Ten questions to ask a graduate that are better than “So, what are you going to do with your degree?”

Over the past few weeks, my Facebook newsfeed has been filled with many, many pictures of friends in caps and gowns, holding flowers and diplomas. It’s a time of year to celebrate but also a time when well-meaning parents, extended family members, neighbours, and waitresses feel the need to ask the dreaded question about what’s … More Ten questions to ask a graduate that are better than “So, what are you going to do with your degree?”

Convocation

Tomorrow I graduate from university. This is what will happen: I will pick up my black robe with red trim and a hat that will most certainly look silly on me. I will greet old colleagues and friends on campus and they, along with my family, will congratulate me and tell me I’m special even … More Convocation

Malawi: You can laugh. You can cry. But you cannot be indifferent.

On my last Sunday in Malawi, my friend Tom invited me to see his house and meet his family. Tom is a security guard at the compound where I live, and he also works as a tailor; we international volunteers have gotten to know him as we discuss designs of skirts and take measurements for … More Malawi: You can laugh. You can cry. But you cannot be indifferent.

White Girl Goes to Africa: Am I anything more than a cliché?

The internet has produced some truly excellent satire lately making fun of white girls going to Africa. Maybe you’ve seen this story in the Onion “6-Day Visit to Rural African Village Completely Changes Woman’s Facebook Profile Picture” or this advice article on the “Four Best Ways to Photograph Yourself Hugging Third-World Children.” I also stumbled … More White Girl Goes to Africa: Am I anything more than a cliché?

Alternate Realities

Lately, I’ve been doing a little thinking and planning for when I arrive back in Canada. And as I’ve been imagining what life back home will look like—a full-time job, maybe a car, a nice apartment to myself—I’ve been finding myself unable to come to terms with how life in Canada can exist in the … More Alternate Realities

Nineteen uses for a chitenje

In Malawi, chitenjes are everywhere—and they’re fabulous. These 2×1-metre rectangles of brightly patterned cloth, also called kitenje in some neighbouring countries, are most commonly seen worn by women, wrapped around their waist like a towel. Especially outside the cities, women wear chitenje like it’s a uniform. But truly, it’s more like a miracle garment. Here’s the list I’ve been keeping for … More Nineteen uses for a chitenje