Tag: hope

Pieces of Paper

I can’t stop thinking about a story Larisa told me at the end of November. I was about to leave on a work trip and the conflict in the Montes de Maria in the early 2000s was furthest thing from my mind, but I ended up carrying it with me through Central America and back.

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As If

When I used to sit on street corners in Mampujan and drink apple flavoured pink pop with my neighbours, the conversation sometimes turned to the months and years directly after the community’s displacement in 2000. People would tell me about multiple families living together in one classroom of the Maria la Baja school, poorer than

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Spring Power or Chickens in Unexpected Places

It rained the whole three days we were in Puerto Asis, Putumayo. Instead of the blast of hot, humid, air I was expecting when I stepped of the plane, we were meet by gray skies and drizzling rain. From the weather to the alien looking pineapples currently in season, with their spiky skin, everything was

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Truth and Reconciliation

Before coming to Colombia, I spent a summer working with an Aboriginal women’s group in the Yukon. I thought I knew things, but one of the greatest lessons I learnt was how little I actually did. As I researched and read, I learnt more deeply about the realities of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, colonialism,

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Hoping Against Hope: Peace Day

Over the last few years, I have grown cynical. I hear promises and assume they will be broken. I go to meetings and marches and remain unmoved. I have little faith that big change will take place. It is easy, in the day to day slog of imprisonments, impunity, broken promises and violence, to forget

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Garden Fragrance is Sometimes a Letter from Jorge

Español  Last night a bomb exploded on the veranda But sounds of birds sweeten the earth this morning. I hear the fragrant trees, look in the garden, Find two silent clusters of ripe guavas. -Lam Thi My Da (translated from the Vietnamese by Martha Collins and Tay Dinh) In days of protests and surveillance, of

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Working for Spring

I miss my family’s Easter traditions. I miss hunting for bags full of jellybeans and chocolate rabbits. I miss eating sweet yeast bread, covered in icing for breakfast. I miss turkey dinner around the dining room table with people I love. I miss hymns and traditional greetings. When I am honest, I admit that I

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