how the light gets in

Despite my best efforts, I find myself often comparing my Sri Lankan life with my Canadian life. Comparisons can be dangerous; they take you away from your current context and inevitably lead to disappointment as you discover that things are usually different and sometimes weird and never what you’re used to. It’s so easy and so natural to separate the world into “us” and “them” and this mindset is what prolongs culture shock and prevents integration into this new world I find myself in. My life in Canada and my life here are incomparable. My whole context has changed. I am part…

all by myself

I had the privilege of video chatting with a good friend the other day, the first time we’ve really talked since August. Our long conversation, made longer by dodgy internet connections, covered everything that’s happened in the weeks since we last saw each other, mostly, of course, focusing on our personal adjustments to life abroad, our mandates, and being alone. I learned a lot about how I’m feeling about life because she asked me questions other people haven’t and I said things out loud that I haven’t said before. I did an okay job of preparing myself to be here,…

fomo

This weekend, I went on a safari with Karen and a family from Australia. I sang Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams in my head the whole time, because that’s what I learned in International Development. The family was kind, the elephants were exactly as spectacular as I had hoped, and it was hot. Toward the end of our trip, the father asked us if we missed the cold weather this time of year. Of course. I miss a lot of things this time of year. Canadians celebrated thanksgiving this weekend, aka the first weekend where people really embrace fall weather. My Facebook, Instagram, and…

ob-la-di, ob-la-da (life goes on)

Well, I’ve been here for a number of weeks (a month?), and not a single one of my questions has been answered. In an ideal world, I’d have things sort of figured out by now, but we don’t live in an ideal world. Right now, I’m kind of just making things up until something works. As far as I can tell, that’s what everyone else is doing too. I think this is what they call “adulting”. So, despite the uncertainty surrounding everything I do, life keeps moving forward, and I really don’t have much choice but to go with it….

cardboard boats and a city in the hills

I recently started listening to a podcast called “Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People”, or “Beautiful/Anonymous” for short (x). It’s a simple premise: the host, Chris Gethard, accepts a phone call, and he and this anonymous caller just talk for an hour. Chris and his callers have kept me company in the last couple of weeks, on long car rides and nights when I feel lonely. I haven’t listened to every episode yet, but all of the ones I have heard have stuck with me in one way or another, coming back up as I experience new things. Last week, the Uniterra team took…

my sri lankan life (so far)

It’s almost 1am on Saturday, September 10. I have been in Sri Lanka for two full days, and I’m apparently the only one of the nine of us who arrived together who isn’t affected by jet lag. Everyone has been asleep for several hours and I feel like I’m nowhere close. I’m laying in my bed in a hotel by the ocean, listening to cars drive past from one side and The Chainsmokers  blasting through the hallways from the other. I have the fan on, but the AC off, because being in a warm, muggy room reminds me of home. The last few days have been…

august 7, 2016

Two years ago, I got home from work to the news that my friend didn’t. Two years ago, I picked up the phone and cried with my roommate, completely at a loss for words. Two years ago, the brilliant light that was Alex Foto left earth and joined the stars. Losing Alex was a great loss, one that I will feel for forever. I have spent days in bed aching for her, and I have cried so much that my tears run dry. But I have gained so much since August 2014, too, things I might not have gained if things had worked…

can you see the real me?

It’s August, and I’m sitting on a tile floor in Nicaragua. It’s hot. I’m wearing a sticky t-shirt, am desperately fanning myself with my hands, and I’m talking about passion with a group of people that I met five days ago. “Write down your three biggest passions” Presence Authenticity Garbage I didn’t know these were the most important things to me, but talking it over in that hot room made it clear to me. I am passionate about ideas. And garbage. But mostly ideas. I value being in the moment, and being genuine in who I am and how I present myself….

amor vincit omnia?

Love conquers all. It’s all you need to overcome the day-to-day. It’s the most powerful weapon. Love wins. But what about when it doesn’t? What happens when love isn’t enough? I love INDEV. I love the program, the people in it, the prospects associated with it. This program has stretched me into the kind of person that I want to be and that other people want to be around. But INDEV is hard. It’s a challenging program, because we don’t shy from the challenging stuff. I’ve been lucky so far in my classes; knowing that I love the end result makes the…

#oscarssowhite

Every year, a bunch of beautiful famous people come together and celebrate filmmaking and being beautiful and famous. The Academy Awards. The event we all love to hate. For 88 years in a row, we’ve sat on our couches with tubs of ice cream as men and women in glamorous designer clothing accept awards for being exceptional at their job, and convince ourselves that “I could totally do that if I wanted to”. This year, for the second year in a row, all of the major nominees were white. Host Chris Rock wasted no time in pointing that out: “[We’re] here at…