2019 was a crazy year! It truly was one of the best years of my life but also one of the most difficult. From moving houses two times, finding a dream job only to lose it at the end of the year, losing another pageant, and coping with multiple family deaths, the obstacles that I faced were significant. But what's amazing to me is how grateful I am for all of the losses because of how insane the good moments were. I've travelled to 3 different countries, 4 different states, and many other cities this year alone. I gained a lot of amazing experience working for AREAA and dancing with Kaleo Onalani. I started a leadership fellowship with APPEAL, spoke on panels, and led a workshop at the PISA High School Conference. I've made so many memories and I cannot wait for what 2020 has in store!
As for Sincerely, Alana, we are starting the year off with the creation of Sincerely Travel and Sincerely Lifestyle before finishing the rest of Season 2. Sincerely Makeup is also on the website but will be a slow growing project as the other branches take priority.
I hope to expand the Sincerely brand even further through creating Alana Godoy Events. But more will be revealed after finding a new job. I will still be attending SDSU and pursuing a double bachelors in Anthropology and Sociology, finishing my APPEAL Fellowship, and travelling the world. Pageants might be a thing of my past, but who knows...
I look forward to what 2020 will bring us and I hope that you all remember that the start of a new year can bring about new change, but only if you work for it. It's time to hit the refresh button and make a list of our goals and priorities. Make a plan for how to accomplish these goals and take the actions necessary to make it happen. I'll be posting videos and additional resources to help with goal setting and striving for all your dreams.
Happy New Year's!
What an Overwhelming Update
In the last few months, quite a lot has happened to me that has prevented me from making Sincerely Alana at the top of my priority list. I think in all areas of life, if you are not yourself taken care of, you cannot take care of anything else as effectively as needed.
Before this period of trauma hit me, I was making a lot of moves with Sincerely Alana to create our branches- Sincerely Travel and Sincerely Lifestyle. I was also able to get more potential guests for our videos and was doing a lot of research to get content and other video ideas in motion.
As you know from my most recent video, I lost my grandfather, and more than that, I was the one to find him dead in his room. If that wasn't enough loss, I was fired from AREAA, my dream job, due to an organizational restructure after the 2019 National Convention in Boston. On top of that, I've been experiencing a lot of problems with my boyfriend, Alex. We've decided to take a break to work on ourselves separately, but this was the cherry on top of my pile of loss and sorrow.
With all of that being said, my main focus has been finishing the semester with good grades, figuring out my living situation, and trying to heal myself from all these problems. It's not easy. I mentioned a lot of these problems in my last video, Surviving Loss, so I know what to do, but it's a lot harder to live it and experience so much at one time.
So, without further ado, I'd like to announce that I will slowly be working my way back to being consistent with Sincerely Alana. I'm working towards a lot in my personal life, so I hope to gradually work my way in to building this community as best I can. Be prepared for more videos, blogs, and life tips and tricks with the development of Sincerely Travel, Lifestyle, and of course, Sincerely Alana.
I appreciate all of your love and support and hope to create a brand that you all can relate to and take refuge in.
PIFE - Spain and More!
I cannot believe the amazing trip that I was able to take this summer with my hula family Kaleo Onalani to Spain for PIFE (Pacific Islander Festival of Europe)! It was such a wild experience full of ups and downs, but in the end it was all worth it and I wish I could go back.
Our adventure began by taking a bus ride to LAX, an 11 hour flight to Barcelona, a one hour flight to Calafell, and a 5 minute walk to our apartments with loads of luggage and costumes. We spent went was left of our first night and the following day getting acquainted with the area and spending lots of time on the beach of Calafell. Then we had a day to visit Barcelona and sight see on a hop on hop off bus. It was amazing to see the landmarks you hear about and see in movies but in person. (Pictures below). The next day was filled with teaching hula and tahitian workshops and practicing for our first performance.
Our first performance was in a courtyard in the shadow of an old abondaned castle in this quaint picturesque town. It was amazing and we gave 110%. The mana we felt from the audience was unreal and we were able to spend the rest of our night celebrating and drinking wine at a beautiful hotel nearby.
The rest of our performances quickly approached and each one was followed by a night of celebrating with our family. We performed on the big stage at the event, on the beach, and even had small flash mobs practically every where we went.
Although we saw some beautiful places, performing and the mix of emotions that came after every show was the highlight of the entire trip. People in Europe really don't get to see the culture, and to see audience members crying after our performance was so humbling. They said that they were inspired by us, but their reactions and stories inspired us in return.
After 13 days in Calafell, our flight arrangements were messed up so we had to fly to Paris for 2 days. It was a dream come true to be able to end our trip in the City of Lights. We took another Hop On Hop Off Bus to take us to see all the major attractions. With only a couple days we didn't have time to go inside and visit anything specifically, but we were able to learn about the history and take lots of pictures. On our second day in Paris, we got to cross Disneyland Paris off of our bucket list! It's small than the OG Disney and California Adventures in Anaheim, but it still packed all the fun. I really enjoyed that Disney Paris had larger (and just overall more) rollercoasters that packed more of a thrill-factor. And of course they pay homage to Ratatouille.
