I’ve mentioned Nepal on here a few times, namely because it was my first solo trip at 19, still at uni, had never been away from home or mama for that long etc etc. and it’s always going to hold a really special place in my heart! I went back this April, called it my ‘7 year homecoming’ which I’m still in two minds about sharing on here partly because there’s loads of feels attached, and partly because I want to find the time to sit and write in order to do justice to it all, but we’ll see what happens. While I was home during the summer, mama and I did a clean out of the shed which uncovered lots of memories and things that really needed to be chucked out, but I found this card she had written me when I went at 19. And it gave me warm fuzzies all over again x (you can probably read her writing, but I rewrote it just incase lol) Dear Saira, I hope that this trip/journey that you are taking is going to be your lifetime experience and a memory for years to share (I think she meant years to… View Post

So much was accomplished and endured this day to the point where I hardly had a second to realize I was leaving later that night. Our day began earlier than usual as we had to be at the football stadium for around 9am, and headed to the warehouse to load the final 1500 boxes we’d be distributing. Driving into the lot you’d think it was market day what with cars and pick-up trucks lined on the roads, bikes and wheelbarrows sprawled on the side ready to collect their goods for the day. Upon entering the stadium (I use the term stadium lightly; an indoor pitch really, so a small stadium?), I felt this massive hot heavy feeling on my heart which made it stop for a second and it wasn’t the crying type of of hotness but just this sudden pang of something. An overwhelming-ness maybe, or my entire being in a state of ‘wow’, but essentially a scene which stops you dead in your tracks to take it all in. People were lined all around the pitch, men on the right, women and children on the left, waiting for us. Once we were sorted, a system was established where… View Post

If you’re ever on any type of deployment or volunteer gig which includes people, human beings, and you’re told not to interact with those people because that’s not what you’re here for, do.not.listen. You might be someplace to help with infrastructure, deliver medical aid, or work on a conservation project etc., but not hugging or speaking to even one local person is a missed opportunity at creating human connection. How else are you to fathom what someone’s gone through, or what they are in need of? For us to simply enter unknown territory and deliver boxes of food because we want to ‘help’, but don’t want to even attempt to understand how those we’re here to help have come to such a point in their lives to require said ‘help’ is a shittier form of colonialism in my opinion. To presume that ones physical presence as a result of where you come from (‘First World’) is more than enough and that that alone should speak volumes unto an oppressed or already victimized peoples is probably the massivest load of bollocks I could ever think of. You are present as a result of your privilege. As a result of chance and… View Post

Today was one of those days that will forever be engrained in my mind. The day I was literally so close yet so far away from Syria, probably the closest I’ll ever get to it in my entire life, and the day I was confronted with physical displacement as a result of the war. We visited a few more schools today to deliver food packages and were able to sit in on classes and interact with the children. For those of you who might be new here, I’m a primary school teacher and so the classroom is one of my many homes. You’re probably aware of me feeling some kind of way about children, and the feeling is pretty mutual when it comes to education. What I found myself reflecting upon had nothing to do with my current location or the refugee children, but rather the obnoxious privilege so many in the ‘first world’ entertain when it comes to education. Specifically this whole ‘back-to-school’ thing where hundreds of dollars are spent on paper and books and stationary and matching bags with light up shoes and new clothes and the list is really freaking endless! I’m discovering that I’ve got an… View Post

This morning began with the return to the warehouse where we completed the remaining boxes. Yesterday I had made friends with some of the neighbors and kinda sorta promised one of the mums Id definitely stop by today for some tea. Arab hospitality is always Arab hospitality lol in that its never ‘just’ tea haha she proceeded to explain to me what mashawee was (stuffed eggplant) which she had made for me and insisted I stay for lunch. Unfortunately couldn’t stay long enough, but was able to hang out with them over some Turkish qahwa. The family’s been in Turkey since 2015 after their house was struck by a bomb. All 6 members of the family were home during that time and the oldest son who was only 16 was killed. Baba also severely damaged his right knee which prevents him for being able to work much here in Turkey. I was shown a video of their son after the attack, a lifeless body covered in blood, eyes and mouth wide open, the faintest murmur of voices and prayers in the background as though this was a usual occurrence and simply just another unfortunate life lost. There’s a problem with… View Post