the door. 

“Mr. Campbell are you married? The question slipped out but Shauna already knew the answer. 

“Why would you ask me that?” He was squinting behind his glasses.  

“Why would you want to take me to lunch thirty-five minutes away?”  

He closed the door and stepped toward her, “Because you should aspire to have the finer things in life.” His voice grew softer, “Don’t you want the best for yourself. Fine dining, a nice apartment, trips overseas, diamond rings?” 

Shauna Templeton contemplated the temptation of a thousand years. It meant driving a nicer car, taking more shopping jaunts. It would come with her own apartment, a steady rise in pay and promotions and a coveted Prada purse. But while she could stomach the privilege of getting a job through her connections, she couldn’t do this…this other thing.  

“I told Mr. Morrison in HR that I would be down before 1:00pm to complete the last page of my application form. Thanks for your time but I need to head back now.” She rose to her feet.  

They faced each other. In her red Aldo heels, Shauna was close to his height, so they were practically eye to eye. They both knew she was lying. She hadn’t completed an application form. She didn’t even know if Tariq was at work.  

Shauna held her breath and waited. The herd of horses was galloping through her entire body.  

Martin Campbell placed a hand on the doorknob to signal that the interview had indeed come to an end. His parting smile looked more like a grimace. 

“I’ll take you across the floor to meet Victoria Jenkins. She runs the Corporate Events unit, and they are looking to take on one or two promising graduates. I think you have the polish and savviness that they would value. It’s a shame you won’t work out for me. Best of luck.”  

That’s it for Shauna. Definitely hope she has better luck next time!

Thank you for stopping by. Do leave a comment to let me know what you thought and don’t forget to follow and share my blog. I post new content each week.  

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.     

Abbi Buszard – Making space for people to think for themselves

The Change Diaries Podcast explores how to better embrace change, spark change, or simply be the change we want to see.

In this episode I talk with Abbi Buszard, Life Coach and former Commercial Director. She believes that the solutions to your biggest challenges are never quite as good unless they are yours and that change means growth.

Abbi brings her insightful style to this conversation, sharing advice on how to find the right coach for you, affordable options, and examples of successful transformation. It’s a practical conversation with great advice.

Guest Bio

Abbi Buszard is the founder of Grow Your Own Organic Learning. She is a qualified coach and former Commercial Director with a love of creative problem solving. She is also known as ‘mum, stepmum and wife/reluctant cycling buddy’. 

With extensive experience in all aspects of helping people to grow and develop, by challenging, supporting, managing, leading and mentoring, Abbi works with large organisations and ambitious individuals alike. With a postgraduate certificate in coaching from Henley Business School, Abbi believes making space for growth is both the hardest and most important thing for everyone to do to succeed. 

Before starting Grow Your Own, she spent fifteen years at Cadbury, Kraft and Diageo, working across sales, customer marketing and transformation and change. These days, Abbi works with a network of partners across a variety of specialisms, who enable Grow Your Own to deliver programmes to any scale, from large corporates to boutique brands. Grow Your Own has a social enterprise heart- every commercial programme is matched with pro-bono work for a charity partner.

Abbi considers her nosiness a superpower that can be used on self or others. Find her on LinkedIn or Instagram and you can join in the reflection by following her daily questions and learning to change your world by building a growth habit in just 2 minutes a day!

Find her at:

LinkedIn: Abbi Buszard

Instagram: @AbbiBuszard

Website: www.growyourownlearning.com

Never miss an episode. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

You can also listen on Spotify.

Follow my blog and share with others! I post new content each week.

The Change Diaries Podcast theme music by Ellan Neil

The Change Diaries Podcast cover design by Aris Amitirigala

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.    

The Change Diaries Podcast is Here!

I’m excited to launch The Change Diaries Podcast: Conversations to change your mind. Each season, different guests will explore themes related to embracing change, sparking change or simply being the change we want to see. My hope is that you will fill your backpack with knowledge and gain inspiration to try something new. 

It’s been a long time coming. I’ve wanted to start a podcast for many years but there was always a reason to put it off. Like for instance today. I didn’t think it was perfect and I started second guessing myself.

And then I read a quote that Greg Monaco of letsgomonaco.com shared this morning. It was from film director, George Lucas: Anybody that makes films knows the film is never finished. It’s abandoned or it’s ripped out of your hands, and it’s thrown into the marketplace, never finished. It’s a very rare experience where you find a filmmaker who says, “That’s exactly what I wanted. I got everything I needed. I made it just perfect. I’m going to put it out there.”

So here it is!

Check out this launch episode where I introduce you to The Change Diaries and share a short story of how I am navigating change and absorbing the lessons.

The first season is about How to spark a change in your life – do you need a life coach? I’m thrilled to have lined up some great guests from various corners of the globe for each episode. These life coaches will share stories about their own lives, and how they guide people in defining their goals and getting past what’s blocking them. You don’t want miss these thought-provoking conversations.

