Thursday, July 24, 2014

Reminders for myself

8:32 PM Posted by Sharon




After an insanely stressful week at work. I am finding myself closer to the end of the tunnel. THANK GOODNESS!



Friday, July 18, 2014

Ecuador: Day 4 & 5

12:32 PM Posted by Sharon


One of the main reasons for the trip was a visit to the Amazon.  Although Brazil is famous for it, we knew our budget would not allow for a Brazilian vacation during a World Cup year. So we looked at a map and looked to see where else we would be able to affordably see the Amazon. 

I loved it and I hated it. I hated myself for loving parts of it. It's complicated to wrestle with the images of extreme poverty and my own participation in the middle of all of it. What could I do? (I'll explain later.)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ecuador: Day 2 & 3

1:04 PM Posted by Sharon

Back into the blogging swing of things, I plan on posting the rest of my Ecuador entries before the month is out!

Day 2 and 3 of my Ecuador adventure saw us jumping from city to city. Waking up early in Quito, we checked out the colonial section of Old Town, a UNESCO heritage site. We whizzed through Independence Plaza, the Cathedral, Presidential Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sink or Swim

6:05 PM Posted by Sharon
via
How on earth is it possible to do it all?

I am wise enough to know that when I'm unhappy, I'm the one responsible. Either change myself or change the circumstance. Doing nothing will guarantee that nothing will happen. Change is good.

After a week off from the regular working week, I will be back into the routine of things. I'm so ever thankful for this break and so ever grateful for the wonderful people around me. Now, I can go and face the mountain of drama ahead of me. With so much pressure and things to do, there are no other options but to swim rather than sink. Things will turn out or they won't. Either way, I'm going to be alright. I'm always alright.

The summer ahead seems to be a busy one, with one battle after another. Things are going to be fine. Things are always fine.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pause for Peonies

9:46 PM Posted by Sharon , ,

After an unusually stressful week, I came home to some beautiful blooming peonies. My photos do it absolutely no justice. After hiding inside the large buds, it opened all at once. Petals upon petals just burst forth filling my front porch with pink. They are such a beautiful sight to behold. It's enough for me to stop before I leave for work in the morning and again when I return home. 

It's these little moments of pause that I am grateful for lately; these little bits of thoughts filled with admiration and nothing else. 

Drama at work has made the morning and afternoon portions of my day a bit of a drag. Looking after my house and then my mother's house is proving to be coming at the worst time. Have my life always been this hectic? 

I must thank past me for intuitively knowing that I need a bit of time off. Somehow the week long pause I have for next week is exactly what I need. Even though I don't think I'll be able to afford the time to pause, it will be just enough time for me to catch up and find my breath. 



Monday, June 09, 2014

Ecuador: Day 1

9:54 PM Posted by Sharon

Yes, I went to Ecuador. No, I did not go to the coast or visit the Galapagos Islands.

Why?

It's much cheaper to see the rest of the country and to explore the incredible volcanoes atop heights close to 9,000 feet above sea level and then to venture all the way down to the jungle. 

Why did I go during rainy season?

To escape the bitterly long Canadian winter. And when you travel at the tail end of the rainy season, you get a few beautiful days when chance smiles upon you. 

DAY 1-  Arrive in Quito

Flights into Quito are a bit tricky if you're Canadian.Tricky in the sense that you have no choice but to go through the states. American airport security makes no sense. We landed, got through customs and security for a second time before we repeated the whole thing all over again at another airport in a southern state. We only had carry on luggage, which saved us a bit of time, but we still ended up annoyed and tired. 

We arrived in the middle of the night and cabbed it to our hotel. Cheap cab fare, considering the trip took a little under an hour. We were exhausted and fell asleep immediately. When we woke, this was outside our window:


It was a good omen, despite it being rainy season, we woke to a clear blue sky. We hopped out of bed immediately and hit the town to see as much as we can before the clouds arrived. 

Our first stop was the Basilica del Voto Nacional. On top of a hill, the Gothic cathedral was impressive on the outside. The inside, which only cost $2 US to enter, was a bit of a bore. The day we went, the steps to their tower was closed off for repairs, so it was a bit disappointing. We spent more time outside, looking for all the South American animals on the outside of the church. 
  



With the sky still blue, we made for El Panecillo. We negotiated with the cab driver (which is how to take a cab in Ecuador) to take us up the hill for a mere $5 US. The dab driver took it upon himself to drive us to the prison and point it out to us first. For limited English and poor Spanish, we got on quite well. 


And there she stood, La Virgen de Quito. She was impressive and so was the sight from the top. The entire city laid out before us and it hits me that we were in a vast, growing city where poverty still haunts. While a small portion of it looks like any other metropolis, the haze that was starting to show from diesel powered buses weren't enough to obscure the slums covering the hill side. This was Quito, the capital city. I knew that these were the lucky ones and that I'll only see more over the rest of my trip. 


When the clouds started to gather, we knew that we need to head back down to the city. We caught a cab and this time the fare was only $4 US. We wandered in and out of souvenir shops in Old Town. I thought these figurines were rather odd and could only think to associate it with the racist past of southern USA. Later on in the trip, someone explained that these were in fact cucuruchos. They are men dressed in purple cone shaped coverings during holy week and walk in a procession carrying giant crosses and chains on their feet.


Despite being healthy late 20-somethings, my boyfriend and I both got altitude sickness on the first day. Quito rests at a little over 9000 feet above sea level. We grew short of breath when we climbed the virgin. We weren't able to see or do as much as we planned on the first full day. By 3pm, I had a migraine and needed to go back to the hotel to rest. Lucky for us, that's when the rain started.

After a nap, we had a light dinner and then spent the rest of the evening relaxing. More physical aspects of the trip were still coming up, and we didn't want to tire ourselves out immediately. 


Thursday, June 05, 2014

Pause

11:28 AM Posted by Sharon
Pause.

One of the worst ways to appreciate life is when you confront death. You can look at the past and feel grateful for the happy childhood and wonderful people you’ve met. You can smile over those experiences. You also look to the future to see all the missed opportunities or milestones never to be reached or chances that will remain forever not taken.


Grief makes you think about all of these things, but it really makes you pause. I'm not quite 30 and I've attended more funerals than someone my age should. It feels surreal and not quite right when the funeral is for someone my own age. They've been robbed of infinite possibilities. It also brings me to reflect on my own life and how I'm living it. 

Am I making it as meaningful as it could be? Am I fulfilling what I want to do? Sobering thoughts enough for anyone to away from the internet for a while.
  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Busy May

10:29 AM Posted by Sharon ,

This isn't typical of me, but something about the warmer weather that makes me procrastinate like no tomorrow. *pun intended*

This week is a complete doozy of a work week. Social commitments are nil for the next month until I catch up on everything and yet, I still have time to blog....I don't understand myself sometimes.