Thought for the Day: Tranquility


Find peace wherever you are.

Aloha, Renée

“Tranquility” from the India Collection of hand tinted photographs by Darvis.

from Asia Images Productions:



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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

7 responses to “Thought for the Day: Tranquility”

  1. Rosita says :

    Very true that quote! And the pic is beautiful, thoughtful too. Sometimes I wonder why do we desperately try to seek happiness outside ourselves….I think it’s due to mass marketing techniques, who try to sell things as they were perfect, even thought they aren’t. And it makes us idealize things as they were the epitome of happiness, not knowing happiness is a peace of spirit, who’s inside us, all the time. Well, that’s just my statement on it. Sometimes, I think that being born as human being is the ultimate condemnation, ’cause we do many bad things to each other. Being born as a human is pretty paradoxical, I think. It’s a thing we all should reflect about and try to change ourselves and the whole world, on a better way, of course!
    Hope y’all are fine,

  2. Rosita says :

    Hey, Renee! Wha’ are yuh thoughts on Trump winning usa’s elections? 🤔
    Hope y’all are fine,
    Yuh Brazilian buddy

    • reneeriley says :

      Shocking and scary for the U.S. and the world – especially for minorities. But we will see. Trump called for unity. The Republicans will have a majority in the House and the Senate. I’m worried, but I hope I am wrong. What are people thinking in Brazil? Aloha

      • Rosita says :

        Hey, love! well, some ppl do support him, while others, like me, don’t like him. I wish I could do university there in USA, as it’s easiest way to work there, but since Trump won, it seems I won’t follow my dream anymore….’cause I’m Brazilian, although was raised on the Caribbean, hearing impaired, and, worst of all, I’m half-Lebanese, although I’m NOT Muslim, and, even thought I don’t look Lebanese at all, my dad do, and it might be a problem, since trump hate Arab & perhaps even half-Arab ppl, even when they aren’t terrorist….I’m NOT capable of doing terrorism nor my family. We do repudiate those stuff and ISIS. Yuh might have noticed my poems are anti-war, and carry a message of redemption, hope and forgiveness, apart from fighting against social inequalities. That’s wha’ I wanna for world. That’s wha’ our world needs ASAP. I won’t do university in USA anymore. Sadly, some ppl can’t (or simply don’t do for some reason) see that…In fact, I’m undecided whether will I do it here in brasil or in Canada, although I wanna move to somewhere in Caribbean, and maybe I’ll try a new life in República Dominicana or Costa Rica. And, about Trump’s stuff, well, the whole story of USA’s election was an almost dramatic, perhaps a bit comic, and very, very tense soap opera, and all I can do is wish is good luck for y’all on Trump’s USA and try making a pacifist and pro-minorities campaign ’cause he might wanna make (another) war in MidEast & he think that us, minorities, aren’t ppl at all. Just a thought, BTW…
        Plz take care and try staying safe,

  3. reneeriley says :

    Hi Rosita: Thanks for writing. Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. I haven’t known what to say. But I definitely will say that those who have come from other countries – no matter their race, ethnic makeup, religion, or gender – have made the U.S. the vibrant, mainly wonderful, place it is. If, for instance, the kicks out our farm workers from Mexico, our agriculture industry could not survive. Now if people like you can’t or don’t want to come to the U.S., we will be less for it: less diverse, less talented, less strong. What gives me hope is that we will have elections again in the U.S. – first in two years for the mid-term elections and then in four for the presidential election. Maybe next time more people will take the elections seriously, see that the party and candidates elected do make a difference, and so they will vote. And we need to give Trump and the Republicans a chance. There is much that needs improving – like our infrastructure. Democrats have been trying to get needed things done, but now with the Republicans in control of everything, there won’t be the obstruction that has gone with along with President Obama’s proposals. We will see. As for you, my advice is to go to the best school possible for what you want to do. Get as much knowledge and skill as you can get (without going into lots of debt). You are needed. We all are needed. Aloha, Renée

    • Rosita says :

      Of course! I totally agree at u, love. And, sincerely, I’m wondering about living in Costa Rica (in fact, it’s an old dream of mine) or perhaps República Dominicana, but I really don’t know where will life take me to….but whenever I go, I’ll study hard so I can achieve my goals ^^ thxs for advice!! And, of course, USA was made by immigrants, as well as brasil and I bet there’s no country free of immigrants, legal or illegal. They AREN’T the problem! The problem is that there’s so many bureaucracy involved and that world has became VERY litigious, so, it’s hard for immigrants to settle somewhere & live a normal life, without the fear of being deported……I feel sorry for those immigrants who’re now in Trump’s Dystopia, AKA USA. And I feel sorry for those refugees who’re struggling to arrive there in Europe or even here in brasil or perhaps in USA, even thought Trump will make things harder for them, specially if they’re Muslims. The world still have many to improve. And the change should start with world’s leaders, I think. Wha’ are yuh thoughts on it?
      Hope y’all are fine,

      • reneeriley says :

        Hi Rosita: You say the change should start with the world leaders, and I agree, but this U.S. election that has so many of us very concerned shows that we can’t count on leaders to do the right thing. I was reading Hope Jahren’s “Lab Girl” today (a terrific non-fiction book about botany, science, being a woman in science) that I think you would like. You will never look at a tree in the same way. Jahren says that from working in a hospital she saw that there were two kinds of people in the world: the sick and the not sick. Those who weren’t sick needed to help those that were. It’s the same with us in our situation today. We need to develop ourselves and help others in whatever ways we can. We can work to create good leaders, but we can’t wait around for it to happen. I think we can seek to surround ourselves with the most loving, most nurturing people we can find – and good things will happen. That’s what I think. Aloha, Renée

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