Have fun when you can. Think all the time.

Music, Trees, Environment, BBC, Hardwood floors, Storytelling, Adventures, International development, Learning new things, Getting new perspectives, Writing essays, Water, Road trips, Photography, Spaghetti squash, Art, Books, Getting involved, Gingerbread lattes,(Not)Sleeping, Reading, Poetry, Falling leaves, Aging, Monologues, Prickly pear tea, Making lists, Politics, New ideas, Exploring, Traveling, Dinosaurs, Killer whales, Sushi, Pop Culture, Meeting new people, Barbequing with friends, Tubing down the river, Waking up early, Discovering new things, Trees, Empathy, Believing in the Power of Love

June 22, 2016


'Lost' is defined as:

1) unable to find ones way; not knowing one's whereabouts
2) denoting something that has been taking away or cannot be recovered

It's not often that such a basic and simple word encapsulates my state of being so perfectly. Since the election, since loosing my job, I have been lost. I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know where I am, and I have no idea where I'm going or where I want to go. I miss having something I believed in so strongly that I didn't begrudge the long hours, long days, long weeks, the work that never stopped. I missed working so hard, so furiously that when I got home my brain was sore. I miss being pushed to be better, to learn more, to be thrown into a situation I was unprepared for only to figure it out and do it well.

I don't like the place I am in now, and unfortunately nobody gave me a map to get out of here. I guess I have some exploring to do to figure it out on my own.

X Marks the Spot,
Delaney C.

Why I need Feminism

I need feminism because I believe ALL women and girls should be treated like human beings. I need feminism because I believe we still have a shit-ton of work to do on that front. I need feminism because not all women enjoy the same freedoms I do as a white, middle-class, educated Canadian woman. I need feminism because I believe in everyone’s right to bodily autonomy. I need feminism because we live in a world in which corporations are people and women are objects. I need feminism because we live in a culture that tacitly condones violence against women. I need feminism because I believe in reproductive rights. I need feminism because women are still viewed as a special interest group when it comes to health care. I need feminism because I want our little girls to love their bodies. I need feminism because I know damn well my sex life IS a political agenda. I need feminism because I have to work harder, speak louder, and be better to achieve the same respect as my male counterparts. I need feminism because the issue of 'merit' when Ministers are appointed isn't brought into question unless it's a female. I need feminism because I refuse to accept the scraps that have been presented to me as “choices.” I need feminism because I didn't even realize I was being violated until years after when I had the understanding to be able to understand that what was happening to me wasn't normal.

When we indulge in gender stereotypes, we limit the potential of all humans to be their authentic selves — whether they identify as male, female or somewhere in between. We perpetuate the idea that a girl can’t throw a baseball or a boy can’t play with a doll; that a woman should cook and desire babies, and that a man should be the breadwinner for his family and never cry.

Sorry not sorry, that is not good enough for me.

January 26, 2015


I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
What ever you see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful---
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

-Sylvia Plath

December 23, 2014

A bit of winter introspection

I've always been very introspective. I think it has something to do with my brain that never stops thinking a million miles a minute and the fact that I am very critical of myself. I've always been driven, and sought out things that would aid my personal development, and been quite aware of where I'm at, and what I'm feeling at any given moment. That and I like to write and record. These traits naturally complement 'introspection' or the examination or observation of one's own mental and emotional processes.

There are a few times of year where introspection seems to creep up a bit more overtly than others. Making its way from the back of my ever playing mental tape to the forefront. Commanding solitude and time dedicated simply to reflection, introspection and thought as the main event. September, marked for years as a fresh start, a new school year, new challenges and new beginnings. And December marked by cold and crisp icy mornings, the ability to see your breath as the street crunches beneath your feet and you gather with friends and family to welcome a new year and say goodbye to the past.

So here I am, being introspective and reflecting on the year I’ve had. The year we’ve all had. I’ve heard from friends, from family, from strangers that 2014 was a particularly rough year. An unhealthy and unsupportive work environment saw me change jobs and enter a new field in May, to be followed by a stressful and all time consuming municipal campaign to which I devoted my every waking moment and squeezed every last drop of energy into. Coming off the campaign to an unstable political environment saw me forced to assume a new position in a new part of the province that will test my skills, patience and perseverance. The sudden unexpected death of my great-uncle, my partner’s brother being diagnosed with cancer, addictions issues effecting family members added to the stress of an already heavy and stressful years full of change. Buying a house with my siblings and the help of my late grandfather who left us money to invest, moving in with my brothers and my partner, getting a dog (Mikko), and feeling torn between where I am now and where I want and need to go.

This year has been heavy, and its been hard. But in heavy moments where it feels as though I’ll be crushed by the sheer weight of it I often feel the most strength because (even though I must remind myself) I have yet to be buried alive. Time and time again, I step up with the weight on my shoulders and figure out how to take steps to reducing the weight, and I continue to take steps (sometimes tiny steps) until it feels less heavy and I can see that it’s going to be okay, and that I’ve proven myself again to be perseverant, determined, and that nothing can crush my will for too long.

My little sister, Sierra (18), is currently in France working as an au pair for a family that lives on a ski hill and runs the restaurant. She left last week but is having a tough time dealing with homesickness, missing family, and battling with thoughts that she is not strong enough to tackle the challenge she has chosen for herself. I see a lot of myself in her. She took a chance (as I often do) to thrust herself abruptly into the unknown. Got swept up in the excitement of the change, the challenge, the adventure and barrelled on ahead full speed. Now, in quiet moments, she finds herself wondering “what the hell am I doing?”

I can’t help but remember feeling the same way when I was on the last flight into Tegucigalpa for in 2010. It sunk in as to what I was about to do. Live in a foreign place where I didn’t speak the language, a place I was told was dangerous, and work with an NGO that I knew nothing about and knew no one. I would have to learn a language, find a place to live, develop relationships, make friends, conduct research, and do it completely alone. Surely I must be out of my mind, or have seriously overestimated my own abilities. I felt suspended in freefall. My breath catching in my throat and forming a lump in the bottom of my stomach. But we know how it worked out. I learned Spanish. I found a place to live with a family I grew to love. I made friends, developed relationships, completed research and helped the NGO develop a program to engage youth which I then delivered. I went out on my own and took buses, and ferries, and hoped on the back of mopeds and saw the country. I visited friends in El Salvador and tried my hand at surfing. In fact, 4 years ago today I was on a bus headed to Santa Rosa de Copan to see a new part of the country, welcomed by a new friend and her family.

Some days, it feels as though the “Delaney” who had the guts and the confidence to embark on that type of adventure is a different person. That if tasked with the same thing today I would be unable to deliver. But I know that’s untrue. I know that whatever the obstacle, the challenge, the upset, or the adventure I will approach it the same way. Figuring out what I need to do, what needs to get done, taking it apart, and making sure it happens. By playing to my strengths, by giving myself time and allowing myself to feel weak and sad, but reminding myself of my proven track record of strength, determination and courage.

I know my sister will figure out, in her own way in her own time, how to do just that because I see that in her as well, even if she doesn’t. Learning about ourselves, being honest with ourselves, and pushing ourselves to do better and be better is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves. A gift that sometimes hurts more than we’d like it to as it can only be found in moments of discomfort and isolation, but a gift that we should cherish none the less.

In reflection,
Delaney C.

October 31, 2014


A flashbulb memory is a highly detailed, exceptionally vivid 'snapshot' of the moment and circumstances in which a piece of surprising and consequential (or emotionally arousing) news was heard.

I’ve been fascinated with the concept of ‘Flashbulb Memories’ since I first read about them in my Introductory Psychology class in my first year of University. The idea that a moment in time is so emotionally important to us that they're laid down as vividly, completely and accurately as a photograph. Effectively, these moments are etched into your brain able to be recalled in vivid clarity years later.

I haven’t done extensive research on Flashbulb memories, and am aware of the critiques against them but think often of the power of my own flashbulb memories. The ability to be taken back to that very moment regardless of the time that’s past. The taste, the smell, the very visceral feelings all come back. This could be a good thing if my flashbulb memories were positive or happy experiences that one would want to remember, however the funny thing about the brain is we seem to be more vividly effected by those moments of crisis or trauma.

I remember getting the call from Meghan to let me know that Steve K. and his mother has passed away the night before in a car accident. I remember I had been getting ready for school that morning happier than usual for a Tuesday morning. I had a crush on someone and wanted to look extra nice for physics class still elated from a great weekend celebrating Kory’s birthday. I remember not believing her. I remember calling her a liar and collapsing onto the floor, crying so hard that I felt like my lungs were going to escape my chest. That pain, that raw emotion comes back whenever I recall the memory. In the years following I would be reduced to a crying ball in a heap on the ground. Now, nine years later I don’t cry. I don’t lose my footing, but my skin tringles remembering the feelings that day.

