Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Interview with Justin

September 16th, 2011

It was meant to be an interview but ended up being rather more of a chat. Good couple of hours. Justin was a journalist with Alaskan outdoors magazine Coast. It’d chanced on a recent copy at the airport when I’d returned there to clear my bicycle for release with Customs. A well-written publication, lots of interesting articles, I’d been particularly looking forward to our meeting. Another event arranged by John, the Bent Prop Inn Hostel’s inexhaustible manager.

There were copious notes. Page after page. Keen, Justin explained, to have plenty of quotes. Photos we would do a little later. We’d often wander a little, sharing anecdotes, before struggling to recall where we’d left off. Sometimes it was just advice, suggestions. Thoughts exchanged on the possibility of writing a book. Firm agreement that if it was ever to be successful, it needed to offer something different to the plethora of other travelogues. I alluded a little to an idea I had, but not the details. Early days.

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The Internationalist

April 4th, 2011

Legal advocate. Former journalist. Feisty. Passionate. Following a path shaped by circumstances. Adaptive. Sharp and intelligent. Focused. Careful in her choice of issues. Making a difference rather than pursuing lost causes. Resilient. A formidable ally. An unenviable opponent.

Karin - web

I’d met Karin quite by chance. A wrong turn. Sort of. Drawn away from the usual tourist tat on the main street. Down into a small alley. Craft shops mostly. Curious. She’d spoken first. Engaging. Conversation flowed. Drawn to a close only by my need to do a few jobs. Return to my campsite before dark. I’d suggested a sociable coffee the next day. She’d accepted.

Not afraid to challenge boundaries. Or be constrained by borders. Arbitrary divisions. Dual national. Two Western nations. Affinity rather than allegiance. Much of her life spent elsewhere. Europe. Asia. Amongst very differing societies. Australia now for a while. Contemplating her next move. Writing a book about some of her earlier experiences tackling a very personal injustice.

Conversation with breadth and depth. Refreshing. Politics. Sarah Palin. After Obama. Democratic models. Religious fundamentalists. Education of the masses. Ruling elites. Porous borders. Journalists. Writing for discrete, subscription only publications. Notions of Justice. Wikileaks release of diplomatic cables. Right to know or an inhibitor of frank exchange of views. Twists and turns. But always respecting the opinions of others. And not hopeless idealism. Rather, views shaped by a healthy cynicism. Reflecting a very international outlook.

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