Sunday, November 27, 2005

Ipod and a little talk...

This morning I phoned apple support about my ipod - or lack of ipod. It seems that my ipod is still in repair and it probably wouldn't get into my hands in time for my departure. However I had the best time speaking to the customer service rep and she was sooooo polite. I felt that Apple acutally cared about my ipod problems...weird...she even gave me her work number and told me to call her personal about my service.

This wouldn't be the last time you hear about this problem.

On the other side of the world...

I was suppose to speak today for about 10 minutes about my life here in Manitoba and man was I ever nervous. With my time serving overseas I feel less and and less incline to share my work publically with other people - the blog feels easier. So tonite I was really nervous about sharing my stories and life. So the little talk went terrible in my opinion AND I honestly don't remmeber everything I said... and I thank God that their wasn't alot of questions...
Well enough blabbering. Good nite.

Peace from the prairies
Jam

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Rent - head

Some of you might now and some of you might never guess...but it's true I am a rent head. I love it and you are going to hear all about it...
I have seen the play in New York and Toronto over a dozen times and each journey was unique and worth the experience - I even remmber taking a 9 hr bus from Liverpool to London just to see the closing performance in London and it was a very emotionally time. I always got tickets and I have never payed full price for any seat or standing room, thanks to Jonathon Larson's ticket policy.

So when the movie opened up in Manitoba last nite I didn't mind doing the 1hr drive - in fact it was painfully easy. Unfortunately my rent buddy didn't show up and this was the 5 th + time and last time B has screwed me over for things in the past month. Thanks.

Here are some little snipbits that I love about the film.
The intro scene was awesome and it totally took the play into another level.
The "Tango Maureen" dance sequence was unique and definitely my favourite part of the film...ah...the unecessary drama of it all
La Vie Boheme restaurant scene - enough said.

BUT the best part was the outdoor market scene for a "Thousand sweet kisses" ...their was this really funky looking girl in the background...she wearing a rainbow hat and matching gloves... she was just wandering around aimlessly in the background for a good chunk of the song and then she just disappeared....hmmm.....

Some friends and I are checking it out again on Monday nite. All are welcome. Just show up.

Peace from the prairies
Jam

Monday, November 21, 2005

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"Top" Stories of 2005

Hey everyone,

I am in Toronto this weekend and some friends and I are playing "Sardines" a hide and go seek game in the Kensington area on Saturday nite. Everyone is welcome to join!

I just sent this out in a massive email...sorry for the repost.

At the request [and pestering] of several friends I have been encouraged to share more stories about my life - some people find it interesting and some extremely boring. I am definitely going WAY out of my comfort zone by doing this - but you have to do something everyday that scares you...

Thanks for reading this far and I hope you enjoy some of my "top" stories and rants of the past year.

1. Top Xmas Moment:
On Xmas morning my sisters and I went skating in Central Park, their was some light flurries, hot chocolate and some good hugs. New York is the perfect Xmas city and it proved itself that day.

Worst Xmas Moment:
Times Square on new years eve. With so many police checks, helicopters and the fear of terrorism in the air– things sure changed since my last block party in 99'. I left at 10pm and went straight to my pub in the village, where my family and I abused the privilege of jello shoots and coronas.

2. Top Fast and Backpacking experience:
Before a short work contract in March my friend [CDM] and I headed down to the island of Tobago for a tech fast. A tech fast for me is quite simple: no technology for 5 days – no phone, no radio, no internet etc...
We hitchhiked and walked half that island on this trip - sleeping on beaches, bizarre coves and cliffs. It was a really exciting time... except temptation came on the last day... when we were walking on a beach in a sleepy fishing village and I turned to the right only to see a small beach hut that doubled as a restaurant and internet café - inside were two beautiful imacs on a small wooden table and thru the window you can see the background of a beautiful blue ocean. Hmmm...temptation and I didn't give in...

3. Worst Month:
Nov 15th 2005
Portage la Prairie, MB
Hello May,
It was nice to see you for 31 days.
The weather you provided was extremely hot during my travels in Canada, Europe and India, but you kept me in the good company of friends throughout my time with you.
During my stay in May [ no pun intended to you] I got to travel twice to India. It was quite a challenge taking 9 females and 2 males to India for 3 weeks, but you made the days long with challenges and the nites even longer with discussion. So at least it was never boring.

Here is a short story from my online journal that will probably explain a bit more:

This morning I was helping with dressing patients who have bruises. Now these aren't normal bruises, most of the patients have been rejected from hospitals so there bruises are unique, anything from a whole the size of your fist in a head to a foot just cut clean off. While I was helping to dress a patient I noticed a patient beside me who looked like he was about to die, he was on a respirator and breathing slowly. I said a silent prayer for him and continued on to work with the nurse and patient. After we finished I went over to check his pulse and I couldn't find it anywhere, hands, neck, etc... He just passed away while I was helping somebody else. I jsut sat there is awe for a minute and then called the nurse over. She checked and we then closed his eyes. It was scary to think that those eyes once had life less than 5 minutes ago and now it's empty.

