Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Isn't it funny how inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime in the most unusual places? Take for example Sunday night for me. I had a pretty disappointing weekend and decided to go to a local Starbucks to drown my sorrows in hot chocolate and whipped cream and do some reading. The following quote happened to be on my cup and it made me smile and take pause.

"People need to see that, far from being an obstacle, the world's diversity of languages, religions and traditions is a great treasure, affording up precious opportunities to recognize ourselves in others." - Youssou N'Dour (musician)

I think this is one of our BB mantras because it helps us to remember that even though we may feel we are alone in all this, at the end of the day, people are people with the same issues, fears, beliefs and basic goodness. Makes it seem a little less scary.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I love to bake! I love everything about it. The smells and the getting dirty, the creativity and the warmth. Most of all, I love when I have people to laugh with while I am doing this. This is why I fell head over heels in love with my placement at The Working Center. I have already finished my required 18 hours of volunteer work there as part of my Beyond Borders class but I am sooo going back again...especially when I come back. I was/am baking with Mark and the lovely people of Murietta's kitchen who cook all the food (vegetarian and vegan) for the Queen Street Cafe across the street. If you live in Kitch and you want super great cheap food that is fresh and wonderful, go there!! Amazing! I am in love with this place because I would bake everyday if it wasn't so expensive, and here I can bake whatever I want, all day, and someone else provides me with all my ingredients.

Most of the other BB people have been talking about their placements and how they are meeting all these new people and getting to experience great relationships and self discoveries (I especially recommend Krista's blog for this). I however have had no such experiences, epiphonies or anything of the like. Now while I don't feel cheated in anyway, I'm not sure I can relate my baking experiences to anything of importance to my trip. But I can say that even if I didn't learn any life experiences from baking there, I did learn how to make things I have never gotten to try before and I love the fact that the food is part of the whole Working Center wheel. All the food products are donated, or bought with donated, earned money. Then the food is made and resold in the cafe and it continues so on. I was going to post some of the recipes that I have made (I rocked the biscotti- that was exciting) but I have not been able to fix my blog structure yet so it will have to wait. I can't even say that I have learned team playing or anything like that because Mark just lets me do my own thing. I pick what I want to make, when I make it, how much, and how long I stay. So I really enjoy the freedom of that.

I just wanted to mention the lovely time I have baking there and hanging out with the kitchen people is awesome. Wish I had a big revelation to share like some others have, but at the same time, I can say that not having a revelation was just as nice. Nice and calm. Yummy...baking


No expectations

I have finally managed to get through almost everyone's blogs now and comment on most everything.. sorry it took so long. While reading some of them, there was a common theme of "this is what I hope to experience, learn, etc" and I started to realize that I don't think I have any expectations about my trip at all. It's not cuz I'm not interested or excited or anything that I am not thinking about it. I think it's just as I said before; if I don't have any expectations then I won't be disappointed or surprised. I will get a better chance of being present in the moment (as seems to be a popular theme amongst us BB'ers right now). I have no idea what to expect when I get there. I am still trying to stop the pictures of mud huts and no water, because the country of Honduras has millions of people and lots of infrastructure. I don't know what I will be doing while I am there... that reminds me, I want to email some people about that. I think part of the excitement for me is letting go of control. Quite a few of us have discussed how we need lists and plans and a focus to feel comfortable. I used to think I wasn't that way inclined, but I look at my room full of Post It notes reminding me of stuff, and maybe I really am a list and plan person. So not having one while in Honduras will be a cool challenge to me. I am still debating whether or not to do away with technology whist there and come back free from my phone... lol

Friday, March 13, 2009

G8 Summit in Canada

I think it would be a brilliant experience to attend a G8 summit speech and I would be willing to put together a field trip for it. I know it's more than a year away, but it's something to keep in mind. Huntsville, Ontario... June 25-27, 2010.

(this web link is the official website for the G8 summit and includes info on the town of Huntsville and the background info on the G8 summit)

Im A Slave 4U

Yesterday we had a meeting at The Working Center to talk about how people seem to have lost their connection to their roots. We have all (as a world and society) become so focused on consumerism and having, buying, wanting, that we have lost a sense of what matters. At least that what it seems like. We were asked to read a couple of articles that the owner/creator of The Working Center wrote a few years ago and a few points made in the articles really hit home to me. If all of a sudden there was a major disaster or life crisis, would any of us be able to survive? Think about the movie The Stand or any other movie where the end of the world is upon us and we can only use our common sense and skills to survive. Would any of us know how to grow food? Would we be able to make our own clothing? I know I wouldn't. I sure wouldn't be able to raise an animal, and kill it to eat. Even if I could somehow do that, I wouldn't know what to do next. Any time I had an animal die in my life, he or she gets cremated and put into a decorative box to adorn my bookcase... not gonna keep me fed. And I didn't cremate them! So... my point, and there is one, is that our discussions on using tools and being a slave to technology made me think.

