Posts

Stay home and shut up: thoughts from self-isolation

Leaving South Africa felt like giving up. It felt like a personal weakness, a concession. It was a misty morning and the airport was so empty I felt as if I had managed to wander in by mistake past the 'closed' signs. This week has been interesting. There's been so much support from friends all around the world - friendly messages, offers of homes to stay in and introductions to be made. I appreciate all of it so much - if I've been poor at responding to messages, I'm sorry. It's just been a bit overwhelming. It looks like all of my friends have made it home safely, for which I'm deeply grateful. I'm also incredibly grateful to the airport and airline staff who have continued to work, and are making it possible for me and heaps of other people to get home.

In the gate for my first flight, the crisis was more visible to me that it had been before. There were families swathed in plastic ponchos and wearing laboratory goggles. One couple had donned white p…

Kamhlaba and COVID-19

At the end of my last year at Waterford, I collaborated with two friends on a devised theatre piece. It told the story of three friends from three different contexts, who experienced an unspecified, dramatic event that forced them to leave one another. It followed them through their separated lives through a series of monologues. While we were creating the piece we discussed what the catalyst should be, before deciding to leave it to the audience. We represented it by the audio of an explosion, and simply referred to it as 'The Move.' 'The Move,' we decided, could represent climate crisis, financial crash, war, natural disaster, and more. I don't think we ever talked about a pandemic. Each of our characters had different reactions to the move, each of them could only do so much, each was limited by her context. During the workshopping process, we had long talks about how we would feel if we ever had to leave Waterford, if we were forced out. I thought a lot about t…

Back on a Beach: Maia in Moz

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Mozambique felt like the beaches and small towns of my childhood - market stalls under rusted corrugated metal roofs, pyramids of tomatoes, no shoes in site but flip flops, clear water and sizzled skin and greenery. We arrived in the afternoon, piling out of our kombi. It took a bit of walking before arriving at our Airbnb - a barebones house up a hill that could fit the ten of us quite comfortably. We made a food run, and spent the first night crashed in the living room lit by lamps and candles (there was a town wide power outage.) We ate freshly baked bread and drank cheap Mozambican rum and beer and played drinking games in the dark. (Credit to Endi and Julia - they came up with a Waterford-specific boardgame called 'Highway to Hell.' Emhlabeni people take a shot.)







The next morning sent us in search of the beach. It was wonderful. I haven't swum in the Indian ocean since I was fourteen, and it felt like it welcomed me back. The water was warm, the waves gentle, the san…

Life in IB2 - General Update

It’s been far too long since I’ve updated, and I’m sorry about that. It’s been a bit of a hectic time – I’ve handed in final copies of my Biology IA, my Director’s Notebook and Process Portfolio for theatre, drafts of my World Lit Assignment and Political Engagement Activity, I’ve done my final TOK presentation, and my Extended Essay is well underway. Along with that, I’ve been getting to know IB1s and settling back into the rhythm of Waterford. Midterm starts tomorrow – along with nine friends, I’m heading to Mozambique for a break by the beach. I’ll go surfing, eat seafood, and recharge. It’ll be a good break and I’m looking forward to it.
I wrote about my mental health recently, and I’m feeling a lot better. I’m feeling on top of my school work and in control of my life, and it’s good to be at Waterford where there’s sun and mountains and friends. I’ll write about Moz after the trip, and try to get better at general updates. IB2 is as busy as was promised, but it feels positive to …

The Vagina Monologues: A justification

For an upcoming performance evening focusing on gender based violence, mental health, sexual orientation, and gender identify, I wanted to perform one of The Vagina Monologues. I was told no. This is my letter of appeal which I sent roughly five minutes ago, so I haven't heard back yet! 
I write to appeal the CMG’s decision regarding the performance of segments of The Vagina Monologues at Asinakekelane’s upcoming Heart to Heart evening. As a student, I was surprised by this decision, as it seemed to contradict the school’s philosophy of creativity and boundary pushing. As an artist, I was angered; as I believe that when you begin to censor art, you censor people. And as a woman and someone who possesses a vagina, I was disappointed; because the issue of vaginas being taboo is frankly one that we ought to have moved past.
First, some history. Eve Ensler drafted the Monologues in 1996, basing them off of interviews that she held with 200 women and people with vaginas. They started i…

Mental Health at WK

I’ve been back at Waterford for a week, and I’ve been struggling to come up with a topic to write about. I’ve been here helping with orientation, so I could write about that from the perspective of an IB2, but I covered that a lot at the start of last year. I could talk about how I’m managing deadlines and workload but that’s not very interesting and frankly, I should be working on said workload rather than writing about it. Instead, I decided to write about something that’s been a long time coming. I’ve talked about feeling overwhelmed and feeling homesick, but I’ve not really approached the topic directly. Here goes. This might be long and a bit stream of conscious- y, but it’s mostly for me. 
For a good part of the last year, I’ve been pretty depressed. I’ve talked about it with friends, and I’ve made jokes about it, but I don’t think I’ve talked about it as fully as I could have. I was worried about being self-pitying. I didn’t want to annoy people. Others have it worse. What’s c…

Halfway There

My first year at Waterford Kamhlaba is done. I'm writing this on the plane home. I've always loved the last leg of a journey back to my city - catching small glimpses of home in strangers. MEC backpacks, unironic flannels, hiking boots and ugly jumpers and silver jewelry. It's comforting, it eases me into the feeling of Vancouver before I'm properly back and have to engage in the often frenetic pace of the city.

The last term at school has been tough and I've been desperately homesick. For the last week of school, our IB2s were gone. I've been slowly settling into the idea of being an IB2 myself. I've been talking to new IB1s, hoping my advice is somewhat useful, hoping I manage to live up to my brave, brilliant, compassionate, insane IB2s, and hoping that the IB1s are as excited about coming to WK as I am to meet them. I've been packing and finishing last projects, (TOK presentations were a bitch, y'all) and having last dinners with friends and pro…