Monday, January 3, 2011

8 more days!!!

OK, I leave in 8 more days...that's like a day more than a week...that's really soon...I should really start preparing, not only physically & mentally, but packing--making lists: sunscreen, runners, laptop, sunscreen...almost there.
Just need a camera. I thought about it & I'll actually be gone for almost 3 months (85 days to be exact)...not sure if the time will stand still or fly by, but I know it'll be time well spent.
I wonder what my tribe name will be..."White-Cheetah-Meat"?..."Running Snowflake?"  That sounds more suitable...I'm expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. I will not trust anybody as far as I can run from them...however, will remain open to the different culture and lifestyle which lay ahead. That's the only way to become a better person--not so much being paranoid as being aware. I don't want to be taken advantage of in any way, especially being in a different country. I'm sure I'll stick out like a sore thumb & don't want to attract the wrong people. I'll take some friends advice and never go anywhere alone, just in case.
I'm not afraid, but you can never be too careful either. That's just how it is. Well, it's time to get together with new & newer friends to say adios here in Ontario (since I've only been here for a year & a half) & to my older friends back in Saskatchewan & Calgary--goodbye Canada--I'll see you in the spring!
Stay Shakira would say "waka Africa!"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Addis Ababa, East Africa (capital)

 Where I'll be staying for the next 2 & 1/2 months

 The Blue Nile Falls

Typical Ethiopian Cuisine (consists of spicy vegetable and meat dishes, usually in the form of wat (or wot), a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 50 centimeters (20 inches) in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour. Ethiopians eat with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes. No utensils are used.)
The Lion of Judah

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Well, I guess it's almost official...I'll be flying to Ethiopia in about a month's time to train for 2 & 1/2 months! A strong, overwhelming sensation has suddenly taken over every thought & feeling...mixed emotions of excitedness, anxiety, wonder, a dose of fear. Part of me is asking myself do I know what I'm getting myself into? The other part is shouting: YOU NEVER KNOW UNTIL YOU TRY, DUH!!! So, I guess I'll have to do just that. It's easy to get comfortable in the same daily routine. Who's to say that's the right thing to do for everybody? It seems like I need to venture far away in order to expand my horizons.

It's definitely an opportunity of a lifetime. At my last race of the season, I was approached by one of my competitor's coach who I had met a year prior at the International Niagara Falls half marathon. At this particular race, his athlete, Josiane had just beat me to a third place finish by a mere 7 seconds. She must have been having an off day...I remember the look of disappointment as I almost caught up to her. Coach Ken handed me his business card & asked me to call if I wanted to be coached. Not particularly. Not at that time anyway. Until now. Our next encounter was in Grimsby for the November Casablanca Classic 8km run. After the race, I recognized Ken & asked where Josiane was since she wasn't with him. He looked at me with a smirk and said, "She's racing overseas." Oh-la-la! We chatted for a couple minutes until I realized it was time for my self-reward: post-race massage! Excuse me Ken...

Ten minutes later, I came back to where I had left Ken immersed in conversation with my dad & step-mother. From the look on my parents face, it looked like it was an intense topic. Dawna told me he would like to know if I was interested in training in Ethiopia for a couple months starting at the beginning of January. I had just finished my graphic design position with Canadian Niagara Hotels--could the timing be a sign? Of course it is!! I know that I'm ready to give it my all.

Running has always been a big part of my life, now it's time to take it to the ultimate level & maximize my potential. No matter the outcome, this is one experience I'll be able to look back on and say, "I'm glad I did that." It's better than the alternative and regretting not doing it. Now, I know running in a country where they're born & bred to run may seem a little extreme, but if Africans wanted to learn everything there is to know about hockey, they should look into visiting Canada. I realize it's going to be boot-camp for running, eat, sleep, breathe, run...but I think a good swift kick in the butt is only going to help me be a stronger person overall. No matter how much I may miss home, no matter how high the elevation is (9,000 feet above ours! Gulp!), no matter how tough it is keeping up with the pack, I won't have a choice but to give it my all. However, this doesn't mean I won't need all of my family & friend's support starting now! Any words of wisdom, advice, encouragement, whatever...I appreciate it all :) Yes, I've done some research, now it's just a matter of organization and yellow fever/malaria shots!
Oh, I hope to see some cheetahs!