I remember the coldest I’ve ever been. As I think about it goose bumps are growing. It was 2008 and the first day of planting in Quesnel Alberta at the start of my second year as a tree planter in Northern British Columbia. It was late May and it seemed like it was going to be a mild but sunny day judging from what I gathered from the balcony of our hotel room I was sharing with Francis and Felicity. That was fine by me. I had forgotten my rain jacket on Manitoba and it was currently somewhere in between Beausejour and my hotel room with expected arrival the following week. I pulled on my Hele Hanson thermal underwear and a long sleeved shirt, covered by a pair of loose fitting shorts, thick socks, my trusted Asolo boots, and tied my hair back with a bandana. On the way to the block I remember feeling excited and exhilarated by the day head, riven by challenge and happy to be back for another season of hard work and high reward. I taped my right hand with duct tape. Covering my fingertips, knuckles and fingers with a practiced technique I had perfected the year before. We arrived, I took a look at the map, loaded up my bags with ~500 trees (as was my preferred strategy) and shovel in hand set off to the back of my piece.

The day started slower than I would have liked. My muscles adapting to the steep inclines and elevations that my prairie body had forgotten about during the year at University. I slogged away finding my rhythm and appreciating the intoxicating smell of earth and pine that I had missed. It started to rain. Slowly at first. I wasn’t worried. This was common place. I actually enjoyed rain days. It was easy to push harder knowing that it was likely a rough day for everyone else as well and if you could remain positive you had a better chance to come out having planted the most trees. I found the competition motivating. I planted on.

As is common in Northern BC, the temperature dropped. The gentle rain turned to frozen snow and began to blanket the ground. I planted on, feeling the layers nearest to my body stiffen as the water that had collected within the fibres froze. My hand started to lose the ability to move as the duct tape gathered ice particles from being slammed repeatedly into the frozen soil. Visibility became difficult. I was unable to see more than a foot in front of me, my freshly planted trees disappearing under a blanket of white powder. A fire had been set up near the road where we would have grabbed more trees, but I had grabbed enough to keep me busy for at least 2 hours under the best of conditions, and never made it there to feel its warmth. My foreman, an experienced planter names Dale, came on to my piece to give me a hand. We began to plant together, something we did regularly, but were unable to fall into the comfortable waltz of working together as we had in the past. We double planted trees unable to see anything. I stopped shivering. We planted, Dale cursing under his breath, until Zap, the lead foreman yelled at us to pack it in. Dale and I slid back to the truck. I asked Zap if we needed to load up the trucks and he looked at me, drenched with blue lips, called me insane and ordered me to get into the truck that he had put the heat on full blast. I started viciously, afraid that I would shatter my own teeth. It took me hours to warm up again.

Two memories etched into my memory with visceral clarity. I like to think that these Flashbulb memories shape who we are because they’re the memories that stick most strongly. One day I may write a book…

Always remembering,
Delaney C


“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” ― Anne Lamott

I generally try to post well formed, completed thoughts. There is merit to that. However, sometimes a raw thought, a thought not as flushed out comes to my mind and I hold off for months, daunted by the process of formulating a perfect thought worthy of sharing. Sometimes a raw thought, unshaped by time or correctness needs to be shared and I want to start making space for that.

Delaney C

October 7, 2014

Not All Men

It’s Monday. I’m going home at 6pm and a middle aged man and a teenage boy are the only people left on the bus with me. I consider the fact that because the driver is also a man I am the only person left on the bus with the correct genetic makeup for boobs. I’m automatically scared, scared because of my own anatomy. I wonder how old I was when I realized that my own body was going to be the cause of the constant anxiety and fear I feel in situations like this. I get off at the last stop and the older man smiles at me while following me up the street. His smile drips, drips, drips and my heart is pounding, pounding, pounding. He turns off down another road, but I run the rest of the way home.

Not all men.

I’m at home on a Tuesday, beginning to plan the travels I want to go on next year. I dream of wandering the streets and meeting strangers. I just can’t wait to escape the city I’ve lived in for 17 long years. But… my mum is hesitant. She’s forever worried about the danger that being a young girl traveling alone can bring. I’ll be alone and she’s scared. Surely I’m invincible. I feel invincible. But I know, I know this danger is real and I can’t help but think to myself, if I feel unsafe in my own city, how am i going to feel in a strange place with strange men who don’t speak the same language as me? If I was my brother planning this, I would probably just be wondering if European girls are going to be hot.

Not all men.

Wednesday is a beautiful sunny day but I’ve always been told that I don’t have a “nice enough body” to wear a bikini on the beach. Ever since I was 6 years old I’ve thought that having tummy fat was ugly. That skin that doesn’t have a perfectly golden glow is undesirable. I amble to a clear patch of sand in my one piece and I can feel pairs of eyes latching onto me. Hairy men in speedos who I don’t look twice at eat into my body with their stares. I’m a piece of meat. I am a piece of meat? I am here for their amusement. Please don’t let me be eaten alive.

Not all men.

Thursday night two friends and I are walking to our god damn school dance when we hear “Jesus look at you! You sluts heading to a pole?” These words snarl out of the mouth of a respectably dressed man and we stop in horror. Shivers roll up my back in fear. It’s dark. We are alone. What. Do. We. Do??? One of us pulls the finger back. I can never be sure how quickly a sexist man can get angry so we walk quickly away. We’re angry, so so angry. But also so… deflated. I wonder if we deserve this shame.

Not all men.

Sitting on the internet, Friday night and scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed:

“Haha, good job at the game today bro. You RAPED them!”
“Damn with tits like that, you’re asking for it :P”
Another sexist comment…
Another sexist comment…
Another sexist comment…
I’m shrinking and shrinking and shrinking and I want to CRY because these boys don’t realize how small they make me feel with just pressing a few keys. I see these boys on the streets, I talk to these boys, I laugh with these boys. Dear GOD, dear GOD i hope these boys don’t think actions speak louder than words…

Not all men.

Three rules that have been drilled into me since I was young run through my mind at 1.30am on a Satur… Sunday Morning:

-Don’t ever talk to strange men
-Don’t ever be alone at night in a strange place
-Don’t ever get into a car with a stranger
I break all 3 of these laws as I pull open the taxi door. Making light conversation with the driver, he doesn’t see my sweaty hand clutching the small pocket knife I keep hidden on me at all times. He doesn’t even realize the fear I feel at his mere presence. He cannot comprehend it, he never will. How easy would this 15 minute car ride be if I was born a boy?

Not all men.
It comes to Sunday, another snoozy, sleepy, Sunday and someone has the AUDACITY to tell me not all men are rapists. I say nothing.

I’m a 17 year old girl.
When I am walking alone and it’s dark, it’s all men.
When I am in a car with a man I don’t know well, it’s all men.
When men drunkenly leer at me on the streets, it’s all men.
When a boy won’t leave me alone at a party, it’s all men.
Not all men are rapists. But for a young girl like me? Every one of them has the potential to be.


My sister, Sierra, found this on tumblr and shared it with me. The writer does an excellent job at articulating how as a women I know it's Not All Men who perpetuate sexism, violence against women,and who make public space a dangerous place for me as a women to occupy.

I recently got in an argument had a discussion with my 24 y/o brother who was frustrated with "being painted with the same brush" as men who are sexist and oppressive when he himself is not. He challenged me saying, "if people are going to assume I am sexist or oppressive simply because I'm white and male, then what's the incentive" for him to make sure that he is not. I had trouble articulating my thoughts with him aside from saying that it's the right thing to do, and that as a women I'm judged every day due to sexism, and we don't always get to decide how people see us or perceive us to be.

One of the differences being that my safety is constantly in question and top of mind, while his feelings may be the only thing to be harmed. He routinely walks home from work in the exchange and downtown to Wolesely and West Broadway at 2 am. An experience he finds calming, enjoyable, and freeing for me is experience filled with anxiety, concern for my safety leaving me hyper aware of my surroundings, going out of my way to stay on well lit streets, and switching to the opposite side of the street to avoid other groups of people. I'd like to think I'm overreacting, being more cautious then necessary, but on more then one hundreds of occasions I've been yelled at, grabbed, and made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

I remember one evening leaving Old Market Square after closing down the Jazz Festival and finishing my volunteer shift. I started walking towards my apartment at the corner of River and Donald feeling content with the evening, the fact that at 2:30am it was warm, people were milling about, and I was going to meet a friend and have a beer. As I approached portage avenue a man came up to me and started talking to me. I kept walking while being polite, making it clear that I was headed on my way. I wasn't scared until he grabbed my arm. He grabbed my arm forcefully saying something along the lines of "you're pretty, you're alone, and we should get to know each other."

I'm not small by any means, but I remember feeling terrified. Easily overpowered. I managed to yank my arm out of his hand, kept walking forward and he lost interest. A minuted later, shaken up, I saw a cab and jumped in not wanting to take any more chances that evening. I hoped in the back and as I was giving my address realized the male cab driver was accompanied by a male friend whom sat beside him in the front seat. Again, I immediately felt unsettled, outnumbered and that there was the potential for danger. Was I safer on the street? Or safer in a cab? The ride was short. I hopped out blocks before my apartment, figuring I would take my chances in my own neighbourhood. I remember getting home to my apartment, double locking the door, sliding down to the floor with my back against a wall...and I still didn't feel safe.

As this writer eloquently says, its Not All Men, but every man has the potential, and sometimes I'm not willing to take the chance so that someones feelings don't get hurt.

With anger and frustration,
Delaney C.

