Eating and Dancing in Cambridge’s Streets

Boom! Rattatate, rattattate, rattattate! Boom. Boom. Boom! Rattatate, rattattate, rattatate.

I found my head nodding in time to the energetic beat as it reverberated against the houses. Nabbing my boyfriend, J’s, hand as we crested a bridge I set us on course for the source of the sound. We dodged and gently nudged our way through the wall of people listening to the music.

Mill Road had gone from channeling a stream of cars to bursting with a river of strolling revelers. It was the Nile in flooding season. The local shops and international stores joyfully slurped up passing folk—their wares sparkling under the attention. Other islands of sound and bobbing bodies stood against the flow of curious incoming visitors. You never knew what you were going to float past next!

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Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand

Wiggling my shoulders further down the hammock, my feet creeping up the other side to compensate for the shift, my back pushed into the pillows. The netting snuggled close on my arms, enclosing me but allowing the soft ocean breeze to caress my body through the net. With each soft push the hammock gently swung back and forth.

The sun relentlessly bore down on my surroundings, thankfully deflected by the roof over my hammock. I’d already embraced the sun a bit too much in the earliest day of the trip. For now I was content with my book resting on my stomach, my thumb poised to turn the page.

The trip to Otres Beach in Cambodia had reintroduced me to books and their teleportation abilities were just as mesmerizing at this beach. I gleefully dusted off the key to my imagination and lost myself in the halls of my mind. I’d remain lost each day until the mosques called their followers to prayer and the sun was preparing to dive into the ocean. Continue reading “Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand”

The Defection of Bidhishna 3

Surrounded by the false darkness of Bangkok the audience around me gasps as Lord Rama towers over King Ravana. Steadying his position atop a fellow performer he brings his weapon to bear. Seconds after driving a blow at Ravana, Rama lightly steps to the ground as the human structure falls away. He and the demon circle each other, seeking another moment to strike. Just behind them their two armies wait, prepared to converge in a mass of honour, strength and death. Continue reading “The Defection of Bidhishna 3”

The Defection of Bidhishna 2

Alone and banished to the forest, Bibhishna looks about miserably. He lost his titles and will never be able to see Lanka City or his beloved wife and daughter again.

With time, pride dispels his sadness and he decides then and there to cut himself from evil. He will give himself over to Rama, the God Narayna incarnated. He stands up with resilience and a small cheer emanates from the audience watching the play. A pool of rainwater in front of the stage reflects the demon’s face as he calls out for Rama. He calls and calls. But there is no answer. Continue reading “The Defection of Bidhishna 2”

The Defection of Bidhishna 1

Bidhishna cowers before his brother, Ravana the Demon King of ten faces, as Ravana towers over him preparing to deliver the killing blow. The audience, wide-eyed by the spectacle, releases its breath as a moment later Ravana withdraws his sword and contemplates another punishment for his brother. Overhead birds skim across the sky ignoring the drama on the ground. In the far distance clouds, as indifferent as the birds, silently roll by. The sun has already moved on to awaken another part of the world. Continue reading “The Defection of Bidhishna 1”

World Music Celebration: March 21st

They looked so sterile, so cold. Silver cylinders. That’s all they were.

But when the two musicians standing before the crowd struck their first notes these pans transformed before my eyes. The musicians caused a waterfall of pearling, perky, upbeat sounds to bounce from their drums. Like delighted rubber raindrops falling on a steel roof combined with the purest moment in the sound of a steel pipe falling on the cement or on top of another steel pipe. I suddenly saw in my mind’s eye sunshine, palm trees and tranquil blue waters. Maybe it was because I’ve often heard this instrument in movies associated with warm places and the ocean. Continue reading “World Music Celebration: March 21st”

Ezra Kwizera Brings Africa

At first I was unsure about this singer, he had a smoky rough voice­–the kind my mother loves, but I don’t find appealing. Personal taste. As he kept singing though, the music’s lively beat began to catch hold of my limbs. In the beginning, Ezra Kwizera seemed detached from his singing. He stood quite still, his expression lax. Then after two songs he woke up. He began shifting his weight left and right, then his hips and guitar.  Four songs in he set his guitar gently in its stand and, turning to the audience with a cheerful gleam in his eyes, he energetically motioned for them to stand. His friendly invitation found purchase in the eager audience and with a cheer they bounced out of their seats. We had caught the music bug. Continue reading “Ezra Kwizera Brings Africa”

International Days Showcase: Kamloops

Chasing after the flag parade I dashed into the gym ahead of the line of flag bearers, skidding to a stop for a few seconds as I beheld the crowd. The showcase had only just begun, but already the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) gymnasium was filled to the rafters with people. The flag bearers had to push through the crowd to complete their route.

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Idle No More Round Dance

Like a heartbeat pushed to exertion. That’s what it sounded like. That moment after a long run where your breathing slows and from the quiet emerges your heartbeat pounding in your ears. The air seemed to breathe. The Sun out in all its glory gave warmth to the sky. The voices, intertwined with each other and empowered by numbers, followed the sunbeams into the blue. Thanks went to the Creator. Welcome to all and everything spread in every direction: east to the Creator, south to meet ourselves, west to meet family, friends and neighbors, and north to meet the elders’ wisdom. Continue reading “Idle No More Round Dance”