Terromoto, temblor, earthquake.

It’s what Puebla is known for. In the past month there have been 3 major earthquakes all above a magnitude of 6. I felt the first one which was at the beginning of the month and was mostly just in shock. I know what to do when there are tornados but earthquakes I have no clue. The second one was during class. It was in the middle of the month. People were still recovering from the first earthquake. I could see the fear in my fellow peers’ eyes. That night I made a bug out bag. Which is just a bag that has all the essentials that I would need in the moment. Sometimes I feel like an earthquake is happening and I have to reassure myself that it is not actually happening. The third earthquake I barely felt but that’s only because it was very far from Puebla.

This past month has taught me that earthquakes are serious business. Even though there are no warnings for them doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for the worst.

Another thing is how aware the general population is of what is happening in other countries. I hardly heard anything from my friends about the earthquakes. I feel that it our responsibility to stay aware of what is occurring around the world and help as much as we can.


Songs I Love: Week of September 29, 2017

I’m back with my weekly song recommendations! I’m going to try something different this time, in that I will include brief explanations as to why I like each song, rather than just a simple list.

  1. Angel Eyes- New Years Day feat. Chris Motionless. This was one of the first songs I ever heard by New Years Day, and is still one of my favorites. With October fast approaching, I thought it was appropriate to include it.
  2. Whatever- Heartbreak Heroes. Heartbreak Heroes is a band from my hometown of Oklahoma City who I had the pleasure of seeing open for Stitched Up Heart in July of 2016. Their music is infectious pop-punk, exemplified on this track
  3. Funny Little Creatures- Nothing More. One of the more unique tracks lyrically on their newest release, this track follows the albums theme of looking inward and questioning why we behave the way we do sometimes, and why our minds play tricks on us.
  4. My Vow- Black Veil Brides. The only thing about this track that is drastically different from other BVB tracks is the dropping of an f-bomb near the beginning, but it is the same Black Veil Brides that fans such as myself have come to love, and is a taste of what’s to come on their next record.
  5. Into the Fire- Asking Alexandria. A strong anthemic return for vocalist Danny Worsnop, who had previously left the band in 2015.
  6. Paint It Black- Andy Black. One of the softer moments on 2016’s The Shadow Side, the track beautifully showcases the vocals of Andy Biersack.
  7. Tell Me You Love Me- Demi Lovato. A somewhat gospel-inspired track from the pop powerhouse that is refreshingly well composed, especially when compared to the laziness of other pop singer’s recent material (*cough* Taylor Swift *cough*). Her new album dropped yesterday, and I am eager to listen to the rest of it.
  8. Learn to Let Go- Kesha. An empowering anthem on the songstress’s new album that is beautifully written, and shows that she is not going to let her recently publicized struggles affect her any longer.
  9. Bad At Love- Halsey. The latest single from hopeless fountain kingdom, the track is well-composed and has become a recent favorite of mine.
  10. Break a Little- kirstin. The lead single from Pentatonix vocalist Kirstin Maldonado’s solo effort, it is a beautiful track about love and heartbreak.


600 Years of Wine

A few weeks ago, Germany played host to the Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt festival… for the 600th time. Held in the small city of Bad-Dürkheim, it is the largest wine festival in the world. Getting to the festival isn’t as simple as one would think, and definitely not for those of us not familiar with the train system. Anyhow, after three switches/2 hours later, (for what is supposedly a 45 minute car ride) I arrived at the train station.

The walk to the festival was simple, and not overly crowed. After another fifteen minutes, I stepped foot into the festival grounds. A note on the security, there was not much. Although I’m not one to let this ruin my outing, I can say that there was a lingering worry in the back of my head.

At the festival, there were amusement rides, little store selling all sorts of various trinkets, tons of food, and, of course, a seemingly endless assortment of places where one could buy alcohol. For the first hour, we (Kelsey and a girl named Rebecca) walked around. Taking in the sights, we were amused by how many rides had US flags on them. As if it was the only country that contained rollercoasters and thrill rides, haha! Eventually, after witnessing so many people eating and drinking, we succumbed to hunger.

First, we ordered food. I got a 1/2 metre-long wurst, and Kelsey and I both ordered a small wine, which was still substantial! (25 ml)  We sat ourselves down on a long bench inside a tent, and talked about nonsense while taking in the atmosphere. People were singing, glasses were clinking, and alcohol was flowing.

