Friday, September 23, 2016

Hear Me!

A number of years ago I joined the world of the Internet. I had a young friend who was very tech savvy teach me how to search online and to not be so fearful pushing buttons. Regardless of my fast improving skills, I was still very ignorant of computer etiquette. I had no understanding of how humour could be so easily misunderstood as an insult or ignorance, or how the familiarity you may have towards a person you are communicating with is not necessarily reciprocal. To my chagrin, the first several years of learning how to navigate online were rough. Today, I am a lot more guarded and even less social than when I first came online, and yet when I observe others, it seems just the opposite.

Social media rules life.

People spend unhealthy amounts of time staring at a screen (usually a palm sized one) and communicate everything from how they are feeling in the morning to how their break-up is the reason for their impending suicide!

It is amazing how the Internet has changed! Or rather, I should say, it is amazing how we have changed how we use the Internet!

And with people being so bold, transparent, and informed, you would figure that we would be a more relaxed, accepting, social bunch...but again, it seems just the opposite! In fact, in my occupation, I see pre-teens, teens, and adults with anxiety/mental health issues that have left them debilitated, and many of the contributing factors include Internet and social media use!

Where is our society headed?

I get that people want to be heard.
People want to be appreciated.
And people need to be heard and appreciated.
With the Internet, even the most unlikely have a voice.

But...Where are we failing as a society that people feel the need to strip down and bear all mentally, emotionally, and physically in this digital world, screaming for attention?!


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Boca Chica

Back to Boca Chica I went...It was my 4th visit, the last time I was there was 3yrs ago. It is still the prostitution central of the Dominican Republic. There would appear to be less women soliciting in the evenings, many of the girls are already paired with the tourist of the week. There are more tourist families visiting than in the past, but still a large number of single men (mainly over the age of 55 - I would guess) line the streets, sitting on plastic chairs outside the different resturants smoking and sipping Dominican coffee (a tiny cup of black tar-like liquid for those who have never had the experience). This place is like no other, the locals are sweet, coy, hardened, and embittered, yet hopeful.  After many years of tourism, the locals are starting to realize more and more the treasures they have been blessed with...the land, the culture, dignity of being...
I lost one of my street friends - a deaf boy, I say boy, but he really is a young man in his early 20s. He died in what may have been an altercation, the details are sketchy. My other friend is a little person, also deaf, unable to get out as much as she has complications with her GI tract, I never got to connect with her. I am told she is getting the health care she needs though. The barista at the best cappuccino bar (Pequena Suiza) is still there smiling and laughing, doing a great job and reminding me that there really is hope in some of the most unlikely of places, The beggars continue to beg, little boys wanting your food that you just bought, others asking to shine your running shoes, women offering massages, men selling jewelry, cigars, know, practical stuff.

The saying, 'the light of God shines in the darkest of places' comes to mind. This place must be pretty brilliant in the spirit, but it is sometimes hard to see beyond the moment. I mean, there is darkness all around, poverty, corruption, abuse...the sun shines and the wind blows regardless, but it is like a deceptive dance that blurs the stark reality that the people here, tourist and local alike, are wearing a veil by choice...and yet, God moves, His Spirit evident in the little things - the prayers by the people for a young woman that hung herself, the generosity of the poor sharing with the poor, the song of simple joy sung by a few as they labour, the helping hand of one to another with no expectation of recourse,...I remember being touched as I heard a song play in the background - You Are My All in All - just in a moment when I was thinking how hopeless society is in was like God was reminding me of what true hope is - Him, not the circumstances surrounding me, just Him. And there He Boca Chica, with me.
It was bittersweet to return, life goes on...people come, people go. Things improve, things remain the same, It has me, once again, thinking about what's important, what I want my impact in this world to be, what I want with this one precious life given me.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday...Worth It?

