# 7 - A Suitcase of Happiness

Imagine a world where every child studies a subject in school called "happiness." We would begin in elementary school, learning the basics of positive psychology and self-understanding alongside Math, Science, and Social Studies. Each year, our grasp on what makes us happy and how to live a quality life would deepen, our vision for our future seen through rose-colored shades. That vision is what inspired Clara den Boer to create the Happiness Suitcase project, and we had the pleasure of meeting up with her in beautiful Laren, Holland to talk with her about it. We sat on the porch of a café that looked out at the naturous hiking path where Clara was when the idea for the Happiness Suitcase ca

# 6 - Size Matters

(By which, of course, I mean matters of size) After 6 panoramic hours on buses and trains, gazing out the windows at Dutch architecture and cartoon-worthy verdant parks, waterways and streets we found ourselves getting used to the dreamscape of rural Holland. We were on our way south from Amsterdam to Ouddorp to meet Martijn Wenting and his girlfriend, Irene, who together had recently finished building their first proper home with their own hands. But we didn't come only for the view. Fascinated by the idea of minimalism - the philosophy that owning less material yields a higher quality of life - I had been communicating with Martijn (rhymes with "nine") online for a few months as he and Ire

#5 - Lesvos Part 3 - The Takeaway

In the course of our experience in Skala Sykamnias, our focus for this leg of the documentary shifted dramatically. We have decided to focus less on the stories of refugees themselves so as not to play into the sensationalism of "The Refugee Crisis." This would only be propagating the cycle of "othering." Instead, we'll focus on the volunteer effort and sentiment of those who have found deep meaning in this historical happening. What drives a person to give of oneself for a greater good, in what ways are we impacted by the suffering of others and what role does individual happiness play along the way? In my experience during our brief stay with Lighthouse, I found deep intrinsic value - a se

#4 - Lesvos Part 2 - Shades of Black

A mountain of life-jackets deserted by refugees on Lesvos. Photo by volunteer David Heeley From matters of sin to international relations, when you need something done right on Lesvos, you call the priest. So when I realized that the bus had driven out of town with my guitar, I was given a unanimous bit of advice. "Ask father." When I met him, I was struck by his powerful presence. Dressed head to toe in black, he stood to introduce himself. "Father Christoforos," he spoke, gravely. The depth and intensity of his gaze made it impossible to be anything but alert to the present moment. I chose my words carefully, keeping anything with four letters on a short leash. But that was before I knew t

# 3 - Lesvos Part 1 - Into The Cold Blue

[Turkey from Lesvos and The Sea That Separates] We intended to stay on Lesvos only 4 days. But we fell in love. I woke with a start as the bus stopped. The tiny twisting roads of Lesvos had lulled me to sleep - regretfully because the views of cobalt water and deep green vegetation were some of the most breathtaking I had ever seen. Karim and I stumbled off in a sleepy, heat-induced stupor, and the bus crawled off through the narrow streets. It would take about 10 minutes before I was awake enough to realize that I had left Martinito, my guitar, along with my computer on the bus. We had arrived in Skala Sykamnias, a quaint fishing village on the northern shore of the Greek island of Lesvos.

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