Thursday, August 09, 2007

Check out my New Site

Hello Everyone who visits my blog. I just decided to start a new blog with a little more focus than this one. I feel that my posts were to varied on this site. Please check out my new WordPress site "Dialogues with Silence" where I will be posting more frequently.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Official Charity - FIFA U-20 World Cup

I've had a very exciting opportunity this summer to work for the official Charity of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. I have been working as the contact in Edmonton to organize volunteers, as the main office of the Charity is in Ottawa. FIFA has given us a great platform to raise awareness about SOS Children's Villages. We're raising money for a Village in Namibia for orphaned and abandoned children. These villages have about 10 houses and about 7 orphaned children in each house. The villages provide more of a family life than an orphanage could - as there is a mother who lives with children in each house as they grow up. Being an SOS mother is a very large commitment and they have my utmost respect. In the villages there is also medical attention on site, a kindergarten, vocational training and social programs. FIFA even provides Soccer pitches, so that the kids can develop self esteem and have fun.

Here is my very enthusiastic volunteer team (only part of it!). We've been face painting like crazy to attract people to our tent so that we can tell them more about the village we're raising money for. Today we started selling raffle tickets to raise money for the village. It's been going really well and I've been having so much fun with all these great people. There is a bit of stress with all of the logistics of setting up the tent and FIFA regulations, but it's worth it and I'm so glad for the experience of working for an NPO as it's what I'd like to do once I graduate from University.

A few of my volunteers and I were lucky enough to get VIP tickets to the first game. here we are at our table overlooking the Commonwealth Stadium. The stadium is so huge that the Edmonton Eskimos haven't even sold it out. Normally, soccer tournaments are at stadiums that seat 20 000, but this stadium seats 40 000!!

Zak's mom even made it out to one of the games. Here's me, Zak, and Becky in the stands.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Made for you

It has been a very enjoyable afternoon of making necklaces while listening to Jazz music. I have begun my necklace selling business and I've been working on an order of five necklaces. I'd like to share the necklaces with you. You can order similar ones or the same ones - I will make a necklace especially for you or for your special someone. This necklace above is $18 Canadian. The average price of my necklaces is $15-$35. I like to use semi-precious stones or vibrant colours as seen above.

This one is made of wooden circular beads and waxed cord. The clasp is made of a round wooden bead and the waxed cord loops around it. This is my personal favourite. The next one I make will have to be for me:) Unfortunately, I'm selling this one, but I can made many more for you (and me:)

Let me know which ones you like, or send me a picture of an outfit or shirt that you're trying to find a necklace for. If you don't know exactly what you want, I will be posting more of my necklaces online as I make them.

Here is another necklace that I made this afternoon. It is made of Cherry Quartz and mother of pearl. This one is $32 Cdn.

I love to sit here and work in the living room. I can hear the birds chirping outside and the sound of the wind through the trees and our overgrown bushes. The sky has changed so many times this afternoon. First it was sunny, and then it got really windy and looked like another storm was going to come. The sky was overcast and looked as though it was fully of rain. It did not come and now it's sunny again. I think it's time to take a break from my necklaces and play some bocce ball!

Please leave a comment if you would like a particular necklace. The cost is minimal if you would like it mailed to you. I mailed one from Edmonton, to Delhi, ON and it only cost $1.25. I will be setting up a paypal account if there is enough interest. For now, you can send me a money order or a personal cheque if I know you well. You can contact me at aldyck (at) ualberta (dot) ca if you would like one made for you!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Footsteps on the Roof

I'm sitting here in the dark. Out my large window are flashes of light. They are still far away. I enjoy the peaceful wind that blows through the trees that brings with it a soft rain. My doors and windows are open and the sounds of the incoming storm bring me a sense of peace. I close my eyes and let the sounds fill me. Wait - is that someone at my door? What has interrupted my calm? It sounds like footsteps on the roof. They patter and seem to be joining me in my house. Now there seems to be a whole crowd. It gets more and more intense. I close the door and shut the window, but the sounds are still persistent. I invite the sounds in. I cannot sleep now - I have guests.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


"Meanwhile, I am becoming more and more aware that for me writing is a very powerful way of concentrating and of clarifying for myself many thoughts and feelings. Once I put pen on paper and write for an hour or two, a real sense of peace and harmony comes to me . . . After a day without any writing . . . I often have a general feeling of mental constipation and go to bed with a sense that I did not do what I should have done that day." - Henri Nouwen, The Genesse Diary

I have been journaling for just over three years now. It all began with a journal that I got from Zak's Mom, the Christmas after we started dating. That journal started a journey into understanding myself. After I spend a while writing I find that I have clarity. If I start my day off journaling, I am in a much better mood and I go about my day with purpose. When I write I realize what is important to me.

