What feels like home

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

It’s not your fault, Australia

The highest point in all of Australia sits at about the same altitude as the average for the whole province of Loja, Ecuador. It doesn’t even come close to the lowest point in the entire city of La Paz, Bolivia, let alone the altitude of any of the surrounding mountains. I like to tout these little trivia tidbits but am increasingly conscious of coming off as … Continue reading It’s not your fault, Australia

Victor

I.

It was perfect in a bittersweet way

The overcast day
The fresh flowers
The waiting

The shades of black and grey
The Padre Nuestro
The father’s chanting

II.

They ushered him through a maze
of flagstones well-polished by the varnish of water
and the heavy footsteps of generations of mourners.
For fifty pesos a stranger sang
as we showered him with rose petals and rain.

Amidst her wailing and her brothers’ silent despair
and the cement mixed and laid thick to immortalise him,
the sky stops crying and its blue eyes blink
and I, for a moment, stare into eternity,
into sorrow, into loss, into hope.

Avenues upon avenues of memories
in this city of the departed;
yards and yards of carnations
doing their best to defy time –
but who can resist?

Grief made her embrace linger, made us angels
without wings, and stranded on earth,
but angels nonetheless.

III.

Another Padre Nuestro
Another sigh
Another moment without him

The first of too many. Continue reading Victor

IJM Interns/Fellows: Top Ten Moments From 2014

Reproduced from the IJM Newsroom/Blog: http://news.ijm.org/ijm-internsfellows-top-ten-moments-from-2014 WASHINGTON, DC, December 31, 2014 IJM teams around the world are celebrating the end of a very big year. To recap, we asked some of our interns and fellows to share ten moments they’ll never forget: 1. Sharing Harriet’s incredible story. EMILY, UGANDA: When I met Harriet and her children, they were entering a new season of hope. IJM had built her … Continue reading IJM Interns/Fellows: Top Ten Moments From 2014

Today I went to jail

The concrete walls soar straight up towards the sunny sky. It’s just like a fortress should be – a fortress founded smack bam in the middle of the city. San Pedro Penitentiary. IJM lawyer D says it’s a nasty place. “Horrible!” she affirms. Meanwhile, minibuses and motorbikes rumble past in the mid-morning traffic. The small side entrance opens and the unlit room we find ourselves in seems to … Continue reading Today I went to jail