June 11, 2014

Women In Power, Women in Politics

Last night I went to an event called ‘Women in Power.’ I wasn’t sure what to expect outside of knowing that there would be wine (yey), some presenters, and that it was a political event. I arrived, talked with some women who shared their experiences, and my confusion as to why we were there. When the presenters started it became clear that we were there so that we could be encouraged or groomed into entering politics in some way, and that the need for more committed, dedicated women who were willing to take the chance and run for office (at any level) is huge. Not shocking to me, knowing that women are severely underrepresented in all levels of politics even though we make up of a little more than half of the population. I’m still confused as to how I ended up on the guest list, but I am going to take it as a sign, that I need to get more involved, which is something that I have been entertaining for a while.

The first presenter was Minister Theresa Oswald and as she was speaking, about her own experience, and experiences that many women in positions of power, in politics, experience, it seemed a bit like a stand-up comedy bit. When she detailed the challenge of juggling many roles, of being late as you drop your kids off at school having stayed up late baking a perfect batch of cookies for their bake sale, while on the phone to ensure your parents’ home care has been arranged and they are being looked after, while trying to at the same time ensure that your constituents are represented and the budget you are trying to pass is a strong one, while having to work harder, show up before and stay later then your male counterpart, go home and run a household, raise your children, and maybe if there is time afterwards and you aren't too tired, have sex with your husband laughter erupted. She discussed her first experience with politics began when she was dating the then Minster of Education, and had the thought “I don’t want to be sleeping with the Minister of Education; I want to BE the Minister of Education.” Much to my amusement she also mentioned the importance of comfortable footwear and the absurdity of wearing heels which are a form of footwear I have sworn off forever.

For me, it wasn't funny, although I can understand her intention was to keep the conversation lighthearted. It was soul crushingly depressing. Because it's not funny, it's not comical. For me, that's the reality that I will face if I want to be successful outside of my home, if I want, one day to enter into politics...and who do I have to look up to? The statistics are depressing and the female role models are few and far between because the barriers for women to enter into the political realm are vast and they are steep.

One women I spoke of, who is an entrepreneur and single mother said that after fighting all day, to be heard, to be acknowledged, to grow her business and take care of her family she fights tooth and nail and that she is too tired to attend additional committee meetings, or task forces and just does not have the energy at the end of the day to focus on the bigger picture. Another woman explained that when she had started teaching in the 1970s her colleagues had to resign if they got pregnant, and would need to re-apply and hope they got hired back if they were to take any type of leave. Theresa Oswald spoke of being the first female sitting cabinet minister to become pregnant and no maternity leave policy being in place. I thought of my own experience and even though my father was helpful, understanding and an active feminist, my mom was still alone. My mother still had to fill in the gaps, have her pension and her career suffer, give up her individuality and independence and in turn was titled ‘mother.’ I want more than that. I don’t want to ever stop being Delaney in order to be a mother. I don’t want my title to be so simply reduced to one word that replaces everything else that I have worked up to that point for, while my partner (if there is one) is able to hold on to all of his titles, attributes, and accomplishments while adding one more badge of pride, ‘Dad.’

I shared stories of the covert sexism and misogyny that I had faced in University while participating in student politics. Talked about we are subconsciously taught to behave and think a certain way from the day we are born, and how over the last few years I had been un-learning, un-packing, and re-learning some of the messages so engrained. Why is it necessary to sit back and wait for my partner to propose to me in order to enter into a new chapter of our commitment together? Does it not make more sense that it is a conversation we are both involved in, both participate in and agree to. It seems to that conversation (or lack of) can and will set the tone for our marriage if there is to be one.

In speaking with my partner after returning home, who is by the way caring, compassionate, and generally very understanding of some of the struggles and frustrations I face, but still privileged in that he is a man and will never have to endure some of the treatment that I have, asked what some of the speakers identified as barriers for women entering politics. I told him that I didn’t need a political speaker to spell the barriers out to me. I knew. I know. I know what prevents women from getting involved an engaged in politics, in positions of power. Because I’ve felt them, and experienced them first hand, and every time I do, it’s a reminder that there is no gender equality. That I may have the right to vote, wear pants and work outside of the home, but that every damn day I have to fight to show up and be heard. Have to fight harder, longer, and more eloquently to be valued and respected. Have to make less mistakes, be more sure of myself, and that even so, my physical appearance and how well I take care of my family and my home will always be more valued then my ideas, my opinions and what I have accomplished professionally. That my brothers, and my partner will be respected and valued simply by being present, but that more will always be expected of me because I have boobs.

It’s bleak out there. It’s going to be, and is tough. It’s a man’s world and that is a fact. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t connect with other like-minded women, that I can’t continue to challenge my own ideas and understandings, and that I can’t continue to show up and fight every day so that maybe one day a girl will be able entertain the idea of a political career and have plenty of role models to choose from.

Fighting back,
Delaney C

May 30, 2014

Refusing to sink

Well, well, well. Here I am just about to enter into the 6 month of the year, and I haven't made a blog post since August which goes against the little list I made in January which had me planning on writing more among other things that I had identified would assist me in being a healthier, happier version of myself. Delaney 2.0, Delaney14, Delaney new and improved.

I’m not a fan of ‘New Year’s Resolutions”, but I am a fan of direction and goals so I came up with a list of things I wanted to accomplish in the 2014 year, a list of things I wanted to do more of, and a list of things I wanted to do less.

I am a huge fan and strong believer in personal (and professional) development. In fact I am always reflecting and analyzing myself, my actions, my perspective on a specific situation and identifying weak points, areas where I could improve, and occasionally identifying strengths…some times to my own detriment. This behaviour, at least in my mind, has made me hyper aware of who I am as a person (and a professional) and kept me aware of where I want to go and the path I need to be on to get there. I constantly seek out experiences and opportunities for learning and growth whether it be hands on in a volunteer capacity, joining a committee or project at work, or observing those in leadership and managerial roles to figure out what I like and do not like about their approach and how it would complement my own. Always learning, always growing…and deeply afraid of stagnating, staying in the same place, failing to thrive.

Along with writing more (something I love to do but don’t often make the time for) I made a goal to read more which is something that doesn't always make the cut after finally getting how following a long day but something I am so happy to do.

In June 2011 I made the intentional decision to stick around Winnipeg, to stay in Canada, to pursue a relationship, to put down some roots and to see if they would grow. And grow they did. Its May 2014, and I’ve learned a lot in the last 3 years, I’ve grown a lot in the last three years, and the relationships I wanted to pursue and develop have become strong in ways that I could not have anticipated being possible…and making it more than a bit difficult to take off again.

Unable to decide on a graduate program that was a good fit, I decided that looking for a new job might be the way to go to push myself outside of my comfort zone, hone some skills I want to develop, and explore an area that I have been interested in for a long time. Which has led me to where I am now. Starting a new position, in a new line of work, daunted by what seems like a mountain of learning and firsts ahead. I’m feeling very overwhelmed and like I may have taken a big bite of something I will be unable to chew however I have been in this situation before (as I keep reminding myself) and that it will get better as I feel more comfortable because change and transitions are always hard (I’m trying to have a gentler and more kind mental tape as well).

With summer on the doorstep and new challenges ahead I am going to channel the sun who regardless of the gloomiest days rises the next.

Growing, growing, growing,
Delaney C.

Down, down, down, down.

My heart is angry and hard this week, although if I’m being honest and realistic its been that way for a while now.

Since I started realizing and becoming aware of how little I matter to society, and to people around me. How as a women all signs point to me being less than, and only being assigned value as I related to someone else. How my body is not my own, but how others (typically white men in a position of power) get to have more say over my body and what I get to do with it then I do, and have the right to access over it. How I can’t enjoy a solo bike ride without a man yelling at me from his car window “nice tits” as if I asked for his commentary on my body, and how I have to qualify that experience by saying “I wasn’t every wearing anything low cut” to prove that I wasn’t “asking for it.”

This week a man whose name was Elliot Rodgers killed six people, and sent seven more to the hospital because he wanted to seek retribution against women who had rejected him. I’ve read a bunch of thoughtful and articulate articles on the issue and I’m not going to attempt to write my own. I am angry, ANGRY, that in 2014 this is still going on. That there are people sympathizing with him, posting comments, tweets, responses stating that it was the fault of the women who rejected him and that at least one of them should have slept with him and not been so stuck up. As a women I shouldn’t have to sleep with anyone who wants to sleep with me, or anyone at all, because my body (and what I choose to do with it) is MY decision. I shouldn’t have to say “I have a boyfriend” to ward off unnecessary flirting or advances, I shouldn’t have to have three alternative escape plans running through my mind while walking home alone at night, I shouldn’t have to politely listen when men tell me that “you’d be prettier if you smiled” or worry that the dress I’m wearing might bring unwanted attention even if it’s the dress I want to wear that makes me feel good.

I’m enraged that my generation (and many others) denies that misogyny is an current issue, and denies that we continue to perpetuate a “rape culture” of violent masculinity without addressing that as a society we comply to these standards. We chuckle with little boys are aggressive and domineering, we tell little girls to be dainty and delicate and that when a boy teases you or picks on you he likes you and allow these little girls and little boys to grow up into adults where the same holds true. Where my chances of advancing as a professional will be thwarted because of my gender even if I am skilled and talented at what I do, and where my individuality, safety and security will be compromised every damn day because I am a women.

