May 17, 2019

Life This Week 20/5/2019: Share Your Snaps.

I love 'Share Your Snaps' time on Life This Week.  Work and life have been hectic and it's been challenging summoning up the concentration and creativity to write anything coherent.  It's times like these that prompts based on photos are a lifeline to bloggers like me caught up between the opposing forces of life's commitments and the desire to have a bit of 'me time' and blog.

Without further ado or giving my pity party any further air, let's go.

Sorry, it gets a bit serious at the end.  These are confronting times for Australia and the world at large.

The autumn leaves have Arrived.  I envision many weekends ahead sweeping them up.  I took this photo on a day when raking and sweeping was far from my mind.  I was just starting my first proper power since a very long time ago.  It was great fun.  

Related image
via Pinterest

I might have looked a bit Kath and Kel but I don't care!!!

Life as a school reader supervising mum has been interesting.  Over the last couple of years I've learned some fascinating facts about various animal species, tips on how to make a worm farm, historical tidbits and some inspired retellings of key periods in history.  However, my most moving and unsettling reader is this one, Phan's Diary by Louise Schofield (which is available on Amazon right now).

The book is around 30 pages long and geared at Grade 1/2 level readers.  Told in brief diary entries, Phan's Diary describes Phan's journey as a 'boat person' seeking asylum in any other country but that of her home in Vietnam which was falling apart under the current government as well as the fall out from the war. 

As an adult, I found 'Phan's Diary' a harrowing read.  Its simple language powerfully painted the reality of what it must have been and is like for all migrants who are so desperate to escape the horrors of their homes that they will put all their trust and assets in the hands of people who may or may not deliver them from evil and atrocity.

There were questions, of course.  Why did Phan have to travel like this instead of the way we travel?  Why did all those countries turn them away and force them to go on in a boat that was short on fuel and in danger of sinking?  Why did Phan only have three sweets to share with her brother and sister when they were all so hungry?  Will that big boat from the Australian Navy bring them to Australia and let them be happy here?

I started off talking about how lucky we were.  Myself personally as the children of migrants who were granted citizenship as well as the ability to work in the fields in which they trained in back home.  How we were both so fortunate to call Australia home.  But it all rang a bit hollow and these were probably issues a six-year-old would have no appreciation of.

So after we looked on our globe (and on Google) to see just how far and dangerous the journey was from Vietnam to Australia, I talked about how Phan's story was and is the story of many children.  That I know people whose families undertook those trips of hope.  That the care of asylum seekers in Australia right now is controversial, divisive and not always fair or just.  How it's just plain complicated. 

It is too easy to take our country for granted when you can drive its streets, roam its footpaths and take its public transport without a second thought about their safety or your right to be using them.

It is hard for me to imagine having to flee the place I call home.  It's also unimaginable to me that that the Government could suddenly decide to control my life or deny me things that as a tax paying citizen I feel entitled to.  Yet this is the story of those seeking asylum and worryingly, this has come to pass in Alabama with the passing of new laws restricting abortion.

What can we do in this lucky country of ours?  To treat asylum seekers humanely.  To ensure that the reproductive rights of all women are preserved and respected.

It's complicated but I think preserving our freedom of speech and our willingness to give voices too small to be heard on their own amplification will both go a long way in finding the solutions.

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