BEFORE I LEAVE FOR KENYA

Lion King

Holy smokes!!!!!!  I’m leaving for Kenya THIS Friday!!! WHAT THE WHAT THE you might ask?!?! YES, that’s right folks – I’m leaving to Kenya for TWO WEEKS as of this Friday.  Here’s an interview I conducted with myself to provide more details. *Note: subject matter was tough and evasive but I  got the answers out of her.*

Q: Why are you going Katy? You don’t do well in outdoor situations. You once were in Hawaii and were eating on the beach when you dropped your pickle in the sand, picked it up and ate it, and proclaimed “HEY! Is this camping?!” Why would you possibly want to go to Africa? Me thinks you’re not tough enough to survive the trip.

A: GAAHH you’re right, it does seem quite out of character for me.  I’m going for several reasons:

1) I had the chance to apply to go on a staff subsidized trip to Africa. We send a group every year to go visit the Free The Children corporate site to see and experience all the work that they do and how our fundraising efforts help the communities in Kenya.  C’mon – how many people would get an opportunity like this?!

2) I want to push myself out of my comfort zone – physically and emotionally.  I’ll be leaving the comfortable condo bubble of downtown Toronto and going all the way across the world to experience something different than anything I’ve ever known. I’ll be able to see, breathe, live and experience things that I will have only seen on the Discovery Channel or National Geographic… or Lion King!  Even though I’ll likely be tres uncomfortable for a lot of this trip, I know it’ll ultimately be life changing.  I saw this quote on my instagram and I thought it was really fitting: If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. WORD

3) I want to see a lion… in person.

4) I want to meet my spirit animal – a zebra.

5) I’ve always wanted to go on a real life safari. I mean not going to lie, the safari they have in Animal Kingdom at Disneyworld is really good, but I’m thinking this will be 100000X better.

6) I have to repeat the #1 again because I don’t think it can be emphasized enough: When else will I get the opportunity to go on a trip like this again? NEVER!

 

Q: What are you going to do while you’re in Kenya?

A: A LOT. Here’s a sample itinerary of some of the activities:

  • Safari X2 – a sunrise one and a sunset one
  • School building X3
  • Community water walk
  • Medicine walk
  • Maasai Warrior Training
  • Learning about sustainable income projects that empower the communities in Kenya
  • Visiting an all girl’s high school
  • Going to the Kenya Giraffe Centre

The above are just SOME of the activities that I’ll be doing on the 8 days at the Free The Children site!

BONUS: I’m staying an extra 3 days after in Nairobi with a friend who lives there. I’ll be his FIRST Canadian visitor! Nevermind that he was planning a 2015 trip with our group of friends and I failed to get the invite for that haha *accident that I was missed he says*. Don’t worry, I’ll still be a good ambassador when I come back to endorse next year’s trip 🙂

 

Q: What do you think is going to happen on this trip? How are you feeling before you’re leaving?

A: Mixed emotions.

I feel like reality hasn’t set in yet, even though I’ve packed my bags and spent the past week at Shoppers Drug Mart making sure I have everything that I could possibly need on this trip. Some part of me doesn’t feel like it’s real, because I have NO concept of what I will experience.

I’m scared because this is the furthest I’ve ever been away from my friends and family – and with little to no access to Internet while I’m there, it’s not like I’ll be able to reach out to a loved one back home easily. I’ll literally be living OFF THE GRID.

I feel like my life is never going to be the same after this trip, because it’ll be like I’ve seen TOO much.

The hyper irrational part of me worries that I’ll likely get my period at some point on this trip and then I’m worried it’ll make me a target of prey while we’re on a safari. “I don’t trust anything that bleeds for 5 days and doesn’t die”South Park

I’m so excited to see real life African animals right in front of me, I’ll likely be so overwhelmed with emotions that I’ll burst out and cry.

I’m going to miss Dan and Frankly so much I’ll probably cry at least once…err… twice for them.

I’m going with a group of people I work with. Nothing brings you closer (or tears you further apart) then traveling…haha.

 

Q: Finally – what instructions have you left for Dan while you’re away? Lord knows you would have A LOT:

A: Ahh you know me so well, I have several:

  • PVR The Bachelorette for me
  • Please make sure to keep the apartment clean even if I’m not there
  • Please eat healthy. No junk garbage!
  • Tell Frankly that I love her every single day, and show her a picture of me so she remembers who I am.
  • Do NOT go to any new restaurants without me while I’m away
  • Do NOT go to Grand Electric without me while I’m gone either
  • Please change the bedsheets at least once

 

And with that – my interview with myself is OVER!

This is the last time I’ll be updating this blog until I’m back on July 4th, and theoretically I’ll be so jet lagged from the trip I won’t provide another update until a week in of being back. I promise to take lots of photographs and do a recap of my trip POST Africa. I can already confidently say that I’ll likely read this pre-trip post and think that I’m an idiot. #CANTWAIT

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DANCE OFF: KATY VS. HER FAVOURITE CANDY

The other day I was walking back to the office after having lunch with a colleague.