This is not the world I want to live in. This is not the world I want my sister to live in. Yesterday my heart was so heavy, my mind to frustrated about the INJUSTICE that continues to be perpetuated in our ‘civilized’ society that I wanted to give up fighting. But I can’t. Because I am strong enough to say no, courageous enough to call people out, and determined enough that I will not accept this treatment…on the streets, in bars, in my workplace, from neighbours, friends or strangers…and hopefully by speaking out, and showing other women and girls, men and boys that this behaviour, this way of thinking is completely unacceptable they too can speak loudly, step in when it is happening, and we can move towards a society that values women as individuals, a society that protects and advocates women's rights, and act as allies against those who don’t.

Delaney C

August 26, 2013

“Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction.

Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in.

Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become."

Chris Hadfield

I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands

June 24, 2013


My grandfather was not the easiest man to get along with. Nor the easiest person to get close to. He and my grandmother came from a different time, a different place. An isolated mountain town tucked away in the forested hills of mainland Portugal. A place my grandfather had to leave, working abroad to ensure his wage covered the cost of his families needs. My grandmother worked in the fields, both literally and figuratively, to the bone taking care of two young sons and their home. A relationship created in love transitioned to convenience, loyalty and commitment. Coming to Canada to avoid watching their sons be forced to fight a war they didn't support.
Working tirelessly, saving money, and wanting the best for their sons and their expanding family were ever present throughout my relationship with my grandparents. All qualities I am proud to possess and have learned from them, however the technique in which they used to imply these lessons often pushed us apart rather than uniting us.

I remember spending summer afternoons in the garden picking raspberries, crab apples, tomato's and lettuce. Sticky from the heat, cheeks stained from playing with earth and sneaking raspberries into my cheeks when grandma and grandpa looked away. I remember laying on their living room floor, pulling on the thick carpet watching cartoons enamored with their crystal candy bowl and trinkets collected over time. I remember sitting down for lunch of cucumbers, lettuce, tomato's and onions tossed in grandma's special dressing, Portuguese soup, oven fried chicken, and homemade bread. I remember going for walks to the park, being pushed by grandpa on the swings, climbing to the top of the tallest hill my seven year self could imagine, holding my grandma's hand.

I remember hearing "why are you so fat," "why do you want to do that," "you shouldn't be driving a car, it's dangerous," "you let her drive a car," "you're moving where?" "you're ruining your lives" and feeling as though I would never be good enough, my family, my father, would never be good enough to please them. I know, deep down, that they did care, that they did and still do want the best for me, as their granddaughter, for their sons, my father, and uncle, and for the rest of our family.

The greatest gift they have given me is my family. The importance of family, and how close we have become. My fiercely loyal, dedicated, perseverant, eclectic and kind hearted family. My family, small only in size, certainly not in heart. Family dinners started at grandma and grandpas, transitioned to other venues when they were unable to continue their role as hosts.

My grandfather who passed away yesterday, and my grandmother who's mind has become a stranger even to herself. They fought for my family. They came to Canada, a foreign place, to fight for my family. They instilled in my father and uncle, the importance of family, of loyalty, of never giving up, of working as hard as you can, and then working even harder. That is what I will take away from my grandparents, the greatest gift they could have ever given me. My family, whom I know we will be able to weather any storm, take on any battle, overcome any odds. Together.

Delaney C.

April 26, 2013

Connection is the true state of being

It seems that whenever I need, as in really really need a message, a sign from something greater than I, bigger then me...well, there it is.

I spent yesterday morning wandering around downtown Winnipeg, weaving in and out of streets with no real destination. Just needing to focus on placing one foot in front of the other. One foot. Then the other. Repeat. Repeat. The crisp air made my cheeks rosy but kept my head clear. When thoughts would creep in I pushed them out "Whoosh". Focusing on one foot. Left. Then right. Left. Right. And that was exactly what I needed.

I spent the evening thinking, sleeping, and dazed. And I think that's what I needed as well. I kept coming back to, "what's the point?" Why get close to people, develop relationships with people, if this is the kind of pain you feel when they are no longer there. Why? I thought about locking up all my loved ones, my nearest and dearest, in a room so that they couldn't get hurt. So I wouldn't have to hurt. I thought about cutting ties with everyone I know and love so that I never have to go through this again, and so they don't have to go through it if I were to get hurt, or die.

This morning I went to CrossFit and got a little bit of perspective. I was humbled by how far I have come, and how much further I have to go. Gasping for air putting one foot in front of the other, huffing and puffing, not letting myself stop or give up but still struggling the entire time. Nothing like getting physically destroyed to give you a little perspective and feel relatively small and insignificant.

When I got back to my apartment I turned on the radio and heard "Connection is the true state of being." As though Jian was speaking only to me. "We might not always remember that. We may feel powerless in the face of a world of problems but really we need to give our share to humanity the awareness the attention it deserves in order to start seeing things clearly. Surely that is the least we can do." And that was exactly what I needed to hear, was exactly the sign I needed to make today a new day. To get to work and put one foot in front of the other, again and again, until today is tomorrow. And until this gets easier.

Life is hard. It's tough. In one moment you can have all the air pulled out of your lungs, scared to take another breath, feeling like the stars are falling down all around you. When people leave us it reminds us of the horribleness that exists in every day. It reminds us that life is fleeting and short, which is something we don't always like to admit. It reminds us of all the times we've said angry words out of desperation and frustration and all the days in which we haven't laughed, or loved with our full and open hearts. And that is a sobering feeling.

But life is also stunningly beautiful and marvelous. It truly is an amazing experience sharing the world, sharing your life with others whom you grow to know, connect with, and who become a part of your life. I do have many wonderful, inspiring, and amazing people in my life and as Jian reminded me "connection is the true state of being." It's why we find so much satisfaction in our lives, in our jobs, in our relationships...all that connecting. Feeling as though you are a part of something, being aware, and attentive, and giving it all we've got. Life is much more beautiful, meaningful and satisfying when its shared. And that's why I can't get rid of all the people I care for, can't ask them to live in a box so that I never have to feel loss or pain again. Because we are made to connect. To share our lives, and our love with each other.

It will be hard. I'm scared. I'm worried. For my friends and family that are also feeling this loss. But I know that it will get easier, whether we want it to or not. Our hearts will heal. We will have each other. As long as we keep moving our feet, one after another. Left, right, left right.

With an open heart,
Delaney C.

December 13, 2012

Gratitude (with intention)

Like my most recent post on Volunteerim this post has been in my Drafts section collecting cobwebs and dust for quite some time and events of the day have inspired me to finish it and also provided some very useful self reflection.

It is finals time for students attending post -secondary education (PSE), which means my Facebook, and Twitter has been riddled with students venting their frustrations and expressing their excitement for the “freedom” that awaits in the future if only they can get past the “torture” of studying and exams. Reading the status updates stating “10 days until Freedom,” “Can’t wait until this torture is over,” “3 exams until Freedom” and many others didn’t sit well with me. I mulled it over and decided to post my own food for thought trying to aptly articulate my frustration with the lack of gratitude with having the ability to pursued PSE. I posted:

“Why are people complaining about how exams are impeding their "freedom"? Yes, studying and exams are stressful, but obtaining a post-secondary education is a choice (and an investment in your future) that you (or your parents) pay to be able to participate in, and an opportunity that many are not fortunate to have. Unless your professors are locking you in cages or taking away your ability to speak or think...then maybe, just maybe your "freedom" is in question. The fact that you have the ability to pursue a post-secondary education in something that you have chosen is in itself something to be grateful for.”

What then occurred is an interesting experiment of sorts in social media, as well as an opportunity for me to reflect on my own personal approach and strategies that I employ to get messages which I am passionate about across to others. In a short half hour my post, which I did not foresee to be overly contentious received a significant amount of attention resulting in 70 “likes” and several wide-ranging comments. Some echoed my sentiment with the and some encouraged more discussion.

One commenter stated, “I get you. It's hard to argue that studying and / or paper-writing constitute true losses of freedom, when you spend any time at all around people who spend the better part of their days locked in a jail cell (more or less for the crime of being poor and racialized) BUT, I will say that I am guilty of making "freedom" comments sometimes, and I will say that I think there is a little more validity to them than you give credit for.

Freedom isn't the right word to use. Fair criticism, but when you spend years of your life, toiling away writing papers for profs who probably don't care if you learn anything, and go thousands of dollars into debt, only to discover that you can earn a higher wage working at a restaurant, than taking the research job the requires your degree; it's kind of hard to blame people if they don't always see their education as life greatest privilege.

Of course, this doesn't change the fact that education IS a privilege.”

To which I responded, “Ultimately whether you choose to pursue a post-secondary education or not is your choice. If you feel that your professors don't care if you learn anything and the debt you choose to go into as a result of pursuing education are other issues but at the end of the day you are making the choice to pursue a post-secondary education because it has value to you which outweighs those other things. Education is a privilege, but it shouldn’t be. Education should be a right that everyone regardless of background, socioeconomic status or life circumstances should have access to, but until that happens we need to be especially mindful that we have choices and options and comparing University exams to "torture" or loss of "freedom" trivializes those that do not have the opportunity to pursue an institutional education is something that they choose.

I have been a student for many years (and likely will be again) and I realize that its stressful, challenging, difficult, and frustrating but it is a choice, and not the only way to become educated (and also often doesn't result in a higher paying job depending on what you choose to study) but one that many people choose to participate in because they place value on it.”

