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Monthly Archives: August 2014

They were unlikely brothers: one large Golden mix and a tiny black Chihuahua. But brothers they had become, born the same week of the same month — two puppies living next door to each other, playmates from the start. They joyously romped through their gardens, not caring whose house they ate or slept in — as long as they were together. Time passed and the golden dog grew large and strong, while the… Read More

“…in one of the collection’s more potentially divisive essays, privileged expat wife India Harris owns up to being the face of Filipina maid abuse (“Please, ma’am, I need work. My daughter is hungry. I don’t care. That’s your problem”)” Q – India, I do apologize for beginning our question and answer series by raising this particular subject, but I’m really quite interested in knowing how you feel about this reviewer’s opinion of… Read More

There are moments when it really irks me to be compared with other versions of myself. Those wishful tricks of the mind that cloud the truth of who I am right now. Am I expected to remain seventeen forever? Or the wife of a man who is no longer alive? A student of history? A sailor? Those versions of myself belong to yesterday. Today is where I want to live. But maybe… Read More

I paid an early morning visit to my estranged husband in his Batangas City subdivision. “Hi Edward! What a beautiful morning”, I said. Fox News was blaring in his living room. “How can you say that — the whole fucking world’s falling apart”, he grumbled. The images flashing across his TV screen were completely at odds with what I had just seen with my own eyes. Outside his house was a wonderful… Read More

I sit in a bamboo hut, waiting for the Filipino healer to arrive. Tuesdays and Fridays he comes down from the mountains to heal whoever might be sitting in this flimsy, makeshift shelter with the dirt floor. My knees are ruined, casualties of a hill that I never should have hiked down — but did. For three months I have suffered, limping and grimacing in pain. Nothing has helped. I’m now a little… Read More

On a flight from Singapore to Manila yesterday, I felt a flash of fear. What if I’ve chosen the wrong path? I’ve always lived with the certainty that my life is exactly as it was meant to be. But what if I’ve been wrong? What if I’m wasting my life in the Philippines? The classic expatriate toast has always been “to absent ones”, as though friends and family have left us rather… Read More

My camera and I are gearing up for a lot of travel between now and the end of the year: Bali, South Africa, Botswana, northern Canada and southern California are all on the agenda. Lately, I’ve been doing more writing than shooting, so for the past few days I’ve been walking around Singapore with camera and tripod in hand, practicing. My goal was to spend a lot of time doing street photography… Read More

“You’re a racist”, an anonymous blogger recently wrote to me. “You should go back home”, the blogger said. Am I a racist, I wondered? And if I went back home, where would that be? I haven’t lived in Canada for twenty-four years. When I created this blog two months ago, I had no expectation of it becoming anything more than a link for that rare person who might possibly read my story,… Read More

TO: INDIA HARRIS, RESPONDENT. YOU ARE HEREBY REQUIRED TO APPEAR BEFORE ME ON THE 13TH DAY OF AUGUST, 2013 AT 3:00 IN THE AFTERNOON FOR THE HEARING OF THIS COMPLAINT. SIGNED BY THE OFFICE OF THE BARANGAY CAPTAIN – REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PROVINCE OF ——–, MUNICIPALITY OF ———. The complainant is my former housemaid. “Oh my God”, I shout after reading the summons that was delivered to our house while I… Read More

A shark once swam past my face while I was diving in Borneo. That was scary. Another time I was charged by an angry water buffalo in the Philippines — boy, those things can run fast when they want to. Then there was the time a Bengal tiger sniffed my knee in South Africa — for the first time in decades, I found myself begging God to please let me survive. But… Read More

I recently read a blog post announcing that I should accept the fact that no one is going to pay me to write, so I might as well give up my creative dreams. The writer’s disillusionment made me sad.  I’ve thought a lot about that blog post and its underlying negative message — that creating art for art’s sake is a waste of our time. Should money be the artist’s sole object?… Read More

These photos are special to me because they represent the completion of a great circle in my life. Once upon a time I was a backpacking adventuress, with lofty dreams of placing both feet on all seven continents. Well, I’ve done that, but not in the way I had intended. In Auckland, New Zealand in 1994, I found myself facing an unexpected fork in the road: I could either catch a bus… Read More

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dustin salzano, salzano dustin, dustin n salzano

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

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