The first episode drops next week. Stay tuned!

Thank you for stopping by and listening in. Please share your comments below, like, and hit ‘subscribe’. I update content each week.

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Celebrating Black History Month at Home

Yesterday morning my son greeted me with a question, and our ensuing conversation was short but provocative.  

“Mom did you know it’s Black History Month?” 

“Yeah. What should we do?” I was pretty much a deer in headlights, wondering if I was going to get called out. 

He shrugged. “I guess we can just be ourselves.” 

He turned his attention back to online school while I went downstairs to make my green smoothie, brain whirring like the blades of our Ninja pro.  

I have never willingly made a big deal about Black History Month. Consequently, I’ve also been a bit blasé about it with my children. This might be surprising given that I am a black woman who for the past twelve years has been living in various societies where people who look like us are minoritized.  

Smoothie in hand, I contemplated the root of my ambivalence about this one month. I landed on three things: Identity. Discomfort. And a fear of not getting it right. 

Let me explain. 

Identity

Everyone has an identity comprised of visible differences like race, and invisible ones like religious background.  

I can list many components of my identity: woman, mother, extrovert… but a most important one is that I come from an island in the Caribbean Sea. To be precise, I am Jamaican.  

I was born in Jamaica and lived there for many years. I didn’t grow up as part of a minoritized group. I didn’t have a preoccupation with my ‘blackness’ at the forefront of my identity. Despite our colonial past and its legacy of colorism and classism, I did not feel disadvantaged because of my hue. I was at home and I belonged. 

Immersed in my ‘Jamaicanness’, celebrating Jamaican history was a daily event as natural as breathing. From the first inhabitants encountered by Christopher Columbus, to the enslavement of African people and their journey to our shores, to the fight for freedom, to becoming a melting pot of many nations, to claiming independence, and becoming an international brand synonymous with music, dance, cuisine and athletic prowess, I embraced it all.  

Perhaps the closest thing to Black History Month for me as a child was the public holiday in October when we recognized our National Heroes – fierce warriors for freedom from slavery, both physical and mental.  

Discomfort

When I migrated to live in the US, I struggled to reconcile with how Black History Month applied to me. Just speaking about it made me feel self-conscious. In my mind it was something that America and other countries had to observe because they grappled with ever-present racism.  

In my first year, I accepted the task to help organize an event for the occasion. I was one of less than a handful of Black employees at the office and I did my best to navigate my discomfort. We planned a celebration of the Caribbean region during a cocktail hour –booked a steel pan player, asked the caterer to provide an ‘island menu’ and then delivered a talk celebrating Caribbean heritage and our business operations throughout the region.  

No mention of oppression, inequality, inequity or injustice. Everyone was happy. We danced. We toasted. We laughed. 

Looking back, all I can say is: What. Were. We. Thinking. 

The following week, my friend invited me to a lunchtime event taking place at another company in Miami. I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how other offices observed the occasion. The keynote speaker led a powerful, personal conversation that went straight to the heart of racial injustice in America and left the employees in the packed cafeteria with an unmistakable call to action.  

For me, it was an uncomfortable awakening. This white, middle-aged man had made me deeply aware of something that I had been denying – my life was different now. My identity as a Jamaican was invisible. I was now a black woman, part of a minoritized group.  

Fear of not getting it right

Okay. I now had a new identity to add to my other identities, but I wasn’t sure what to do with that realization. I didn’t feel oppressed. I didn’t plan to start binge watching Roots. I didn’t know how to become an activist. What was I supposed to do in February? 

Over the years, my children did projects and activities at school to ground them in the stories of black American leaders and icons such as Dr. Mae C. Jemison, Muhammad Ali, Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.  

Born in the US, my children identified as Americans. This was their history, and I was learning more about it because of them than they were learning because of me. So, I didn’t interfere because I wasn’t sure of what I had to offer. I let them share with me what they learned at school and each February came and went.  

Where do I stand now?

After a slightly sleepless night and some self-examination I am reassured. Yes, I do celebrate Black History at home. How could I not? I do it every single day. 

There have been signature moments like visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C. or the Nelson Mandela exhibition in London and Nottinghill Carnival. There have also been tough discussions after watching movies like Just Mercy, or painful moments talking about what happened to Trayvon Martin and George Floyd.  

But the most important thing is how we live our daily lives – our beliefs and values, our faith, the stories we tell, the leaders we quote, the music we listen to, our food, the books we read, the films we watch, our time with extended family… our history and culture are all blended into who my children are and who I am.  

Maybe I could make a thing out of February and be more intentional about unearthing stories of black excellence and watching films and documentaries, but it is far more likely that we will do as my son so wisely suggested. We will be ourselves. 

Please share your comments on how you are celebrating Black History Month 2021. Thanks for stopping by. Remember to visit again soon. I post articles each week.  

© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.