Australian New Year’s Eve traditions mostly involve drinking hard, watching fireworks and calling it a party. This is followed by spending 1 January sleeping it off. Where Christmas Day is family time, NYE Down Under means time with friends. In Ecuador, I was introduced to the tradition of making and breaking monigotes (mon-ee-GO-tez): life-sized replicas of yourself and people you know. These effigies are also known as muñecos … Continue reading NYE lessons from Ecuador
I’m not really sure why World Taco Day is a thing. It’s probably just a marketing device to boost sales at restaurants, Mexican or otherwise. The same goes for Taco Tuesdays – why not #TequilaTuesdays? #TeaTuesdays? #TiramisuTuesdays? I don’t understand it, but I’m okay with it. In fact, Taco Tuesdays have become a beloved part of my week. Method: Head to local pub after work. … Continue reading How tacos can change your life
Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy Ash Wednesday! Not since 1945 have both occasions fallen on the same day. And not since ever have I cared much for either. Guess I’m just a little jaded. Today, couples make very visible shows of their affection for each other. And florists and restaurants make a killing. Today, the faithful step out of Mass with a dusty cross brushed onto their … Continue reading Love and ashes
I stumbled upon an interesting website this week. In the wake of the failed plebiscite and planned postal vote on same-sex marriage, there’s so much noise around the issue that it really wasn’t hard to run into The Equality Campaign. Titled Having a conversation about marriage equality, this particular page struck me because it was so, well, familiar. “[R]eal life conversations are incredibly powerful. They’re what … Continue reading Converse and convert
A politician who keeps his word? Who would’ve thought! But after a whole decade as Ecuador’s head of state, Rafael Correa is stepping down. Like, actually. Unlike his buddy Evo Morales, who felt a fourth term to be far too tempting to give up that he tried to change the constitution to make it legal for him to continue as president. Correa’s chosen heir, Lenin* … Continue reading Election reflections: Ecuador and Bolivia
I wasn’t procrastinating – I actually wasn’t planning on ever reading the book. It was going to be one for the mantelpiece, to adorn the bookshelf. After all, I spent a year working for the organisation founded by the author, so I didn’t just know the content – I was living right amongst it.
It was a surprise, then, how much the opening chapters of The Locust Effect moved me. Two months back on board with International Justice Mission (IJM), now in Australia, and we’ve talked on a number of occasions about vicarious trauma. I’ve shared with my colleagues some of what I went through that year in Bolivia. They’ve shared about how advocating against cybersex trafficking has had a toxic personal effect on them. Continue reading Re-entering the darkness
Apparently among some of my classmates, I had a reputation as the Crazy Baptist Girl at school. After making the decision to follow Jesus in Year 8, I didn’t start telling all my friends about him, but I did try to “show” my faith in other ways. I wore WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) wristbands, made an ancient history presentation on Moses and the ten plagues … Continue reading Crazy Baptist Girl
“How can you not like dumplings? They’re little pieces of heaven!”
Okay, so this post isn’t really about dumplings. But I’m going to talk a little about dumplings to launch into some thoughts about the little pieces of heaven on earth, the fragments of eternity around us. Continue reading Pieces of heaven
Apparently Margaret Thatcher was my hero. When I was in Year 6, each kid in our class had to nominate a female role model and I chose the Iron Lady. I don’t know why I didn’t pick Aung San Suu Kyi. Way cooler. And I mean, I’m possibly part-Burmese. Maybe.
Meanwhile, Alex – the boy I had a crush on – chose English nurse Florence Nightingale. My heart fluttered and sighed. This guy is beautiful and deep!
He chose a compassionate, determined, God-fearing woman. I chose a conservative politician (in)famous for being a hard-ass.
To this day, I think Alex had the right idea. And I’m starting to think I need to have better taste in women. Continue reading Something about Mary
People always ask me about my time in South America. Some are genuinely interested, while for others it’s the polite and logical thing to ask. In either case, the truth is that these conversations have started to get a bit repetitive and I’m often left wishing I could say more than: that Latinos are warmer; that Andean dishes contain too many carbs; that working with survivors of child sexual abuse was hard as you’d imagine but so rewarding; that I’m not sure how to answer your question about how good my Spanish is.
The worst thing is that I can’t seem to do Bolivia and Ecuador justice – not in a brief conversation that could turn to a different topic at any given moment.
So below are a few noteworthy things I don’t generally get to share about the impact that my time in South America has had on me as a person and who I am now. Continue reading How South America messed me up good