I have an interesting aunt. Well, several actually, but this one in particular started her professional life in computer science back in the early days when everything was still punch cards, and there were almost no women in the field. She had a good job our in California, drove a cute little Porsche convertible and seemed to be living the American dream life.

When she was 27, she put that all aside to follow her passion of Anthropology and ended up moving to Canada to teach at one of the universities there. Although her financial situation changed dramatically, she was given the opportunity for so much travel on her sabbatical years and study indigenous tribes around the world.

I didn’t get to see her much when I was growing up, but I reconnected with her as an adult. On my first visit, she gave me this goose she picked up on her travels. Whenever she visits a new place, she makes it a point to always talk to the children. She meets a lot of them peddling local crafts their families have made. She knows that these purchases are truly examples of native crafts, support a local family, and give them more meaning than anything she could pick up at a souvenir shop.

Because of this, when I visit a new place, I try to find the small stands or a person with a shop on their own land selling traditional hand made items. Taking some time to talk to the artist or their family lets me appreciate the work and history that has gone into their craft, and attaches greater memories to the object once I get it home.  It all started when I was given this goose.