I attempted to reiterate that my intent was not to shame students for their personal feelings and experiences in academia, but more so my intent was that sometimes we (myself included) need to be reminded of how lucky we are so that we can be grateful for the opportunities we do have rather than focus on how hard, frustrating, challenging or “tortuous’ it feels at the time. Gratitude is not something that comes easy or naturally and it is certainly not something I have mastered. It is something that I personally need to be reminded of every day, multiple times, and is also something that requires effort and a shift in perspective.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget about what really matters to you. It’s easy to loose perspective. Its easy to lose sight of those things and focus on how awful it frustrating it feels to be stuck in traffic on the way to work, how difficult it feels to focus on writing a paper when you aren’t sure if your professor cares if you write it or not, and how disheartening it feels when you feel isolated, insignificant or alone.

We ended our “discussion” agreeing to disagree. With the content of my post and also with the methods that I employed to get my message across which gave me the opportunity for a lot of reflection. Reflection that will continue long after I publish this post. Reflection that will force me to confront what I said, what I could have said, and how I articulate my thoughts and present myself. I am always pushing myself to be better, to learn more, to hone skills that I place a priority on. To listen to others, to try to see how my actions, words and behaviours effect them, and then to think about how that in turn has an effect on me.

I am grateful that I have the opportunity to explore. To push myself. To grow and develop. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn and grow both in and out of academic institutions and from talented and inspiring role models. I want to express gratitude for so much, for I have many things to be grateful for. Hopefully I will remember that tomorrow.

With intention,
Delaney C.

December 5, 2012

Volunteerism (as a life value)

This post has been a long time in the making events that took place yesterday have finally given me the 'push' I need to get my act together and write down some of my thoughts.

I've been thinking a lot about volunteering and volunteerism in the last few months as it has always been a very important part of my life. I work for a non-profit organization (Big Brothers and Big Sisters) that works with volunteers, matching them with mentees to provide 1:1 support, guidance and friendships for children who may not receive those things elsewhere. I am lucky to have found a job doing something I am so passionate about and really believe in and that keeps me learning and on my toes each and every day.

This summer I spent some time volunteering for various festivals in Winnipeg and had a great time participating in the Fringe Festival, Jazz Festival, and Kids Fest. For me getting involved in my local community, sharing things that I'm excited about, and being part of something have always been priorities. I've most recently got involved volunteering with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Manitoba and have been blown away by the variety of programing offered and how much I have enjoyed my two very different volunteer positions (Women for Change, and Recording Stories) which I will talk about in a future post.

Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to spend some time at Siloam Mission volunteering with a few of my co-workers at their breakfast drop-in program. We had decided that as the holiday season approaches instead of giving gifts we wanted to spend some time together getting involved in our local community. I shared my excitement on my Twitter account, and much to my surprise was asked to speak about my experience this morning on CJOB with Karen Black. Social media for the win! Go to 7:45am and you will be able to hear me speak with Karen Black from CJOB about volunteerism, and my experience with Siloam Mission. Why I Volunteer?

For me volunteering is all about connecting with other people on the basic human level. It’s about being a part of something, getting involved in my city and my local community, and giving back. It’s about recognizing that I am so blessed to have had the opportunities in my life to pursue my dreams, to think about what makes me happy and drives me, and to go for it, and about the gratitude I have for the world. I am always blown away by how many amazing organizations exist in my little city (let alone the rest of the world) and how much they depend on volunteers to do what they do, and I am always excited to become a part of it. Why Volunteer?

1) Meet likeminded people. I've mentioned it jokingly to some of my friends, but if I was not already in a committed, supportive and satisfying relationship with someone I am lucky enough to have in my life I would meet people volunteering. Meeting someone volunteering helps you figure out some of the stuff that you can’t if you're looking online, meeting at the bar, or through mutual friends. You'll have similar interests, similar values and as a bonus most volunteer organizations typically have some sort of screening process.
2) If you have a roof over your heard, can eat three meals a day, an education, and a caring support made up of friends and or family members you have a lot (A LOT) to be thankful for and happy about. Volunteering is a great way to ‘pay it forward.’
3) Its a low cost/no cost way to spend time with your loved ones and get engaged with an organization you care about.
4) It helps build a community of support and pride within the city/community/neighbourhood/world that you live in.
5) Growth and learning. Develop your personal ability to be a leader, develop new skills and fine tune the skill set you already have, receive training and guidance, develop interpersonal skills be a part of a team, build confidence, and put your passion in to practice.

And it’s FUN! I could go on and on...and on...and on about how influential volunteering has been in my life, about all of the lessons and values I have been able to take away, about how empowered I feel, how I have been able to get practical experience developing my skills and about how I have met so many inspiring and powerful role models over the years both here in Winnipeg, across Canada, and across the world but perhaps I will save that for another post.

I'll be so bold to say that if you give yourself 6 weeks to commit fully to an organization that you are interested in you will not be disappointed. Volunteering has a way of getting under your skin, into your blood, and once you start I doubt you'll be able to stop :) Often all it takes is 1 hour a week, which we all have!

If your interest is working with children, the environment, the immigrant population, animals, policy based or hands on, local, or global the opportunity (and the need) is there to get involved.

I'm rooting for you Winnipeg,
Delaney C.

Here are the links to some of the organizations currently close to my heart:

http://www.lutheranworld.org/lwf(Honduras and El Salvador)
Environmental Movement of Olancho (MAO) (Honduras)

December 3, 2012

Here and Now

"and after they had explored all of the stars in the universe and all of the planets around each sun they realized they were alone, and they were glad, for they now realized that they would have to become all of the things they had hoped to find."

-Lanford Wilson

August 23, 2012

Lessons from The Velveteen Rabbit

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.

But the Skin Horse only smiled.

August 17, 2012

In Love

"It was in love I was created,
and in love is how I hope I die"

-Paolo Nutini

August 2, 2012

A Favourite

“with your name on my mouth
and a kiss that never
broke away from yours.”

― Pablo Neruda

Forca Portugal!

"In 9 days I leave for Portugal with my entire immediate family. I am very excited for this trip for a plethora of reasons. Firstly, although I've never been there Portugal is a very special place to me as it's where my father, uncle, and grandparents were born and grew up."

I’m a little (okay, okay, a lot) over due on this post. In March, I travelled with my family to where my father was born and raised. Portugal. Travelling with my family made me a bit nervous, as the majority of my travelling has been done solo, which offers its own challenges, but allows you to do what you want when you want, without asking the group for their thoughts or opinions. My family also hasn’t been on a ‘trip’ since I was 13 and we stayed at an all-inclusive resort in Dominican Republic and Sierra was only 4 ½ (she’s 16 now), so it would prove to be...interesting.

This would be a much different trip. 14 days of my family of 6, in a giant rental van, driving all over Portugal to visit relatives I’d never met, beaches on the coast, ruins, historical sites, Fado clubs, and the small village my father grew up in without running water or electricity. On paper it sounds like equal parts disaster waiting to happen, and an adventure I certainly couldn’t wait to partake in.

After a layover in Ottawa and a delayed flight (which everyone took with stride) we were off! When we landed in Lisbon, Portugal I had the weirdest feeling of ‘being home’ considering I had never been there before, and never before had Portugal been on my radar of places I wanted to visit.

Throughout the entire trip I felt like things began to make sense. Pieces of the puzzle began to fit together and I started to understand myself better. Why my grandparents were the way they are, certain mannerisms that my father had passed on to me, even my fathers specific way of interacting with people. I saw people that looked like me, people that behaved like me, and everything became clearer. I didn’t realize, until I was there, how much could be answered by just being in a certain place.

One of the most emotional moments of our trip, was meeting our family still living in the village my Grandmother raised my father and uncle while my Grandfather worked in South America and Europe to provide for them. People in the community that hadn’t seen my father in 8 years (since he had been back to the village, and 30 years before that!) recognized him, they embraced each other and openly cried. Family welcomed us into their homes, sharing so much love for us that it was hard to believe it was our first reunion. Jao, and his family live in a 2 story home, made of particle board, heated by a wood stove, with no electricity and no running water. The village is slowly becoming a ghost town, as a nearby mill was shut down and the economic situation has forced many people to leave the area in order to provide for themselves and their families. Every second or third home is empty, abandoned by families who now only come to visit once a year. The village is surrounded by mountains and forests, and the fog rolled in, creeping over the hills making our joyous reunion feel somber and chilling.

We walked around the town, playing soccer in the streets with our young cousins unable to communicate verbally, they took us to the local hang out spot where we drank espresso and Super Bock, played pool, and visited the school my father attended until he left for Canada. Jao and his family cooked us the most delicious rabbit stew, and the homemade wine didn’t stop flowing until late into the night.

My Grandmother has always been ‘hard.’ I’ve found it hard to have a friendly relationship with her, and although I love her, I’ve often found myself jealous of my friends who have a personal connection with their grandparents. Seeing where she raised by Dad and Uncle, alone, apart from my Grandfather, seeing the fields she worked in the day after giving birth to my dad, because it had to get done, and being able to get a glimpse of what her life was many years ago has given me perspective to why she is the way she is. Why she had to be ‘hard’ to survive. Why she always wanted the best for us, but couldn’t necessarily articulate how much she loved us in a way that we could understand.

All in all, the trip was amazing. Portugal has been added the ever growing list of places and people that own a little bit of my heart, and I know that I will be back, to visit family, to spend more time, to explore, to (hopefully) learn the language, and to explore more of my culture as well.

