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

Something about Mary

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

Old people push up charity overheads

I spent all of Friday afternoon handwriting Christmas cards to people I don’t know. A regular day at work now involves, at some point, printing and folding receipt letters, stamping and manually addressing envelopes. To be honest, so much of what we do at my new job seems primitive. It’s not something we’re unaware of; we’ve spoken about the website and the way we process donations. Some of that … Continue reading Old people push up charity overheads

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

Mission made possible

In honour of IJM Bolivia’s incredible month of July (4 convictions, a long-awaited arrest, 60 therapies completed, churches uniting for justice), our team went to see Tom Cruise hang off the side of a military plane, in a business suit, as it takes off into the chilly London air. During the week, our Field Office Director made a number of references to how our work … Continue reading Mission made possible

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

External link to IJM Bolivia Cases Progress at ‘Rapid Pace’ Following New Law

IJM Bolivia Cases Progress at ‘Rapid Pace’ Following New Law

IJM Bolivia Cases Progress at ‘Rapid Pace’ Following New Law (my piece from the IJM Newsroom) LA PAZ, BOLIVIA, June 25, 2015 Thanks to a new law, IJM Bolivia has seen “miraculous” developments in the past eight months, according to Greg Tarrant, IJM Bolivia field office director. The Law to “Decongest and Effectivise” Criminal Procedures stole the media spotlight when passed at the end of October … Continue reading IJM Bolivia Cases Progress at ‘Rapid Pace’ Following New Law

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