I spent the first two weeks travelling around the UK, from London - Cardiff - Hay-on-Wye - Birmingham - Stratford-upon-Avon - Oxford and back to London! The following two weeks involved finishing up my work with the UN, and starting to plan for the future...
I was starting to settle into life in Kosovo, and taking every opportunity to travel around. I fell in love with beautiful cities like Prague, ugly cities like Skopje, and indescribable something-in-between cities like Sofia. Almost exactly two years ago, I travelled to Gevgelija, a town on the border of Greece and Macedonia, and met up with another lindy hopping friend who was in the US Peace Corps, and we taught swing dancing to local Macedonian youth.
I was four months into a new job managing a school library in Melbourne, and after spending most of the previous year not working as a librarian, I was struggling to settle back into this role. Much of this month's posts were looking at whether it was more important to be a librarian, or to do the kind of work that I found fulfilling - much of which I found in librarian roles. On the last day of that June, I resigned from my job, and committed to going overseas to work in another development role with an NGO in Vietnam.
I wouldn't have been able to participate in Blogjune if I'd wanted to, as I spent most of this month working in Alotau, PNG developing a health library at St Barnabas School of Nursing.
|Me and my counterparts at St Barnabas School of Nursing|
I had just returned from living in Japan for most of a year... to Melbourne winter. Started a new temporary job in a library, and enjoying the challenges of returning to full-time work, predominantly focusing on community and cultural development programming in a public library - back in the same public library where I'd gotten my first library job over seven years earlier!
I was gearing up for the move to Japan (which didn't happen until the beginning of September!). On the 14th of June, I also got my confirmation of a Commonwealth Supported place in the Masters of Information Studies - this less than five years after swearing I wouldn't go back to uni ever again. At least I didn't have to pay full fees.
It was a very different and fun time. I was Convenor of the ALIA New Graduates Group, and had a side-project co-organising a group called The Desk Set Downunder, which mostly involved making zines and badges and going on bookstore crawls in Melbourne and this one time in Newtown. I was also involved with the Emerging Writers Festival, and was involved with the Zine Bus - which was filled with Zine Makers and we toured around Melbourne for a morning, culminating in a pop-up zine fair in Fed Square.
|Our zine from a Literary Crawl in Newtown, and a random selection at Gould's.|
I was working temporarily part-time at the Centre for Youth Literature, and the month started with my first Reading Matters conference. John Green came to Melbourne, and so did all the Nerdfighters. Then I travelled to Vanuatu for a week and a half and hung out with Romany, a librarian who I'd met the previous year at NLS, and was spending most of the year overseas as an Australian Volunteer for International Development. When she suggested that I come over to visit her, I decided to take her up on the offer, and pretty soon we were having all kinds of weird adventures.
|Cousins at a wedding in Vanuatu...|
I was living in Darwin, working as a Reference Librarian at the Northern Territory Library. The previous month I'd performed a solo cabaret show Librarian Idol at the Butterfly Club in Melbourne. I also took a trip to Canberra, but I wasn't sure if I could give up the tropical weather for such a cold climate.......