Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

Posts Tagged ‘Fear’


8.09.2010 | 3 Comments

Last night while Chris was off doing guy-type things like watching football and getting laminated, I decided that I should pack my backpack and see where I’m at.

Yeah, I did a mock-pack a couple of weeks ago to look at space and weight, but last night I packed for real. And I totally cried my little face right off.  Hrm. That will make it very difficult to climb a mountain, I am sure.

I’m so nervous. I’m nervous, and I’m scared. I’m the type of person who likes to have all her ducks in a row, and who likes to know what’s coming next. I don’t have that with this. The one place where I really need to have it, and it’s not there.

I think I just have too many stressors in my life at the moment, and it’s taking a toll. I need to calm down, breathe, relax… I need to embody a yoga class, really. I need my brain to slip into a nice, long Savassana or something.

But no time for that now.

Three more sleeps…


Hi Jane!

7.19.2010 | 5 Comments

A recap of my life for those who may be new to the blog:

In between my charity work with the poor, and my 24-hour, on-call, volunteer position with the Saving-Kittens-From-Burning-Buildings Society, I am climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money and awareness for The Delta Hospice Society.

Although it’s certainly filling up my schedule with planning and preparation, I still have time each week to teach underprivileged children how to ride bikes, and I’m also able to fit in my bi-weekly visit to the farm where they rescue and rehab racing greyhounds. I am also quite content with keeping my position as President of the Board for the Real Men Don’t Eat Sea Urchins Society.

I am certainly able to continue with my PhD thesis on Caring for the Caregiver, but unfortunately I’ve had to cut down my daily trips to the SPCA to walk the dogs and clean the cat cages. Alas, I can only do that 3x a week now. It breaks my heart, but sometimes life gets in the way of life, doesn’t it?

However full my life may become with all my work to better the lives of others, I will always happily make time to speak with my wonderful, loving mother everyday, and also to lavish attention and an appropriate amount of chaste affection on my significant other (who was obviously raised very, very well).

So to those of you who may be just tuning in to this humble blog, I welcome you, and would like to take this opportunity to let you know that I am a very good person who respects others.

Especially mothers.

Of sons.



With a Little Help from My Friends.

7.14.2010 | 3 Comments

There’s something disconcerting about the idea of walking the bright streets of Dar es Salaam on my own. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve traveled by myself a good deal, and although it affords me some freedom to do what I want and when, it’s ultimately a lonely experience. But it’s never really been scary.

I think walking around in Dar is scary.

I don’t fear getting dragged off into a dark alley or anything, but I do fear my naivety. I’m too nice sometimes, and when I’m traveling in a foreign country, that can get me into some serious trouble. I have to remember that it’s ok to be stern. Not cruel, stern. I fully believe in the ‘catch more flies with honey‘ adage, and have no desire to tell some stranger to get bent while I’m taking swings at him with a hiking pole. On the other hand, I need to remember that it’s ok to be assertive and say, “NO!”.

The problem is that I haven’t done enough traveling on my own, and so am (admittedly) fairly stupid when it comes to confrontations. My tendency is just to walk away, but my understanding is that this may not be the best way to have someone leave you alone when they’re desperately trying to sell you an excursion, show you to a hotel, take you on as a cab fare, ask for money, or trying to sell you something. My fantastic friend Michael has given me some good advice on how best to deal with these situations, and as much as I appreciate it all, I will admit that I never would have thought of doing things the way he suggests. But I know he’s right.

Hmmm, maybe that’s something I should be training for, too..

Ok, here’s an idea: from here on in, I want all my friends to try and sell me something every time they see me. That way I can practice being assertive while avoiding escalating or prolonging an uncomfortable situation. So… yah. Whenever we meet up, friends, I want you to bug the living beejubus out of me until I finally say the thing that actually makes you want to leave me alone. I am hereby giving you free reign to be a complete dickbag to me and avoid the repercussions. Deal? Deal!

This is going to be a long month.

I’ll bet someone’s going to try and sell me a shorter one…



6.01.2010 | 4 Comments

Yesterday I was looking into obtaining travel Visas, given that I am traveling in two different African countries: Rwanda and Tanzania. I know that I need a Visa for Tanzania, but wasn’t sure if I needed one for when I land in Kigali, Rwanda. Wanted to make sure I had all that in place before my trip snuck up on me – it’s amazing how fast the time is whipping by!

So, I go onto the government Travel Information site, and pull up Rwanda’s info. This is what I see:

The level of Travel Warning in this report has not changed.  Sections 2 (grenade attacks in Kigali on May 15) has been updated. Exercise High Degree of Caution.


Travellers should be vigilant at all times. Although uncommon, attacks by rebel groups and incidents of violence occur from time to time. Grenade attacks have occurred in a number of areas in the country, including in the Southern Province and Kigali in 2009. A number of similar attacks have been occurring in Kigali since February 2010. The attacks usually occur at nightfall. A main central roundabout, a busy bus station and a restaurant at the center of Kigali were targeted in previous attacks, with the most recent one occuring on May 15, 2010. Casualties have been reported as a result of these attacks.

I send the info to Ali. She reads it and responds that upon speaking with a friend of hers in the area, she learns that there is actually an election taking place (only the 2nd election since the Genocide) in Rwanda on August 9th. That’s 5 days before I land in Kigali.

Now, I’m  not the most experienced nor the most confident traveler, and as you may recall, I tend to be a rather adept Disaster Magnet. I don’t think these are fantastic qualities to be in possession of when traveling to a place where there are grenade attacks happening at random.

