Tag Archives | family

Community, Compromise and Hard Work: Back to Basics in the Brazilian Jungle

The late afternoon sun was strong as I clambered across the gleaming white peaks of the kitchen hut roof, paintbrush in hand. It already looked like I was standing on top of a giant meringue, and things were only going to get whiter. Two coats down and I was starting on a third when I […]

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Meeting Marcos and the Angeles de Medellin

“This is a forgotten place,” Marcos says, as he unlocks the chain wrapped tight around a set of big blue doors. “But you’re with me. You’re probably safer up here than you are down in Medellin.” Eight years of living in the Colombian city, and Marcos knows what he’s talking about. “Up here” is Regalo […]

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Saying Goodbye on the Road

One of the worst things about travelling is having to say goodbye. Whether it’s to friends and family when you first start a trip, or to the people you meet on the road who disappear from your life as quickly as they entered, it’s always sad making that inevitable farewell. And when you’re travelling by […]

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Volunteering with Children Abroad: the Issues You Should Know

When looking for volunteering projects in foreign countries, one of the first things to catch people’s eye is working with children. There are so many orphaned and impoverished children around the world in need of love, care and affection, and those of us who want to help know that we have the ability to deliver […]

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Moving to Cuenca: the Art of Getting Lost

“Over there, across the trees, are the balconies, bordering the river. Los balcones. If you mention them, people will know where you are.” We stood at Claudia’s bedroom window, looking out over the view that would belong to me, temporarily, for the next four months. Eva Lucia pointed into the midst of buildings, anxious for […]

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Why It Doesn’t Really Feel Like Christmas to Me

When I was younger, we used to spend Christmas at my grandma’s house in the country. It was a big old farmhouse, filled with spiders and dust and a whole bedroom of mysterious collectibles that belonged to the grandpa I never met. Along the upstairs corridor there was a window, its sill scattered with ornaments […]

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A Village Matriarch

One day, we go to visit Grandma. Grandma is 98, small as a child, and sits on a woven daybed covered by a tin roof, knees pulled up to her chest. She is Nong’s mother’s mother; a farmer her whole life, who raised seven daughters in this village. I realise how easy it is for […]

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Chandigarh India dhaba baby

Heatwaves, Glowsticks and the Great Dharamsala Debate

I woke up yesterday with the heavy, dragging feeling of something hanging over me. The same infernal issue wreaking havoc in my head that had been there for almost a week. Should I get on the bus to Dharamsala today? Again? It was 9am in Panchkula and I was already boiling, despite lying under a steadily whirring fan […]

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Cricket, Chicken and Clubbing, Oh My!

“Look, they fall! All of them fall!” The man standing behind me grins widely into the mirror, and peels clumps of my hair from his oily fingers. I look at his reflection with a pursed mouth smile; those who know me are aware this isn’t actually a sign of genuine amusement, and actually indicates the […]

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Where Do the ‘Girl Childs’ of India Go?

Disclaimer: this post is the result of the sole opinions of a visiting Westerner, and should not be taken as an insult to those who know otherwise about the situations and facts I have mentioned. In fact, I would really appreciate hearing other opinions on this topic, so please do get in touch  if you […]

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