I went looking for purpose… but did I find it ? (part 1)

So, here we go. I’m attempting it. A three part blog post on looking for purpose. Here’s the topic for part 1: “suffering is a universal, human condition. Its forms and depth vary.” I will now explain what I mean. It’s 2014, and I’m living and working in the Caribbean. It’s November, and it’s hot….

Inshallah-ing my way through life

I’ve been reprogrammed. I recognize it and.. I like it! At least this one specific program which has been rewired within me. And the root of this wisdom lies in the Arabic term of “Inshallah”. Literally translated it means “If God wills it”. Translated to life it means that you can do everything right, you…

Africa is born within you

I’m going inside. The cold means an internal and an external “turning within” – to fire and hearth, to bundles of scarves and wool. There’s a subtle tenseness to the skin, as we turn towards our innermost thoughts. Good thing I’ve made inside of myself a safe place to be. The first cold we feel…

Making inside of yourself a safe place to be

As I embark soon on a new adventure to a new place, one which is very likely to be less comfortable and entertaining from a Western perspective than my previous home base, I feel completely at peace with my decision. Driving around Calgary yesterday morning I imagined chatting with a local teenager about my choice…

Look up, look deep and tell me what you see

I’m fixing up my résumé, and it’s not for the first or the last time. I also realize that what I want to write is not necessarily what I should write. They tell me that I’m meant to list, yet again, my education and work experiences. I want to write the whole truth. I want…

Blood stream

It’s nighttime and past my bedtime but for a day like today it’s worth sacrificing a little bit of sleep time. A perfect day. One of so many perfect days in Dakar. I like to practice managing annoyances wisely. Many hours sitting in car traffic equals a growing appreciation of audiobooks. My current audio lecture…

A pretty blouse, another tear masked

Stories about appearances. A year ago, in my day-job in Dakar, we were having a horrible time coming to terms with a jumble of various damaged rice bags belonging to different receivers. Imagine thousands upon thousands of bags, some in containers, rotting, others thrown into warehouse corners covered in cobwebs their colourful logos faded with…

A story for a Senegalese friend

The phone rang on a Friday afternoon several weeks ago from a woman I knew from work. She is Senegalese, a manager in a logistics firm responsible for handling a large part of the rice imports (and other soft commodities) into the country, and I’m the rep of a French survey firm contracted by the…

A Saturday description

As I’m sitting in my living room, I look around myself, all the way around, and I tell you what I see. In front of me are the windowed doors to my terrace, on the terrace are the plants, new plants too, I brought a baby, baobab tree home today. I was told white blossoms…

The 4 biggest differences when working with the French (and Francophones)

French is the official language in nearly 30 countries around the world. France was busy colonizing many parts of the New World and Africa…the remaining effects of which are the spreading of France’s language, culture and mentality to many nations around the world. It is my pleasure and honour to have discovered several Francophone (meaning…

Where is home…or where is my home next?

I recently met a Dominican, born and raised in Santo Domingo, my age. Early on in our conversation it came up that his mother is considering selling the house he’s living in now.  This in itself is not a problem… but it’s the very same house he grew up in and in which he “took…

Polko – Kanadyjka : )

Kocham lotniska. Można powiedzieć, że są trochę jak igrzyska olimpijskie lub ONZ , gdzie wszyscy niezależnie od rasy, narodowości oraz statusu społecznego mogą brać udział w tej samej dyscyplinie. Tutaj na międzynarodowym lotnisku we Frankfurcie, naszą dyscypliną jest znalezienie kolejnej bramki, czy też bagażu. Z sukcesem zlokalizowałam bagietkową kanapkę oraz kawę, po czym przyjęłam odpoczywającą…

la polonaise-canadienne

I love airports. I guess it’s like the olympics or the UN in a way. Where everyone regardless of race, nation or social status is invited to take part in the same activity. Here in Frankfurt International our sport is finding our next gate, a piece of luggage. I’ve successfully tracked down a bagel sandwich…