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2010

conflict resolution in the Philippines?

By 2010, Asia No Comments

International Crisis Group monitors conflict and potential conflict situations around the world and makes recommendations to governments regarding effective ways to address these situations. For those of you who have travelled to and become familiar with the insurgency conflicts in the Philippines involving both the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), check out this recent recommendation from Crisis Group that gives an historical synopsis on the situation and immediate recommendations to all parties involved. The Communist Insurgency in the Philippines: Tactics and Talks, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, analyses why, after fighting…

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Return

By 2010, Asia No Comments

Q: How was your trip? A: It was great. A generic answer to a generic question, but there is so much more to my trip than that.  Once people dig a little deeper and show some genuine interest in my past two months, I open up.  “It was great” then turns into “Well, this one time when I was in Thailand…”, and things start to get interesting.  People then start to find out about all the awesome experiences I had and all the great people I met.  As I get going more and more stories pop into my mind which…

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sixty-four feet

By 2010, Asia One Comment

I am afraid my thoughts are scattered and won’t form a proper sentence. A thought-spewed-sort-of-poem will have to suffice: sixty-four feet meet hundreds of other feet; hundreds of dirty, large, clean, deformed, well-traveled, small, pedicured, hidden and smelly feet; cross-cultural feet. some feet walk here; a long time ago, over there; in this house the feet do this, and over there they go like this. time’s passed now. four feet were sick; two feet were burnt; fifty eight feet are tired of rice; SEA’s been seen, learned, and studied now; SSU’s sixty-four feet are tired now. sixty-four feet are happy though;…

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I wonder if people could recognize me if all they saw was my hands?

By 2010, Asia No Comments

[- This was my last journal entry from the trip, although edited slightly and I thought it was fitting to share it in parting. I hope you have enjoyed our updates thus far, and that some of our “imperfect words” will have stirred you in some small way -] The Sukhothai part of the trip was terririce. The ruins are so impressive, and one cannot help but wonder about the poeple who inhabited it and what they and their lives were like. We saw the hundreds of spiders that build their webs deep in the porous stones, towering stupas shaped…

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I am terrified of what is seemingly inevitable…

By 2010, Asia No Comments

I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to forget. From my experience, coming home from a trip overseas is so bittersweet. I am always happy to be back with the people I love, in a place I know, but I am always heartbroken to have to leave my beautiful new home behind. I loved Thailand, I could live in Thailand, and I learnt so much there! How could I ever forget all the new things I’ve experienced, the new things I’ve learned, and the new memories I’ve made. Yet it always seems to happen. Slowly, the passion fades,…

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back to hobbit holes

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Leaving home to attend to a traveler’s dream is one thing but returning home is a different thing altogether. You dream about hot showers, grilled cheese and texting. But the thing is, the moment you land on Ontario soil you begin to miss Pad Tai, 3$ massages, and the hot hot sun. The saying ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ rings true in my ears. I can’t say that culture shock is the right word for what I have gone through in the past week or so. Considering everyone is buzzed on Starbucks coffee and Ho Ho…

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Post-Asia Withdrawals

By 2010, Asia No Comments

It’s been nearly two weeks since our time in Thailand ended. We parted ways in two groups in Hong Kong, and slowly lost each other on connecting flights along the way home. Instead of going straight home after Asia, I opted to first stay for a couple weeks in British Columbia, as i’ve never been before. One of my first experiences in Vancouver was figuring out the transit system with Nygel. It is quite similar to Kuala Lumpur’s, except that it costs nearly 14 x the price. We payed $7.50 each to take the skytrain into Vancouver city from the…

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being in Canada only changes the temperature.

By 2010, Asia No Comments

So, what’s different in Canada that I couldn’t get in Thailand? Snow; lots – and lots – of snow. I’ll admit, I was used to the sun setting earlier in the tropics, but 4 o’clock in the afternoon is ridiculous. I presume this winter will be difficult for me to handle after the course of this three month venture, and not simply because the temperature differential will be over 60 degrees. In Thailand, I remarked that the greatest failure we could achieve whilst at home was to ignore the things we learnt in the process of re-assimilating. Whether it’s a…

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In the year 2553…

By 2010, Asia No Comments

This year has been absolutely insane for me. A winter in Oakville, a summer in Europe, a fall in Southeast Asia, and they expect me to “process” this with eloquence in a blog ten days after it’s all over. I honestly haven’t had the time to sit down and just rest in my thoughts these past ten days. What to say? I find myself watching Asian waiters in restaurants, and noticing they have some of the same cultural tendencies that I picked up in SEA. I find myself still using small cultural tendencies that I picked up in Thailand. I…

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…the end.

By 2010, Asia No Comments

Everything is rushing in; memories, emotions…water.  Yes water, can you believe it?  I was expecting to come home to snow instead I get a flood, in December!  Even so it is good to be home, where I am able to process the last two months in a familiar and comfortable environment. Although in the beginning I had no desire to go to Southeast Asia with my classmates, I am glad I did.  I will say it was difficult being on the other side of the world from home, staying in the houses of people we had never met and who…

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