Note: Some of my thoughts on We Day were influenced by this article published in The Tyee last year by Alison Atkinson. *** When I was in high school, Craig Kielburger was my idol. A Canadian activist who founded the charity Free the Children, Craig was a big name at my school. In our Global Service club, … More We Day: A lot of thoughts
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.
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?
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
When people write about their experiences abroad, I think they generally shy away from sharing what’s difficult. I could too—I could easily write about my fabulous weekend at Cape Maclear swimming in Lake Malawi, or the great morning I had last week planting trees with Malawian youth. But it’s important to talk about what’s challenging … More Learning from Challenges
The sun is setting over the hills near my neighbourhood. The sky is still light blue on the horizon, streaked with yellow-gold and white clouds. The noises of the neighbourhood are all around us as the evening turns to dark: children yelling, families chattering, radios playing, dogs barking. The compound where I am staying sits … More The View Over My Back Wall
Forget that you don’t much like nightclubs in your own culture and your own city, where you feel safe and comfortable. Walk with purpose into the dark club, where some people sit around tables in an open-air section and others dance on a compact stage by the bar. Make room for your group on the … More How to enjoy a Malawian nightclub
You know when you watch the news and the weather reporter points at the green screen behind her to a mass of swirling, chaotic colours that represent an incoming storm system? Well, that green screen is my brain. A cerebral vortex, if you will. Today’s day 3 in Malawi, and so far the most consistent … More First Impressions: Cerebral Vortex
I’m in Montreal right now for pre-departure training for the three-month internship I’ll complete in Malawi starting in January 2014. Today was the first day of training, and I learned a lot. (Not always the case in pre-departure training sessions, as it turns out.) One of my favourite things we talked about today was this video: … More What I Learned Today: The danger of a single story