Misunderstood: artists, do-gooders and missionaries

The wrong question? As soon as the question escaped my lips I knew that I had become That Annoying Person Who Asks The Stupid Question That Misses The Point. My poorly articulated question spread across the auditorium like a bad taste on the palate. I was at the Justice Conference in Melbourne, and it was an “In conversation with…” session on the intersection of art and justice which ended up … Continue reading Misunderstood: artists, do-gooders and missionaries

Re-entry. Still from the movie Gravity.

367 days after re-entry

Ten years ago, a lady named Debbie asked me if I was studying Spanish because I wanted to be a missionary in South America. At the time it was a seriously long bow to draw – I in fact had no better reason for studying Spanish other than Age of Empires and the Spanish national football team.

Once I started learning the language, I discovered how beautiful it was to the ear, the mind, the tongue. But even then I didn’t have any particular interest in Latin American culture. I had even less interest in becoming a missionary.

Debbie and I are unlikely to cross paths again, but what she said turned out to be rather prophetic. Continue reading 367 days after re-entry

Next stop: Sydney

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

How to kickstart your acting career

Step 1: Be Asian. Step 2: Move to La Paz. That’s it, folks. In two simple steps you can get yourself on the path to fame. My acting experience consists of high school Shakespeare plays in English class and Christmas presentations at church. My modelling experience consists of catwalking fashion design students’ work more than a decade ago. And yet, publicists have asked me to audition … Continue reading How to kickstart your acting career

Trite but true: make this your New Year’s resolution

  First day back at work. It’s cold and not a bit dreary in La Paz. I haven’t had coffee. Three mugs of tea can’t wake me up. Ten-minute siesta on my desk isn’t doing it for me. Streaming Bon Iver and feeling sad. Did I like my job before the holidays? I’m sure I did – but today I’m sure not feeling it. I’m … Continue reading Trite but true: make this your New Year’s resolution

Ecuador vs Bolivia, and losing the Missionary label

Lately I’ve felt the unspoken question of why I decided to go back to South America but not as a missionary (that is, not as a big ‘M’ conventional Missionary). This post is an attempt to explain this and, at the same time, share with you some of the thinking behind why I went to Ecuador then, and why I’m going to Bolivia now. Why I went to … Continue reading Ecuador vs Bolivia, and losing the Missionary label

The end of the honeymoon period?

About time for a new post, isn’t it? The last couple of months, I’ve wanted and not wanted to write. I haven’t posted because, well, I guess I’ve tended to write about observations and conclusions that I’ve come to, things that I can build a narrative around. Things that are neat. I haven’t really had any nice epiphanies lately, but I’ll give you some snapshots … Continue reading The end of the honeymoon period?