Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Mi missem yufellas tumas!

Well over a year later, I finally got my hands on some more photos from Vanuatu. Liesa finally posted some of her pictures on Facebook. And pleasantly, from the 50 out of several hundred, she chose to include one of my favourites. I haven't seen this photo in over a year, but I love it:

This is me attempting to communicate with small children. (More specifically, as part of my small team project, I was responsible for teaching the community about the environment and composting. Exciting stuff.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

The World-Weary Shoes

Walking to work today, there were hoards of elementary school kids, lined up in buddy-system rows, waiting to get into the theatre for a play. Some of the girls waved and smiled and said hello to me. I smiled back. I remember being that age. For a moment, I saw myself through their eyes--just a brief glimpse. Through their eyes, I’m an adult. I’ve got insurmountable debt, I’ve got jobs, I have an education and I even have a small amount of furniture.

But I'm not quite there yet.

In a month, I’ll be turning 23. The number feels somehow substantial, weighty. I'm moving back in with my parents in only six days, for one last time.

Will I ever really feel like an adult?

On my last days in Australia, I got off a train in Katoomba on a chilly, grey morning. The wind and rain whipped at my face, and I wandered the streets in search of my hostel. I was tired, alone and had no clue what I was doing there.

After spending nearly three months constantly surrounded by people—sharing the nighttime shelter of a mosquito net, avoiding the sparks and ash that shot off our cooking fires, taking quiet comfort and pleasure in the hot tea from the morning billy before the hot afternoon sun made us crave nothing more than grapefruit and fresh bread, scrubbing cement-covered clothes at sinks plugged with old flyers, standing lengthwise at mirrors wet and wrapped in sarongs, swapping spit and stories all the way up the Australian east coast—I was completely alone. I had come to Katoomba on a whim, with no purpose and no reason.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Mailbag

I probably get more personal mail than the average person. It brings no end to my joy when I reach into my mailbox to pull out a letter. Someone took the time to think about me, and took the time to sit down and try and put those thoughts into words. The edges of envelopes I recieve are creased, the addresses are hand-written and the packages are often dirty and smudged with food.

And in some cases, this mail has travelled across the world to find me.

Yesterday, I got a letter from my host mom Kathy.

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