I have a decision to make.

I go back to Marlin Travel, and ask to change my flight. I will not be going to Rwanda.

I must admit, I do feel like a bit of a wuss for this. Like I’m quitting, or giving up, or backing out… but I’m just not comfortable going to Rwanda. I haven’t ever been 100% sold on the idea, but I wanted to experience something totally out of my comfort zone. However, sitting in a Rwandan hospital with limbs missing is just a tad beyond my comfort zone, really, so hey… that’s that.

Sure. I know I have an over-active imagination. I fully realize that, and take total responsibility for my occasional freak-outs of gargantuan magnitude. And yes, maybe I’m totally blowing this whole “grenade attacks” thing out of proportion. But I’m willing to look foolish over this. I’d much rather be proven wrong than have my parents pick up a pine box at the airport back home.

So, I am now flying from Vancouver to Dar es Salaam. This will then give me the opportunity I have been looking for to spend some time exploring Zanzibar. Yes, I’ll miss seeing the mountain gorillas in Rwanda this time, and yes, I’ll miss out on doing so with Alison, whose dream is to see those mountain gorillas.

And yes, that does hurt my heart.

I feel like I’m making the right decision, but that doesn’t make it any less sad that I’ll miss out on witnessing  a good friend achieve her dream.

Guess I’ll just have to give her an extra hug when we’re standing on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.


Disaster Magnet, Intrepid Explorer.

2.19.2010 | 1 Comment

I do not travel well. Really, I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love to get out into the craziness of the world and experience new things, but whenever I do something inevitably goes horribly awry.

Like the time I spent a week on the beautiful island of Virgin Gorda after the airline had lost my luggage. Well, when I say “lost” I actually mean “sitting behind the counter in the San Juan airport, the victim of “It’s Not My Job”. Not that one needs a lot of luggage to chill out on a Caribbean island, but a bikini is always nice. And some sunscreen. Since the friend who I was staying with was a size zero, (I don’t care what anyone says, ZERO is NOT a size!), I had to break down and buy a bikini on the island. For $250.

Or how about the time when I went to Paris, and my travel partner took ill and went into the hospital. I must say, wandering around Pigalle by oneself while worried about the health of someone you care about can really put a new spin on a vacation. No worries though, I hopped a bus to Rotterdam. Unfortunately, they showed the movie “Air Bud” on the bus trip. And I cried like a baby through the entire movie, trying desperately to hide my face and sob into my shoulder.

Then there was the “I’ll-Sleep-In-The-Lobby” sized argument that I had with a friend in Mexico City.

And the 3-day leg rash and edema in Amsterdam.

And, of course, the “Your-Credit-Card-Has-Been-Compromised-So-We-Cancelled-It” fiasco that happened when I still had three days left in Greece.

And finally, the “Screaming-Toddler-On-The-Flight-Home” ordeal. Seriously, that kid wailed for almost SEVEN STRAIGHT HOURS. I’ve never seen anything like it. The day after I got home I went to Bose and bought those fabulous Noise-Canceling headphones. HALLELUJAH!

At the time, all of these things were devastating, humiliating and/or mondo-sob inducing. But when I look back now, I can laugh at these situations. I know that something horrendous will happen when I am in Tanzania, and that scares the crap out of me. I’m just hoping it doesn’t involve spiders. Or mugging. Or mugging spiders.

However, no matter what happens, I also know that I’ll be able to laugh about it as time passes. But I’ll admit it: I’m really scared right now…



2.17.2010 | 0 Comments

186 days until I stand at the bottom of Mount Kilimanjaro, look up, and wonder what on earth made me think that this was a good idea.

186 days.


Fear and Loathing (Stuart Smalley Style)

2.15.2010 | 0 Comments

So, after discussing it with a couple of people, I decided to take the plunge: I’ve made a Facebook page. I created the group (it has the same name as this blog), but it took me a good 10 minutes to click the “create group” button that would publish it to the world. I sat and stared at it, hoping that somehow another idea would magically present itself and save me from having to do this. Nothing came about, so I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and published the page.

I was hesitant to do the Facebook group page because… well, I guess I felt like I didn’t want to hound people, or annoy them. With a blog, I can just passively type entries, and if people stumble upon it and read it, that’s great. But with Facebook, I am asking people to join… I’m asking my friends to give me money/support/time/gifts… I hate that. I feel greedy. I feel embarassed. I feel shy. I guess I don’t want to ever make people feel obligated.

When it comes to fund raising, I’m too apologetic, and not nearly assertive enough. I’m far too passive. I’m the Bambi of Asking for Spare Change.

“You know, maybe if you want to think about possibly donating (only a dollar will be fine!), I would be really grateful for your kindness and generosity. I’m so sorry to have to ask, but.. you know what? 50 cents will do. If you want. I mean, no pressure. I’m sorry. Here… have a dollar. You can donate that. You know, if you want to.”

Part of me is grateful for the Olympics being in town, because it allows me to procrastinate on my fund raising, as I can simply think that people are too busy with other Olympic-related thoughts to give any time to my cause. Come March, I’m going to get very, very nervous.

I have two weeks to get geared up. Two weeks to perfect my spiel. Two weeks to create the best posters and flyers known to all mankind! Two weeks to learn to trust that I am not, in fact, an annoying freakshow, drooling for money. I am a local girl with a good heart and positive ideas. Every cent I raise goes to The Delta Hospice Society. If I just keep those two thoughts in my head, everything will be just fine.

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”