While the rest of my family stayed in Portugal and travelled North, to Porto for an additional week, Brady and I started our 27 hour journey back to Canada. We had an overnight layover in Frankfurt, and decided to forgo going to sleep early and resting up for our last leg, and headed downtown to have some of the best beer Germany has to offer (why not!)

We were sitting in the most ‘German’ looking tavern, having ‘German’ sized beers, and feeling pretty good about life and about ourselves for choosing adventure over R&R, when we were approached by a local, saying that he had overheard us speaking English. He then asked us if we believed in God. What an odd way to start a conversation with two complete strangers. When we both answered that we believed in something, but weren’t quite sure what he seemed delighted. Apparently we passed the test. He congratulated us on “not being American,” and we went on to have a somewhat philosophical conversation about religion, Americans, and relationships. He then invited us on a walking pub crawl to give them an opportunity to welcome us to Frankfurt, because "we were his guests." Brady and I looked at each other, and immediately accepted the invite. What a better way to spend out 12 hours in Germany.

We had one drink at each place, and went from a smoky, laser filled electronic club where we had fermented apple juice (a German specialty I’m told, sour for the men, sweet for the women), playing ‘Crocodile Dentist” drinking games with the barkeep in a tavern and drinking cheery liquor, to a ‘beer fest’ type venue playing German metal, and lots of chest bumping. Our last stop was a club, where our 5$ cover got us entry and a beer, and the song that greeted us was “Barbie Girl” by Aqua. Brady got ‘roughed’ up by someone who recognized his Jet’s jersey and wanted to give him a hard time which ended in laughter, we danced, had some Jager, and hoped back into a cab so we could pack and rest for an hour before heading for the airport. After some minibar snacks (nowhere was selling food at the time we got downtown, so our adventure took place on an empty stomach), and some brother-sister bonding, we were woken up by our wakeup call 45 minutes later.

The rest of the trip was not my most enjoyable time spent on a plane, but well worth the fun and new found friends we made in Frankfurt.

With more pieces to the puzzle and a few good times later,
Delaney C.

“Someday, somewhere - anywhere, unfailingly, you'll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.” (Pablo Neruda)

Me, at “Cabo da Roca” (a cape which forms the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal and continental Europe)


There is a German word, Fernweh, which means "crave for travel; being homesick for a place you've never been." What a beautiful word that so accurately describes how I find myself feeling more often than not these days, and have for the majority of my life.

Even as a young child I was inquisitive, thoughtful, always thinking and always imagining what was happening in other people lives, in other places, in other cultures, and how exciting it was to catch just a glimpse. I’ve been so lucky in my short 24 years to be able to have seen and experienced some of the things that I have. To have had the opportunities to travel to corners of the earth not plagued by mainstream tourism, to speak with locals about serious issues effecting their livelihoods, to work and collaborate with respected local organizations working with people in the area to change the future of their own countries, and to be able to focus on the moment at hand.

A year ago I decided that I would try something new. I would put down some roots, make some commitments, take some chances, not go anywhere for a while, and see what would happen. A grand experiment with my life so to speak. It’s been challenging, more challenging than I first expected to ‘stay put.” I find my mind wandering constantly, to the next adventure, to the next far away place, back to the places I’ve been, and the friend’s I’ve made.

I re-signed a lease on an apartment for the first time, meaning I’ve made a commitment to ‘stay put’ for at least another year, and while on one hand its comforting knowing that I have a place to lay my head, a stable long term job that I love, and a circle of friends that add so much my life I can’t help but feel that part of me (a very important part of me) lays dormant and in wait for the next time I can dust off my backpack and jump into the unknown.

I’m happiest when I am pushed out of my comfort zone. When I’m forced to try to make sense of what’s going on and have been given very little clues. I love the rush that comes from trying to figure out new surroundings, new people, trying new foods with names you can’t pronounce, overhearing new languages, new scents, and new environments.

I’ve been trying to keep busy in Winnipeg. Volunteering with community events (Jazz Festival, Fringe Festival) and community organizations (Elizabeth Fry Society) which has kept my monsters at bay as there is always something going on, something new to learn, and something new to see, however it hasn’t helped me find a balance, and I feel that as soon as I stop packing every day with excitement and high energy activity I’ll book a one way plane ticket to Istanbul and not look back (for at least 6 months anyways).

In the next year, I will become more comfortable with what is familiar. With what I know. With routine. I will work on finding a balance, on slowing down, on appreciating ‘down time.’ I will continue to actively participate in my community, to learn the finer nuances of my job, and to find ways to explore and adventure in my own back yard.

"If you learn to love, you might love life"
Delaney C

March 8, 2012

Kony2012 and the 'Social Media Activism' Boom

I'm happy that people are becoming aware of an issue. It might be a starting point, but before 'starting' anything, be critical, get the facts, make a thoughtful educated decision, and then do more than share a video that's gone viral, do more than put up posters or tell your friends, just do more. Explore more issues, and make sure that you're paying attention to what's happening in Canada, in our own country, and across the world as well, not just when its 'trending' but every day, because when the KONY2012 videos stop being posted it doesn't mean the situation is over, or the cause no longer worth while, it just means that people have gotten bored.

Like I said, I'm all up for people getting aware, getting involved, getting passionate, and wanting to make a difference. I would never shame someone for wanting to start, everyone has their own starting points after all, and I've been involved with some programs, and donated money to some agencies, that I would chose not to given the information and experience I have now. However sometimes 'starting' something without knowing all the facts can be extremely detrimental. I don't have a better answer, I don't have a solution. But just because I don't, doesn't mean that you should support KONY 2012 just because it's something else or something better. Something isn't always better than nothing. Sometimes it's worse.

I've debated the idea of 'social media activism' the importance of raising awareness and what amazing and popularized tools (twitter, tumblr, facebook, youtube, THE INTERNET) my generation has at our fingertips to be connected across the world instantly and how we typically use these amazing, and powerful tools to gossip about the Kardashian's, complain about having to work late, or follow the newest trends, and don't even come close to tapping into its full potential as a tool that can quite possibly change the world as we know it.

My friend Rayannah Kroeker summed up my feelings pretty well when she posted her comments on Facebook, the very place that this video http://vimeo.com/37119711 has exploded over the last two days, going viral and eliciting many different responses from my varied Facebook friends.

"I have never seen my newsfeed so covered with a social justice issue before. People care. People are learning about the LRA. And I know that those who are posting about KONY are doing it with good intentions. And those intentions give me hope.

I would love to feel that this campaign will lead to a Uganda where every person young or old can find opportunity, or better yet, create it.... I'd love to feel that this is going to drive real and lasting change.

But I don't.

Instead, I feel that this campaign is offering a simple feel-good solution to an extremely complicated and deep-rooted conflict. I am afraid that this solution may do more harm than good. I worry that people sitting at home on their computers have a greater say in what the solution should be than those who live in Uganda. I worry that the voices are being wrongly weighted. I worry that this sort of simple feel-good approach will dominate the way in which people participate in social justice.

I feel that this campaign is distracting. Distracting from the real challenges and progress going on in Uganda today. Distracting from other current atrocities whose propaganda machine is not so well oiled.

I feel this campaign is wasteful. From the mass production of propaganda materials which on April 21st will litter the streets of North-America, to the money of Invisible Children's revenue which is spent on its staff's salaries and travel expenses.

I feel. I feel. I feel. This campaign focuses on the way we feel and react to the horrific information presented to us in the film rather than truly trying to empathize with, represent and understand those enduring these horrors in Norther Uganda.

I feel that this campaign repeatedly shows us the face of an adorable five year old american boy and gives us only one Ugandan voice - a uni-dimensional victim.

I am glad people are being moved by the story of someone born half a world away. But does that story have to be sensationally exaggerated for us to pay attention? Do the facts have to be skewed? Does it have to be packaged with easy solutions? Does it have to come in HD? Does it have to make us feel as though we made a massive difference with nothing but the click of a button? Does it have to offer us a homogenous Africa(is not a country)? Does it have to be in storybook format with bad guys, heros and victims?"

I have no doubt that the people sharing this video, getting excited about social justice and making change have their hearts in the right place. It might be the first time that these people have been made aware of the atrocities going on in the world, and it is great that a dialogue has begun and that people are talking about it...but its not good enough. That's not the pessimist in me speaking, that's the realist. Its simply not enough to share a viral video, put up posters, donate your profile picture, or twitter feed.

Be critical, act with perseverance, realize that easy answers aren't always the best (if they were, we would solve a lot more global issues), be motivated, think outside and whatever you do.....ALWAYS learn two (both, all, as many as you can) sides of the story, it will help you make educated decisions, come up with more complete and holistic suggestions of solutions, act with innovation and think outside of the box.

I don't have the answers. I've made that clear, and I don't claim to have them. What I do have is questions, roughly a million of them, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. A hope that I'll be able to live in a place, in a world where people are aware and care about each other in their own countries and across the world. Where we use technology to connect the world and make positive social change rather than find out whose dating who in Hollywood. Where apathy is a thing of the past and where critical thought is not only encouraged but expected.

Two of my cents,
Delaney C.

January 6, 2012

Well would you look at that!

"I'm a philanthropist."

