It’s time for a year in review post!
For me, especially compared to the last three years, it’s been a relatively bloody boring year (this blog started as a travel blog, remember). I got back from Haiti just in time to ring in 2014 and I haven’t gone on any major adventures since, unless you count going to Texas with my father’s family to see a rodeo, going out in the country here in Quebec a few times for music events, or going to Ottawa to see Devan during my first real grown-up vacation from work. I graduated, moved into my own place, got a steady(er) job and consequently started taking more responsibility for myself. For those of you who haven’t been following this blog very assiduously (you’re forgiven)– I cover vacation and sick leave for the staff of a CBC Radio morning show. I’m doing exactly what I went to school for and even after the novelty has worn off I really do enjoy it! I’m working with very intelligent and genuine people and there’s a lot of cooperation and mutual respect there, and I take my hat off to that group.
A good year. Nothing earth-shattering, though, it must be said. No lover, no exotic exciting full-time job, no epic adventures, no new passions (although I did start learning Spanish and I did join an online linguaphiles club and find an outlet for my enjoyment of languages).I watched quite a few friends leave for jobs in Montreal or out of province, made some new friends and discovered some new bands. A few deaths in my extended family, a few births in my circle of friends– Devan’s nephew, Diomède and Geneviève’s second daughter, my friend Zacharie’s daughter, my friend Valérie’s third niece. It was a nice year– for me.
In my little sphere, a “relatively bloody boring” year, in the rest of the world a bloody year. Conflict engulfed the Central African Republic, the Sudans, Eastern DRC, Palestine, Israel, Libya, Syria and Ukraine — this last conflict claiming the lives of several hundred not only innocent but completely uninvolved people when an airliner was accidentally shot down by rebel fighters, who showed no public remorse or shame for their monumental, fatal fuck-up. Migrants continued to be abandoned at sea by people traffickers, tended to by Italian or Greek paramedics and deported or left to wander an unforgiving world, while all around the world people sat behind their computers, eating their dinners, and wrote “Let them drown.” There was also the Ebola epidemic which engulfed Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing thousands, sickening thousands more, spreading paranoia to millions and stigmatizing the entire continent for those too prone to hasty generalizations. It was the year Ferguson burned and New York mourned. It was a year of creepy plane crashes and boat sinkings and two shootings which shook Canada, and funerals which brought Canada together. In Quebec, the Charter of Values divided us. It was the year of the Sochi Olympics, where female ski jumpers flew for the first time and Canadian hockey players won double gold–barely…it was a great party, although many in Russia are probably wondering now if it was all worth it. It was the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid, the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 70th anniversary of D-Day on the Normandy beaches and the 100th anniversary of World War One. Millions of people died this year and millions more were born.And I hope I didn’t forget anything, because in eight hours and thirty-five minutes (in this time zone, anyway) it will all come to an end in a shower of fireworks.
This photographic Year in Review from the New York Times is slightly New York-centric, but beautiful. There’s also this one from The Guardian, which does a wonderful job of capturing big moments and small moments, scary moments and funny moments…
If you look at no other year in review album though, make sure you see this one from BBC Africa. It does a wonderful job of mixing images that show the pain of conflict and disease and the stupidity of the powerful, with images that show striving, determined, complex living humans. The Africa that those who have been there know.