I don’t have any new Canadian photos to post, but in honour of my country’s 146th birthday I have posted a photo of what I have come to think of as my home. I hope you like it.
To my Canadian friends and family…Happy Canada Day!
This year has been momentous. I have watched as my family and I have adapted to our move from Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, to Jakarta, Indonesia. I moved from teaching in a public school to an international, private school. I moved from one of the most beautiful places in the world (nah…it is the most beautiful) to a place I haven’t figured out yet. I moved from mountains and rivers to busy streets and overpopulation. I moved from ease and comfort (with a bit of financial challenge) to a place of challenge.
2012…the year of the move.
This photo was taken at Simon Fraser University. I’ve had little time to take many photos lately, and I found this and felt a little pang of homesickness. I’m not homesick; I’m really happy here, but this photo is one of my all-time favorites. Those vine maples are so pretty.
More Jakarta tomorrow, okay?
Well, I’m not American, but every day is a good day to be thankful. Having spent my life in Canada, and just having moved to South Asia, Jakarta specifically, I have had much…more than much…for which to be thankful. My walk to and from school makes me remember that I am in a privileged spot in this city, this country really. I have a lovely, relatively un-decorated, large apartment, a beautiful family, a well-appointed job, a couple of motorcycles to buy (this week, hopefully), and a well-stocked kitchen, even though we don’t always eat at home. A ridiculously high number of people in this country don’t have that, any of that. I am colossally, universally, cosmically thankful.
This was shot, by the way, at the Ragunan Zoo back in August. If this is any indication of the massively disparate economies of this country, it cost my family 14000 Rupiah to enter this zoo. That works out to about $1.50 Canadian, or American for that matter. All four of us for $1.50.
I never thought I’d miss the sky. I grew up in rural Saskatchewan, and I was never short of blue sky. Even in the winters, we’d have more hours of clear, cold blue sky than most people get in a really nice summer. When I moved to British Columbia, the Vancouver area, I gave up a lot of that blue sky. But when it wasn’t raining, the sky was blue. Azure. At times, almost sapphire.
Then I moved to Jakarta. There are moments when the sky is blue. Sometimes, when I’m outside swimming I can look up and see a little spot of blue, between the gray-brown-white-ish clouds. The geography of Jakarta lends itself to a sort of mixing bowl effect. When you add together the ingredients of twenty-some million people, millions of cars and motorcycles, a lack of good sanitation, and a low-lying city surrounded by hills, you get a nearly complete lack of blue sky.
When I visited Palu, there were kilometers in every direction of blue sky. Spectacular. Totally amazing. I miss blue sky.