Black Friday in the United States...$52.4 billion spent! Really?! 52.4$ spent on stuff...people hurt and killed to get that stuff...I mean, really?! What the hell is wrong with these people? What kind of a nation spends 52.4 billion on stuff, assaults their neighbour to get this "stuff", and still cries about economic hard times?! Shouldn't we be looking out for each other, working together during hard times? ...Perhaps it is time to reassess our priorities. It is just sad, and frankly, an embarrassment to the West. And here in Canada, we are getting caught up in the spirit of Black Friday mainly because the retailers here clued in that if they discount their prices, the multitude of bargain seekers here would not rush the border to head south to buy and the money would stay local...but is it worth it?  A good deal is a good thing during financially difficult times, but is what people are buying a necessity or a want? Is that Xbox/Tablet/gadget/whatever needed or wanted? Are rudeness, violence, and greed the character traits we want to promote...because these seem to be ones dominating this "holiday"....I wonder what the rest of the world thinks when they see this behaviour...more importantly, what are we saying about ourselves when we embrace this activity? Is it what we want to be known for?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quebec: Lower Your Expectations

Quebec....The province of inconvenience...or bureaucratic chaos...your choice.  I am continually left shaking my head at the level of disorganization and waste in this province.  I keep expecting efficiency and yet, I am left with frustration. Apparently, my expectations are way too high.  Road construction without proper signage, document centers that lose and/or misdirect papers and take weeks/months to process, licencing centers that do not inform you of ALL required documents (leaving you to reschedule another appointment a MONTH later!) *A heads-up for those who don't know: In Qc, females are required to keep their maiden names...and if you are from out of province you can expect to easily confuse and arouse suspicion if you did not maintain your maiden name from your past causing great grief in your attempt to get anything accomplished from a bureaucratic perspective...including going to a hospital for a medical emergency.

I am trying not to get too specific let alone emotionally involved in writing this information, but I have got to say: it is *%$##@!! frustrating trying to get things done in this province! ...And I just wanted to leave a little warning for others entering into the chaos zone of Canada: ATTENTION!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How to Walk in Traffick

Walk AGAINST the traffick; Ride WITH the traffick...Get it right people!!!

I cannot tell you how many times I encounter people who walk on the wrong side of the road (out of ignorance or otherwise)!

If you are walking against the traffick, at least you will see oncoming cars even if they do not see you....And chances are, you will live to walk another day; however, if you are walking down the road, your back against oncoming traffick, they may not see you and you definitely do not see them, and then"booph"! you are roadkill...or they swerve to avoid you and they or other drivers become the casualties!

I am exaggerating here (a bit), but for the safety of all those on the road...Please walk against traffick so you (the walker) can see oncoming traffick because sometimes drivers do not/cannot see you as well as you might think!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dominican Women Exploited

Not too long ago I had the priviledge of going to the Dominican Republic and spend time with the locals. During my time there, I was overwhelmed by the difference in culture. In fact, by day 3, culture shock had completely set in and I spent the morning in tears. I have lived in Japan and my experience with culture shock there was not as intense as it was during my trip here, which surprised me. One of the things that stood out to me was the noticeable lack of female tourists (in this particular town) and the acceptance of prostitution.

In this town, the Italians and the Germans have notorious reputations for seeking out mistresses and young girls...There is also a male prostitution presence of which I was not really cognizant. My heart went out to the female population...for me, it was heartbreaking to see this side of humanity that I have been so sheltered from in the past. Then again, it is exactly what I needed to see. (There goes another bubble... *POP*)  

Prostitution is a way of life. And the damnedest thing is that there is little or no desire to change this way of life. It makes money...good money. For me, I am wondering why the men of the country are not defending their women (and children), protecting them from horny foreigners...Why do they allow this? 

I didn't get the answer while I was there. But what I did come to understand better was that the men and women in this community DO look out for each other in their own way. It is just not necessarily the way I would go about things, but then again...I have a lot to learn before I could criticize their way of doing things. I may not agree with prostitution, and especially having foreigners exploiting a people such as these, but I also do not know what it is like to have no other means to feed my family but to sell my body.

