Festival of Junk

Source: The Gift of Death  By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 11th December 2012 Pathological consumption has become so normalised that we scarcely notice it. There’s nothing they need, nothing they don’t own already, nothing they even want. So you buy them a solar-powered waving queen; a belly button brush; a silver-plated ice cream…

Dominica: How to dance sexy, and 5 other things

1. Dominica is nothing like anywhere else. Dominica is very firmly its own being. Don’t compare it to anywhere you have been before. If you are looking for white sand beaches and fancy resorts, go somewhere else. If, however, you seek unlimited nature, adventure, snorkeling, endless hiking trails, rivers, waterfalls, volcanoes, laughter and rum well…

Another year of this nonsense: Peru to the Caribbean

I haven’t written for a whole bloody year! I now officially blog less often than I file my tax return, see my family and clean my belly button. It would have been an excellent year to write about, and I probably would have if it hadn’t been for Narcos and well, the god damn bagels….

Ecuador: bamboo, blagging and Buddhists

After the project closed, I was asked to stay on in Ecuador in search of opportunities and funding that would allow the organization to continue to help. It was a weird and wonderful time, working in a large part alone for a cause that no one seemed to care about any more. I can only…

I wept for a man I never knew

I wept for a man I never knew today, whilst standing on the site where he once lived and was crushed to death. I stood and sobbed uncontrollably in the rain. I was thinking of his daughter, who had desperately reached out to the NGO I work for, asking if we could find out anything,…

Trump ruined my tea

The English owner of a bookshop offered me a cup of tea the other day. Not just any tea, but Yorkshire Tea. PROPER tea. So obviously, I said yes and instantly adored this white-haired tea Santa. It had been a long, long, time. I learned my new tea-ff is from Essex and has been living in…

Don’t date a girl who travels

No idea who wrote this, but it helps explain a lot!   Don’t date a girl who travels. She’s the one with the messy hair colored by the sun. Her skin is now far from fair like it once was. Not even sun kissed. It’s burnt with multiple tan lines, wounds and bites here and…

‘But they have TVs’

I recently showed someone around our homebuilding project in San Miguel de Briceño. I had managed to convince her of how special our project was and that it was worth a visit. Thankfully, she agreed. But as we drove through what is a very poor community, with most people still living in tents or under…

After the earthquake: Volunteering in San Miguel de Briceño

I’ve been working for All Hands Volunteers (AHV), an NGO that provides temporary and longer term housing for people affected by natural disasters – in this case in response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the west coast of Ecuador on 16th April, 2016. Within a few days of the earthquake, AHV set to work building temporary…

Organic farming in Devon

To ‘wwoof’ is to take up a Worldwide Opportunity on an Organic Farm (www.wwoof.net) – work placements on farms in exchange for meals and accommodation. At Trill Farm, this translated to so much more: new skills, wonderful food, friendships and memories, and the chance to live in a most idyllic setting. I worked alongside five…

Myanmar memo to myself

In January 2016 I spent 28 days exploring beautiful Myanmar. It was the most last-minute, unplanned trip, and perhaps my favourite to date. There is just no way that I know to capture what I felt there, but I recently found these scribbled notes… Mingalabar! Jezuben! Jo Jo and his jokes, beautiful Blu Kyun Island…

Colombia: Chicamocha, Chikungunya and the Caribbean coast

From Medellín I travelled east to Santander, the region of Colombia known for its colonial villages, the Chicamocha canyon and more adventure sports than I had ever heard of. In San Gil I paraglided above the canyon with a massive grin on my face, swam in huge waterfalls and loved rafting down the River Fonce…