My name is Melissa, and I’m a Canadian human rights lawyer, currently in the process of moving to Rwanda to work in gender equality. I originally created this blog when I was on exchange in Cape Town as a third year law student, and found that it was a great way to keep people abreast of everything I was doing without having to repeat myself a million times (also, the weekly updates proved to my parents that I was still alive). After taking a year and a half hiatus, I started writing again when I accepted an international criminal law position in Den Haag, Holland, and have continued as I’ve landed in other posts. Through this site, I hope that I can share parts of the world with the people I love.
Within Canada, I have lived in five provinces on either coast, and have driven across the country roughly ten times. For those of you who don’t have an idea of how large Canada is, from the capital of one province to the town I was born in (in the same province) is a 22 hour drive. I believe that there’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be (thanks Lennon) and I have my own thoughts on what exactly home means – having left my parents at 13 to go to boarding school, and since then, not having lived in one city for more than four consecutive years (and traveling across the country every summer for work) has created a flexible definition. Settling in one particular place still isn’t appealing to me, so I’m currently following my feet and building a home in my heart to carry with me.
I called this blog “I am a part of all that I have met.” I truly believe that every person I’ve met has impacted me in some way, great or small, and further, that each experience, positive or negative, continues to shape me into a composition of these various parts.
I hope that my words find you well, wherever you are, and however we have been.
My position in Rwanda is funded through the generosity of Global Affairs Canada and contracted through Youth Challenge International, however, all writings are my own thoughts and opinions, and should not be considered reflective of any official position.