My visit there was a good one overall, a different one, but a good one. Good in the sense that my eyes were opened to reality...everyday life on the side of poverty - just plain real. Heartbreakingly real.

(BTW, there are 5 American men that can thank my friend from stopping me from taking your picture and exposing you all over the internet..."Oh, so you do have a brain in there." (said one man to one of the Dominican girls) - Bastards!)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Type 2 Diabetes - What You Can Do to Prevent It.

Diabetes has become an epidemic in the West as our diet, level of activity, and environment have changed. I wanted to provide some general information on Type 2 Diabetes, also known as Adult-Onset Diabetes (- it is no longer called that because children are regularly being diagnosed with this condition which formally developed in adults usually over the age of 45, if at all.)

Sometimes diabetes just happens, despite all prevention; however, there is a vast majority of us who can prevent the onset of diabetes through a proper diet and regular exercise.  I am sure many of you have heard this before...and...despite having heard this, you continue to engage in habits that contribute to the onset of diabetes (for example, eating candy and processed food everyday and getting less than 30 minutes of heart-raising exercise each day). Many of us believe we are immune to diabetes...that is, until it is too late!
I want to encourage you to take small steps every day to help prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes by:
  1. Changing your attitude - This is the most important step. When you decide to make change you are more likely to follow through and stick with the change. It is your choice. Make up your mind to keep can do it!
  2. Changing your diet to include more varieties of vegetables and larger portions of vegetables, protein at every meal, fresh fruit, and to cut out processed sugars and junk food. Drink water - not pop and not juice (unless it is pure and fresh...but in moderation)...and yes, you can continue to drink your coffee, just do not load it with sugar and is preferable. For help with dietary changes, go to the Canadian Diabetes Association website
  3. Aim to exercise 45 minutes every day. Start with what you can...10 - 15 minutes a day and after 3 or 4 days, add an extra 5 what you can, but always aim higher and you will get there! (Walk, bike, jump rope, join a fitness class...)
  4. Stay positive. This is not a recipe for instant health. It is a lifestyle change and it will take time to get used to.
  5. Include family and friends in this lifestyle change. Be a source of encouragement to others and work toward common goals. This will help you on days that you don't feel like eating healthier or exercising.
Type 2 Diabetes

What is it?
It is a condition where the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body does not use it properly.
Insulin is a hormone that breaks down glucose (sugar) allowing the glucose to leave the blood stream and enter into cells.

Main Symptoms:
  • fatigue
  • frequent urination
  • unusual thirst
  • unexplained weight loss 
If left unchecked these symptoms can develop:
  • blindness
  • heart disease
  • reduced blood supply to the limbs, leading to amputation
  • nerve damage
  • erectile dysfunction
  • stroke
Risk Factors:
  • being age 40 or over
  • being overweight (especially with abdominal obesity)
  • having a family member who has diabetes
  • having had gestational diabetes
  • having given birth to a baby that weighed more than 4 kg (9 lb) at birth
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol or other fats in the blood
  • member of a high-risk ethnic group.

Aboriginal people have three to five times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes than other Canadians. Even Aboriginal children are now being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a condition that usually occurs in older adults. People of Hispanic, Asian, South Asian or African descent are also more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Don't smoke
  • Achieve a healthy weight and maintain it
  • Be physically active
  • Limit your intake of fat and sugar
  • Eat regular, balanced meals including protein, carbs, and good fats
  • Keep your cholesterol and other blood fats within the target level
  • Maintain a normal blood pressure
Managing Type 2 Diabetes:
  • Take your medication as prescribed 
  • Monitor your blood glucose regularly as recommended by your doctor 
  • Take care of your feet by examining the skin for redness and sores 
  • Visit your doctor and dentist regularly and see an eye specialist as recommended
  • Consult a dietitian about creating balanced meals 
  • If you drink alcohol, consume it in moderation and avoid drinking on an empty stomach as this can cause hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) 
  • If you are pregnant, ask your doctor about using artificial sweeteners
This is general information. It is not intended to relpace the advice of your physician...When making any significant lifestyle change (including diet and exercise), it is recommended that you consult your physician.
Some information taken directly from the Health Canada website

