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Articles by Author Tehnuka Ilanko

Tehnuka Ilanko (she/they) is a second-generation Tamil tauiwi volcanologist from Aotearoa (New Zealand). Her short stories and poetry have been published in Mermaids Monthly, FlashFlood, Apparition Lit, and Memento Vitae; she was a finalist in the 2020 Dream Foundry short story contest and highly commended in the NZ Sunday Star Times short story competition.

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The week we were approved, Yoshi and Aroha shook the dust out of Tara’s old baby clothes and El travelled 10 days to Whangārei to talk to the medics. 

We could have telecommed, but we don’t have specialist medics in Kirikiriroa and she wanted training at the hospital. Travel was an attraction, too. In our community, she’s the one who most likes time alone in the forest or the trailside gardens. 

In typical energetic El mode, she gathered a good stock of herbs on the journey, spent days reading books and talking to their specialists, wove a wahakura for the baby in the evenings with the help of her host whānau, and brought everything back along with new stories of her trip. The flax bassinet was full of extra soap, meds, and cleaning alcohol from the Whangārei co-op. As a supercommunity, they manufactured medication right there. El told several stories and traded Aroha’s fabric weaving, and they willingly offered the rest for the new baby. 

Unloading the waka, I almost hit myself in the face with the med containers. When I pick them up, they are so lightweight.

“El, is this …... Read more