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A Life Worth Living: moments of note in Denesa's life

Moment of Truth

Turns out the cold sharp pain between my ribs was the barrel of an AK-47. I was held at gunpoint while serving as a trained neutral international observer in an armed conflict in Latin America and had to think on my feet to save the lives of my colleagues and myself. Time slowed to a liquid pulse, heart coursing through limbs as I made the decision that would forever change my life. 

Backpacking in South Africa

I got chased off a mountain by a troupe of about 40 enraged baboons while backpacking in the mountains of South Africa. It's a good thing the massive dominant male who was leading the charge tripped and tumbled down the mountain. He stopped in his tracks (stopping all the others), looked embarrassed, and then flashed a "Yeah, but I'm still macho!" pose. With his chest puffed out and his teeth ready to tear into flesh, he growled and howled, but stayed put. I got to keep my face that day. 

Traveling Solo in Niger​

A high-ranking government official in Niger offered to pay all of my student loans in exchange for me... ahem... "living" with him. I smiled and declined.

Lunar Halos in Ghana​

I lived in Ghana for a year. One of my favorite moments there (out of many wonderful ones) happened while traveling alone. An old weathered grandma grabbed my wrist and insisted I stay the night with her despite me being a complete stranger who didn't speak her language. Her home was a tiny mud-walled hut, smaller than the tiniest NYC bathroom I had seen, but emaculately cleaned. She beamed as she showed me all her possessions: 4 pieces of equisite batik fabric. She then carefully unveiled a nearly empty single bottle of perfume and proudly placed a few drops on my wrists. I inhaled and smiled to thank her. She would not let me sleep on the floor, insisting that I take her thin bamboo mat, also on the floor. In the middle of the night, she woke me, led me to the center of the village and handed me a bucket of water with a bar of soap. The warm tropical air held me as I bathed bare under the light of the full moon, layered with rainbowed halos, my heart filled with intense peace and gratitude.

Luscious Life on the Road in India

On tour in India one Valentine's day, I got to perform in a 15th century palace built into the side of a mountain, which overlooked the entire sprawling valley below. I imagined living in historic India, and that moment tranformed into a Valentine's gift. The sun set on the open air amphitheatre just as we began our performance, infused with the ancient perfume of night.

Fries are Cleansing, Right?​

I once did the master cleanse while I was living in Brooklyn and performing avant guarde theater & dance. After 11 days, I broke the fast with NYC's finest authentic Belgium french fries with their signature garlic peanut sauce! That's cleansing, right? 

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