The picture above is of the second journal that I got from Zak's parents. It is a beautiful handmade journal that they brought back from their trip to Italy. I have two journals right now and I save this one for special occasions - it is my travel journal. It is nice and small and durable. I can bring it anywhere with me and not worry about being weighed down. When I take it on a trip, the smell of it is fresh each time. It feels like a treat to be able to write in it. It is an adventure when I sit down to write - being in a new place and understanding myself in relation to that new place.

My most recent trip was to Jasper National Park. I went with a number of friends and we were able to stay in the group camping area which was a beautiful meadow that was surrounded by views of the mountains. Immediately around the meadow was the cottonwood and evergreen forest. I liked to take note that the evergreens were mostly in separate pockets from the cottonwood trees. I found my journaling spot amongst the cottonwoods and sat on the stump that is pictured above.

Monday, May 28, 2007


"Many of us who have lived most of our lives in the industrialized countries of the North may find it difficult to imagine running out of water. We have lived with steady supplies most of our lives and have used it lavishly. But at current rates of use, we will run short." - Maude Barlow, Blue Gold

Right after I heard this author speak at International Week at the University of Alberta, I bought the book that this quote is from. There was a very interesting panel that was put together to discuss a very important issue of our day - water and the way that we use it.

First in the panel there was the President of the Syncrude Oil company in Alberta. He discussed the many different ways that his company works to reduce the amount of water that is used to extract oil from the tar sands. Despite the reduction techniques of reusing the water many times for cooling, there is still a massive amount of water that is used by the oil industry. As the different members of the panel presented their opinions and relationship with water, you could feel a resentment for the oil industry becoming very strong. Most of this resentment was directed at the President of the Oil company. In the question period at the end of the presentations by the four representatives, there were many harsh questions directed at Syncrude. One member of the audience aptly pointed out that the resentment and anger was wrongly directed, because we as a society create the demand for all this oil. There are many desires that we have as a consumerist society that contribute to the rapid depletion of fresh water sources.

Another member of the panel was a professor from the University of Alberta. For many years he has been doing research on the water levels in the Alberta area. He presented his findings that the glacier that flows into the Bow River is melting at an alarming rate and it is the key source of fresh water for the Calgary area.

The third member of the panel was a UofA Business graduate who wanted to start a company that was socially responsible. He began a water bottling company called Earth Water that donates a good portion of the proceeds to the United Nations Refugee Fund.

Maude Barlow also spoke in this panel and presented the basic ideas of her book Blue Gold. She described the many cases of pollution of surface water and the use of ground water at rates that are faster than the water is replenished. What inspired me most was the use of stories of her travels to various third world countries that are harshly affected by a shortage of water.

In North America, we may not yet notice the consequence of our lavish use of water. In Canada there is seemingly and endless supply of water. What we aren't noticing is the problems that have been occurring in developing countries for quite some time already. Countries like Mexico, particularly in the urban areas, have almost completely used up their ground water supply, and it can no longer be replenished. Now that there is no water in the aquifer that lies beneath the ground, the city is sinking at a rapid rate.

Many of the poor people in the slums are not able to pay to have water delivered to their houses. They also cannot afford running water or pipes into their houses to deliver municipal water. Many of the rich people in poor countries can afford pipes and they are paying much less to have municipal water delivered to their houses rather than the high delivery price that the poor people must pay. Water is a basic human right, and many poor people cannot afford it.

This then leads to the discussion on the commodification of water. If water is a basic human right - then why isn't it accessible to all and why is the private sector gaining so much control over it? Why do we as North Americans feel the need to have water bottled?

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I've been doing reasearch for my paper for my Religions of North American Aboriginals course. I'm learning about the Sacred Places of the Hopi and the Navajo. These are two Native groups that have gone through many political conflicts in relation to land. The US government declared that the land (in the Arizona area) was the land of the Navajo, but the Hopi had been living there too. This caused much conflict between the groups.

There was also difficulty for the Navajo and the Hopi when the US Forest Service was going to permit the expansion of a Ski Resort that was encroaching the Sacred land that surrounded the Mountains that they believed the Spirits to reside in. A forest ranger asked the Hopi:

"'Just show us on this map which parts of the mountain are sacred so we can protect them.' And like the elders of Taos twenty years earlier, the Hopi answered, 'How can we point on a map to a sacred place? The entire mountain, the land surrounding the mountain, the whole earth is sacred.'" - Peter Nabokov, Where The Lightning Strikes