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I (Rachel) am a very curly-haired person who has lived in a bunch of different places and currently has a wonderful nest in Toronto. My partner (Jo) and I are about to set off on a bit of a whirlwind trip around the UK and Greece, so I'll be away from Toronto for a bit. Jo is a writer and ocean-lover who has recently made Toronto her home, but is excited to go a-wandering in Europe!
In general I've spent the last several years working around youth engagement, anti-poverty, anti-racism, creative activism and expression (zines, community murals, spoken word, poetry), land defense, against mining injustice (specifically around the actions of Canadian companies in Latin America), and for environmental justice.
I'm a big nerd, who loves diagrams, punctuation, lists, etymology, and theories. I love everything to do with food (growing, cooking, eating, sharing) and am always up for trying new things. I spend a lot of time thinking about solidarity, queer and gender theory, colonialism, and how to make things generally less messed up.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
I've done a bunch of surfing (especially all around Eastern Europe, and across 10 or so US states), hosting (in my homes in Montreal and Guatemala) as well as had a swell time with the CS crew in Waterloo, where I was at university.
At this moment my partner and I are planning a trip to Greece and the UK for May/June! wee!
Poetry, languages, sports (tennis, snowboarding, rugby, squash, etc), meeting people, community building, pottery, zine-making, lists, logic, science, math, cooking, forests, fondue, fancy cheeses, wine, poutine, tangents, sharing music, playing, being happy...
- spoken word
Music, Movies, and Books
music - Lately, (according to my itunes recently played list) I've been listening to a lot of Tracy Chapman, Nina Simone, the Weepies, Of Montreal, Arctic Monkeys, Benny Goodman, Erin McKeown, Rickie Lee Jones, Velvet Underground, the New Pornographers, Architecture in Helsinki, Manu Chao, Dobacaracol, Pony Up!, Ray Charles, le Tigre, Kaki King, Moldy Peaches, Sarah Harmer, Belle and Sebastian, Beach Boys, Feist, Stars, Simon and Garfunkle, Islands, Los Campesinos!, Kate Nash, St. Vincent, the Unicorns, the Cliks, Martha Wainwright, Calvin Harris, and (always) Janis Joplin.
movies - I find I have a very short movie-memory. Thus I can enjoy movies but remembering names of ones I've enjoyed is difficult. Will try nonetheless. I love Disney movies. And Fern Gully (which, surprisingly, isn't Disney) is an old favorite. Others I remember loving (or have recently watched and enjoyed) include: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Les Invasions Barbares, C.R.A.Z.Y, Amelie, Chocolat, Everything is Illuminated, Samsara (which my friend - a Tibetan monk I met in India - is in!), Life is Beautiful, Matilda, Beautiful Mind, Ray, Be Kind Rewind..
books - Anything by Roald Dahl or Edna St. Vincent Millay (I adore these two people and anything/everything they've written). Jeanette Winterson's another favorite. No one else I've read can pull off a novel where the protagonist's gender, age, and name are never revealed (that's "Written on the Body"). Ignoring her novels, just her online, monthly column and posted poems and articles are enough to make me fall in literary-love for her.. Other excellent reads: Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children", Ann-Marie MacDonald's "Fall on Your Knees", Virginia Woolf's "Orlando", Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" Jane Goodall's field notebooks, Anne Michael's "Fugitive Pieces", Harry Potter, Orwell's "1984", Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring", Anita Diamant's "The Red Tent" most of Mary Oliver, e.e. cummings, Adrienne Rich, Alden Nowlan, and Pablo Neruda's poetry collections, anything translated by W. S. Merwin and Susanne de Lotbiniere-Harwood aaaand that's a lot so imma stop now..
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I'm not sure if this counts as one thing, but while traveling around Peru I both ice climbed up a frozen waterfall and sand boarded down a sand dune within 48 hours!
Countries I’ve Visited
Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Virgin Islands, British
Countries I’ve Lived In