When I first heard someone say that I was confused. Surely you cant just be a philanthropist....you studied business at school, so you must be a business women, or work on marketing, or or or.....something. But you cant just be a philanthropist. That's something secondary, that comes after what you do....right?

And then, after about five minutes of internal struggle and identity crisis, it made sense...all too much sense. I studied political science but I am by no means a political scientist. I work for a non-profit organization but I'm not a social worker or a program coordinator. I'm no longer a student, in the traditional sense anyways, and what happens if I lose my job...do I become nothing? Why have I, for too long, associated what takes up most of my time (job, school, ect.) as who I am.

I'm a lot of things. And what is at the bottom of all of those things that make up me......the love of humanity. Philanthropy etymologically means "the love of humanity"—love in the sense of caring for, nourishing, developing, or enhancing; humanity in the sense of "what it is to be human," or "human potential."

Silly me, still so many things to learn. Something so simple has radically shifted my mindset, and outlook on not only my present life but how I perceive my future. No matter what career path I venture down, or choices I make, philanthropy, and my love of humanity, my desire to nourish, develop and care for what it is that makes us all human, and our greatest potentials will be right there with me.

The classical view of philanthropy—that the "love of what it is to be human" is the essential nature and purpose of humanity, culture and civilization—is intrinsically philosophical, containing both metaphysics and ethics. It asserts that our nature and purpose in life is educational—to make ourselves more fully humane through self-development, pursuing excellence (arete) of body, mind and spirit. Isn't that kind of the end goal, to seek out self-development, to pursue excellence in however you choose to define it and to continue to love humans with all of their strengths and weaknesses.

Simply put, people are amazing. I feel like a broken record but people never cease to amaze me. Their amazing qualities and not so great ones. People are such complex and interesting beings, that I love to interact with anyone and everyone. Looking for new perspectives, insights, and other people's life stories of things I'll never be able to experience because I've been given just one. Isn't that what makes us so special? That we are given only one life to live but allowed to experience snipets of someone else's if they are so generous to let us. That's what keeps me going, gets me excited and keeps me inspired.

Always in awe,
Delaney C.

December 21, 2011

What a wonderful life

Last year at this time I was preparing to board a bus to take me first to Tegucigalpa (the capital of Honduras) to meet up with my great friend and co-worker and then board another bus to take us across the country to the department of Santa Rosa where I spent Christmas with her family in a Honduran fashion, traveled to the Mayan ruins in Santa Rosa de Copan and traveled to Utila (one of the bay islands) to celebrate New Years by scuba diving and meeting travelers from across the world, and ending up with my Central American family in El Salvador to cap off the holidays hiking volcanoes and exploring deserted beaches.....I've had a rough life I know.

I'm looking forward to spending time with my family and friends over the holidays, to participating in some of the traditions that I 'missed out on' last year, and to *hopefully* getting some snow, but I am also missing the new traditions that I got to be a part of last year, my friends and family from across the world and realizing that, as corny and lame as it sounds, as long as you have love in your heart and are sharing that with people who are important to you, it doesn't matter what day it is or where you are, every day can be special and filled with the same joy and happiness that is bursting through my chest at any given moment over the last couple of weeks in anticipation for stockings, cranberry sauce, ice hockey, hot chocolate, rosy cheeks, crumpled wrapping papers, onesie pyjamas, wood stoves, church on Christmas eve, Christmas crackers, board games, homemade red wine, gingerbread houses, my ever growing family, and amazing friends both old and new.

It has been crazy to reflect on my 2010/2011 year and all of the places I've been, people I've met, and things I've accomplished. I have grown tremendously as a person, my concept and perspective of the world as I know it has changed at least a thousand time, I've been mentored by some phenomenal people who I admire and respect, and I cant see myself slowing down anytime soon.

I am ecstatic for 2012 to bring a new set of challenges, new opportunities, new growth and new adventures. I've said it once and I'll say it again, I am so blessed to be surrounded by such a group of supportive friends, family and co-workers that allow me to follow my heart (not my nose...fruit loops), constantly develop myself both personally and professionally, and keep challenging myself.

My prediction for 2012....it's going to be a great year.

Who would have thought, if you put roots down and give them a chance, they do in fact start to grow :)

Delaney C

October 24, 2011

Elated with knowing we were in the right place, at the right time.

That pretty much sums up my life as of late. The stars have alligned, leaving me pleasentrly surprised, and eagerly embracing whatever comes next. The roots that I decided to put down after returning from Bangladesh have indeed been growing and things are falling into place.

Returning to Canada proved to be a challenge (as usual), espeically with so many unknows. I re-read my entry just before returning from Thailand and as a predicted, re-entry has always hit me particularly hard. “I am nervous (once again) to return back to Canada, to a bunch of unknowns and changing relationships with so much baggage--filled with not only souvenirs but unanswerable questions, frustrations, unsharable experiences, memories, and dreams.” (June 18, 2011) I think I can count the number of people I have shared pictures with one one…finger. That’s not necessarily because people don’t want to see them, don’t want to hear stories, but maybe because I’ve grown tired (and frustrated) of trying to explain things, share stories, bring feeling to places, people and issues. Moreover, no matter how hard I try, or how articulate I am the person who has showed genuine interest in ‘sharing’ my experiences can’t, and I’m left feeling more isolated than ever, alientated by my experiences. So I don’t delve too deep when someone asks me excitedly, “Oh, how was your trip?” and have continue to ‘compartmentalize’ the me who exists in Canada, to the me who exists abroad and is interested in development internationally so ease the relationship-shock but it hasn’t necessarily been the most effective method of coping. I think I will always have an issue compartmentalizing and trying to separate but will have to explore other ways of coping.

After a few weeks working for the lawyer, anxious about finding a job, and fearful I would be forced to remain under his reign indeffinitly, I somehow landed a job at Big Brothers Big Sisters, and with that entered the non-profit sector. (Yeeey!) It is a delight to work for such a respected and well known organization that (in my mind at least) is doing such great things for the community and taking an individual and preventative approach matching kids with mentors in a variety of different programs. The job has me constantly learning, keeps me on my toes and ensures not a day goes by where I am not inspired by the people I work with, my co-workers, or humanity as a whole. I am excited for what lays ahead and very appreciative to have this opportunity so young to develop both personally and professionally in such a supportive environment.

Not to turn my back completely on the international aspect, I am one of the co-presidents of Engineers without borders (EWB) at the University of Manitoba, which is proving to be more of a challange than anticipated, although a welcome one. EWB is a fantastic organization that does some great grassroots work both through advocacy and education in Canada and by working with governments and non-government organizations in Zambia, Ghana, Malawi, and Burkina Faso. It's my hope (and personal goal) that at the end of my 'term' the EWB UofM chapter will have a good foundation and starting point to jump off from and do some great things at the UofM and in Winnipeg as a greater community. Cross your fingers for me.

I've also been exploring the possibility of taking some courses with Mediation Manitoba as a way of continuing to develop my personal/professional strengths, besides the point that I find it fascinating and really enjoy doing it. I'm excited to continue to explore the possibilities, perhaps work on some side projects, and develop some skills that I'll be able to transfer to any situation I am faced with (in a working environment or otherwise) and see where that takes me.

Now for a personal development beef of mine. When I hear people, awestruck by the sense of community lammenting their own loss in our own 'industrialized' and 'individualistic' society say, “What a sense of community, I’d hate if development changed that. They should be grateful for what they have and stay the way they are, Canada [insert any Western Industralized country] isn't that great, we have our own problems.” I want to smash my head against a wall and scream, not necessarily at the person, but rather at the absurdity of the comment.

This infuriates me. I get the feeling of loss for our own culture and society and the feeling of sadness for what we seem to have given up to get our flat screen televisions and white picket fences, but it is absurd, ridiculous and unfair to impose our ideals on others because we are 'sad' for what we feel we have lost but are at the same time unwilling to give up our comforts in order to have back. Frustrating and pretentious. Mini rant now over.

In the moment,
Delaney C.

August 8, 2011

Volcano by Damien Rice

Don't hold yourself like that
You'll hurt your knees
I kissed your mouth and back
But that's all I need
Don't build your world around volcanoes melt you down

What I am to you is not real
What I am to you you do not need
What I am to you is not what you mean to me
You give me miles and miles of mountains
And I'll ask for the sea

Don't throw yourself like that
In front of me
I kissed your mouth your back
Is that all you need?
Don't drag my love around volcanoes melt me down

What I am to you is not real
What I am to you you do not need
What I am to you is not what you mean to me
You give me miles and miles of mountains
And I'll ask for what I give to you
Is just what i'm going through
This is nothing new
No no just another phase of finding what I really need
Is what makes me bleed
And like a new disease she's still too young to treat
Volcanoes melt me down
She's still too young
I kissed your mouth
You do not need me

Simple Pleasures of Summer

Fresh picked blueberries, walking barefoot, driving with the windows down, dirty dirty pop music, reading good books cover to cover in the sun, fresh cut grass, sunrise, sunsets, homemade sangria, canoeing, morning runs, laughing so hard your cheeks hurt and sides ache, twist ice cream cones, thunderstorms, tubing down the river, hikes, road trips (no matter how long), adventures, live music, festivals, local talent, naps, hammocks, star gazing, grilled cheese, bonfires, street meat, iced coffee, picnics, staying up all night talking, swimming at night, cranberries, daydreaming, fresh air dried sheets, hot sun on bare skin, sandy beaches, rolling waves, watermelon, cucumber and tomato salad, genuine smiles shared with strangers, family, rocket popsicles, bike rides, discovering hidden treasures, Indian summers, farmers markets, people watching, ferris wheels, surface dives, Moosehead Light Lime, Bulldogs, cedar chests, best friends, having fun doing nothing at all, sun tanning, long walks, late night Catan, new adventures, climbing trees.