Finally, we got up and started to walk back to where we would catch the train home. But, before we did that, Kelsey and I wanted to ride the giant ferris wheel. And we did, for five Euros, the views payed for themselves. We could see the world’s biggest wine fest, the world’s largest wine container, and the surrounding area. It was spectacular.

After that, we went home, only having to make two stops this time. For those of you still reading, if you ever have the time/opportunity to go to this festival, I recommend it.


Podcast Recommendation: “Turned Up” by Jake Jones and Robert Venable

Though I am usually not much of a podcast listener, I had seen posts about this podcast by its anchors, who are musicians in the Christian-rock band As We Ascend, and was curious, so I gave it a listen. The premise of the podcast is that Jake and Robert go behind-the-scenes of different parts of the music industry, sitting down and interviewing people who have worked in the industry. The episode that I chose to listen to is the most recent episode, entitled “Jingles… Not the Bells”. In this episode, they sat down with jingle writer Michael Levine, who is known for his work in writing the “Gimme a Break” jingle for Kit-Kat (versions of which are still being used, most recently in an ad campaign featuring Chance the Rapper). He also helped arrange the “Spider-Pig” song in 2007’s The Simpsons Movie.

Throughout the episode, they discussed why jingles are used, the decline of jingle usage through the years, and even some of the science behind why we as humans get certain melodies stuck in our heads so easily.

I enjoyed this episode, and, when I have time, plan to go back and listen to the other episodes that have been released, as well as listening to any future episodes:

Turned Up is available on iTunes, and can also be found on Stitcher Radio online

Episodes on Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/turned-up-podcast/turned-up


Gilman Scholarship

Receiving the Gilman scholarship covered a lot of my expenses for my summer study abroad in Morocco. I would definitely recommend applying for it, especially if you have financial need or are studying a critical language. Since there is no Gilman representative at OU, here is my experience of applying for the scholarship.

First of all, there are two different application deadlines. I chose to apply for the earlier deadline, even though this meant I did not have all the details for my program and not even been accepted into it yet. While I was accepted, I was told by others that there is some room for accomodation if you end up changing from your original plan. The benefit of applying for the early deadline is that you receive notice of the award much earlier. If you are dependent on financial aid for studying abroad, as I was, this can be crucial in planning. You can see the full list of deadlines here.

The application is fairly straightforward. It includes information about yourself and the program, an essay, and a follow-on service project proposal. One potentially confusing detail is that the information about the program and the application itself are found on two different sites. Also remember to save your password somewhere – you will still need it when you return.

As you are applying, remember to leave yourself time to contact a number of people. There is only one financial advisor at OU, but you will need to contact the study abroad office to figure out who your advisor is, if your regular study abroad advisor is not also a Gilman advisor. You may need more information than you have about the program itself. The service project will also require you to contact people on campus to make sure that your proposal is feasible.

Speaking of the service project, try to maintain a balance between what will be sufficient effort but also what will be feasible upon your return. Keep in mind your class schedule and any jobs that you have that might affect your ability to complete it. Think of groups you will be engaged with and how they mind benefit from awareness about the Gilman scholarship.

Assuming that many of my readers are Global Engagement Fellows, the Gilman Scholarship would be an excellent option for many you. The Spring 2018 and Summer 2018 applications are currently open, and I encourage you all to apply.

img_%d9%a2%d9%a0%d9%a1%d9%a7%d9%a0%d9%a6%d9%a1%d9%a6_%d9%a1%d9%a6%d9%a1%d9%a5%d9%a0%d9%a2%d9%a5%d9%a1%d9%a9 img_%d9%a2%d9%a0%d9%a1%d9%a7%d9%a0%d9%a6%d9%a1%d9%a6_%d9%a1%d9%a6%d9%a1%d9%a5%d9%a0%d9%a7%d9%a5%d9%a5%d9%a3

Boomer Sooner at Baab Mansour in Meknes

Tasting – White Zinfandel

Name: White Zinfandel

Variety: 100% White Zinfandel

Region: Oklahoma

Country: United States

Year: NV

Price: $12.95

Winery Description: Our all American, semi-sweet blush crowd pleaser

My Review: I really like this wine. It’s a blush wine with a really pretty golden-pink color. It smells like apples and caramel, and something else that I can’t quite name. It had a complicated taste – I had to get help to figure it all out. At first sip it’s very fruity like you would expect: apples, strawberry, and a hint of peach. But there was another taste that I had to enlist a friend to help me identify. It was a bit earthy and a bit spicy. We figured it was a spice and had to smell a couple from his kitchen to get there, but it turned out to be cinnamon! Very tasty!