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oil Spill (tongue in cheek)

How come they do not have safeguards in place to prevent such tragedies from happening? Does it have anything to do with arrogance or is it that they are too cheap to invest in such technology? ...Regardless, the spill is happening and these are some of the solutions being conjured. (Right now, my thoughts are hovering around the "Get on it already!" way of thinking. Time is a wasting and our environment is dying!)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Anne Coulter...Denied

Up until yesterday, I don't think I have ever heard of Anne Coulter, and from what I have learned thus far, I don't think that I am particularly interested in following her. She seems sensationalist through and through (no press is bad press?!), but like I said, I know very little of her and my judgement of her is strictly first impression.  Mind you, the first thing that I heard of her was how she suggested Muslims not be allowed on any airplanes and fly "their flying carpets" instead...or as she told one Muslim woman who challenged her by saying that she didn't own a flying carpet, 'ride a camel instead.'

 You can perhaps see why I am a little put off by Ms. Coulter and have little respect for her (I'll say) public persona.

Ms. Coulter was suppose to speak at the University of Ottawa recently, but before she arrived, she received a letter from Francois Houle, vice-president academic and University of Ottawa’s provost, warning her to curtail her usual presentation by reminding her of Canada's political correctness protocols. "After mentioning the Charter of Rights and Canada’s free speech laws, Houle invited Coulter to “educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada” and noted, by example, that “promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges.”"

Apparently, the letter wasn't necessary. Protesters caused so much rukus that the much anticipated appearance was cancelled for safety reasons.

Now, some might say this is good because Ms. Coulter is a hate-filled sensationalist. Some might say that not allowing her speak is denying the right to freedom of speech. I am all for dialogue; however, to belittle people such as Ms. Coulter has by suggesting flying carpets and camels is unacceptable.

What do you think?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What is Human Trafficking?

What is Human Trafficking?
"The greatest and most shameful regrets of history is always about the truth we failed to tell."
—Haugen 2005

to be deceived or taken against your will, bought, sold and transported into slavery for sexual exploitation, sweat shops, child brides, circuses, sacrificial worship, forced begging, sale of human organs, farm labour, domestic servitude.

where family members and friends deceive parents to release their children or sell them for as little as $20 each, selling them on to local gangmasters or serious organised international trafficking rings.

growing. 2–4 MILLION men, women and children are trafficked across borders and within their own country every year. More than one person is trafficked across borders EVERY MINUTE, which is equivalent to five jumbo jets every day. a trade that earns twice as much worldwide revenue as Coca Cola.

where victims usually suffer repeated physical abuse, fear, torture and threats to families to break their spirits and turn them into saleable commodities. a person can be sold and trafficked many times
 Taken directly from STOP THE TRAFFIK
This is not an issue that is halfway around the world! It is in our own backyard...Get educated and help put an end to this social injustice!
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.~Isaiah 1:17 
“Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. And above all, thou shalt NEVER be a bystander"-Yehuda Bauer
Love protects. Love defends. Love restores. Love empowers. ~LOVE 146

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Pep Talk

You know, sometimes I feel absolutely overwhelmed by the evil, perversity, and injustice in this world. Control, manipulation, abuse, lying, greed...the list goes on...and on. Even if there is one corner of this world that I endeavour to make a difference in, some days, my effort still seems so fruitless. Perhaps part of the problem is my perspective.  I tend to think big picture more often than not. My conciousness is a stream of domino senarios that spread like unending branches of a tree. I do not have a partner to balance my big thinking with...whatever it is that balances it.  So, for me, this means that I rely on God. Where I can't, He can, and even where I can, He helps me to better...that is, if I let Him.

