Sunday, July 31, 2005

Welcome To My New Home!

Well, I've finally made it! I am in my own place! We moved all the rest of my stuff and all of Shannon's stuff today with the help of my family! Thanx guys! Then Shannon and I went shopping for necessities like a toilet cleaning brush, a garbage can, shower curtain and iced coffees! (It was a record 31 degrees here in Calgary! Yessss!!! We needed to rehydrate).

It feels sooooo nice to finally have a place to call my home. Tonight, after our fine dinner of KD, we decided to chill, drank some wine, ate cheese and grapes and watched Garden State on my laptop. It was a nice way to begin our new living arrangement! Cheers to our new place!

That's it, that's all for now cuz I'm pooped from the day!
Ciao!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Different Is OK

This is when I know I am...well...different...
  • My fellow Calgarians comment on the extreme 30 degree C weather while I am finally just getting comfortable again. (I've been so cold).
  • Fellow staff members don't comment on my choice of music on the radio- a mix of French West African/World beat rhythms, they just give me weird looks
  • The suprising passion that rises up in me when someone mentions anything having to do with, Africa or other developing nations, poverty, race, war, disease etc. etc. And my shock right after, of the lack of equal passion in those I'm talking with (I think I'm coming off just a bit too strong).

I don't mind being different, in fact, I may strive to be my own person in a world that dictates everything I ought to say, do, believe, want...but it does get a bit lonely. God, don't you think I ought to go back to Africa?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

My Elusive Something

Hmmmm....like the new look? I do. Orangey-brown, mellow, like how I'm feeling today.

"...Day and night, I have only tears for food,
while my enemies continually taunt me,
saying,
'Where is this God of yours?'...

...Now I am deeply discouraged,
but I will remember your kindness...

...I hear the tumult of the raging seas
as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.

Through each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me.
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to the God who gives me life..."

-some of Psalm 42

Ever feel like your missing something but the harder you try to figure it out, the more elusive it becomes?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Ha! Sorry for not updating in a while. I just bought a wireless card for my laptop because the place I'm moving into is wireless (yipee)! But I couldn't get it to connect to the internet until now. Just to point out, I figured it out all on my own!!! I'm developing into a real techno-babe! Yessssss!
I have moved now. Not everything, but all the stuff I had in the room I stayed in at the Dancey's (THE DANCEY'S ROCK)!!!! Thanx guys for putting up with me for 2 months! So now I am occupying a room in the upstairs of my pastor's house. He and his family will eventually move up here and I will be downstairs with roomie Shannon (we lived together with my sister about 4 years ago in a wicked place in Hillhurst! I miss that place). Then I will begin the responsible actions of paying rent, cleaning up after myself, buying groceries and all that jazz! Not that I wasn't doing that before, well, everything except for the rent thing. (THE DANCEY'S ROCK)!!!! Thanx for letting me mooch off of you for 2 months! I'm still working at the coffee shop and soon I will start back at the museum (I can't get away from that place)! I still have no plans for the immediate or near distant future. I keep wondering if I want to go back to school, and if so, to study what? International development? Social work? Bible College? UofA to study French and Arabic. (Don't ask).
_________

Shannon and I went to the Stampede last night. We scored free tickets and decided to just go ahead and do the Stampede thing. I can't believe how many people actually dress up now! I remember when it was definitely NOT cool to dress western for the Stampede unless you did it so you could wear jeans to work for a change...anyway, now it's the fashion to have a beat up and faded looking cowboy hat made out of straw. Not a pristine white Stetson. It reminds me of my buddy Mike's hat and he's from LA. Are we being influenced by those tres fashionable Americans again? I have to admit, I almost bought a lacy, faded lime green hat; the edges all bent out of shape but not to wear in Calgary. Heavens no! To take with me to the next foreign country I go to, because for some reason, it seems much cooler that way, cuz I'd be the only one to have a crazy lime green cowboy hat! I think I'M being influenced here!

We walked around the grounds, tried to gain a bit of culture in Indian Village (since when is it ok to say "Indian"? I thought we were supposed to be politically correct and say "First Nations.") Then we went to the exhibition hall to watch all the demonstrations (make your life easier cooking utensils/appliances, fancy new tools for the tool box, jewelry, clothes, art, cars...)The art section was awesome!
Then we decided to get a beer in the casino but being the big drinkers we are, we both left almost half our drinks in there in favor of mini-donuts and corndogs instead. First we watched David Usher play and sing, he is really good live! I like his hair.
We finshed off by freezing our tooshies off waiting for the fireworks on the hill in front of the Saddledome. It was worth the wait. They were really brilliant. Now I can say I've been there, done that, for this year at least. It's all over today. It's kinda sad cuz then there really isn't much left of summer. Just August and half of September if we're lucky. Oh Lord, how am I going to survive winter? Isn't there a warm country I can run off to???

