Walking through the home section of a big department store the other day I hurried past various plastic patio accoutrements and some giant citronella candles. I got such a huge stonking snorty blast of that potent lemoney citronella smell that I was literally transported back to Nicaragua. Perched precariously on the back of a dirt-motorbike dodging anarchic Russian cars, and potholes the size of Leduc, on no lane system, I had slathered-on-citronella-oil all over me to ward off evil, mosquito-derived dengue and malaria. In 1998 I had been so inspired by the work of my good friend Lorraine Swift that I travelled to Central America and wrote a series of profiles of ten Canadian development workers. It was a wonderful, freaky, heartening, and eye-opening experience. In 2000 I was honoured to win the Edmonton Arts Council Celebration of Women in the Arts Award for these articles. I can’t say enough how much I admire people working in hard situations all over the world trying to make things better and kinder. These partnerships between Canadians, Nicaraguans and Ugandans are inspiring and show all of us what is possible.
In 2002 I went on a similar assignment to Kampala, Uganda to see more Canadians hard at work with their African partners. This series was entitled Fair-Travel.
These are some of the articles that were published from both series.
The Ambassador (Council of World Affairs)
More from Kid-to-Kid Series