The next day we were on a 12 hour flight chasing the sun from Paris to Los Angeles- no seriously, I didn't see any night sky for the entire flight! This trip was once in a lifetime and I'm so grateful for the deeper bonds that were created between my hula family, the places that we were able to visit, the "first-times" that we were able to experience, and the impact that we were able to make.
SPARC Leadership Conference
June was an EXTREMELY busy month for me. Between Tahitian competition practices, online summer classes, the pageant, work trips and more, one of the key moments of the entire month was attending APPEAL's SPARC Leadership Program.
One of the leaders in the PI San Diego community, Uncle Tana Lepule, sent me an email one day asking if I would apply to become a SPARC Fellow and attend this event. I had absolutely no idea what it was and I almost turned down the invitation because of how busy that entire week was. The last day of the conference was also the day of our Kaleo preshow! I told him my scheduling situation and he and the director made an exception for me to leave early. Welp, I couldn't turn down the offer then.
In preparation for the event, I did some trivial research about the program and the organization (of course you can find it in the resources tab). SPARC Leadership Program is an year-long program that increases AANHPI awareness and engagement in tobacco control advocacy. It brings together young adults and community leaders from across California. SPARC is funded by APPEAL (Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership) which is a health justice organization that aims to gain health equality for AANHPI and other under served communities. That was about all I knew before attending the event.
The first few minutes were of course awkward since I didn't really know anyone (and of course I was the first person there). But as time passed Uncle Tana's daughter, Leiana, walked in. I knew someone! And Leiana and I have grown up in the same circle of people so it was an added benefit. Throughout the day we participated in group activities and learned the basics of the tobacco issues in AANHPI communities and leadership. We concluded the day by going to a Thai restaurant for dinner and then I had to zoom off to practice.
The second day was very similar but the activities were more intimate and everyone felt comfortable with each other. It was probably my favorite day because we were able to bond with our small groups and understood the issues that we all face on a much deeper level. I think this day sparked a new drive in everyone to continue down their paths of leadership and reminded us of why we decided to become advocates for the AANHPI community in the first place. It was hard for me to leave that day and drag myself to practice because I wanted to continue the conversations.
On the last day, I only stayed half the time because of the preshow, but I left on a strong note. As part of our final training, we had to participate in a role play activity where are small groups had to propose a policy to the appropriate board. This policy is essentially what we will be working on over the course of the next 10 months. My group, the I.S.L.A.N.D group, is proposing to implement a smoke and tobacco free policy on all community college campuses in CA. We killed it. I started off with the strong intro and then my team came in with all the facts and appeal to emotion. It was a great way to end my experience for the summit.
I look forward to working with my group over the next few months. I truly believe that we can make an impact on at least one community college campus and that we could start a chain reaction across the state. I'm sure I will share more updates as we continue working on this project!
New Series of Videos
My intended purpose of making these videos and maintaining this website is to provide people with the information surrounding social issues. I do this because I want to make people feel that what they are going through is normal and that they are not alone in their struggles and times of difficulty.
However I want to encourage you all to take advantage of this website and the platform to share your stories or reach out if you need any kind of help. Share your suggestions about what you like and don't like or what you think could improve. I'm always open to hearing your opinions and value them because it helps me adapt to the needs of everyone.
Very soon, I'm going to start a new series of videos where I film intimate conversations with people in our community. If you are interested in being in one of these videos, please reach out. There are no requirements other than being willing to open up and share your story. These videos are to better illustrate the rawness of these problems and how they affect the lives of so many people.
Let me know if anyone is interested. If you don't already have my contact information, you can reach out through the 'Contact' page on my website.
During my brainstorming of ideas to benefit the Pacific Islander community, it came to my attention that there are a lot of issues we face that we don’t necessarily talk about as a group.
My solution: start making videos that bring these issues to the forefront and allow for discussion. I can promise you that I am by no means a video editing/ making expert, but I can say that I try my best.
I’m currently in the works of editing my first set of videos, one of them being a compilation of interviews that address social issues with Pacific Islander community leaders. During my interviews, there were so many similarities in answers that made me realize how urgent it is that we address these topics.
There are many resources out there that can help you become more involved, informed, and offer support, but if you’re anything like me, it’s hard to access them with your busy schedule and a lack of online resources.
My hope is that these videos get passed along to help raise awareness and normalize these topics while also providing support and community to those who might need it the most.
Let me know what you think I should start talking about first!
I plan on addressing mental and physical health, substance use, and loss of cultural identity. All things that I feel are on the top of our list.
Also share the events and topics that you are most excited for! This is a place to lift each other up and provide happiness, hope, and love.
Since I was a little girl, writing was always my go- to way of expressing myself and escaping from the rest of the world.