STORIES

We crossed a line. That fuzzy, indeterminate, unfixed space between tourist and local. Between outsider and insider. It’s a bizarre, privileged and delicate place to be. When a project or opportunity invites your full immersion, the stakes are higher. The lessons are steeper, your participation in all types of activities is acutely important, and your Read More

Do Some Lives Matter More and Others Less?

In a rural village of Timor-Leste, I found myself sitting on the floor of an ume kububu, a traditional kitchen hut built with bamboo and dried grass. I was helping to prepare a meal with a woman named Mama Alda. My small fingers gripped the hand-woven basket as I sifted husk out from rice. “No Read More

I Dream of Driving a Car

I dream of driving a car. Those few times when I have sat with my hands on the steering wheel, I felt in control of my life. But I was born into a society where it is not culturally acceptable for a woman to drive a car. In Afghanistan, many men feel great shame if Read More

20 Years of Storytelling and Advocacy in the Pacific

Peter Sipeli is a freethinker. For over 20 years, he’s shared his thoughts, experiences and stories in the hope of opening minds and hearts to create change across the Pacific, particularly in the human rights and LGBTIQ space. Today, Peter is still a passionate storyteller and human rights advocate. He’s also an arts manager, a Read More

What’s tragic is your warped view on disability

A couple of months ago now, I came across an opinion piece online entitled “Wake up and smell the coffee – life cannot be that bad”. I skimmed and saw the word “wheelchair”. Given I use one, I was intrigued and read on. The author, regular NZ Herald columnist Alan Duff, told people to stop Read More

Refugees Embraced in Foara, Jordan

It was a sunny day outside and dusty as usual when my friends Katja, Antonia, and myself, with the support of Hadeel, our English-Arabian translator, visited the Hariri family’s house in the village of Foara in the north district of Irbid in Jordan. “Marhaban bikum fi almanzil,” said Abdul Hariri, the oldest son, as he Read More

I was sitting in our van alone, in heavy rain, crying in the dark with little relief. It was December 2014 and I had just, finally, admitted to myself that our marriage was over. Two daughters and what felt like a lifetime of travel and outdoor experiences weren’t enough to keep us together. We had Read More

Stories from Carrying Everest # 1: A Sense of Place

“Sewa,” says a young dimpled-faced girl as she straddles her schoolbooks close to her chest and walks through a field of tall millet that almost hide her face. Buffalos munch on grass and inquisitively look on with big brown eyes. Roosters crow to the high sun, and a queue of mules navigate the rocky footpath Read More

Responding to life post US election

Many people on my Facebook timeline are distraught with Wednesday's US election. There are feelings of sadness, anger, confusion and even rage. There's an overwhelming feeling that things are going to get worse. This may well be the case, especially for those who are already more vulnerable than others. There's lots of finger pointing going Read More

Your voice (aka vote) is important

"We have frequently printed the word Democracy. Yet I cannot too often repeat that it is a word, the real gist of which still sleeps, quite unawaken'd, notwithstanding the resonance and the many angry tempests out of which its syllables have come, from pen or tongue. It is a great word, whose history, I suppose Read More

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