Human trafficking, environmental issues, politics, corporate greed/dishonesty, injustice of all kinds at all levels in society...These are things that concern me, but are way too vast for me to conquer on my own (so to speak)...but not too big for God. And that my friends is why I have hope. So, I will keep spreading the word of injustices, I will keep finding ways to help - even if I don't see the fruit - I will continue. With God all things are possible!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Local Cat Surprise

A grocery bag is discarded on the side of the road. It's on Johnston Dr., just south of town. Just another bag of garbage to litter our roads...or is it?

My daughter and I were out for a nice walk. The day was fantastic - not too cold and sunny. As we walked, we had fun discussions, sword fights with long weeds, and lots of laughter. We were only a few hundred yards from our house when we spotted the unobtrusive sack. Thinking I'd do the environment a favour, I went over to kick it free of the ice to take home and discard; however, upon closer observation, I realized that what was contained within the securely tied grocery bag was not garbage.

Here on the side of the road, just a couple minutes from town and a few hundred yards from my house, was a dead black and white cat with her pink collar still on and what appeared to be kittens, frozen stiff, all stuffed in a plastic grocery bag!

How she died, I have no idea - all I knew was that this joyful walk had ended. My daughter was greatly disturbed (She had lost her black and white cat to a hit and run a few months back when we first moved here.) and I was angry that some insensitive cad had exterminated and dumped these poor creatures as such.

To add to the experience of living on Johnston Dr., back in November as I was tying up my dog in the back yard, 5 kittens came racing over to me from seemingly out of nowhere. They had little fear of the dog as they gathered at my feet, perhaps because they were starving and didn't care or perhaps they came from a home with a dog. Regardless, I brought them inside. The next day, I went investigating to see where they might have been dropped off along the property. It was a good thing I did because the runt of the litter was mewing and shivering in the brush along the roadside. That night, I discovered the mother of the kittens had found her way into my garage. So, there I was with a new house and 7 cats!

As Brendan Wedley from the Peterborough Examiner reported about a month ago, Peterborough has a cat problem. To spay a female cat - starts at $230; to neuter a male - starts at $100, and they must have their first set of shots before the spaying or neutering, which is an added expense of $65 or more. The Humane Society is trying to raise $250,000 to start up a non-profit spay and neuter clinic which will offer these services at a lower cost.

I am imploring of the public to support this much needed service! I am also asking that if you have extra cats/kittens, DO NOT dump them on some unsuspecting poor soul's property! Nor the side of the road - dead or alive! Please contact the Humane Society (705-745-4722).

If you want to donate or learn more about the non-profit spay and neuter clinic, you can visit online at  or contact them directly. The sooner this clinic is up and running, the sooner we can curtail this cat problem.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just Pondering Help for Haiti

In the silence of this morning, I reflect upon the events of these past few days. Another tragedy has hit the world and through twitter and facebook, I watched as it brought us together in sincere concern to not let the people in Haiti suffer alone and without help. Millions of dollars have poured in to assist in aid and it is a beautiful thing.

Across the globe in another area, Afghanistan, a suicide bomber took the lives of 15 people and seriously injured others nearby with the blast. Many of us look upon this act with disgust, there is no sympathy for the bomber, just as we have no sympthy for the earthquake. If anything remotely Christ-like, we may feel pity that the life of the bomber had lead to this moment. (But I would hazard to guess that many of you are like me and my human response to this condemns this selfish, dumbass foolish, hate-filled action.)

I find it interesting how we respond to people and events, particularly when they are a world away from us. In Haiti, we see the destroyed homes, the people crying, dazed, and injured and we want to help. We hear about the suicide bomber in Afghanistan and because we have heard this type of story so many times, we feel sorry for the victims, yes, but we are simply angered that this nonsense has not yet ceased and we have lost interest in trying to provide help. (I call it nonsense because it does not make sense what-so-ever on any level of reason. Which, I suppose is exactly the point of this unhealthy mind-set.)