So May I am sorry to tell you that everyday was filled with stories like this one. I know it's sad and very unexpected but I still feel depressed about some of the life lessons even while November is visiting.
I hope that when we meet in Malawi in 5 1/2 half months it can be on different terms.

Your truly long weekend party buddy.
Jam

P.S. If you want to read more about my time with you please visit my journal :
http://whereintheworldisjam.blogspot.com/2005_05_01_whereintheworldisjam_archive.html

4. Top Beer moments.
A beer is only as important as the company you keep. A beer, a good pub and friends is now a standard event for me every Sunday nite, regardless of the city or country.
In Toronto you can find my friends and I at Smokeless Joes every Sunday nite and the beer of choice is the "Krombacker" from Germany. Joe you need to update your beer list – it's dwindling....
But my best beer experience of the year was at Eagle and Child in Oxford – it was my fourth visit? – but the history of the Lewis, Tolkien and the Inklins adds to the Guinness. For all you beer connoisseurs their pipes are cleaned every week.

5. Top email for the past year:

Martin to jam Nov 12 (3 days ago)

hey jam,
long time ago that we heard from each other.
remember me? i think when we met in kolk a few years ago, you inspired me to cut of my african tredlocks and shave my head becoming a monk.
sunshine,
Martin

True Story. He is now a monk in North Rajasthan [see pic below] and I am sacred shitless because I went to India a couple years ago to stay anonymous and serve the poor – We only spent a couple weeks serving together...I really didn't think I would have any influence on anybody – really who am I?















6. Top Random moment.

My friend [CDM] and I were going through the summer issue of Outpost Magazine at 1am and we glanced at an article for the Badlands in Saskatchewan. 12 hours later we where checking out the view of the badlands [after a small detour at Bushwackers in Regina] and we camped out in a old shooting range near the US border. The trip gave me a deeper appreciation of this country as we drove through the flat lands of Saskatchewan which was really freaky and suddenly we hit the rocky hills of the Badlands. I love Canada. The drive back totally rocked as we stopped in every small town from Weyburn Sask. to Souris MB [ I love the suspension bridge and little picnic spots] for tea and deserts.

7. Top albums.
Bloc Party. Bloc Party. Bloc Party! Stars – Heart [two years running]. Garden State.
Thievery Corporation – Cosmic Game. Kayne's West – Late Registration.
Worst concert this year – Feist in Winnipeg she had technically problems and never recovered :<>

8. Most embarrassing act.
I was making a purchase at the local thrift store here in Portage and this elderly women was taking her time fishing for change in front of the line. So I immediately fished a loonie out of the my pocket and gave it to the clerk. Everyone in the store thought I was a really "nice" guy for helping her do this – what they don't know... is that I was really impatient standing in line and I didn't want to wait for this women for God knows how long to count every penny in her purse. I felt so embarrassed at myself that I quickly made my purchase and promised to be kinder man to the world. As if.

9. Faith makes me late...
Everyone knows that I will always be late, it's built into my internal brain – but I really think that the world conspires for me to be late. The best example was when my BA flight got delayed on the runway for docking at Heathrow. My ex was flying out of London to Guatemala on that same day for 6 months and we were both planning to meet in the Terminal for a cup of tea to catch up. Well I was totally late and we ended up both sitting at the airport texting and wishing each other good luck for 15 minutes before she boarded her plane. Damn you Heathrow! This is the 3rd time in 2 years you have done this to me!!! [sorry Leona B].

10. Top Tea moments.
I ended almost every nite in Kolkata drinking Chai at a small stand with locals and foreigners. The chai stand consisted of three rotten benches against a dirty wall – which was conviently placed over a really smelly drain. The chai was awesome and the company perfect. You can discuss everything from bowel movements, café's in Vancouver to India's history in WW2 – a ridiculous wealth of knowledge flows through Chai
Mother House Chai – I swear they bless the stuff.
Cedar Inn in Darjeeling – just walk in and tell them that you know Jam and all will be taken care off. ..The place looks like Rivendale from Lord of the Rings and the 1st Flush, Bio Organic Muscatel Valley Tea is perfect – it's even fair trade. I am drinking it right now as I write this.....

If you actually read all of this congrats for taking the time and thanks for sharing in my fears - I hope I hit send on the email...Please send me an email or shout out if you have the chance...

Peace from the prairies
Jam


Monday, November 14, 2005

Another good email...whereintheworld?

Every couple days I get a really good email that send my spirit thru the roof. Today is a good example! I love you Mr. Malawi!

BTW> It's the typical email to Jam - where in the world are you? and when are you coming to visit?

Jam,

How‚s it going, bud? Where in the world are you these
days? How‚s the job going? Are you still planning a
visit this way? When are you planning on coming? How
long will you stay? What would you like to do? Let
me know, so I can plan for it in my schedule.

How‚s everything else going? Well, I hope. Thanks
again for your help in getting me this position.
Coming here has been one of the best decisions of my
life. The experience has been incredible.

Anyhow, I look forward to hearing from you. Be in
touch.

C

Sushi + Birthday Party...

Yesterday was a good day to spend in Winnipeg. A family from Portage took me out to the past Sushi place in Winnipeg - Wasabi's on Broadway. The sushi was the best I ever had and the seating was a mixture between an old school Sushi restaurant and a new chic place. Very funky!