I remember when I was a kid in elementary school, our teacher asked us where eggs came from and me (thinking I'm being smart, not smart-ass) put up my hand and said, "Safeway!" (the West's version of Sobey's). I wouldn't know the first thing about raising chickens and harvesting eggs. So if chicken farmers ever went on strike I'd have to be content to do without eggs I suppose. I have a tendency to go off on tangents and I feel one coming on now. Hold on...

I AM A SLAVE TO MY PHONE! I don't really even talk to people anymore since the onset of text messaging... *sigh* text messaging... my last phone bill said that I sent and received over 3000 text messages last month! Last month!!! Holy crap! Thank goodness for unlimited for $10. But I digress...I remember losing my phone for the day and I felt like my hand had been cut off. In contrast, I was so incredibly stressed back in Feb that I turned the phone off (and the computer) and forced myself to live in silence.. and it worked! Apparently some of my stress resulted from the fact that I make myself available to everyone all the time. Our discussions yesterday made me think about my upcoming trip. I will be near and/or in a major city where I am assuming there will be technology and modern amendments such as McDonald's (ha-kidding) being that there is a population of over 6 million on the Island (larger population than both Kitchener, Waterloo put together) and double the size of Calgary. Honduras also relies quite heavily on globalization and trade with the US so in actual fact, the need for technology would be quite prevalent. Thinking about this, I found myself almost disappointed which made me really laugh at myself. I think some of us (or maybe just me) hear Third World country and immediately envision the mud huts and half naked children running around dirt roads like we see on Feed The Children campaign ads on TV. For some reason my brain deduced that since I will be in a Third World country, I won't have access to all things technological out there and maybe I can break my chains of imprisonment that my inanimate objects seem to have me in. Maybe I would be forced into 3 months of technological silence (that kind of made me happy). But no.... the evil cell phone technology is available everywhere!! BAH.

The point of this is, how did I get so attached to my phone? I am old enough to remember the beginning of the cell phone. I remember the days when the cordless phone was something the rich people had and they were the size of bricks. We had a crackly answering machine that you may or may not be able to decipher and if you didn't get someone on the phone, you adapted. You found them later or changed your plan to be without them. We lived... we got along... the world turned... yet I leave my phone behind one day and almost have a melt down!! What if someone texts me to send me an annoying forward about hugs and how much they value my friendship and back luck will befall me if I don't forward it to 10 people? How can I miss that message!?!?!?!?! Geez....

And when the hell did I get so lazy that I need to drive from one side of a parking lot to the other in an outlet shopping complex because it's cold outside? Holy crap! I complained that I had to pay $8 a day to park downtown to volunteer when I could ride the bus for free. My argument is that it would take me an hour and a bit and two buses to get to the same place when it would only take 15 mins by car. So I suppose it's priorities. But still... Hmmm...

I'm hoping that I can take advantage of my lack of money whilst in Honduras to try to get back to my roots. I'm thinking that I might try and do without the phone, the computer and the cars (since we are not allowed to drive anyway) and see if will come out the other side still in tact without my "I'm glad you are my friend" texts. I may even get as far as not needing my phone as much when I get back again..... oooh.. just got a bit dizzy at that thought, need to sit down.... big deep breaths... it will be ok... haha.

So give these articles a browse. What are you a slave to?

(my info on Honduras came from which is a tourist website that offers everything you need to know and more about vacationing there)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A switch was flicked

I had the most interesting thing happen on the weekend (other than my date) and I can only say that I am trul thankful for it. I don't know how or why or really even when, but sometime this weekend I got the fight back in me for this trip and all the things associated with it. I think in some ways it had to do with working with everyone on the pancake breakfast. I really felt like a team that day and I was so proud of our successes and I was so proud to watch everyone overcome some of their self proclaimed weakness and we all worked together to solve the lack of food problem- chocolate chips and whipping cream is a cure all I think. :o)

So I am hoping that I am not out of time with all this because there has been a new fire lit inside me that I am really hoping to flourish regarding this whole thing. I think I needed some help getting excited about going because all the trials and roadblocks that were put in front of me really discouraged and me and brought me down. But today I feel good and although I am not yet excited to go (I have too much to do) I know that I will be and I don't know who or what to thank, but Thanks.