I drank this wine initially on its own, and then tried it again while eating a pork dish. It was nice by itself but the savory food really brought out the sweetness of the wine. I think that this is a really good dinner wine, depending on what you’re eating.

Week 6 Story: Determination

Scheherazade was with her younger sister, Dinarzade, when they both heard the news.

Everyone in the world knew how much the Sultan Schahriar loved his wife, and to hear of her betrayal of the Sultan. No one was happy. Although Scheherazade, more than anyone, thought of how the Sultan would react. She had observed him for most of their lives – he was not much older than she – and Scheherazade understood the Sultan’s temperament very well. She admired him deeply for the kindness he showed his people, but he was also apt to be impulsive, stubborn, and unlikely to forgive the wrong that had been committed against him.

And so Scheherazade worried.

When her father, the Grand Vizier, announced what the Sultan had decided, Scheherazade and Dinarzade weren’t even present for the proclamation. But the reaction of the people brought the two girls out into the streets. At first Scheherazade thought that the news must be false, and the people hysterical; it seemed impossible that the king had decided to protect his heart by marrying a new woman each night and having her killed in the morning. She and her sister ran to their home in the palace and asked to speak to their father. When he did arrive, he seemed to have aged years in the few hours since Scheherazade had seen him. She didn’t even have to ask to know that the rumors were true.

At first Scheherazade held out the hope that Sultan Schahriar would change his mind. But as night after night passed and more and more young women fell victim to the Sultan, Scheherazade knew something had to be done. As upset and frightened as everyone was, no one seemed to be prepared to do everything, and nothing came close to breaking the sultan’s resolve. But this could not be allowed to continue.

And so Scheherazade planned.

She thought through everything she had learned of Sultan Schahriar over her whole life, wracking her brain for anything that could be more powerful that his fear and sorrow. Scheherazade grew more determined every day that the sultan took a new wife, but each scheme she created seemed bound to fail. Until one day she told her sister Dinerzade a story that she had forgotten the ending to. Dinerazade queationed Scheherazade for days about the ending, even asking her to create something. Scheherazade was reminded of the insatiable curiousity that the young sultan had never grown out of.

When Sultan Schahriar was young, all of his tutors loved that he would learn anything they could teach him. As he grew older, his tutors despaired because they had already taught him everything, and now he asked questions they couldn’t answer.

A story then, Scheherazade decided. A story that would never end, to hold the sultans curiosity until he remembered that he was a good and kind man, and not a monster. But it would have to be a truly wonderous story to convince Sultan Schahriar to go against his original proclamation. Scheherazade all but locked herself in her room, Hardin each day that she wasn’t ready and another girl died, but knowing she would join them if she didn’t prepare properly.

At last, Scheherazade felt that she was ready. She could go up against the sultan and remind him of who he really was behind the hurt and the fear. All that was left was to put her plan into motion. Scheherazade knew she could do this.

“Father, I have a favor to ask of you. Will you grant it to me?”


Author’s Note: This story is based on the frame tale story of the Arabian Nights (or 1001 nights) where a sultan is betrayed by his wife and declares that he will take a new wife each night and see her killed the next day. A young woman named Scheherazade marries the sultan and tells him a wonderful story that she isn’t able to finish in one night. The sultan allows her to live until she finishes the story, and he ends up falling in love with her and trusting her enough to let her live. I thought that the beginning of the story was too rushed, and I wanted to show some of what I image Scheherazade was thinking as all of the events leading up to her storytelling were happening

Bibliography: The Arabian Nights translated by Andrew Lang. Web Source.

Image: Arabian Nights by Quentin088. Source: Pixabay


Purpose: Becoming a global citizen and creating change

Trip Start: 2017             Trip End: ∞

Destinations: 🌎 🌍 🌏

  • International Context (GEF)
  • College
  • Personal

Hi, I’m Amy Ma’ilo. I’m pursuing a political science major and minoring in French and Chinese at the University of Oklahoma. I believe in the potential of language fluency, international relations, and curiosity of other cultures as a bridge between human beings from different parts of the Earth. I am forever grateful to the Global Engagement Fellowship who has given me the opportunity to study abroad during my time in college. 

