A Story of How Joy and Play Can Ripple Across the Ocean

By Haley Burns, Kikori's Chief Beautifier

At 22, I was living the ultimate life of a free young girl with no worries, no cares, and no traumatic events from the past to color my present. Each day I would go out to the beach and run amok with friends and surf and sing and dance and watch the sunset in my temporary home in Costa Rica. My housemate, Samantha loved my free and adventurous spirit.

I came home after a long delicious day of surfing at the beach with friends and was debriefing with Samantha when she said to me, "I wish my daughter could be as free as you. I hope one day she will be." My housemate's daughter, living across the ocean in Berlin wasn't eating. Iman, a 22 year old Syrian girl had the trauma of witnessing countless murders and destruction caused by Isis for the majority of her childhood. She had recently escaped Isis and Syria when she met Samantha, my roommate who adopted her at 46. I felt guilt. Why have I been put in this life to get to live this way while someone else has lived a lifetime of terror, for no reason other than being born in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Samantha had been barely eating either, out of stress and concern for her daughters decreasing mental health and not being close by to support her. If her daughter wasn't eating and playing, then she couldn't either. Samantha was also a Yogi, having dedicated her life to her yoga practice and I was beginning my Yogic journey starting my yoga teacher training program when I met Samantha in Costa Rica.