From a distance I thought my eyes were betraying me – I could have SWORN I saw life sized donuts walking towards me!! But NO, that’s crazy talk.

Instead, they were actually people dressed up as some of my favourite candy! They were dressed up as a cherry blaster and a fuzzy peach slice!  I stopped them to ask them what the funk was going on – in hopes they had something free to offer me.

Of course Mama Hung is right when she tells me aint nothing free in this world (haha yes b/c that’s how I think my mother talks…NOT)!

Apparently the candies and their entourage were doing some promo – if you have a DANCE OFF with the candy, you get your name submitted into a draw for a chance to win tickets to an after party for the Much Music Video Awards. For my American or foreign folk, that’s like the poor man’s MTV Video Awards… but like strip away all the glitz, glamour, A list musicians… smack it live in the middle of the busiest streets of Toronto, and that’s the MMVAs.

I thought *umm… that’s super lame* and was totally going to pass. But then I looked at my watch and saw I had 10 minutes to kill anyways, so thought WHY NOT.

Dance off with a Cherry Blaster and a Fuzzy Peach Slice? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. 

Not going to lie – after I danced for 60 seconds with the candy, they gave me a free bag of cherry blasters. #WINNERWINNERCHICKENDINNER

Checked my dignity at the door for some free candy? YUP. #ANDIWOULDDOITAGAIN  

Current infatuation: The Crown Prince of Dubai

Lately I’ve been obsessing over the Prince of Dubai. Yes, I know – it’s completely random but for the past 2 weeks, I’ve been finding myself more and more intrigued by the Prince. Ever since he had been brought to my attention (from Dan no less) I’ve been scouring the Internet for as much information about him as possible. Here’s what I know:

1. He’s gorgeous. His skin and eyelashes are perfection.

Picture 1_gorgeousface

2. He loves extreme sports.  This includes: hunting, jet packing, scuba diving, falconry, diving with elephants, the list (and pics) could go ON AND ON

Pic 2_hunting

 

Pic 2_jetpack

Pic 2_diving with elephant

3. He’s a competitive horseback rider, winning a TON of medals including a GOLD medal in the Olympics!! And by Olympics… I mean Asian Olympics, but STILL.

Pic 3_equestrian

4. He travels with an entourage…

Pic 4_entourage

5. Including his “Uncle Saeed” who are in a LOT of pics with him. Sometimes Uncle Saeed looks sinister…

Pic 5_sinister uncle

Other times he looks like a goofball.

Pic 5_uncle goofball

6. His dad is the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and Monarch of Dubai. His dad also “officially” has two wives. His senior wife is the Crown Prince’s mother, who bore him 12 children including the hot prince. She’s also his first cousin. There’s not many pictures of her on the Internet. His most recent “modern” wife is Princess Haya, who is the daughter of the former King of Jordan. There’s tons of pics with him and her. I can write another blog article about all the things I’ve uncovered on Dubai royalty and lineage for another post!

Pic 6_King of Dubai and Haya

Pic 6_King of Dubai and Haya 2

7. He writes poetry under the name “Fazza” which is also the name of his Instagram handler – and yes, of course I’m following him on Instagram and have scoured through all the pics he’s posted so far. As of this morning, his Instagram has informed me that he’s sightseeing in Norway at the moment.

8. He likes children. There’s a lot of Instagram pics of him with his “nieces” and “nephews.” Not going to lie, they’re pretty adorable.

Pic 8_children

9. He is FILTHY RICH, and I mean FILTHY! I’m talking billions and billions rich!  He first came to attention in the Canada press when it was reported that he purchased $55 million dollars of real estate in Vancouver several years ago. He purchased a penthouse in the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel for a cool $25 million… and then purchased 2 sub pent house divisions below it, which upped the ante to the total of $55 million.

Pic 9_fairmont

Pic 9_fairmont 2

10. He went to Sandhurst (where Prince Harry went) and London School of Economics.

11. He’s pretty young for a billionaire Prince, he’s only 31.

12. He kinda reminds me of Aladdin. And I’m not going to lie, I think Aladdin is pretty hot for a cartoon.

Aladdin

Aladdin_2

 

Since I’ve spent so much time “researching” *cough* looking at pictures *cough* of the Prince, I was starting to build some pretty ridiculous fantasies about how amazing it would be to marry this hottie. See list below!

PRO:

  • MONEY WOULD BE NO OBJECT
  • Your VACATION spot in Vancouver would be a $25 million dollar penthouse.
  • TRAVEL ANYWHERE in a baller jet.  Emphasis is on baller! You could fly around the world in a personal jet whenever you wanted. Oh what? Paris tomorrow? Sure! Then visit your folks in Hamilton, Ontario? Right, sure thing babe, lets hop in that jet of ours! *That’s the exact dialogue  I would have with the Prince*
  • He’s HOT and young
  • You would hob nob with royalty – HELLO – he went to school with Prince Harry! They’re probably old chums who dial each other up to be like “oh are you going to the Kentucky Derby?? You ARE?? OK well I guess I shall see you there! I’ll save you a GOLD seat next to me”
  • Once again, I repeat MONEY WOULD BE NO OBJECT. For me, this would mean buying a lot of clothes and shoes.

