Shape of Things to Come

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So what’s it like being an environmental volunteer in the developing world? I can only answer as to my experiences here in Peru, but the same things hold true in many other places. For me, this year has brought a lot of big challenges beyond just from being a long way from home and working in a foreign language and culture. The toughest stuff has been the reality of my work: good… Read More

Sunset San Isidro

It might sound crazy, but sometimes I forget I’m living in Peru. The part of Lima that fills my day-to-day world isn’t so different from any other city. “Home” is in the expat precinct, a clean, safe world of apartment buildings, multi-national businesses, chain-store shops and fancy restaurants, as modern and soulless as any other young tourist city. It’s the Surfers Paradise of Peru, equally vapid and self-obsessed as Australia’s beachside tourist… Read More

Today is International Volunteers Day, apparently. There’s a day or a week or a month for everything, it seems, but volunteering is a good thing to stop and think about now and again. Volunteering – donating our knowledge, labour or skills for free – is a powerful way of creating the kind of future we’d like to see. I’m volunteering on a big scale, spending a year working to help to develop… Read More

Way back in the dimly-recalled shadows of the 1990’s an inescapable pop song called “Waterfalls” burrowed its way into my brain. Don’t go chasing waterfalls – implored the lyrics – please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to. My teenaged self took a serious disliking to this exhortation to play life safe: chasing waterfalls sounded like a much better plan. The song is barely remembered now, but the idea… Read More