Kia ora, shalom, hello!

Hello and thank you for stumbling upon my blog! I am an educator, activist, and globetrotter, starting a new place to record my experiences, wonderings, and learning. I learn with early primary children in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, but grew up along the East Coast of the USA. I’ve also taught in Israel for ten months and worked with kids for shorter times in India and Canada.

For a few years, I have also been a mentor for Challenge 22, a wonderful volunteer-run project that connects new vegans with folks who have been vegan for a long time and others just beginning their vegan journey. I can’t recommend the site enough; if you’ve ever tried veganism but found it difficult for one reason or another, or are just becoming veg-curious, there is support and positive discussion to meet everyone where they are.

Though I’ve been so enjoying helping make vegan living a more accessible choice for our mentees as a group and personal mentor, I found myself writing quite a lot but sharing it with a relatively small group of people. I wondered if there could be a place for me to share these ideas, which tend to be pretty transferable to many people’s experiences, with a wider audience. Veganism is about avoiding animal exploitation wherever feasible, including in our clothing, cosmetics, and entertainment, but I am a bit of a foodie, so you’ll find most of my posts involve some food photography and either a recipe or food tip. This is not, however, your typical recipe blog; most of my recipes are super short and cater to people like myself who are busy and/or on a tight budget and just want to enjoy yummy food with no fuss. I’m not here to make vegan food appear fancy, just here to share the joy of easy, inexpensive, practical, delicious, and fun vegan living. I’m here to play.

Besides, or perhaps intertwined with, writing about vegan accessibility, my daily life centres around experiential, play-based learning. I am aware that there is a lot of confusion around what learning through play really is, and I hope my readers will come along with me on a journey to work some of that out. I mostly treasure questions, rather than answers, and take a lot of joy in examining them with other people.

January seems as good a time as any for some goal-setting. This year, I want to worry less about how I look and more about how I can be a more effective advocate and changemaker. I want to be less critical and more present. I want to do more yoga, for my body and my mind. I’ve been doing pretty well with that so far, doing some small or large amount of some sort of yoga nearly every day, focusing on quality over quantity. I want to own up to my inevitable mistakes, reflect on them, work out what I’ve learned, do better going forward, and help make it better with the ones I’ve hurt. I want to be the kind of person that my students can look up to. I want to dive into learning with the same enthusiasm as this lovely rattie is diving into her pumpkin, head first and with abandon. Join me?

[Image description: Two white and grey rats are eating a large pumpkin. One of the rats is balanced on the edge but is upside down with her head inside the pumpkin, looking as if she is thoroughly enjoying herself.

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