Then reality set in, and after more research about Dubai royalty and also Islamic tradition, here are other things that I failed to consider. This is where I introduce the other side of the coin.

CON:

  1. Must convert to Islam and observe strict Islamic rules, that I believe include:
    • Your husband can have multiple wives
    • Your husband rules your life and tells you what to do because you’re his property
    • You can’t interact with men outside of your family

Not going to lie, the above bullets that come with converting to Islam are kinda doozies. Tough pill to swallow with the above implications.

  1. I would lose my identity and independence – everything would revolve around the Prince. He’s the person who matters, you’re his eye candy… and likely disposable!
  2. My children – they likely would have no independence as well. They would have to abide by the strict customs and rules of Dubai high society, which I’ pretty sure means they can’t choose who they would marry. It would likely already be decided for them… and there’s a strong likelihood that it would have to be their cousins! *gross*
  3. He may or may not be a bisexual who has a drug problem. See article here.
  4. Multiple wives – ok now I know I already mentioned this as a sub bullet of #1. But I can’t help but revisit this because if I was in love with the Prince, like truly madly deeply Savage Garden levels in love with the Prince, I would be bumming PRETTY HARD if he was sleeping around with anyone and everyone he wants and then ALSO marrying multiple women as well. And the fact that this is culturally acceptable as well… mmm… yeah I can’t really get down with that.

So alas! After looking at dozens of pictures (ok I admit WAY MORE than a dozen) and weighing the pros and cons, maybe being with the Prince isn’t going to be all rainbows and fairy tales. That’s why I’ve come to the conclusion that I shouldn’t be with him romantically. The cons far outweigh the pros.

BUT, now that I think about it, I think I would rather just try to get a spot in his entourage. Makes the sense, no?

DEFEND YOURSELF!!!

cover-enough-0220

Lately safety has been on my mind more than ever.

A few weeks ago there was a lot of fear mongering  in the media regarding 6 women who went missing within 48hrs of each other in downtown Toronto.  As someone who is naturally paranoid, this really set me off and I kept thinking ‘OH GOD there’s a psyopath on the loose’ anytime I stepped foot out the door.

Normally when I use to hear these “reports” they would consist of women being abducted or attacked at like 2am usually near Jane & Finch and I would think “Well, I don’t stay out that late walking by myself nor would I ever find myself in an area as nefarious as Jane & Finch,” and somehow that gave me a false sense of safety.

Then when the reports were being released that tallied up to 6 women missing, it really shook me up because a) some of them were last seen as early as 7pm when it was still very bright out and b) they were last seen in neighbourhoods that were considered safe and crowded, like Queen & Ossington or even Yonge & Dundas (my backyard!)

That’s why when a friend asked if I wanted to join her for a complimentary first class at her brother’s Krav Maga studio, I thought “Sure, why not, it could be super useful.”

Not going to lie, I also thought “ooh! Krav Maga! That’s the type of self defense that Jennifer Lopez learned in the movie Enough, the one where she ran away from her abusive husband and then had to learn how to defend herself because she KNEW at some point he would find her again.”

Cue this Sunday morning at IKM Krav Maga in Burlington where I attended my first Krav Maga class. Here’s a breakdown of what we did in that hour:

1. Ran around getting our muscles warmed up. Then did some push ups, sit ups and Yoga stretches to get the blood flowing.

2.  Learned how to react if you were getting pushed into the wall – from your back with your face hitting the wall

3. Learned how to react if you were getting pushed to the wall – from the front with your back hitting the wall

4. Learned how to maneuver out of a position if someone had you on the ground and was choking you

5. Learned how to maneuver out of a position if someone was pinning you down by straddling your chest and punching your face or choking you

6. Learned how to maneuver out of a position if someone was pinning you down from in between your legs

Ok up until the last maneuver, I was actually having fun being active and trying to learn these different self defense moves. But then the instructor showed us that last move – i.e. the RAPE attack – and it got REAL for me in that moment.

Sure, it’s all fun and games on a Sunday morning when I’m in a brightly lit studio learning self defense, but being showed how to maneuver out of a position where someone was trying to sexually assault you… well, that’s REAL LIFE and unfortunately a REAL possibility and danger in women’s lives.  I sobered up in that moment.

I really liked this class. I would highly recommend anyone out there to take the class or a similar course that shows you self defense moves based on real life scenarios.

I DARE any person out there – guy or girl – to tell me that they never felt at one point in their life worried about their safety, even for a split second – whether that’s walking late at night somewhere or being around someone on the street that seemed super sketchy. When your spidy senses go up, there’s a REASON.

To end this somber post, here’s a video posted on their facebook site HERE – you can find YOURS TRULY being featured at 38 seconds in the bright neon shorts (obviously).  DON’T MESS!!!!!!!!!!