I wonder, will this happen with Haiti...not the reoccurance of earthquakes, but the loss of interest in the plight of the victims? I mean, it is wonderful the response that we have given, but a week from now, will we still really care?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

See the Irony?

Kyoto...Copenhagen...What really needs to happen is not a universal governmental intervention (which is useless because there is no one to objectively police any regulations on a global level anyhow), but what really needs to occur is corporate and media responsibility. The pollution problem is not so much  the fault of the government being negligent, but of those who seek prosperity without conscience and a media that perpetuates a lifestyle ideal with disregard to consequence.

Government led environmental summits will never result in true reform. If we want to really curb the global warming/pollution issue, we as individuals, must be willing to deny giving our power over to corporations and the media and take responsibility for a healthier future by living in the moment with the future in mind. Which means, for many Westerners, radically changing how we live...but really, what are the chances of that happening? See the irony?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nestle or Cadbury Chocolate...You decide

Did you know that Nestle still does not engage in Fair Trade for their chocolate? Child labour for your sweet tooth?

Read more here:

Perhaps you should consider Cadbury products instead....and make a difference.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who Does She Think She Is????

Go here to find out!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Swine Flu H1N1 Update

Well, the flu season is soon upon us and if you have been listening to the news and local reports at all, there are some interesting developments.  One of these is that the period that a person remains contagious with the H1N1 virus is longer than expected. Instead of 1-3 days, the expected contagious period is 7 days, and there is also speculation that until the person stops coughing, they should be considered contagious.

The vaccination for the flu is being fast-tracked to accomodate the demand to help curtail the virus. I would encourage you to read more about that here.

Overall, I would again encourage each of you to follow the protocol for avoiding the flu, stay calm, and use common sense.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What to do next

Sorry for the absence over the past month. I am still around, just contemplating what to do next. I have been reading and watching the media, weighing where my heart lies and which issue to focus my attention upon. There are so many issues that steal a piece of my heart as I recognize the injustice of them; however, I recognize I can only do so much and I want to give my best to what I am doing as opposed to spreading myself too thin and doing a mediocre job.

It is true: As individuals, we cannot solve all the world's problems, but we can take steps toward a solution to at least one problem and make a world of difference.

I will write more in the upcoming week.
Smiles and blessings to each of you.~mp:)

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Promotional Video via MTV

LONDON, United Kingdom, 13 July 2009 — Starting today, MTV audiences around the world will see a new music video that aims to raise awareness about sex trafficking. Featuring the rock band The Killers, the video is an exclusive collaboration between UNICEF, MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) and the US Agency for International Development.

The track, Goodnight, Travel Well, is from the album Day & Age. The video is the second in a series of music video collaborations that highlight the danger and impact of human trafficking.

The series launched last year with an award-winning film - produced by MTV EXIT that featured the Radiohead single All I Need.

"We are deeply shocked and appalled that women and children are forced into such exploitative situations, said a spokesperson for The Killers. We hope that through MTV's efforts, and this powerful video, millions of people across the world learn about this tragic form of modern-day slavery."

The video for Goodnight, Travel Well has the potential to reach more than 500 million households in 168 countries.

There is almost no country in the world now that isnt affected by human trafficking in some way, said UNICEF Chief of Child Protection Susan Bissell. The statistics are staggering. More than 1.2 million children are being trafficked each year and nearly 80 per cent of all trafficking is for sexual exploitation, and the most at risk are girls.

We see this music video as a powerful way to reach out and raise awareness among young people, across borders and across language barriers, she added.

The Goodnight, Travel Well video was directed by film and music video veteran David Slade, in collaboration with the renowned production company Anonymous Content. The creative concept was developed by the Australian advertising agency CRC, with support from the UK music consultancy Huge Music.

The video provides insight into the realities of trafficking, with a particular focus on the trafficking of children and adolescents into forced prostitution.

For more information, please vist:

*Video and article provided by Unicef via Youtube*