Or the adventures of the Summer Solstice Girl in the Great White North

Being the change

Today, I’m going to tell you about a cause that is close to my heart, for many reasons.

In no particular order, one, it is about human rights, free speech in particular. I don’t think I need to explain why free speech is so important. Right?

Two, it is for people in Africa. I feel deeply for people there, for all their struggles, the hardships, the social injustice issues, the lack of health and education resources, etc. Life is impossibly hard there. War after war, epidemic after epidemic, genocide after genocide, they get back on their feet, dust their clothes and keep on living without losing hope. You gotta love and admire such peoples.

Third, this cause was started by a dear friend of mine, who happened to work there in 2013. It is close to her heart and therefore it is close to mine.

In her words:

A station I used to work in Burundi was founded 12 years ago to promote nonpartisan news coverage and dialogue between the different ethno-political factions.

Last month there was an attempted military coup in Burundi, and like other nonpartisan media platforms, “my” radio covered it.

The coup failed and the next day loyalist cops attacked all of the radio stations, including “mine”, with sticks, destroying computers, mixing equipment, transmission equipment, even portable recorders, window glass and vehicle tires.

As a result, they can’t broadcast anymore

My friend – who rocks – decided to do something about it and as I previously said, started this fundraiser: Help save peace radio in Burundi


I’m asking you to please take a moment to read it.

I know there are thousands of worthy causes going around. I know one cannot help them all. I know one has to choose and pick one’s battles.

But after reading it, if you are so moved, then donate and/or share it through your social networks.

Any help will be greatly appreciated by those brave people in Burundi. Thank you!

 

Happy Canada Day

Today is my first Canada Day in Windsor.

It is also the first Canada Day I don’t spend in Ottawa.

Ottawa, being the capital of Canada and all, is THE place to be on Canada Day.

For us at Swing Dynamite, it was always a great day. Last year, for example, the school was part of the Noon Show on Parliament Hill.

Swing Dynamite - Canada Day 2014

Every year, teachers, coaches, team members, students, we all gathered downtown to celebrate together. There was lots of live music, swing and other kinds of dancing, laughter, food, silliness and and good old fun.

I won’t have that this year but I am determined to join the celebrations here, even if it took me almost an hour to find the damn info of what the City of Windsor is doing.

They should hire me to do their social media. Like, seriously.

Anyway, Happy Canada Day, everyone. We have plenty to celebrate so let’s eat cake and be merry!

I am Canadian Canada Day 2015 Je Suis Canadienne

Canada, my adoptive land

You know, despite yesterday’s post -which was in jest, of course* – I do love it here. And by here, I mean Canada.

I am proud of being Canadian.

This country may not be perfect but it’s got many things right.

By far and large, Canadians are good people. They are nice, polite and welcoming.

Sure, there are douchebags. But douchebags can be found everywhere else in the world too. Not just in Windsor.

I have been able to be happy here in a way that could have never been possible for me in my country of origin.

Which is a sad thing to say, of course.

It is a tragedy when one can’t be happy in the land one was born, for more than one reason. Continue reading

Welcome to Canada

So, last night, just before 10 pm I think, I heard “something, something BITCH” yelled by the woman next door.

It seemed even louder due to the quietness of the evening.

I looked at Sid, Sid looked at me, we both shrugged and made here-we-go-again faces as the yelling rant went something like this: Continue reading

Today is a Good Day

I woke up to a couple of aggravating things.

  1. My verbally abusive neighbour at the steps of my porch, being all Mr. Nice to my ground floor neighbour. Holy cow, that was upsetting.
  2. No bread for breakfast

Then Sid was the herald of good news:

Same sex marriage is now legal in the country everywhere

Continue reading

Post Summer Solstice Report

fun was had!

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What’s that?

Oh, you want me to elaborate? Why, I’ll be happy to oblige! Continue reading

No, this doesn’t mean that I’m going back to Africa.

Summer Solstice Girl:

Very wise words from Auntie Sandee

Originally posted on 1800ukillme:

When Africans sold slaves to Europeans, I imagine they didn’t know that it would turn into an evil institution. Slavery existed in Africa as a different institution than when it was introduced to the west. In Africa, slaves owned slaves who could buy themselves out of slavery and travel freely, etc.

Some people (including other blacks) think blacks and Africans come from inferior and barbaric cultures, and that we need to sit the hell down and appreciate what Europeans have done for us. But we didn’t need anything before they got there. And, please, I’m not referring to Egypt, where some of the people don’t even consider themselves black. Egypt has an ancient history that’s compatible to the way that Europeans think about “progress,” so black people here today mistakenly relate to it, eager to fit in, but most African Americans don’t come from there.

There was this African interviewed…

View original 365 more words

Happy Summer Solstice II

From the Summer Solstice Girl

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

This is hard to write.

Very hard.

I am trying so hard to cope.

Most of the time I even can trick myself into thinking things will be ok.

Then I hear their voices.

And my heart sinks.

I am back to any given  day of my life between age 6 and 15 and I would hear my father’s voice.

I – we, only had peace when he wasn’t home.

Most importantly, my mother was only safe when he wasn’t home.

The minute I’d hear his voice, I knew I had to brace myself for the worst because the worst often did happen.

Loud voices.

Swearing.

Screaming.

Awful insults.

Noises of things breaking.

My father traveled often so we had days in a row, sometimes even weeks where we could pretend life was normal, when we could sleep.

But I could never sleep when he was home. How could I?

I knew I had to be on the ready because at any time of day or night it could happen. Yet another trip to the hospital.

I didn’t happen every day, of course. But we never knew when we were going to get Dr. Jekyll and when we were going to get Mr. Hyde.

It was not a matter of if. It was a matter of when.

Upon hearing my father’s voice, all bets were off.

And it’s happening all over again.

I can’t sleep yet again.

I know that at any time of day or night I’ll hear their voices, my heart will sink and I will go back in time.

Like just now….

The Beauty of this World

To keep the sorrow from overwhelming me, I remain focused on the beauty of this world, which is everywhere to be seen in rich variety, from the smallest wildflowers and the iridescent hummingbird that feeds on them to the night sky diamonded with fiery stars.

– Odd Thomas


            

PS: All photographs by me.


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