Empowering a thriving community with electricity

Photo by Rainer Wozny

Imagine for a second you are in Lagos, Nigeria. You’re crossing the Third Mainland Bridge into the city. It’s long. The second-largest in all of Africa.

You look off to your right and you see a slum. You can see the floating wood from torn-down houses. People returning from a long day of fishing. Trash catching on the stilts that hold each rickety house up.

You may be able to see little hints of the eco-system inside this town built on fish. The women smoke fish to send to market creating a haze around the town. The kids sell petrol…


From ‘Podcast?’ to ‘Podcast!’ in 90 days (or somewhere around there…)

Photo by Tommy Lopez from Pexels

“Hey there! It’s Ellie. I’ll be your co-host today, and we’ll be interviewing…” These were the first words I got to speak on BetterBrave Community Podcast, and my hands were shaking. But I was excited because I got to be part of making a podcast to help demystify workplace sexual harassment with a team of 3 other bad-ass women. I couldn’t help but feel that the podcast was going to be something so much more than myself.

I’ll introduce this episode by saying this, “Hey, I’m Ellie, I’ll be your co-host today. We have Phuong Do, Aliia Zhakypova, and Gabriela…


New Discoveries and Infectious Optimism

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We’re back. Just over a year after rushing home from India for my grandpa’s funeral, and I am a rising Sophomore at Minerva Schools @ KGI. It’s been a journey that has taught me countless things, but here are the main takeaways.

Uncertainty is value

COVID has fish slapped us all. And I think the only person who wasn’t surprised by that slap was Bill Gates — and maybe his staunch followers. I was certainly caught off guard. And in a week, life went from regular dorm living (well, regular might be a stretch) to empty dorm living. My three…


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Walking into the Real Social Dynamics Free Tour (RSD) was more than a little uncomfortable for me. I was suddenly in a position where I was the only woman. I felt more isolated here than when I was the only person from the States in an entire Punjabi town.

To be clear, I am not a very feminine woman. That night I was rocking my undercut, joggers, and flannel button-up, but despite the fact that I largely blended into this room full of men, I still felt like meat.

Almost everyone there was better dressed, taller, and were on a…


It isn’t only about fixing mistakes made years ago — it’s about fixing mistakes made today

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There was a reparations senate hearing last week.

There was all sorts of response. The audience in the Senate that day filled four overflow rooms. Now it seems like no matter who you are, you’ve got an opinion.

There are two main categories of people who oppose reparations:

Some fall in the basket with Mitch McConnell who believes that reparations are irrelevant now because no one alive was born into or had anything to do with slavery. For these people, reparations aren’t in order. Slavery is behind us so reparations should be too.

For others, reparations border on slander. It…


Just so we’re clear…

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Calvin Klein introduced a commercial in May.

In it, all you see is a woman in Klein products, you have another woman walk up and the two kiss. The commercial ends with a black screen with Calvin Klein printed on it in white letters.

There are no words, no explanation, no trying to promote their product. Just a heterosexual model kissing a computer generated model — also not currently marketed as a lesbian robot…

The internet was so unimpressed Calvin Klein apologized for advertisement. Even they had to acknowledge it was baiting. After all, all they did was use women…


What’s unfair, what’s required, and what’s both

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The fight for civil rights begun when humans began and someone thought “Hey, what makes me less than Johnny over there?” And as long as we have been fighting for the civil rights of different races, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and pretty much everyone who isn’t at the top of the food chain there have been different ways of fighting for these rights.

There’s the difference between Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, Gandi and Nathuram Vinayak Godse — the Indian who killed him because he believed non-violence was not the way.

For as long as I can remember…


But it doesn’t make sense

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There this joke and it goes like this — A flood was coming and a man of faith trusting in God sits on his porch believing that God will deliver him. Just as the water is beginning to swirl around his ankles, a woman in a canoe passes by and offers the man a seat in her boat. The man calmly tells her that God will deliver him and he needs no help. …


Identity politics on any side is ugly

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Identity politics isn’t new.

People often vote for people that look like them. This is why politics is still a majority white/male field — up until recently, the majority of voters were white men and before that, they were the only people who could vote. This voting base voted in accordance with their demographic from the very bottom to the very top.

Today, For the first time in the history of the US, we have begun to see our population, voter base, and candidate pool diversify on every level giving more people the choice to vote for a politician who…


Who walks out?

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I wanted to say “fuck you,” but it came out as, “Nice to meet you.”

I had popped into work earlier than everyone except my boss — Dad — that day, which is normal. I work in a startup. We’ve got four people, some money from an investor, and we could use more of both. We’re new enough that we are submitting our business plan to competitions to see if we can get additional funding for the things we plan to do because we haven’t done much yet.

That’s why I was hired — to manage the biggest show that…

Elianna DeSota

Blogger, traveler, and sporadic decision making enthusiast. Passionate pursuer of understanding. https://desotaelianna.wixsite.com/eliannadesota

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