Simple Pleasures of Summer.

Delaney C.

August 7, 2011

Peace Corps Volunteer Challange: Honduras

My friend Eyal from the Peace Corps that I met during my time in Juticalpa, Honduras posted this a couple of weeks ago and I found it quite interesting...interesting enough that I felt it deemed a re-post. What it is is a challenge for those at home to give up specific luxuries of home in order to live more similarly to how the Peace Corps volunteers live in Honduras.

After reading it through the first time my reaction surprised me when I was left thinking, "Man, that seems hard, I'm not sure I could do it." My second thought was "Wait a minute...you did do it!" I tried to pinpoint why it was difficult to even fathom living in a way that I had lived for nearly five months and I think a large part of that is the disconnect between the way I am able to live here in Canada and the way that I was forced to live in Juticalpa ie) no running water (let alone hot water), no flush toilets (no flushing toilet paper), no microwaves, no debit/credit cards, hand washing clothing ect.

It seems much harder to imagine these tasks as part of my life in Canada when I have the choice to take a hot shower and throw my laundry in for a 20min cycle and truth be told I'm not sure that I could make some of these changes a part of my every day life in Canada but it was interesting for me to be reminded to be conscientious of the lifestyle differences and to remember that certain changes (limiting water use, recycling, composting, taking the bus instead of driving, not buying unnecessary items ect) are changes that can be adopted into daily practice and it is important to continue to do them.

One of the points that had me laughing to myself was "You cannot watch television, but may watch soap operas or soccer at a neighbours house" simply because how accurate the statement was and it made me remember how into soap operas my family was. Too funny.

Check out the link below, and if you're up for the challenge try it out and let me know how it goes!!

Good luck :)
Delaney C.


June 21, 2011

Thai Fashion, Fullmoon Party and Bangkok Ping-Pong Shows

I have been back from Thailand for six weeks now and although I am loving spending my time soaking up the sun with wonderful friend on beautiful Manitoban beaches I felt that my two weeks in Thailand deserved a post.

After spending five weeks in Bangladesh with RDRS we said goodbye to Bilan and Lindsay in the Bangkok airport with ferocious hugs and Kaitlan, Lauren and myself headed out into the streets looking to start a two week long adventure. I won't chronicle the full two weeks for you because frankly some things are better left unsaid, and some other things are better left without an electronic paper trail HOWEVER I will offer some tidbits from my Thailandia adventure...because if you don't tell people its like you were never really there at all. Right?

Before I start on Thailand I'm going to indulge in a tangent. In Bangladesh I had the interesting opportunity of traveling sans camera (thanks to my darling little sister who neglected to put my memory card back into my camera before I headed for the airport) and I loved it. As a traveler I have always been conscientious of focusing on where I am and not focusing on capturing 'memories' in order to share them with people back home...I'm a bit more selfish than that. I like to focus my time on where I am, with the people I am with. I rarely buy souvenirs for people back home, I never fill up memory cards with pictures and I try not to talk/think about Canada in a way that it monopolizes my time/thoughts. Because of this mantra so to speak I find it hard to understand when some people seem to travel with the purpose of sharing...when every picture becomes a photo opportunity to share with someone back home, when every little market means another trinket to be purchased for cousins once removed, and every experience is followed by either "Tim would love the jungle trek we did this afternoon!" or "I can't wait to tell Jane about the monkey temple!"

I'm not against sharing experiences with friends and family, I'm not heartless, I miss people and think of them fondly and often when I'm abroad, but I'm very much a 'be in the moment' 'remain in the present', 'right here right now' kind of gal, and no amount of pictures or
souvenirs will ever make the place that I was seem as real to you as it was for me (unless you travel there yourself) so I might was well make the most of my physical an geographical location and not try to take you (unsuccessfully) along for the ride...or at least make it a top priority. Travel savvy or travel selfish?

Now, on to Thailand!

In Bangkok Lauren, Kaitlan and myself devised a way for free (and very entertaining) city wide travel. Enter Thai fashion and tuk tuks (motorized rickshaws). Tuk tuk drivers are paid commission to take unsuspecting tourists to gem shops and tailors in hopes of getting the said passengers to spend mucho dinero all while thinking they are getting a steal of a deal and walking away happy (all the while getting ripped off big time). Usually the tourists who fall victim to this little game are trying to get to temples, shopping malls, floating markets, ect. however Lauren, Kaitlan and I tried to capitalize on this routine in order to save a couple Baut (Thai money). By the end Lauren had perfected her story and at some times I even believed we were looking to get a suit made for her dad. We only ran into one awkward encounter when we ended up back at a tailor shop we had been to the day before and we had to quickly change our story and make up some new questions on the fly. Definitely hilarious, although I'm not sure how much money we ended up saving in the end it was a great way to see the city, kill some time and learn a little bit about Thai fashion.

Koh Phangan was put on our Thailandia hit list because of the the elusive Fullmoon party (http://fullmoonparty-thailand.com/) and our perfect planetary timing. We found a hotel on the the other side of the island and for ~$14/night we were given a little slice of paradise. Empty sprawling white sand beaches, gorgeous bungalows, winding roads perfect for renting scooters to explore, turquoise waters, and coolers filled with jumbo Changs (Thai beer). We spent our Koh Phangan portion of Thailandia hanging on the beach, participating in impromptu games of beach volleyball, watching fire dancers, and laughing with new made friends. On the night of the Fullmoon we hopped in a taxi to venture to Haad Rin to partake in 'the' party. Bucket drinks, neon paint, fire dancers, pounding electronic with lots of base, 20,000 people ready to party, street meat, pass out zones and partying till the sun comes up. We caught a taxi back to our hotel with just enough time to shower, pack, and turn right around to catch a ferry back to Bangkok....worth every minute of it.

Our first night in Bangkok we went in search (high and low) of a place worthy enough of starting our adventure and celebrating the end of our five weeks in Bangladesh. We went up and down streets, in and out of bars, intrigued and (mildly) entertained/disturbed by the go-go dancers, glowing signs flashing names like "SuperSex" and "Pussy Palace" and overt in your face prostitution. We were pulled aggressively a club that had ~20 men in briefs with different numbers on their hips dancing, waiting for someone in the audience to want a special dance. We returned to our hostel unscathed and feeling pretty pleased with our first introduction to Thailand. Later we would find out (only after we had already booked beds for when we would return to Bangkok in order to catch our flight back to Canada) that our hostel was located in the middle of the red light district and things would make much more sense.

Everywhere we went that night we were approached by men hollering at us "Ping-Pong Show" and making a popping sound with the lips. We brushed it off but everywhere we went in Thailand this trend continued. Seeing a "Ping-Pong Show" was something you had to do when in Thailand, like climbing a Volcano in El Salvador, or Surfing in Australia...it would be a shame to return home without experiencing one of THE things that Thailand (more specifically Bangkok) is known for...so when we passed through Thailand again, we made a point of putting it on our list.

After hanging out on Koah San Road (one of the most touristy districts) we met up with two other friends and sought out a show. We approached a man who was less pushy than the rest (reluctant to go with the men aggressively hawking Ping-Pong Shows as a result of warnings from travelers who had spent 700 THB and been taken to clubs only to be yanked around, forced to buy drinks and shown nothing) who took us to a bank of tuk tuks. We were transported via tuk tuks to our old stomping ground and taken into one of the dingiest strip clubs I have ever had the pleasure of being in. We paid 300TBH each (~$10) while we overheard some men paying over 900THB meaning that prices are quite flexible and received one free drink with the price of admission.

There were some women walking around handing out drinks taking orders and flirting with patrons while other women gyrated on stage in tune to the music. The show entailed women after women taking their turns on stage to perform her trick and began with a member of the audience assisting a women pull a 20-foot scarf out of her hoo-ha (think of a clown pulling scarves out of his throat) and went on to a talented artist draw her rendition of Mount Everest with a marker clenched in her lady parts while another opened a twist-off glass Coke bottle (perhaps a sponsor) with a little grunt before she hobbled off stage. For the Ping-Pong part of the Ping-Pong Show a women began to fire ping-pong balls with a force not to be reckoned with...I'm talking perfect serves and some men in the front row (who had been given paddles) got some rally's going. The show didn't end there but continued with two of the women having sex on stage while James Blunt crooned "You're Beautiful" in the background. The show went on, but not for me.

The entire event was awful, horrible, and profoundly disturbing and the fact that these shows are so wide spread and sex tourism is so rampant in Thailand as a result of demand is chilling. I left the club feeling as though I had been punched hard and repeatedly in the pit of my stomach over and over again almost unable to process what had went on and why I had been unable to leave earlier. I'm not sure what I had imagined going into the Ping-Pong show, and while I was horrified by what I saw, I'm glad that I saw it because its going to happen regardless although I don't like that my money supported such a horrible industry.

With Love,
Delaney C.

Here are two other links of travelers accounts of the Ping Pong Show: