November 09, 2013

New Generation: Connect, Contribute and Care

Recently, I've been really interested in just being able to find a way to get involved within my own community. While searching online for different volunteer opportunities, I stumbled across an organization called Next Gen. What they do is, "Act as a hub between the city and the younger generation of Edmonton." Here are just a few moments throughout the night, I got a bit caught up with talking to other people at the end so I didn't take any pictures after that. 

There were a lot of things said throughout the night, although most of those were pertaining to the different committees and such which you can find out more about here

I'm actually really glad I found out about this organization. After being able to hear more about the organization itself, I think it'll provide so many more opportunities for me to get involved in the community. Whether that may be through committees or volunteering for events, I haven't really decided yet just due to time constraints. 

The venue was held at Latitude 53 on Thursday November 7, and it was just a sort of volunteer orientation and appreciation night. Personally I thought that it was a really simple venue but I sort of liked it for just that reason. 

There was an exhibit called The Hundred Widows by Elizabeth (I forget her last name) that is sort of shown in this picture. There is a sort of net where earrings are hanging from, and the pictures on the walls are of the earrings. Each one had a story attached and it was just a really interesting thing to do when everyone else was busy talking to someone. 

Christine Causing on the left who is the NextGen Coordinator and Laura Henderson on the right who is the Committee Volunteer Engagement Cochair.

Brian Murray who is the Committee Cochair.

Doug McLean, a Committee Member
Councillor Oshry
Carlie Pochynok, a Cochair of Communications
Angela Saveraux, also Cochair of Communications.
Ryan Stark who organized Pecha Kusha Night
Karla Barron who also helped to organize PKN.
Tosha Turner who is the Cochair of Ignite.

November 01, 2013

Guest Post: Jamie Baywood & Giveaway

Hey everyone! I'm back with a guest post from the author Jamie Baywood, make sure you enter for the giveaway of an e-book copy of her book, Getting Rooted in New Zealand!

About Getting Rooted in New Zealand:

Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country's population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.

Jamie Baywood: 

It was always my dream to live abroad when I was growing up in California. I had bad dating 
experiences in California and read in a New Zealand tour book that the country’s population at 
100,000 fewer men than women. I wanted to have some me time and an adventure. New Zealand seemed like a good place to do so. Although I intended to have a solo adventure I ended up meeting my husband in New Zealand. 

I consider myself an accidental author. I didn’t go to New Zealand with the intentions of writing a book about my experiences there. I had funny experiences that I had trouble believing were true. I wrote the stories down to stay sane. I wrote situations down that were happening around me and shared them with friends. The stories made people laugh so I decided to organize the stories into a book and publish in the hopes to make others laugh too.

One of the first people I meet was Colin Mathura-Jeffree from New Zealand’s Next Top Model. I had no idea who he was or that he was on TV when I meet him. He is friends with my former flatmate. We had a steep staircase that I kept falling down. Colin taught me to walk like a model so I wouldn’t fall down the stairs. 

In New Zealand, I had a lot of culture shock. One of the most memorable moments was learning the meaning of the Kiwi slang word “rooted.” One night I was brushing my teeth with my flatmate and I said, ‘I’m really excited to live in this house because I have been travelling a lot and I just need to settle down, stop traveling and get rooted’. He was choking on his toothbrush and asked me if I knew what that meant because it had a completely different meaning New Zealand than it does in the States.

I had the opportunity to write and perform for Thomas Sainsbury the most prolific playwright in New Zealand. I performed a monologue about my jobs in the Basement Theatre in Auckland. The funny thing about that experience was Tom kept me separated from the other performers until it was time to perform. I was under the impression that all the performers were foreigners giving their experiences in New Zealand. All of the other performers were professional actors telling stories that weren’t their own. At first I was mortified, but the audience seemed to enjoy my “performance,” laughing their way through my monologue. After the shows we would go out and mingle with the audience. People would ask me how long I had been acting. I would tell them, “I wasn’t acting; I have to go to work tomorrow and sit next to the girl wearing her dead dog’s collar around her neck.” I love making people laugh more than anything else. I feel very grateful when readers understand my sense of humor. I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in. My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon:

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