Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30/09

Spring has sprung and I wanted to get a picture of this crocus before the deer find it! The crocus is not the first flower to make its appearance in my gardens, but I was too sick the past two weeks to get a photo of the snowdrops who were the first brave little flowers to show themselves this year! Winter has finally let go of us here in Eastern Canada. Mind you, it is only April yet so it could snow again, but I am defiant with my sunglasses and flip flops!

I just heard on the news that a Rotary Group Study Exchange member in Nigeria who was recently kidnapped has been released. I participated in the GSE in 2004 to Adelaide, Australia and had the time of my life! Being a participant renewed my commitment to the Rotary Youth Exchange program which I facilitate within my Rotary club. Getting know other cultures and languages is so very important to bridge the gaps that occur and to build solidarity. So glad to hear that this kidnapping has been resolved.

My Mongolia trip is still ticking along. If anyone is interested in joining me or any of the other teams, check out my link! I am still looking for team members for my team which is stressing me out a little bit, but I have all my digits crossed that it will be achieved.

May 1/09 I am such a dolt. That is a daffodil, not a crocus! Thanks Christine!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Apr 24/09

This picture is the end result of my personal Earth Day project. Last weekend when I was out walking, I was horrified to see three small nearby brooks so choked with garbage. These brooks feed into the huge river and marsh system that surround this town. The marsh is several thousand hectares in size. After a little thought, I decided to remove one bag full of garbage from each brook as my own gesture to recognize the importance of this planet that nurtures and sustains us so this is what I found last night minus the tire that was too full of mud and water for me to drag home, but at least it is no longer in the brook! At first, I was kind of embarrassed to be seen covered in mud and picking garbage as all those cars drove by, but then I decided to be proud of the fact that I at least was doing something about the mess that we are creating. Passersby probably thought that I was nuts, but I feel so much better about the fact that those waterways are just a little less choked with garbage.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Apr 18/09

Whew! My research paper on microfinance has been emailed and the bibliography just went in. My prof very kindly let me send in the bibliography separately because I have been too sick to get things done this past week. Now, I need to focus on my pharmacy education programs before I decide about taking an on-line course that interests me.....

Just as an aside. I have just emailed in the bibliography which I pieced together while hanging out at the Red Whale Cafe because they have a wi-fi connection that I needed to access some of the necessary information. Now, I am sitting here writing this blog entry as I listen to a couple who are on a first date. Eavesdropping is so evil, but it is so delicious! They met on a dating website and she is sitting here giving him every reason to run away screaming as she details all of her "complications". I kind of suspect that this may be a first and last date, but who knows, maybe I have a front row seat to a "happily-ever-after"!

Well, onto burgers on the BBQ and getting the new clothesline up to replace the old one which is falling apart. If I still have enough energy before it gets dark, I may pull on the rubber boots and clean out the garbage in my brook.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15/09

Wowza! I did not realize how many ornaments I had stitched in the past few weeks! There are quite a few of them. I still have 3 more blanks sitting in the pile to complete before I start on the back stitching and finishing. My scrap floss box has been reduced enough that it is no longer a struggle to snap the box closed and I have used up a good sized piece of cloth to make these ornaments. Now, if I could just reduce the junk in the rest of the house in such a fun and relaxing manner.

The wreath raffle for Relay for Life is going well. So many customers of my pharmacy have bought tickets and given me lovely compliments on the piece. I am thrilled to share my passion and to raise money to fight cancer!

Tonight has been a "talk on the phone" night. I interviewed another candidate for the Habitat trip to Mongolia and talked with two local friends who are quite keen on the trip as well. The applicants are all so interesting and motivated that I can not wait to meet them all in Ulan Bataar and hang out with them for a couple of weeks. Having those 3 great convos. makes up for how miserable I am feeling with bronchitis at the moment. My throat, lungs and ribs hurt from coughing and expectorating so much. The antibiotics are starting to kick in, but my poor body is running on empty. Oh well, it is just bronchitis and I will be as good as new in a few days.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 12/09

Happy Easter to everyone! I woke up to see snow on the ground...grumble, grumble. Things could be worse though I suppose. No war, no natural disaster, no man made disaster, just snow.

I am not a particularly churchy kind of person anymore but I always do pause on Easter to think about its significance and importance in the Christian church. The ideals of forgiveness and love are so important to me. I truly am blessed in my life on every level. There are so many good people in my life and who have re-entered my life recently. The love that surrounds me nourishes me and allows me the opportunity to follow my dreams and crazy flights of adventure. This morning while I was doing a reading-out-loud review of my paper on microfinance that is due on Friday, I was also mulling over how to share my good fortune besides the obvious of spending the afternoon with my family as we eat a delicious feed of turkey prepared by my brother. I did not buy any Easter candy treats to share with the family this year so I decided to place two more Kiva loans in place of the treats. I chose a Palestinian family in Hebron because of the ongoing difficulties in that region and a family in Samoa because of a Paul Theroux book I read last fall. In a minute here, I will print out the profiles and share them with my family over dinner.

Now if I could only magically get rid of this nasty bronchitis, things would be even better for me!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Apr 4/09

My snowman ornament project has been coming along nicely. I have 3.5 more to cross stitch before I start the back stitching and assembly. My focus needs to be redirected to the research paper that I am doing on microfinance which is due on April 14th. To that end, I am searching the Internet for criticisms of microfinance institutions like Kiva to round out some of my thoughts before opening up the laptop and writing today. While I was beginning my search, I logged into my Kiva account and realized that I had not donated to any African borrowers when I had started my first round of loans. My initial loan was disbursed to Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Lebanon. Recently, enough of the loans were paid back that I could make another loan to a borrower in Pakistan. Today, I added Senegal and Mongolia. So, for US$150 I have hopefully made a difference for seven families around the world. I am well aware of the criticisms of microfinance and its limitations, but I am also well aware that many of these people would not be able to access credit otherwise. Here in Canada, we can so easily access credit cards and lines of credit to keep our households and businesses going when there is a downturn in income. We have social safety nets to catch us when we stumble or need help. So many people in the world do not have these opportunities.