What does quaquaversal mean?

I will be writing from India. Why call this blog “quaquaversal’ rather than something reminiscent of spice and noise?

To begin: Quaquaversal originates from Latin and means “moving or happening in every direction instantaneously towards a center.” I chose this word because a) I was an English major during my undergraduate studies, and I love uncommon words with charming sounds and b) the image of a galaxy cluster of events circling together towards one common center touched home.

This summer, I interned with the Social Innovation Lab at BRAC, a development agency headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh. One afternoon, sitting on the veranda of the 4th floor and eating lunch with some of the other interns, I was asked how I found myself in Bangladesh. As my story followed the twists and turns of the decisions that led me to international development and Dhaka, a girl looked at me hopelessly and commented, “You’ve done everything, haven’t you?”

I stopped, befuddled for a moment, before agreeing. My path has jumped from here to there. I have held many titles and done various jobs. I have lived in Japan, Korea, Bangladesh, and now India. I have studied English and Asian Studies. I have studied classic French horn performance. I have interned for cultural organizations, a refugee resettlement agency, and human rights organizations. I ran a half marathon to prove to myself that I could, and now I’m contemplating a full marathon. I taught English at an all girls’ high school in Korea. I have worked in a sandwich cafe, a children’s museum, CVS Pharmacy, and an educational NGO. I am now studying international development and spending a year in India working again in the education sector. My journey has been so delightfully diverse and unexpected. I have had so many opportunities, and I have been so incredibly fortunate to be able to accept these opportunities. I am grateful to the many paths that I have walked, and I look forward to walking new, unknown paths in the future.

Thus far, my journey has been moving in every direction at once. And while I do not know the center to which I flow, I have faith that it is there. The quaquaversal travels I write about are the unexpected occurrences better known as life.


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