The other day my dad kindly informed me that if I ever stood for politics I’d need to renounce my Malaysian citizenship. This, of course, occurred in the context of the dual citizenship debacle that has kept Australia entertained for the last few months. Now I’m not sure how to feel about the fact that my father thinks a political career is a real possibility … Continue reading Going for glocal
Thought I’d share something different this week. Here’s a quiz for anyone who’s ever lived abroad.
Which Bible expat are you?
Below is a quick questionnaire about your experience overseas. Each response links to one or more people from Scripture. Continue reading Which Bible expat are you?
4,000m above sea level and 400,000m from the closest shore of the Pacific Ocean, playing beach volleyball every Sunday afternoon in the park somehow became one of the defining elements of my life in La Paz.
Now, at sea level and right on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, playing beach volleyball every Monday evening in Manly is becoming an anchor, a touchpoint, to each week here in Sydney.
It’s funny, the unlikely things that make me feel at home. Continue reading What feels like home
Approaching this Australia Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Australianness. Or lack thereof. It’s not that I’m experiencing epic reverse culture shock now that I’m back in Australia (just a little …), but certainly the relationship between my personal identity and my country has undergone significant transformation. As a child I felt more foreign than I should have. Probably because I went to a really … Continue reading 80% Australian
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
Tomorrow will be my first day in Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, paid employment in Sydney. There is so much “normal” in that one sentence it’s not even funny. Don’t pretend you’re not disappointed. I’m trying not to be. “So when are you going back to South America?” “What are you doing here? Just here for a break?” These are things people have actually, literally, … Continue reading Next stop: Sydney
October 3 She is lovely. Creamy vintage lace, delicate buttons all down her back, descending into a sweeping fishtail. I fumble through the chapel, out of time with the music, but whatever. She floats down the aisle after me. Dad is smart in his officer’s white dress suit although he only reluctantly links arms with her. The day is lovely. Agreeable sun, genuine smiles. People we haven’t seen in years. A photo here, … Continue reading Reconfiguring Home: Weddings and Earthquakes
“You’re not 25 anymore, y’know,” my sister says. She’s being gracious. After another year abroad, I re-enter my bedroom where the posters, postcards and photos plastered against the back wall are peeling off, the Blu-Tack tired of supporting them. This is interior decoration befitting a 16-year-old, and I am now (sigh) an almost-no-longer-twentysomething. But what does the bedroom of an almost-no-longer-twentysomething look like? Probably a … Continue reading Almost-no-longer-twentysomething
One month from today I say goodbye to La Paz and Bolivia. And I’m feeling pretty good about it; I’m ready to go home. Bolivia: please take this as a compliment. “Seeya” with a smile? In the last week or so people have started registering that I am going away “soon”; I’m beginning to get questions about what I want to do before and what my plans … Continue reading What makes a goodbye good?
January 2011 was the month I spent as an intern in Dili. It was an amazing experience: I got to write a super interesting report for an NGO (the Judicial System Monitoring Programme). I got some fascinating insight into the life of an expat community, specifically the expat development community. I met a bunch of cool people. I got to practice my Indonesian and Tetum. I … Continue reading Turning points in Timor-Leste