Well, just one last sentence or two. My friend Jessica flew off to Louisiana today to meet up with her army dude fiance. She'll be becoming an American pretty soon, and starting a whole new life there. Don't forget us way up here freezing in Canada! Be blessed Jess!

Ciao

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Foolishness

Once again, I have a quote from the same book that, yes, I am STILL reading. Sometimes I am choked by the weight of these words; sometimes I laugh at how true they are in my life and sometimes, I want to throw this book across the room in frustration...well anyway, here goes...

"Inspection stickers used to have printed on the back 'Drive carefully - the life you save may be your own.' That is the wisdom of men in a nutshell. What God says, on the other hand, is 'The life you save is the life you lose.' In other words, the life you clutch, hoard, guard, and play safe with is in the end a life worth little to anybody, including yourself; and only a life given away for love's sake is a life worth living. To bring his point home, God shows us a man who gave his life away to the extent of dying a national disgrace without a penny in the bank or a friend to his name. In terms of men's wisdom, he was a perfect fool, and anybody who thinks he can follow him without making something like the same kind of fool of himself is laboring under not a cross but a delusion. -Frederick Buechner"

-Reaching for the Invisible God by Philip Yancey

!!!Wow!!!

I keep wondering, am I trying too hard to keep my life to myself for fear that if I allow God to do whatever He wants with my life, others may consider me foolish?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Stampede!


These are not just ANY pancakes, check out the insignia on the butter! Those are Calgary Stampede pancakes! Mmmmm.... Posted by Picasa

Yup! The Stampede has officially begun. 10 days of cowboys (both real and fake), disgusting, greasy, but oh-so-tasty midway food, fireworks, tourists, First Nations folks living in teepees, livestock and the SMELL of livestock and hopefully, higher than 25 degree days! I'm soooo sick of being so cold all the time!

Man! I love Calgary!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Burden

My burden grows steadily
Heavy across my already tense shoulders
With every question
Every doubt of your intentions
Every ache for past love
Every lonely memory of extraordinary experiences
As I wait impatiently for the bus, in the rain.

It's not that I don't believe,
It's all these pieces I try anxiously,
Tirelessly to fit together.
It's the deepness unable to be voiced
Swallowing me up in its vastness.
It's a desperation trying to work it out before it's too late
It's the extra weight each day seems to add
Heavy,
Heavier,
But
I
Won't
Crack!
Stubborness to hold on
Fear to let go

This is all there is left to define me
This weight,
To lose it....

Then who will I be?
And who will you be?

Bailey's Milkshakes and Tofu Burritos

I finally got in touch with my Sudanese family who I got to know before I went to S.A. They are refugees who had spent 2 years in Egypt before they got to come here. We made a plan to meet up and I was SO excited! I brought presents from S.A. and my camera...but after travelling 3 hours on various buses, I could not find their house! It was the most absurd thing! It should have been #58. So I walked past #60, then #56, but no 58. I even asked the neighbor, but they didn't know. So I walked and walked and walked for probably an hour trying to find their house and ended up having to go home after all that! Another hour and a half! I was tired, a little sunburned with blisters now forming on the bottom of my feet. The last walk up the hill to my house was done barefoot (made me think of South Africans running around everywhere barefoot).
Turns out, I got the house number wrong. It was something like 240! Not 58! How'd I mess that up? I was so frustrated by then I just had to make a Bailey's milkshake to calm my nerves! So, I'm gonna try again on Sunday. I'll let you know how it turns out!

My mom, in an effort to help me feel better, took me out the next day to my doc appt, so I didn't have to take the bus! Then she lovingly helped me pick out ingredients to make tofu burritos that she and my stepdad gobbled up as though it was really great! I mean, they weren't bad, but I just love that they are willing to experience the wierd and bizarre with me. I know one day they will come and work with me somewhere in Africa! How amazing would that be?

Saturday, July 02, 2005


My friend N'tcha and I in Benin Posted by Picasa

I just got a letter from this friend of mine. I haven't heard from anyone from Benin in a while, aside from my directors there and my former roomate from the US, so it was very exciting for me. N'tcha is taking an agriculture course in Cotonou, on the coast of Benin, which is so exciting because he'll be able to come back to Tanguieta and help the villages!

Mmmm....Benin.....wonder if I'll find myself back there one day?

Friday, July 01, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!!!

Canada is 138 years old today! Woo-hoo! We had a Canada day BBQ, ate lots of Alberta beef (yum!), drank ONLY Canadian beer, and watched an episode of a Corner Gas, a Canadian sitcom based in Saskatchewan. It's actually pretty darn funny! And in keeping with our multi-cultural heritage, we even had a guest from Thailand!
Does anyone know the "I Am Canadian" beer commercial? Yah, they played it today on the radio and I just had to laugh at how we fight so hard to be UN-like our fine neighbors to the South. (Confession time: I actually like Americans.)
Only a few more days until the Stampede starts! I love Stampede Week! Pancake breakfasts, here I come!!!