OU Cousins Bingo Night (09/25/17)

I finally found me an OU Cousin! YAY!!!! It was a tedious process, however, a friend of mines helped me out and got me matched with Michaela Hass. She is from Austria and she is doing a year long program here at OU. Now, it’s time for all of the fun stuff. Our first event together was OU Bingo night. Michaela had never played bingo before, so it was extremely interesting watching her play. We talked more about ourselves, ate pizza, laughed, and just bonded with one another. I love her already! Though we didn’t win a prize for bingo, I won a prize with being matched with an awesome Cousin. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us! (:


He Named Me Malala

First off… wow.

I woke up this morning not expecting any eye opening experiences or events that could possibly make me realize more why I want to be a Medical Missionary and why I wanted to be a part of the Global Engagement Fellowship in the first place- but just that happened.

One of my roommates the other night told me how her sorority was hosting a lecture with Shizah Shahid, one of the founders and CEO of the Malala Fund. Of course I was dumbfounded. How cool is that? Someone so famous and so significant in the movement for equal rights of all people was coming to Norman, Oklahoma?!!

Yes, I wanted to go, but I had NO idea how truly life-changing this talk would be.

I walked in not expecting anything significant, but as soon as Shizah Shahid began to speak, I was drawn in. It was so weird to hear about her activism in her community and how it began at such a young age. It was like seeing myself. I know my heart belongs to volunteering and serving others, and just to hear someone else do the same, and see the results made me that much more confident that this is the road that I want to embark on.

Although I really couldn’t get any pictures of the event because it was a lecture and afterwards I was too nervous to ask someone as cool as Shizah Shahid to take a picture, I really wish I had, because she has absolutely NO idea how much she impacted a normal girl from Houston, Texas.

This is Malala and Shizah Shahid!!

Something that Shizah talked about that stuck with me was that although she volunteered for others and truly did devote her time to others, she never would have understood how bad things were for woman in Pakistan if she had not looked beyond herself. WHOA. Right?? I just couldn’t believe how dumb I was before this. I grew up in an upper-middle class home, went to amazing schools, had nice things, go to a nice college. All of these things are what blinds not only myself, but all of us from realizing that we’re focusing on the wrong things. There are people out there whose voices aren’t heard- and nothing breaks my heart more than that. I yearn to let those voices be heard, for people to help.

I believe being a part of GEF is my first time to broadening my mind. Shizah also said “to broaden the perspective of the world and find out what we’re supposed to do in the world.” EACH OF US HAS A PURPOSE. And with Shizah’s talk, I believe my purpose has been solidified. I want to serve orphans and let them know how loved they are. Teach them. EVERYONE, even those who might not know it, DESERVES LOVE. Everyone deserves to know that they have been put on this Earth for a reason beyond their own doing.

In Shizah’s lecture, she quoted Margaret Mead who said, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Goosebumps. She then went on to tell the story of Malala, and if y’all don’t know what I am talking about… LOOK IT UP!! (I attached the link to the movie trailer about Malala!)


Shizah’s lecture was truly empowering. She spoke of something called Ikigai, which means “reason for being.” (This is the only picture that I got from the lecture… I apologize for the terrible quality)

But she spoke of how in one’s life, no one ever has a full idea of what they’re doing. In this world, people are in corporate positions or working in banks, making money. But these people are not truly happy. Yes, these jobs are important, but are they meaningful? I could not believe my ears. I have been having such a hard time lately as I question “will the life I want to have allow me to provide for a family or even provide for myself?” Yes, it is nice to have a job that pays the bills, but to be happy is so much more important- and Shizah showed me that. She asked us, “how do we create a career that’s meaningful, that has adventure that allows us to learn and grow, but also deal with the practicalities of paying the bills?” I mean, I’m only 18 so I cannot really answer that, and I guarantee that most people can’t. But, it provides such great insight into the fears that I am feeling at this moment.

Shizah brought a sense of comfort to me in that what I want to do is so amazing. She told us that if you want to make change, you have to start where you live and where you will remain for awhile. So, that means Norman is the current target, and for some reason that scares me more traveling all the way to Africa to serve orphans. But, she opened my eyes and made me realize that this is where the journey begins, and I truly cannot wait!