After the sushi I went over to my friend's place for her birthday party and surprise - surprise - I showed up at the end of her birthday party just as the guest where all heading out the door. It was still fun to hang out with the girls and eat some homemade cholocate cake and cookies....I played with the new cat "Elie" - and according to the owners I am the self proclaimed "CatFather" or Uncle Jam.
I like being a Catfather it gives me a sense of purpose in this world.

Tomorrow I am actually posting a little bit more information about myself than normal. It's my "top" 10 list of the year - from funky emails to exotic beaches. The stuff that made me laugh and cry.

Peace from the prairies
Jam

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Saturday, November 12, 2005

"Sardines" in Kensington Market!

The ball is now rolling on outdoor games... I just got off the phone with my friend who is organizing this one in Toronto and I will be there in Kensington Camouflage.

Jam

Sardines in kinda like kind&seek but only one person hides. Everyone else seeks (either alone or in pairs if you'd prefer) until they find the hidden person. When you find them, you have to hide with them... until everyone is hidden in the same place (like sardines - hence the name) at which point you end the game and start again... good times!!! It should be a great chance to hang out, have fun, get a little excercise outdoors, and meet some Freedomize folks you haven't yet.

Next Saturday, November 19th (not tomorrow, the next one)
We'll meet at 7:00pm (location tba) and go for drinks at the Red Room after (around 8:30pm)


See you in the Market! :)

Friday, November 11, 2005

It made my day...

Work has been tough and fun for the past couple days. I have a pretty good group and it's good to see each of them grow individually as well as a team. It's really a unique experience.
So today was my sick today at home and I missed our usually Friday fun day...

but this e-letter came 1/2hr ago and it made my day.

Hey dude,

Hope you're feeling better! The group missed you today. We did some improv
games to end off the day. I became a carpet monster who ate people's shoes.
Sorry you missed it. Gave Nadeesha and Nilmani quite a (good humoured)
scare, I think! Nic and Karuna rolled me up in the carpet and I dragged it
around while still trying to eat people's shoes.

Nandika even joined in the improv fun by phoning Karuna in a "House Party
Game" and asking to speak to her daughter. Quite the hilarious moment.

The Remembrance Day ceremony was militaristically impressive, but morally a
bit lacking, I think. Certainly, the service was well organized and well
thought out, but I think they missed the true meaning behind Remembrance
Day, especially when you think about Canada's very anti-Semitic viewpoint in
the Second World War. Sad that we've forgotten the true meaning of a day
that's supposed to be about remembrance.

We also talked in Tha Centa about tomorrow, regarding skating, etc... as
well, we discussed the culture show and discovered that Amila can play the
drums. I'm going to look into finding him a drum set. I'm under the
impression that our culture show will be at the church now, correct? If so,
that's good, piano-wise. They have an easily-accessible one in the gym.

Anyway. Tonight Joani and Byka have invited the group over to their house
for a game of RISK, around 7-ish. Good amount of time; we have to be out of
the house by 1:30 tomorrow morning. If you're feeling up to it we'd love to
see you there. I would, because I'd love to KICK YOUR SORRY ASS at RISK.

You just wait. Haha.

Feel better, if we don't see you!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Monday, November 07, 2005

An extremely long 24 hrs...

Last nite on my ritual Sunday nite drive into Winnipeg I picked up a hitchhiker. This was not your ordinary hitchhiker - when I picked her up she looked really tired but when she put her bag in the car it clanked and I knew it was full of empty bottles. I told her to sit in the back seat and that stenched followed her... after a couple minutes of hitchiking talking, she then proceeded to show me this mark on her knee. A huge gash that was bleeding profusely.... I wanted to clean it but faith was telling me to stop and drive her all the way into the city. Then suddenly this whole feeling of being helpless and insecurities of India hit me again - but then I realized that I could help this women as minimal as it sounds - the best thing that I could do is drive her to the hospital. So while she was passed out in the car I phoned a friend and got the directions for the nearest hospital in the peg. Then I dropped her off - bleeding and high at the front door. I still think there is more that I could have done...but I guess that will have to wait for another time.

Then today I had a tough day of discipling 4 members of my team for misbehaviour. It wasn't fun and it took alot out of me... I need a break.

Jam

Listening to: Black Album - Jay Z

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Back in the prairies...

I left the prairies for a week and I really missed it...Manitoba is so friendly and well Toronto is only friendly to those who understand it.

My time in toronto was well spent....Realistical I came in for a week for only 6 meetings and some were interesting...but the real fun was meeting other people from across Ontario and Manitoba that have the same job as me. Few people share my pain and joy so it was definitely a good bitchin' session.

It was also good to see my family and friends - this was my last visit to Toronto for the next seven months and the thought of leaving my city for so long is quite depressing. Alot of tears were shed last week and for some of my friends - they didn't even know that was the last time we would see each other for a long time. It's quite sad.

Only a weird note I had three people email me yesterday who wanted my mailing address. I am the only who finds this bizarre?

Jam in prairies....

listening to Coldplay...